If you have a septic tank, you should know that although these little systems can last for quite a long time, they do fare better with regular, professional maintenance and care. Thus, if it's been a while since you've had your septic tank serviced, don't be surprised if you run into some problems. In fact, even if you are good about taking care of your septic tank, problems can still develop. It's just that they're less likely to be serious and to cause major problems or damage for your system if you catch them early. Professional maintenance can help you to spot and fix problems early on, and you can (and should!) also be aware of the common warning signs that something is amiss with your septic tank.
Warning Sign #1: Stinky Smells
Most people think of bad smells when they think of septic tanks, just because of what their job (transporting waste materials) is. However, contrary to popular belief, a properly functioning septic tank should not smell!
In fact, if you do notice any kind of foul odor -- the most common is a "rotting eggs" smell -- this is a major sign that your septic tank isn't working as it should. This usually means that there is a drainage, pipe, or ventilation issue and that methane gas is seeping out of your septic system, which could prove dangerous.
To prevent problems, such as blockage and yard draining, call a professional like Mr Bob as soon as possible if you smell something stinky!
Warning Sign #2: Flooding
Another common sign that your septic tank is having issues if you notice flooding in your yard, especially near where your septic system lies.
Most commonly, flooding occurs around the drain field when there is a blockage or a leak, but stinky, standing water anywhere in your yard or near your property could indicate improper emptying or other common septic tank problems.
Flooding is something you'll want to take care of -- professionally and immediately -- because it can get pretty gross (and smelly!) if you don't.
Warning Sign #3: Slow-Draining Drains
Finally, you'll want to take notice if the drains inside your house, such as your sink or toilet, are not acting properly. All drains are connected to your septic tank and overall system, so an indoor problem could turn into an outdoor one if you're not careful and proactive.
Drains that smell, work slowly, that gurgle, or that don't work at all are often indicators of a leak or a blockage. They mean, in other words, that your septic system isn't flowing correctly.
This problem and all the others mentioned can be combated through regular maintenance, but if a problem is already present, never hesitate to call on the pros. The longer you wait, the worse things will get, so don't delay!