Signs Your Septic Tank Needs Pumping

Most septic tanks need regular pumping, and this should normally be every one to four or five years, depending on the size of the tank and the number of people at the property in question.

While you may think you know how long your tank can safely operate before it needs pumping under normal circumstances, it’s never going to be set in stone. That normal period could easily be cut short either by increased use or by a technical fault within the tank itself.

For this reason, it’s always worth knowing what signs you should be looking out for, so that you know when your septic tank is full and ready to be pumped. Here are five of the key telltale signs that you need to be giving your septic tank some serious attention:



Slow drainage

One of the first things you’ll notice when your septic tank is full and ready for being pumped is that your wastewater will be draining away more slowly. That may only be somewhat inconvenient to start with, but once it does start to happen, it’s almost certain to only get worse, so it’s better that you get it checked out as soon as possible. 


Bad smells

Perhaps the most obvious sign that things aren’t as they should be is a strong odour that is a lot like the smell of rotten eggs. Unless you’re actually in the habit of keeping a pile of rotten eggs lying around your property, and therefore accustomed to the smell being around – and we seriously hope that this isn’t the case – then you really shouldn’t be mistaking it for anything other than a septic tank issue. 


Sewage Backup

Probably even worse than an encroaching sewage smell is when the sewage itself starts to back up into your home’s drains. This can represent a real health hazard (as well as being an unbearable thing to live with!) so this is definitely a sign that you cannot ignore. 


Pooling water

If you start seeing large pools of water around where your tank is, or in the drain field – and you’re not aware of any rational explanation for them being there, such as recent, heavy rain – then it could be water leaking from your septic tank. If you’re really not sure, that unmistakable smell we were talking about earlier will also give you a clue as to where it’s coming from.


Greener grass

Another sign of water starting to leak from your septic tank into the surrounding area, this may happen because it will actually act as a fertiliser on any vegetation it comes across. That may well result in your grass, for example, starting to look a lot lusher than it usually does, so if you’re suddenly wondering where your newfound green fingers have come from, the answer may not be what you are hoping for.


If you notice any of these signs, then it’s time to get your septic tank looked at by an expert, and if you live near Chelmsford, Colchester or Ipswich, you can’t do better than call in the team from AA Turner Tankers. With the best part of 70 years in the business, we offer a range of services including Septic Tank Emptying and Sewage Tank Cleaning leaving us with the knowledge and experience to ensure your tank will be working at its best in no time. Contact us today to find out more.