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Common Signs of Septic Tank and Septic System Issues

Prevent messy situations by being aware of these common symptoms of septic tank issues!


Septic systems are essential to a home’s proper functioning. In addition to being an inconvenience, septic back-ups can also be an environmental hazard to the surrounding area and potential health hazard to residents and homeowners.

Regular septic system maintenance and following these Septic Maintenance Tips are great ways to prevent potential septic issues. However, it is also important to keep an eye out for common warning signs of unscheduled maintenance requirements to prevent larger and more costly problems related to your septic system and your ability to properly use your home’s water and drainage systems.

If you notice any of these common signs of septic tank issues, call a licensed professional to prevent messy and expensive situations that may arise.

Common Signs of Septic Tank Issues:

1. Gurgling Sounds

Gurgling sounds are caused by air bubbles that are unable to properly travel through the pipes due to excess accumulation of grease or solid waste particles built up around the inlet pipe and baffle of the septic tank.

2. Slow Flushing and Drainage


While slow draining and clogs can be a result of blockages in the lines within the home (see Sewer and Drain), they are also common signs of a full septic tank or a system that needs to be serviced.

3. Odors Inside or Outside the Home


Unpleasant smells inside your home our outside by your property could be the smell of sulfur caused by sewage.

4. Uneven Grass Growth by Septic Tank


Uneven growth of grass or plants located near your septic system could be a sign of a leaking septic tank, drainfield (for more on drainfields, see What is a Septic Tank) or pipes connected to your septic system. The extra growth or plushness of the surrounding grass and plants could be due to them receiving extra fertilization from the leaking septage.

5. Puddles of Water by Septic Tank


Water puddling on the surface is a common sign of a flooded system. This could be due to a failing or clogged drainfield or due to an unusually high water-table under your property or excessive rainfall preventing drainage from your system.

If you notice any of these signs of septic tank issues or have any questions regarding maintenance, please call our septic system professionals at (989) 379-3054.


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Hall’s Serv-All is a licensed septage hauler serving Northeastern Michigan, including the greater Alpena, Atlanta, Cheboygan, Gaylord, Harrisville, Indian River, Rogers City and Onaway areas.

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