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How To Tell Septic Tank Is Full

By December 21, 2021Septic
Full septic tank

Imagine that you made it home from a great day of shopping and errands. You park the car in the driveway so that you can get all of your packages into the house. As you are walking up to the front door to take everything in, you begin to smell an awful stench.

You hurry into the house to drop the bags and immediately pick up the phone to call your local septic tank service company. How to tell a septic tank is full? Pooling water, slow drainage of pipes, plush lawns, and smells are the most telling signs.

Let’s take a look below at some more details regarding a septic tank and when the pumping should be done.

Septic tank in a new construction.

What Is A Septic Tank

Simply put, a septic tank is an area that collects all of your solid waste that is disposed of via the toilet, kitchen sink, and garbage disposal.

The septic tank is part of a system that allows homes that are not connected to city water and sewer to have the same comfort as those homes that are connected. Additionally, it is big in size but the septic tank can become full so you will want to be able to tell when this happens.

Pooling water by a septic tank means that it may be full.

How Do I Know There Is A Problem

Believe it or not, there are many telling signs as to when you need to pump your septic tank and have an inspection. If you continue to ignore the signs or handle the issue, you can incur high costs of repair and damage clean-up.

Let’s take a look below at the most well-known issues when it comes to a septic tank.

Pooling Water

This is highly noticeable as your drain field in the yard is puddling up with water. Also, blockage or a full tank creates an overflow of water that ends up above the ground and is visible to the homeowner.

Drains Slowly

This is noticeable when all areas where water flows is just not draining as it should. Showers, sinks, and toilets are constantly seeming clogged or have a slow flow of water so try a solid waste cleaner that might loosen up the waste and create a better flow again.


Smelling a foul stench near the septic system or even around your home gives this away. Wastewater is very easily detected and you know that there is a problem with your septic system so call on your local septic system company to assist.

Plush green grass near septic.
plastic rectangular septic tank manhole cover in green grass on the lawn, engineering systems in outdoor park.

Lawn is Plush

Due to the nutrients in wastewater, if it leaks or overflows a bit, the wastewater naturally cultivates the yard and your lawn is greener than the rest of the areas of your yard.


Keeping an eye on how fast your drains go down is vital also a slow shower or sink drain is a clear indicator of a potential issue. The tank might be full and need draining so do not let this go unattended. This is because you have the potential to have wastewater come back into your home via the drain pipes.

Flushing Does Not Work

There are two things that may be going on if your toilets are struggling to flush or show a weak flush. The septic tank is either filling up quickly and needs to be pumped down or there is a clog. Get this checked immediately.

Water Gurgles or Bubbles

Sounds in your pipes are trying to tell you something, it is time to empty the septic tank.

How Much Does It Cost

Living in the south there are a few options for your waste. Many homes are on city water connections and never think twice about their waste flowing to a wastewater plant for cleaning and return. However, there are also homes that are placed on septic systems to contain the waste.

It is imperative that if you have a septic system, the tank is pumped out regularly. The average cost to have your septic tank pumped is around $380. There are some areas in the country where septic tank pumping could go as high as $885. Be sure to save and include this expense in your budget.

Other Recommended Maintenance

It is important to maintain the septic system as it can be very expensive to repair. Septic maintenance includes inspecting and cleaning frequently, using the water in your home efficiently, only flushing human waste and toilet paper, and not using the garbage disposal.

You may also have a well in your yard if you have septic so it is important to notice if there is any air in the water pipes. Also, you will want to turn off the main water supply to the home. Then, open every faucet and let the water run out. Lastly, turn on the main water supply and let the water flow out for about 10-15 minutes.

Lastly, when you are selling a home with septic or buying or maybe refinancing, you want to make sure it passes the septic inspection. This can be done by emptying the sludge, leaving no evidence of scum, and everything flows naturally.

Cleaning the septic tank is important and this involves emptying it.

When Do I Call A Professional

Emptying your septic tank is very important. You will be able to tell when your septic tank is full and ready to overflow. The smells and puddling of water in your yard are going to be just a couple of indicators. Calling on your local Septic System service company to maintain your system is vital to your health and safety.


As with anything in our outside of the home, maintenance is needed. Taking care of the septic can make sure it lasts a long time. Also, following a maintenance schedule and having a professional empty the tank is very important. All Coast Home Inspections can help with your septic and well needs in the Houston, TX. area.

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