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How to Tell if Your Septic Tank Needs to be Pumped Out

It isn’t always easy to see if your tank needs to be pumped out. If you can’t tell if your tank is full or might be blocked, read on to find out what you should look out for and what you can do.

We’ll go over the signs to look out for and then explain what you should do if you notice any of them on your property.

The signs to look out for

Pooling water

If you can see water pooling around your septic tank or leach field it’s an indication that you’re using too much water which is filling up your tank or that there’s an issue with your system.

Slow drainage

If you notice that your sinks, showers, bathtubs or toilets are draining slowly it could be due to a blockage in your drains, a full septic tank or a system that’s performing poorly.


If there are bad smells coming from your septic tank outside or from the drains inside your home it could mean that your septic tank isn’t digesting waste effectively, there’s a blockage in your drains or that your tank needs to be pumped out.

Extra green grass

If the grass around your septic tank, leach drain or absorption field is more green than the surrounding grass it’s an indication that your septic system isn’t digesting waste effectively and is discharging untreated effluent. This could be due to a full tank, excess water or low bacterial populations.

Toilets or drains backing up

If your drains or toilets inside are backing up it could be that your drains are blocked or that your tank needs to be pumped out.

What should you do if you see any of the warning signs?

Consult with a wastewater expert. You should never try to open up your tank, empty or inspect it yourself. Your septic tank is filled with toxic gases which are very dangerous. Our consultants can diagnose your situation over the phone and recommend a solution whether it be a pump out, treatment or activation.

We can advise you of the potential causes of your problem, how serious an issue it is and what your options are so that you can make an informed decision.

Each of the signs to look out for is an indication that there is an issue with your system, but not all require a pump out.

Our consultants will help you assess the severity and any combination of the warning signs to help you decide whether you need a pump out or if there’s a more cost-effective solution available.

How often should you pump out your septic tank?

This is entirely dependent on the size of your tank, the number of people in your household, how you use your tank and your treatment and maintenance routine. While wastewater systems haven’t changed much over the years, septic treatment technology has advanced greatly.

To learn more about how you can improve your wastewater system’s performance and reduce your pump out frequency read our article on how often you should pump out your septic tank.

What can you do if your septic tank is filling up too quickly?

If your septic tank is filling up too quickly or needs to be pumped out frequently the simplest and most cost-effective way to fix this is to start a treatment routine with a proven biological additive. A simple treatment routine will boost your system’s bacteria, improve waste breakdown and add years between pump outs and to your system’s overall lifespan.

If you’ve had your septic tank pumped recently and it’s showing any of the warning signs listed above it’s most likely that your last pump out removed the necessary bacteria from your tank. The solution to this issue is to restore and repopulate your system with the right bacteria and give them the boost they need to thrive and get your system back to peak performance.

Here’s what customers that follow a treatment routine using EcoCare Activator are saying.

We have been using the product for over 15 years in our septic system and have had our system pumped out once in all that time and were told our system was the cleanest they had ever had to service.

Gerry Kelly

I love it, I clean everything with it. We have been using it for 11 years and only pumped out once, we where told it was so healthy.

Michelle Wright

We have two septic systems, both treated with EcoCare. Systems have remained trouble free and have not required to be pumped out since we started using the product 12 years ago.. An excellent product.

Bryant Ham

Provides the result that we hope for quickly and easily. No mess, no fuss, no smell, in fact the smell from our grease trap disappears. Our system has not been pumped out a decade or more.

Larry Greetham

What our customers are saying on Google

  • I have had huge problems with the structure of my tanks. The damage could not be repaired quickly and I needed help with the tanks to keep them able to... read more

    Amanda Barnes Avatar Amanda Barnes
    February 9, 2021

    We have been dealing with Ecocare now for several years. We had a very smelly problem with our septic system. Our Ecocare consultant was extremely helpful, always followed up on... read more

    Graham Green Avatar Graham Green
    November 19, 2020
  • I was struggling with my septic system when I first moved here from the city. EcoCare helped me with advice, and then the Activator product. I used the... read more

    Lynn Takayama Avatar Lynn Takayama
    November 15, 2020

    We have used Activator at home for many years and are very happy with is performance. We trialled the laundry detergent for the last couple months and also found it performed... read more

    September 20, 2020
  • I was recommended these products and so ordered them online and sent an email seeking extra information. I received a call back and the assistance and advice I got was... read more

    Marnie Hamersley-Smith Avatar Marnie Hamersley-Smith
    June 16, 2020

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