4 Signs That It's Time For A Septic Tank Cleaning

by Diane Barnes

Did you recently move into a home with a septic tank? If so, then you probably know that you'll need to have the tank pumped and cleaned at some point. Knowing exactly when to get the cleaning, though, can be difficult. Generally, you're supposed to get the tank cleaned when the tank's contents are so high that they threaten to cover the drainage holes. However, you usually can't look inside the tank to see how the waste levels are. Instead, you'll need to look for other signs to know that a cleaning is needed. Here are three surefire signs that you need to have your septic tank cleaned:

There's standing water in your drainage field. When a septic system is working properly, it breaks down solid waste in the bottom of the tank. Once the solids are completely broken down, they rise to the top of the tank to be drained as liquids. However, when a tank is nearly full, the solids don't break down properly. Instead, they drain from the tank while still in solid form. They then take up space in your drainage field, pushing liquid waste up above the surface.

If you have standing water, especially when there hasn't been rain recently, then you likely have a full septic tank.

Your drains have a foul odor. A full septic tank doesn't just cause problems for the drain field. It can also be problematic for your home. When the tank is full, your waste doesn't have anywhere to drain to when it goes down your toilet, sink, or shower. Instead of passing into the tank, it will simply sit in your drainage pipes. Eventually, that accumulated waste will begin to smell, and you'll notice it whenever you're near a drain or a toilet.

If the situation gets bad enough, you could see backflow coming out of your drains. Of course, you want to take care of the issue before it gets to that point. If you notice an unpleasant odor, you may want to schedule a cleaning.

You don't know when your tank was last cleaned. If you recently moved into the house, you may not have information about when the previous owner last had the tank cleaned. Being proactive can go a long way toward preventing problems down the road. Even if you don't notice odors, drainage issues, or standing water, you may still want to have a cleaning. That way, you'll know when the last cleaning happened, and you can establish a regular cleaning schedule.

Most septic tank cleaning companies can suggest a cleaning schedule based on your tank size and your family's usage. Contact a septic tank cleaning company like Hemley's Septic Tank Cleaning for more information.