How do you know your septic tank is full?

Septic tanks are typically required at buildings that cannot be connected to the main sewage system. They offer an effective solution for diverting wastewater and sewage away from the property. 

Inside the septic tank, waste is broken down by bacteria and separated into water and sludge. Whilst the water is carefully released into a drainage field, the sludge sinks to the bottom of the tank and will need to be emptied at regular intervals. Otherwise, there could be damaging and expensive consequences.

Let’s find out more about how you can tell if your septic tank is full.

4 tell-tale signs your septic tank needs emptying

  • Pooling water – is water pooling in the drainage area where your septic tank is installed? Though it could be a result of intense rainfall, this is usually what happens when your tank is overflowing and full of sludge.

If you notice your garden or drainage field is overly saturated, it’s worth contacting a professional and arranging to have your septic tank emptied sooner rather than later.

  • Unpleasant smells – are nasty odours coming from your plumbing pipes or septic tank? Although septic tanks are designed to deal with wastewater and sewage, they shouldn’t give off bad smells. 

There are a number of reasons why nasty smells might be coming from your septic tank. For example, it may be a result of the downdraft from sewer ventilation pipes. However, it’s well worth having your tank checked out and, if necessary, emptied.

  • Slow draining water – does water seem to be taking longer to drain than usual? Are you experiencing problems with flushing your toilets? If you haven’t emptied your septic tank for quite some time, take this as your sign to do so.

Neglecting your septic tank and allowing sludge and sewage to back up will only cause more problems later down the line, requiring more extensive and costly repairs.

  • Gurgling sounds – have you noticed a strange noise coming from your drains? This is another tell-tale sign that your septic tank probably needs emptying.

Even if you recently had your system emptied, it’s still worth having it checked out, as septic tanks are not supposed to be noisy.

How often should septic tanks be emptied?

Whilst you can (and should) keep an eye out for the above signs, it’s also a sensible idea to keep a record of when you have your septic tank pumped and how long you need to wait until the next one.

The correct pumping interval for your tank will vary depending on its size, how many people use it and how frequently it’s used. So, it’s highly advised you refer to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Having your septic tank cleared regularly may seem like an unnecessary expense – but it will ensure the longevity of your system and prevent issues from occurring later on.

For more information or to purchase top-quality septic tanks online, visit Cotterill Civils today. They stock an extensive range of products from renowned brands, including Clearwater, Klargester, Marsh and Premier Tech, and offer some of the most competitive prices around.