Your septic system isn't foolproof, it is up to you to maintain it and monitor it for problems. The following are five reasons to schedule a septic tank inspection for your system so you can catch issues before they become too bad.

1. New Purchase

You should schedule an inspection if you have just purchased a property with a septic system onsite. Although many homeowners will provide records of septic service and pumping, you still should bring in an inspector so they can let you know the state of the tank, pumps, lines, and drainfield. This way you have advance warning of any repairs or replacements that may be necessary in the near future.

2. Slow Drains

Slow-moving drains aren't necessarily a plumbing problem — they can also be a septic problem. If most of the drains in the home are moving slowly, including bathtub drains, then it's time to have the tank inspected and the lines checked. Sometimes the drains slow so much they reverse, and sewage backs up into the home. An inspector can determine whether the problem is with a full tank, a drainfield problem, or a blockage in one of the main lines leading to the septic tank.

3. Sewage Odors

You should never smell raw sewage or sewer gas in your home. Often it will first appear as a sour odor that is similar to rotten eggs. You may even hear bubbling in a sink drain or toilet before you catch a whiff of the odor. Sewer gas leaking into your home indicates a problem in the tank, trapped material in the line, or an issue with a backflow valve. An inspection can pinpoint the problem for a repair.

4. Drainfield Concerns

Don't overlook the grassy field near your septic tank. That's the drainfield and it is an important part of the system. Signs of drainfield failure include excess plant growth, standing water, or sewage odors that emanate from the field. An inspection can determine the problem so that you can schedule the appropriate repair.

5. Standing Water

Standing water is an issue even outside of the drain field. Sewer main lines take the effluent down to the septic tank, and a leak anywhere along these lines is a big problem. If you spot standing water between your house and the septic tank and there is no reason for the water (such as irrigation or rain), it is time for an inspection. This is especially true if the standing water has a sewage odor.

Contact a septic service to schedule an inspection if you suspect any problems. Visit websites like for more information.