How to Know if You Have a Septic Tank Problem

You should not have a septic tank problem if you perform proper maintenance, but eventually all systems fail.

When stuff oozes in the drain field, you know you are in trouble.

Why do systems fail?

Eventually the soil in a drain field will no longer be able to accept the water from the septic tank, and organic material begins to solidify in the soil instead of remaining liquid as it should. This is a failure that should occur at the end of a septic system’s life.

However, if a system is not properly maintained by regular pumping, the organic material will find its way from the tank into the drain field much earlier.

If you are having a septic system problem, you will know.


One way is by smell. There may be an odor from your toilet or drains. You may also simply have a bad odor in the house without an indication of where the smell is coming from.

A slow-flushing toilet may also indicate a problem, particularly if drain cleaners or plunging does not immediately solve the problem.


Another indicator is of a septic system problem is green grass over the septic drain field. While this is to be expected to a small degree, constantly lush grass, even in dry weather, is an indicator that the drain field is sending liquid in the wrong direction.


If your system has failed, call your local health department or governmental entity in charge of septic systems in your area.

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