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3 Signs You Need Your Septic System Pumped

Does your home have a septic tank? A septic tank can be an effective way to remove waste from your home, especially if you live in an area with limited access to the municipal sewer lines. While useful, a septic system also requires regular care and maintenance. Without regular maintenance, your tank could clog, causing unpleasant odors in your home and even backups in your drains and toilets. The good news is you can avoid these issues by having your pump regularly inspected and pumped. Is your tank due for a pumping? Here are a few signs that your system may need service:

You have a bad odor in your home. Very often, a foul odor is the earliest sign that you have septic system issues. You could have a clog in your drainage pipes or your tank could simply be full. Either way, waste is getting clogged in the system and that odor is coming back up the drainage pipes. As you continue to flush waste, the clog will get bigger and soon you will have waste coming back up through your drains and toilets. If you smell a foul odor in your home, you may want to have your system checked.

You have water pooling in your drain field. When a septic system is working properly, the waste is broken down into liquid in the tank before being dispelled into a drainage area far from your home. The drainage should flow into the ground deep beneath the surface, where it can be absorbed by the soil. However, if the tank is full, the waste may not break down properly and it may bubble up to the surface of the drain field. You'll eventually see waste water pooling on the ground around the drainage area. This is a common sign that the tank is full and isn't working properly.

You can't remember the last time it was pumped. As a general rule, most septic systems need to be pumped every couple of years. However, that can vary based on the tank size and usage. If you have a large tank, but live alone, you may be able to go several years without a septic pumping. On the other hand, if you have a small or mid-size tank and a full house, you may need yours pumped more frequently.

If you don't know the last time yours was pumped, it's probably a good idea to go ahead and get a pumping scheduled. Your septic pumping technician can then set a regular maintenance schedule based on your tank size and usage. That will help you avoid any serious septic system issues in the future.