4 Signs It's Time To Empty Your Septic Tank

Every homeowner has a responsibility to keep their septic tank empty. Many homeowners have no idea what a septic tank needs until a problem arises. The amount of people using the plumbing determines how often the septic tank should be pumped. In general, homeowners should have a plumber do their septic tank pumping about every 3 to 5 years in order to keep it working properly. The more people in the home, the more often it will have to be pumped. By watching the warning signs, you can quickly tell when your septic system needs to be pumped. For many homeowners, this will generally cost you around $75 to $200, depending on how big your tank is.


One of the easiest ways to tell if your septic tank is full is by the odor it emits. Because the septic tank houses all your water from the kitchens to the bathrooms, much of it is waste from the toilet. Generally, when the tank starts to get full, you will begin to notice a foul smelling order around the drain field. This can mean that the septic tank is full and needs to be emptied.

Excessive Nitrates

Another way to tell if your septic tank is full is by testing your well water. This should be done periodically to make sure your water is healthy. As the septic tank fills up, it can leak into the surrounding soil. Nitrates will run through your ground water and contaminate it, polluting your potable water. By testing the well water for nitrates, you can determine if your tank is full.

Backed Up Sewage

One of the worst signs telling you your septic tank is full is when you see sewage coming up through your drains. The sewage is typically black, sludgy, and not pleasant to see. When you start to see black liquid coming up through any of your drains, this is a good sign there is a problem with your septic tank. Typically, it just needs to be emptied, but at times it could mean there is a bigger problem.

Slow Drains

A slow drain can be a hassle when you are trying to get things done. First, you want to try drain cleaning products to see if there is a clog. If this does not help, it could mean that your septic tank is full. This can be remedied by having someone come out and inspect it for you.