Signs Your Septic System May Need Replacement

Septic System

With the proper maintenance, septic systems can last up to three decades. Like all home appliances, however, they do have a shelf life. Even with routine maintenance, your septic system can’t last forever.

Even before it needs a replacement, it might need some repairs over the years. But how can you tell the condition of the septic system when it’s underground? Below are telltale signs your septic system may need either repairs or replacement.

Backed-Up Pipes

Frequent backups can be a serious sign that the septic system is beginning to break down. If the system fails, raw sewage may start backing into the toilet. You may hear gurgling from the pipes or smell foul odors around your home.

Clogged pipes could be the cause of this noise. Additionally, improper draining or decreased flushing might occur. If you notice these signs of clogging often, contact a professional to inspect the septic system.

Tank Problems

Any issue with septic systems may mean it’s time to replace it. There are two common signs that the tank is not working correctly. If it overflows often, the tank may not dispose of wastewater correctly.

If the tank has a high solids level, it may not be successfully breaking them down. Both of these problems can signal that it’s time for a replacement.


The septic system may fail when it hasn’t been raining and puddles are forming in your yard. 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, causing the water to pool.

In situations where the septic system cannot perform its essential functions, you should consider replacing it.

Greener Grass

Look in the area where the drain field or septic tank is located. Is the grass greener there than in other places? When the drain field starts to break down, the soil’s moisture levels will rise considerably, causing 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 healthy water indicates that the septic system needs to be replaced. 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 requires the system to be septic repair or replace immediately.


If you notice any of the above signs and are concerned your septic system will need to be replaced, contact an expert. A plumber specializing 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 the system needs replacing.

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