If your home relies on a septic tank to safely dispose of sewage and garbage disposal waste, you're probably already aware of how important it is to have your septic tank professionally pumped and emptied regularly. Without regular pumping, your septic tank can quickly overflow, potentially causing dangerous, untreated sewage to escape your system and contaminate your home and property
Having your septic tank regularly pumped on a fixed schedule is usually the best way to prevent your tank from overflowing. However, there are times when your septic tank may fill up faster than usual, and testing water and sludge levels in your tank can be difficult and dangerous if you don't know exactly what you are doing.
If you suspect your septic tank is starting to overflow, one of the easiest ways to check is by inspecting the state of your lawn. The septic tanks of most homes have drainfields that run underneath the property's lawn and/or garden, and the condition of the soil and vegetation of your lawn can give you useful early warning signs that your septic tank is over capacity.
How can my lawn tell me when my septic tank needs pumping?
Unusually lush vegetation
Many septic tank users complain that the grass over their septic tank and drainfield system becomes brown and brittle; this is actually a good sign, as it indicates that the soil around your drainfield is well drained and allowing water from your septic tank to drain away freely. However, if the grass or plants over your drainfield are looking unusually green and healthy, this can indicate that your tank needs pumping.
Untreated sewage contains nitrates and other fertilizing chemicals that are toxic to humans and animals but highly beneficial to plants. In a properly working septic tank, these substances are filtered out of the water as it passes through the drainfield. If, however, your septic tank is overflowing and starting to leak, untreated liquids can seep into the soil around your septic tank, fertilizing the plants and giving you a clear warning sign that your tank needs to be pumped as soon as possible.
Unpleasant odors coming from the soil
Septic tanks are full of bacteria that help to digest and process sewage and blackwater as it passes through the system. As these bacteria treat the contaminated water, they create noxious, foul-smelling gases.
Ordinarily, your septic tank should have enough capacity to contain these gases, but if your tank is overly full, these unpleasant gases can escape into the lawn covering your septic system. If the soil and/or grass over your septic tank smells noticeably bad, this is usually a sign that your tank is over capacity and requires pumping.
Waterlogged soil and standing water
Unusually green grass and unpleasant smells coming from your lawn are good early warning signs that your septic tank needs pumping, but if you notice that the soil of your lawn is becoming waterlogged even in dry weather, your septic tank will need to be professionally pumped and inspected for damage as soon as possible.
Waterlogged soil around your septic tank and drainfield indicates that the septic tank is filled to capacity and has started to overflow or is being forced through the drainfield faster than it can be treated. In extreme cases or after wet weather, you may even start to notice standing water pooling on the surface of the lawn.
In these circumstances, you should avoid the area around your septic tank as much as possible for your own safety and call in a professional septic tank pumping service to empty the tank. You may also need to have the tank professionally inspected for damage, as overfilling can cause serious damage to the welds and valves of your septic system.
For more information, reach out to a company such as AAA Pumping Service.Share
10 November 2019
When I was in college, I lived in an old house just south of the university campus with five other girls. When we came back from Christmas break, the heater was broken. The beginning of January was the coldest time of the year, and because it was the weekend, the heating company couldn't come fix it for a few days. My roommates and I pulled our mattresses into the front room and slept all together to keep warm. Two weeks later, our heater broke again! That time we ended up getting a completely new furnace. Needless to say, we got to be good friends with the heating contractor that month, and it was a good experience that led to the creation of this blog.