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Septic systems are relatively easy to maintain but do require regular pumping to prevent back ups and system failures. Regular pumping rids the system of the solid sludge, grease and other waste that can foul the leaching field. How often you need to pump out your system depends on your tank size, number of people living in the house, and how much of your wastewater is solid.

Households with a garbage disposal will also need to be pumped more often.


If you rely on septic for waste removal, you need to remember that anything you put down the drain will end up in the septic tank and that not all of it is good for the system. Be sure to use only cleaners and paper products that are labeled septic-safe, and avoid adding unnecessary contaminants.

So while the frequency of pumping depends on numerous factors, there are signs to look for when determining whether or not your system is ready to be pumped.

5 Signs Your Septic Tank Needs To Be Pumped

1. Slow Drains

Slow moving drains or slow flushing toilets in your home can be a sign that you have a clog. However, if they remain slow even after you have tried various unclogging methods, then the tank is probably full.

2. Septic Odors

A septic system is charged with storing not only the “black” water from toilets, but also all the gray water that comes from showers, sinks, dishwashers, garbage disposals and laundry washing machines. This overabundance of waste water creates a putrid mixture. If you experience any unpleasant odors in your yard, your system is likely ready for service.

3. System Backup

Like slow moving drains, a sewer backup is a sure sign that your tank has reached maximum capacity and needs to be pumped immediately. Sewer backups will occur in the lowest drains first, such as a downstairs bathroom. If your system is backing up, call a West Coast Sanitation professional immediately.

Pooling Water

4. Pooling Water

You may expect pools of water to appear after a heavy rain, but such pools of water without the heavy rains can be a sign that your system is overflowing. When your tank is full, solid waste can clog the drain field and drive liquid waste to the surface, causing little lakes to pop up in your yard.

5. Overly Healthy Vegetation

The grass over your septic should not look any different than the rest of your lawn. If the area suddenly starts looking overly lush and green, your system has likely reached capacity and is leaching liquids.

At West Coast Sanitation, we know that you don’t have time to deal with septic problems. If you think that your system has reached capacity, please give us a call right away. We have professionals ready to answer your questions and get your system working properly again.