If your home uses a septic system and you have noticed that your drains are slower than usual, you may wonder if the tank has become full or is even overflowing. If the tank is overflowing, you may be able to tell by inspecting the leech field. Since it processes the gray water that comes out of the tank, its condition can be an indication that the tank is too full, especially if the field is exhibiting the signs below.
1. The Surface of the Leech Field Stays Soggy
One sign for which you should be on the lookout when inspecting your septic system's leech field is the amount of moisture that is present in the surface soil. Normally, when your septic system is working properly, the excess water in the tank travels to the leech field where it is evenly distributed so that it can evaporate.
However, if the tank is overflowing, the water that is processed by the leech field becomes excessive as well as full of solid waste particles, which can cause blockages in the field. The water is not distributed evenly, and the amount of moisture makes it difficult for total evaporation.
This excess wastewater leads to soil that stays soggy. When you step on the surface, you may even see water come up on the sides of your shoes.
2. Rotten Egg Odor That Gets Stronger as You Get Closer to the Field
Another sign that your septic tank is backing up into the leech field will be detectable before you even reach the area. You may even catch a whiff of the odor that resembles rotten eggs as soon as you step outside of your door.
Because the leech field contains solid waste materials and too much wastewater, the two substances will start to break down and emit methane gas, which smells a lot like rotting eggs. As you get close to the leech field, the odor will grow stronger, and you may even find that the air burns your eyes slightly when you reach the field itself. This odor will only grow stronger if you do not take care of the overflowing tank.
If your septic system's leech field is showing the above signs, your septic tank may be overflowing and needs to be emptied before waste starts to back up into your home. Contact a company that offers septic pumping services to have them send someone to empty out the tank for you.