How To Tell If Your Aerobic Septic System Is Full

Aerobic Septic System
Spring Septic

A septic system offers an effective way to manage sewage at your home if you keep your system maintained. Septic systems need to be pumped periodically to function properly, and many people are unsure when this is supposed to be done.  Factors like the size of your Aerobic Septic System and the number of people in your household will impact how often you need septic tank pumping.

Factors to Increase or Decrease the amount of time between Septic Pumping

  • The number of people in your household
  • The amount of water used in your house 
  • The number of solids in the sewage 
  • The size of the septic tank

All these factors can lead to the build-up of scum in your system. Septic Sludge is the build-up of these solids that fall and rest on your septic tank’s rim. They need to be pumped to keep the tank running properly once they reach a high point.

If not pumped regularly, scum can make it into your drain field and out of your tank. Then you will be charged extra fees on your next septic pumping. This also results in your drain field functioning poorly. Scum and sludge in your drain field will eventually destroy your entire drain field permanently. This will cost you a lot more than maintaining your system correctly.

After evaluating your Aerobic Septic System of all these variables and examining scum rates, a trained and approved inspection service should be able to determine whether or not your tank needs to be pumped.  

Keep in mind:  Even if you have no problems with your septic system, you should still have it inspected and pumped about every three to five years. Even more frequent inspections may be required for systems using electrical or mechanical components.

Your system might have a lot of problems that might go unnoticed until it’s too late. For example, your system may be sufficiently full to gradually release scum into your drain field, but not sufficiently full to back up to your home or cause pooling water.

Septic System
Spring Septic Systems

The average interval between septic system inspections is three to five years, but during this period your tank may still be full. Therefore, you must have a way to independently inspect the device, and adding risers around the tank is one way you can use it. These devices give you an easy way to check the tank’s inside. When you open the lid and find the accumulation of large amounts of solids, you must call a professional service to clean the unit.

The sludge rate that is present is another warning sign that you can find in your tank. The tank must be drained once this liquid comes within a foot of the outlet tee. One warning that your machine is on the verge of backing up is a scum surface that reaches six inches below the outlet tee.

Leaking pipes or pooling water 

An indication of a congested process may also be the area around the septic tank. In your land, there are pipes that lead to the tank and as the system starts to clog, water and waste will begin to flow from the pipes and create puddles around the tank base.

Increased water levels could impact the vegetation around your tank by growing it. In other areas of your yard, grass that appears greener and healthier is a sign that your tank is at capacity and needs immediate pumping to prevent damage to the drain field.

You can also find septic pipes in your house. You can examine them with a flashlight to see if they start to spring leaks.  All components connected to the septic system can display signs when the tank is at full capacity.

In general, toilets should be tested for any irregular flushing or operational problems. If the toilet responds slowly when you flush it then the septic system may be too full.

If your sink or shower drains slowly, it can be a warning that your septic tank is full and does not drain water at a normal rate. 

You should also investigate all draining pipes coming out of your home to be sure there are no leaks.  Also all important areas to inspect are washing machine tubes, dishwasher pipes, and sinks. Pipes that take a long time to drain water are warnings from a septic tank that is full or maybe even clogged.

Often, if overlooked, it’s not unusual for waste to start backing up through your slow draining pipes and fill your home with a foul smell and finally solid waste in your sinks, tubs, and other inlets.   This would be the worst-case scenario, and you must immediately contact a professional service like Spring Septic.