If you live in a home that relies on a septic system to manage your household waste, you may already have a set schedule for when the tank is pumped out. However, depending on the system's usage, it can overfill between these times, requiring additional pumpings to reduce the risk of problems. Below are a couple of signs that your septic tank is starting to overfill and needs to be pumped out.
1. Gurgling Noises Coming from the Indoor Drains
One sign you may notice when your septic tank is starting to become too full is the sound of gurgling coming from your indoor drains. This is especially true when draining a large amount of water, such as after someone takes a bath or the dishwasher or washing machine drains. When you do hear these noises, they will often come from different areas in the house from where the water is draining. For example, while the washing machine is draining, you may hear the kitchen sink gurgle.
If the septic tank is too full, the massive amount of wastewater being forced through at one time will cause a momentary increase in pressure within the lines and the tank. Because there is not enough room in the tank to handle the sudden increase, the wastewater in the lines and the sewage already in the tank will momentarily be pushed into the pipes before they settle. This will cause bubbling that will create the sound coming from your drains.
2. Foul Odors Detected After Draining Large Amounts of Water
Another unmistakable sign that there is an issue with your septic tank is the presence of foul odors coming out of your drains after draining large amounts of water. Because the sewage in the overfilled tank is coming up into the pipes, the fumes from it will waft through the openings of the drains and into your house.
As the overfilling worsens, however, you may detect these odors even when no water is draining. If the smell becomes constant and stronger, this is usually an indication that the contents of the tank are spilling up and remaining in the pipes, causing a severe backup that needs to be addressed immediately.
If you ignore the above signs that your septic tank is overfilling, you run the risk of having sewage back up into your house or even having the tank rupture. To avoid these issues, contact a septic pumping service to schedule an appointment to have your tank cleaned out as soon as you suspect that there is a problem.