Helmer Septic is a family owned and operated company that has been servicing McHenry, Lake, Cook and other surrounding counties for over 40 years.


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Spring Cleaning: 7 Signs You Should Pump Your Septic System ASAP

Spring Cleaning: 7 Signs You Should Pump Your Septic System ASAP


During the winter, it can be difficult to pump your septic tank because the ground is too hard. For this reason, many people find themselves in need of septic system maintenance in the springtime. Because of the extra rainfall and melting snow in the spring, septic systems need to work harder than other times of the year, making pumping a mostly full tank even more important. We’ve compiled a list of the top warning signs that you need to schedule a septic tank pumping as soon as possible.

1. It’s Been a While

Septic tanks need to be pumped roughly every three years. If your tank hasn’t been pumped in a while, it’s probably in need of maintenance. You should pump your tank before it starts exhibiting visible signs of maintenance needs. These signs can cause additional issues that will be difficult and costly to deal with.

2. Pooling Water

In the springtime, pooling water that is the result of a full septic tank can be difficult to diagnose. Rainfall and melting snow can also cause pooling water. However, when your septic tank is full, it can leak wastewater that will pool in your yard. These pools will be unique because they will not be clean water and will often be accompanied by odors.

3. Odors

Sewage and wastewater can leak into your yard when your septic tank is full. This leakage can lead to odors in your home. When the tank is full, sewage can also travel back up your pipes. The result of this backup can be a sewage smell that comes from your drains and can even fill your home.

4. Gurgling Drains

Sewage backups in your pipes can lead to clogs that will make drainage difficult. When these clogs occur, your drains might make a gurgling noise when they are attempting to drain water. Gurgling drains might just be the sign of a clog, but if this sign is accompanied by other issues, you might need to pump your septic tank.

5. Slow Drainage

When sewage leads to clogs in your plumbing, you might notice your drains draining slowly and your toilets flushing slowly. This poor drainage will occur because water will have difficulty passing through the pipes. One indicator that slow drainage is a sign of septic system maintenance rather than a simple clog is that multiple drains are all having trouble draining quickly.

6. Lush Grass

When your septic tank is full, wastewater and sewage can leak into your yard. This sewage can act as a fertilizer for your grass, leading to extra green and lush patches of grass in your yard. If you notice patches of lush grass over your septic tank and drain field, your septic tank is probably in need of pumping

7. Nitrates in Your Well Water

If you have a well for your drinking water in addition to your septic system, your annual water test could reveal your necessary septic system maintenance. If your water test reveals higher than normal nitrate levels, it could be a sign that wastewater is overflowing and leaching into your drinking water. If wastewater is overflowing, it is a clear sign that your septic tank should be pumped as soon as possible.

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