Will You Need To Pump Or Repair A Septic Tank?

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Pumping is one of the common solutions before people decide to schedule septic tank repair projects. You might wonder how you can tell whether septic tank pumping or repairs are in your home's future. The best way to tell is usually based on the specific issue so here's a problem-by-problem look at which way the decision might go. 

Sewage in the Yard

As long as you've scheduled septic tank pumping at least once every few years, it's unlikely that there's a blockage in the system that would cause sewage to appear in the yard. If the leakage is away from the drain field, there's a good chance that a line or the tank needs repairs. Problems out in the drain field could be due to blockages that require pumping, or they could be due to poor design that placed the drain field where water run-off reduces its functionality.

If it has been more than a few years since the system was pumped, a soggy yard could be a sign the tank is overflowing. In this scenario, septic tank pumping should be your starting point for addressing the situation.

Increased Nitrate Levels

A backup can trigger increased nitrate levels. The most common symptom of this problem is that the grass in the yard appears to grow much faster in the vicinity of the septic tank. The leakage is likely acting as fertilizer. Another place where nitrate levels could be higher is in your drinking water. A high level is often an early sign that the leakage is making its way into a well.

Once more the time since the last septic tank pumping is your best clue. If you've recently pumped the tank, there's a good chance something is broken. Otherwise, you should consider pumping and seeing if it solves the issue.


Pressure in the system can drive gases back through the lines and into the house. Smells also can permeate through the soil.

If the smell is just coming from the lines, there's a good chance the problem is at least a partial blockage. Septic tank pumping will typically solve that problem. If the smell is outside, there's a higher likelihood that the system needs repairs. However, if this is the first time you've noticed anything, pumping is probably worth a try first.

Slow Draining

As long as there are none of the other problems on the list, a slow drain is a sign that you should pump the tank. Repairs aren't usually necessary unless the tank or another part of the system is damaged enough to let the soil in and cause a blockage.

Reach out to a septic tank pumping service to learn more. 

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