Signs Your Septic System May Need Replacement

Septic Tank

Signs Your Septic System May Need Replacement

Unfortunately, septic systems don't last forever. With regular maintenance and pumping, your septic system can last many years. However, after decades of wear and tear, the system will need to be replaced. Here are a few of the common signs that the septic system is failing.

Backed-Up Pipes

Frequent backups can be a serious sign that the septic system is beginning to break down. If the system is failing, raw sewage may start backing up into the toilet. You may hear gurgling from the pipes or smell bad odors around your home. Clogged pipes could be the cause of this noise. Additionally, there might be improper draining or decreased flushing. If you notice these signs of clogging often, be sure to contact a professional to come inspect the septic system.

Tank Problems

Any kind of issue with the septic tank may mean it's time to replace it. There are two common signs that the tank is not working properly. If it overflows often, the tank may not be disposing of wastewater correctly. If there is a high level of solids in the tank, it may not be breaking them down successfully. Both of these problems can signal that it's time for a replacement.


When it hasn't been raining and puddles are forming in your yard, the septic system may be failing. Check for pools around the drain field or the area where the tank is located. The septic system may not be disposing of wastewater correctly, which is causing the water to pool. In situations where the septic system cannot do its essential functions, you should consider replacing it.

Septic tank 2

Greener Grass

Look in the area where the drain field or septic tank is located. Is the grass greener there than in other areas? When the drain field starts to break down, the levels of moisture in the soil will raise considerably. This is what causes the grass to appear greener. You may also see more plant growth in the area because of the high moisture levels and the sewage, which will act as fertilizer. Though the plant life in your yard will flourish, this is a warning sign of septic system failure.

Well Water Contamination

Contaminated well water is another indication that you need to replace the septic system. You can hire a professional to test the water. Bacteria, nitrates, and other contaminants in the water are very hazardous signs. Contaminated water means the system is not disposing of and filtering water properly. This is an incredibly severe problem that indicates the septic system will need to be replaced as soon as possible.


If you notice any of the above signs and are concerned your septic system will need to be replaced, contact an expert. A plumber who specializes in septic maintenance can come to your property, inspect the system, and assess what needs to be done about any problems they find. They will discuss the best course of action with you and help you determine whether or not the system needs to be replaced.