Septic Tank Problems With Gurgling Pipes

Keeping eyes, ears and noses open can be among the most effective ways of spotting a septic system problem before it gets out of hand since many of the most common causes of septic system failure create unnatural sights, smells and sounds. When pipes connected to your septic system emit a gurgling sound, for instance, it could serve as an indication that your system has backed up and will need to be repaired at once.

Gurgling Septic Pipes

When a septic system is clogged and is beginning to back up, pipes connected to the septic system emit a distinct gurgling sound. To confirm that the gurgling sound is due to septic system backup and not some other cause, check the ground above your septic drain field to see if it is water-logged or flooded. Drains and toilets inside the home will also operate more slowly than normal; sometimes drains will back up entirely, so look for standing water in sinks and shower drains.

Possible Causes

A gurgling sound only identifies that the septic system is backed up but does not identify the cause of the system backup. A blockage between the pipes that connect to your home and the septic tank, a plugged house sewer vent, blockage between the septic tank and the septic drain field, septic drain field failure or other problems could all cause a septic system to back up to the degree that it will emit audible gurgling sounds.


Consulting a professional plumber or other septic system repair professional is the best option when you hear gurgling sounds from your septic system. Time is of the essence to avoid the system backup causing catastrophic problems that will be much more expensive and complicated to repair. Avoid repairing the problem on your own unless you have extensive experience working with septic systems since improper repair techniques can cause damage to the system as well.

Preventing Future Problems

To avoid running into the same problem again, exercise careful preventative maintenance techniques when using your septic system. The most important of these techniques is to have your septic tank pumped as regularly as recommended. Never park cars or plant trees on the land above the septic drain field as these can easily cause septic drain field failure. Never add yeast or any other chemical additives to your septic system as these can also cause system failure.