How do I know when it’s time for a septic tank emptying?

There are few things more distressing and flat-out embarrassing for a homeowner than a septic tank overflowing. Although rare with modern septic tanks, spillages and overflows do happen. A septic tank overflow isn’t just embarrassing it also causes serious damage to the environment.

Nobody wants to experience a septic tank overflow. To avoid spillages, we recommend regular septic tank emptying. But how does one know when to empty their septic tank? There are a few tell-tale signs that we recommend you look out for?


Signs that your septic tank is almost full?

Toilet or Washing Machine becomes sluggish


An obvious but often overlooked sign that your septic tank is almost full is a dip in the performance of your washing machine and toilet. In the case of the toilet if it isn’t flushing properly you should immediately check your septic tank. Wastewater is separated from solids once it hits the tank. Solid waste then sinks to the bottom of the plastic or concrete septic tank. Once this begins to fill up it may begin to block the drainage pipe and therefore affect the performance of the toilet and washing machine.


Pooling Water


If it hasn’t rained in a while but you're still seeing pools of water around where your septic tank is buried, it’s a safe bet that this water is coming from your tank. A tank full of sludge will push water up to the surface.


Slow Drains


If one or even two drains are draining slower than usual in your home, it’s more than likely that they is a blockage in the individual drain. However, if all the drains are draining slowly it could well be due to a full septic tank.




One of the more distressing and unpleasant signs that your tank needs emptying is a foul odour. There shouldn’t be any odours around where your septic tank is buried. If there is an unmissable stench, then your septic tank likely needs to be emptied.


Sewer back-up


Possible the worst consequence of a full septic tank is a sewer in your home backing up. This can cause untold stress and damage and is an unmissable sign that your septic tank is full.

Call us today if you need your septic tank emptied. For more information on this topic, please visit our septic tank emptying page.


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