If you’re not hooked up to the municipal sewer system—if you have a septic tank system—regular septic system maintenance is important. But it’s out of sight and out of mind, so what are the signs that you need septic service?
If you’ve just bought a home near the edge of town, you may not even know whether you are connected to the sewer system or if you have a septic tank.
How to tell if you have a septic tank system:
A good home inspection should’ve told you about the septic tank and its condition so you may want to review your home inspection if you had one done. Here are some indications that suggest you would have a septic tank:
- manhole cover in your backyard
- $0 sewer charge on your water bill
- you use well water (the water line coming intoyour house does not have a meter)
- your neighbors have a septic system
Just know that if you do have a septic tank, it does require regular maintenance, including being pumped out every two to five years depending on where you live and other factors.
How to tell if you need septic tank service:
The easiest way to tell if you need septic tank service is by having your system regularly checked by a septic system professional. Changing filters every six months and having the tank pumped out every two to five years is recommended.
1. Sewage smells
If you’re smelling the foul gases from your septic system in your house or outside near the septic tank or drainfield, there is a problem and you need service. It could be a damaged or blocked vent, dry drains, a flooded or full tank.
2. Gurgling drains and/or sewage backups
If you hear gurgling in your drains after a toilet flush or running water, this could be an early warning sign of a main line blockage or full septic tank. The next stage usually involves wastewater backing up into drains, like if you flush your toilet and water comes up into the sink. A septic system professional will determine if you have a full tank, clogged main line or blocked vent stacks.
3. Soggy, spongy grass on drainfield
Do you have a section of your yard that is always soggy or spongy? Call your home services company immediately and get them to send out a septic system professional as this is likely a serious problem in your drainfield.
Your septic system is out of sight and out of mind most of the time, until something goes wrong. When that happens, it usually needs to be addressed immediately as septic systems handle bacteria and other dangerous substances than can affect the health and safety of your family and pets if left untreated. Whether you need a routine pumping, repair work or a full septic system replacement, the septic experts at your preferred home services company will be able to quickly assess the situation and recommend the best remedy