We ask a lot of our septic systems. The majority of our daily routine, washing the dishes, doing the laundry and flushing the toilet, rely on it to be in good condition. But how do you know if your septic system is in need of some professional attention? We have put together a list of signs and symptoms so if the time comes, you know what to look for.


  1. Pipe Gurgling Sounds

Are you hearing an abundance of noise when you are running your water or flushing the toilet? These gurgling sounds can be an indication that your septic tank is full, needs pumping or has other problems.


  1. Water (or sewage) is backing up inside your home

If you have smelly water or black liquid gurgling up into the drains of your home, this can be because of a few issues:

Your tank or drain field is too full. After your used water enters your septic tank, solids and liquids are separated. The liquid is eventually released into a drain field, a series of underground trenches or chambers. If your tank is receiving a large amount of water, very fast, this can make the drain field overloaded.

There is a blocked pipe. Another reason that water may be backing up into your home is because there is a clogged distribution line somewhere between your house and your septic system.


  1. Bad Odours

Sometimes, all you need to tell that something is wrong with your septic tank, is a good sense of smell. Septic odours are caused by gases in the system, including carbon dioxide, hydrogen sulfide, and methane. If you have a persistent odour that worsens as you get closer to your septic bed, it is time to schedule in a professional.


  1. Patches of Standing Water

If you see patches of water near your septic tank, this could be a sign that there is a problem. These puddles could be due to a high water table or excessive rainfall causing a strain on your drain field. If you think this is the issue, you can give it time to catch up by using less water. If this doesn’t help fix the problem, then call in the professionals.


  1. Slow Drains

Slow drainage can be an indicator that there’s something stopping the flow in the pipes of your septic system. When cleaning these blockages out, we highly recommend that you stay away from chemical drain cleaners. Chemicals in your typical drain cleaner do more harm than good, by eroding pipes and destroying the bacterial process in your septic tank. Use a natural product with bacteria and enzymes as they are completely septic-safe.


  1. Trees or Shrubs near your system

Adding plants to your yard can make it look nice but your septic bed is one place that trees and shrubs can wreak havoc. Plant roots naturally seek out water sources, including leaking pipes and condensation, making it possible for them to crack septic pipes and collapse them completely. If your green thumb still has you wanting to get digging, figure out how tall your tree will be in its maturity, and plant them that many feet away from your septic tank. Some plants may vary because of their aggressive roots, so consult a professional before breaking ground.


A lot of the potential issues that people come across with septic systems, can be stopped through preventative maintenance. By understanding and being able to spot potential drain field and septic problems such as clogging, and leakage, you can stay on top of any issues that may decrease your systems lifespan. If you have any questions or concerns about your septic system, reach out to us by phone, and we’d be happy to answer your questions.

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