How to Check a Septic Tank & Leach Field

Your septic tank and leach field system should be checked regularly to make sure they are functioning properly. Sludge and scum form in the tank and can be carried to the leach field, causing it to clog. A clog could cause a backup in your system and cost you in repairs and service. You should have the septic tank pumped regularly, and you should also check it and your leach field for signs of problems.

...
Septic sludge can back up in a poorly maintained leach field.

Step 1

Lift the lid to your septic tank and check the water level. If the level is high, you may need to have your tank pumped. However, if it was pumped recently, you could have a clog in a pipe that travels from the tank to the leach field.

Step 2

Check to see if smelly water pours back into the septic tank when it is pumped by your septic service. If so, then your leach field is saturated. It will need to be replaced.

Step 3

Look for any signs of wastewater surfacing in the yard, or try to detect any sewage odors coming from the leach field. This would indicate a backup or saturation of the leach field.

Step 4

Hire a septic service to snake the line leading from your septic tank to the leach field if you suspect a defect or clog. If the snake comes out with mud and sludge, the line has likely broken down.