How to Tell When Your Septic Tank is Full

Septic truck at residential home

Owning a septic tank comes with its own set of responsibilities. If you want your home and plumbing running properly, you have to make sure your septic tank is well maintained. It’s important to monitor septic levels so you know when the tank needs to be emptied. But what signs should you be looking out for? Here’s how to tell when your septic tank is full.

Understanding Sewage Levels

When you take a look at sewage levels, there are three definitions of what a full tank can mean:

  • Normal Level – Your septic tank will always have a certain amount of liquid, usually about 8” – 12” from the top of the tank. A normal level means the tank is filled up to the amount it was designed to hold. The intake and outtake valves will allow waste and wastewater to flow in and out of the septic tank with no issues. If waste is remaining below the outlet pipe, your tank is at a normal level.
  • Accumulation of Sludge – The accumulation of waste inside the tank is a normal process. When sludge and solids occupy 1/3 of the working capacity of the tank, a pump out is required. At the 1/3 level, wastewater typically continues to flow out into the drain field, but the sludge may begin to impact the waste quality being sent out.
  • High Level – There can come a point where the drain field stops accepting water. When this happens, water will back up into the overflow tank. If it looks like water sewage is above the outlet pipe, levels are too high and you need to get your tank inspected and pumped.

How long does it take for the tank to fill?

The time it takes for a septic tank to fill up depends on several factors such as tank size and the number of people living in a household. Scum and sludge should never be more than 1/3 of the working capacity in any septic tank. Typically, you will need a pump out every two years based on a family with normal usage.

Contact Supeck Septic Services for Septic Pumping

Is your septic system due for service? As Northeast Ohio’s largest septic provider, we offer exceptional routine and emergency care. Make sure your system runs smoothly with regular maintenance from Supeck Septic Services. Contact us at (888) 725-0209 to schedule an appointment.