Does Your Septic Tank Need to Be Emptied?

Septic tanks can offer certain benefits to the homeowner over using the public sewer systems, which has made them more popular than you might think if you're not someone who has one.

But if you are, you're no doubt aware of all the ways in which they can be useful. And even though they put the responsibility for waste management firmly in your hands, the actual time and effort needed to keep on top of it all is really fairly minimal. 

That said, you can't just ignore them completely. It's important to be aware of the potential for problems and act quickly to stop them from getting serious. And you should also remember that they need to be emptied periodically. Here's how to tell when it might be time.

A bad smell

This is one that you're unlikely to miss, but you might not immediately realise the cause. Once your septic tank fills up and starts backing up, there's a good chance it might generate some nasty odours. Luckily, the smells should go away quickly once the tank is emptied, but until then, it's only going to get worse.

Water pooling on the ground

You might not spot this one at first if you've had a lot of heavy rainfall, but pools of water on the ground in the area of the septic tank could well mean it's filled up. If it does rain, keep a close eye on the ground in the days afterwards to make sure any water goes away. If not, your tank is probably the culprit.

Suspiciously healthy lawn

Everyone wants a lush, green lawn, but not at any cost. The key is to check the grass near to the septic tank. If it seems greener and healthier than the rest of your lawn, it's probably getting some extra fertiliser in the form of overflowing waste. Empty that tank quickly, and while your grass might go back to its normal, less green state, at least you won't have to deal with the other problems a broken or overflowing tank will cause.

Slow flushing toilets

When the tank is full, it can start to give you problems with water draining away from the toilet bowl when you flush. If you notice this, make sure you check and empty the tank as soon as you can. If you leave it to get worse, you might be unfortunate enough to have waste coming back into the toilet.