The Top Signs of Septic System Failure

The Top Signs of Septic System Failure

June 24, 2021

With proper maintenance, septic tanks in 48706 can last for decades before they need to be completely replaced. But that doesn’t mean your septic system won’t run into some issues now and then. Total septic system failure is a major headache, and the repair bills can be quite expensive.

The good news is that systems don’t completely fail without presenting a few warning signs. Continue reading to learn a few of the symptoms and what you can do to prevent or resolve them.

Horrible odors

The first thing you may notice if your septic system is on its way out is terrible smells both inside and outside of your house. If the smells are only inside near your toilets, you may have a broken wax seal on the toilet. But if you smell the sewer gas odors throughout your home or near the drain field, you have a septic problem.

These sewer gas odors are likely coming from a leak in the tank or one of the lines. You’ll need to hire a professional to locate the source of the odor and set things straight.


Backed-up toilets, showers, sinks or washing machines are other disgusting symptoms that your system is failing. These backups can be caused by a full tank or by a blocked pipe. You can avoid a full tank by getting your system pumped at the recommended intervals and conserving as much water as possible. The best way to prevent a blockage is by only flushing human waste and toilet paper.

Slow drains

Before a sink or shower drain starts to back up and spew out black liquid, water might be slow to drain. This issue typically occurs when there’s a clogged pipe in your home or near the septic tank. Instead of grabbing a bottle of liquid drain cleaner to clear the clog, call a professional plumber to remove it.

Liquid drain cleaners have a tendency to damage plumbing, and they also disrupt the normal function of septic tanks in 48706. A plumber will be able to remove that clog without harming your system.

Gurgling sounds

An odd gurgling noise coming from your pipes when the water’s running might not seem like a big deal, but that sound is nothing to shrug off. The gurgling sound typically indicates that there’s a blockage in your plumbing system or that the septic tank is getting full.

To avoid this issue, be sure to schedule regular septic tank maintenance in Bay City, MI. During the maintenance call, your professional will ensure the plumbing is free of debris and that the tank doesn’t need to be pumped.

What’s the best way to prevent these problems?

We’ve touched on a few things homeowners can do on their own to prevent issues with their septic systems. However, the best way to avoid these problems is to schedule professional septic tank maintenance in Bay City, MI. Along with preventing issues before they begin, a yearly maintenance call can catch small hiccups before they turn into full-blown system failure.

Summer is a great time for septic system maintenance, so call our professionals at Thornton Brothers Sewer Service today to schedule your inspection.

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Thornton Brothers Sewer Service
2476 Larry Ln
Bay City, MI 48706

(989) 684-1400


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