Maintenance of the septic system's tanks, pipes, and drain field is essential to ensure proper sewage disposal. However, many homeowners either don't know how to or choose to put off performing necessary maintenance on their systems, which can eventually lead to inefficiency and malfunction. The sooner you call a professional when you notice problems with your septic system, the less money you'll have to spend fixing them.

3 Signs Your Septic System Is Failing

1. Standing Water

Not only do failing septic systems emit unpleasant odors, but they also leave telltale signs in the landscape. Plants will flourish when exposed to untreated effluent that has seeped into the soil around them. Even in dry weather, you should look for pools of water, standing effluent, or damp spots in your yard.

septic system

2. Slow Drains

Septic system failure is often indicated by the occurrence of multiple drain clogs. Using a plumbing snake, a plunger, or just pouring hot water down the drain can often clear a clogged drain. However, if those solutions don't work, the issue becomes very serious. 

Keep an ear out for gurgling noises and watch for water or sewage to back up into your home through the drains or toilets. There's a good chance that your septic tank is full and can no longer accept any additional wastewater.

3. Foul Smells

It's not pleasant to be around raw, untreated sewage. Septic system failure is likely if a foul odor permeates your home or is present near the drain field or septic tank. Do not ignore the issue, as doing so could lead to costly clean-up and health risks as sewage continues to seep into the ground and pollute nearby water supplies. 

Furthermore, sewage contains potentially harmful pathogens and contaminants. Get your water tested for coliform bacteria and high nitrate levels after hiring a septic service professional to investigate the cause of the problem.


If you think your septic system is on the rocks, turn to the professionals at Reader Plumbing & Septic Inc. in Kaukauna, WI, for assistance. With over 40 years of experience and a broad range of plumbing and septic services, they have everything home and business owners need to maintain a safe and healthy property. Visit them online or call (920) 788-2527 to learn more today.