What’s That Smell? 5 Tell-Tale Signs of Septic Tank Problems

The sooner you deal with septic tank problems or system problems, the easier the problem will be to fix, but how do you know it’s time? Look for these signs.

Keyword(s): septic tank problems

Are you having problems with your plumbing? Is your townhouse starting to smell like an outhouse?

It could be a septic tank problem. And trust us, you do NOT want septic problems to get worse.

So to help you out, we’ve listed the most common signs of septic tank problems. If you notice any of these signs, call a professional right away, before your lawn turns into a septic geyser.

1. Slow, Gurgling Drains

The first sign of septic tank problems is usually drainage issues. These include slow drains, gurgling pipes, and toilets not flushing.

Now bear in mind that these could also be signs of other plumbing problems, like clogged pipes. Regular use of chemicals is not a good thing for septic, but when you have a clog, you need to take care of that. Occasional use of products should not have negative effects on your septic tank.

However, if you notice clogging is happening to multiple drains in multiple rooms, it’s more likely a septic system problem vs a clogged pipe issue.

All your drains may be having trouble draining because your septic tank is full. If the tank is full, your drain water has nowhere to go.

2. Septic Backup

Water coming back up from the drain is another sign. Pay special attention to see if it happens when you are running the washing machine.

If sewage is backing up, this is almost a dead giveaway of septic problems. We probably don’t need to tell you, but if you’re experiencing a sewage backup, get professional help immediately.

3. Septic Odor

Sewage odor is another telltale sign of septic problems. When a septic tank becomes full, it starts giving off foul odors.

Have you noticed any new odors in your house? Septic odors smell like sulfur (think rotten eggs).

Sniff around, especially outside, to see if any rotten egg smell might be coming from your tank. If you know where your septic drain field is, check really well around there.

4. Pooling Water

If a septic tank gets too full it might start leaking into the drain field. This can also happen if a tank gets too old and starts deteriorating. When this happens, you may start to see pools of water showing up in your drain field.

If you notice pools of water on your lawn that were never there before, it could be a septic leak. But it could also be a broken pipe. You won’t know until you call it in.

5. Grass Growing Fast

This is a subtler version of the problem we just described. Sometimes a septic tank is leaking, but not extensively enough to flood your drain field.

When these smaller leaks happen under your drain field, your grass enjoys extra water and fertilizer from the leak. Then you’ll see patches of your lawn suddenly growing much greener and faster than the rest of the lawn.

If you see this, call it in.

Don’t Ignore Septic Tank Problems

For the sake of your household, your neighbors, and the environment, don’t ever wait to call in septic tank problems. You really don’t want a problem to get worse when it involves a gigantic tank full of human waste.

If you see any of these signs, don’t ignore them. Please, please call a septic tank service immediately.

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