How long has it been since you had your septic tank pumped out? Do you even know when your septic tank was last cleaned? Many people don't know or forget to keep track of how long it's been since the last time someone cleaned out their septic tank. While this isn't necessarily the worst thing in the world, it is still something that can lead to trouble. There are a number of sometimes-subtle signs that something is amiss that you may have been overlooking or ignoring up until this point. A few of these signs include:
Sluggish drains: If you've been dealing with drains that are running slow and that are resisting all efforts to plunge them out, you may be in serious need of septic pumping. As the septic tank starts to fill up with solids, there's simply nowhere for new sewage water to go. This results in your drains running slowly or even not at all, depending on how full your tank is. Depending on your plumbing layout, it may be all of the drains in your home or it may just be your toilet and bathtub or shower that run slowly. No amount of drain-opening chemicals will fix this problem, the tank must be mechanically pumped out in order to restore things back to working order.
Odd smells: When you find yourself having to run the vent fan in your bathroom 24/7 in order to avoid overwhelming your home with bad smells, this is a major sign that you are in need of septic pumping. Although it's easy to initially assume that you simply need to get better at cleaning, this isn't the case. As the tank fills, sewage gasses will have nowhere to go but travel back up your septic line and into your home. Having your tank pumped out professionally will get rid of this issue.
Marshy lawn: As your septic tank fills up, bits of septic solids will start to wash out of the tank. Normally, just liquid waste is discharged into the ground around the septic tank, first being filtered through a buried drainage field. As bits of sewage solids are washed out of the tank, they'll start to clog up this drainage area and there will be nowhere for the water to go but up. If you have a septic pumping as soon as you notice the ground getting soggy, things should go back to normal relatively quickly. But the longer you wait, the more likely it is that the field will be irreparably damaged and you will need to pay to have it rebuilt in order for it to work as it should.