Septic Tanks: Odor Indications & The Need For Pumping Services

9 August 2016
 Categories: , Articles


Septic tanks are essential for homes without traditional plumbing and work well as an alternative to sewer systems, but they cannot work seamlessly by themselves. Proper maintenance of your septic tank will help keep your pipes running smoothly and prevent major problems in the future. One of the more important maintenance tasks for your septic tank is a pumping process. Every two to three years, your septic tank should be pumped out to help remove excess sludge. In some cases, the tank could get filled up earlier and needs to be pumped sooner. One of the biggest indications of this is foul odors. Being able to recognize these odors will help you tell if the septic tank needs to be pumped and how serious the problem is getting.

Yard Smells

One of the first smelly indications that you need a septic tank pumped comes from your yard. As a septic tank fills, sludge and bacteria can leak into the drainage field on your property. As you're walking around your lawn, you may notice a sewage-like smell in the grass. The smell may also smell like rotten trash. When gusts of wind blow by, the smells can get carried into the air and become really noticeable. This is one of the earliest signs that your tank needs pumping. Until the tank has been pumped, it's a good idea to stay away from the odorous areas so that you are no longer exposed to the bacteria and chemicals.

Post-Weather Smells

Sometimes, you may not smell septic tank leaks in your yard right away. But other indications may come right after a big rainstorm. If you notice puddling in your yard after the rain, it may an indication that the septic tank is full. During this situation, the puddled water may be mixed with septic tank water. One of the biggest ways to test this is to smell the air outside after the rain. If the air smells like toilet water or old garbage, then chances are that your septic tank needs pumping. If standing puddles do appear on your lawn, it's also important to keep children and pets away from the water. Ingesting or soaking in the water can cause them to become ill. Having your septic tank properly pumped can help improve your lawn conditions after rainstorms. Instead of creating large puddles, the rain can easily soak into the ground without interference from overfilled septic tanks.

Appliance Draining

Instead of draining out into a yard, a septic tank could end up pushing waste back into your own home. Many types of appliances drain out into the septic system. Drain bubbles and the force of air could push septic tank overflow back into the home through the forms of both air and water. For example, when a washer is draining water, you may notice a foul odor from the washer or any nearby water sources. These smells are not from the clothes or water used on them, but coming the septic tank itself. If a problem like this persists, then you could have a full blockage in your drainage system. A septic professional would then need to pump out the tank and perform a clog removal service to ensure that the drains are running smoothly.

Tap Water Smells

One of the worst signs of an over-filled septic tank is when your tap water starts to have a foul odor to it. This occurs when a septic tank has not been pumped and spills over into your freshwater welling system. When using tap water, you may notice the smell in the air, even though the water still looks clean and clear. A septic tank technician can test the water to see if it has been infected with sewage. After pumping out the tank, additional water flushing may be needed to help restore your well water quality.

Do not let septic tank odors get too bad before you have the tank pumped. It can make a big difference on the damages done to the tank and your home. Talk with a professional septic tank company, such as Martin Septic Service Inc, for more information and assistance with getting your tank pumped.