5 Signs it's Time to Replace Your Septic System


Nobody likes sewage backup in their yard, and there are plenty of things you can do to prevent problems with your septic system. However, sometimes it’s time to throw in the towel on an old system and invest in a new one. It’s an expensive decision, so you’ll want to make sure it’s necessary.

Ideally, proper maintenance prevents the replacement for decades, or even for generations. However, years of improper care could result in a replacement being the best option. Here are five signs replacement might be in your future.


1. Age of the System

It’s pretty common for a septic system to last 40 years or longer, which means if you buy a new home, you might never need to replace it. However, you might have an older home whose septic system has been in place for nearly half a century.

If you start noticing problems with the system, and if you are pumping it more frequently to keep it functioning properly, then it might be time to start budgeting for a new septic system. It’s worth finding out the approximate age of your septic system if you don’t already know it.


2. You’ve Outgrown the System

Septic systems are built with a limited capacity. Generally, the size is based on the number of rooms and square footage of a house. However, if you’ve expanded your home or increased your water consumption, you might outpace the size of the septic tank.

If your tank is too small, it might be time to upgrade the system to serve your family and your lifestyle better.

3. Slow Drains

If it takes a long time for your sinks or bathtub to drain, it’s a sign you have a septic problem. Of course, this is a minor symptom, which means you might just have a clog. However, all your sinks are draining slowly; then it might mean you have a more significant problem. It might mean the water is moving slowly through the septic tank because of sludge buildup at the bottom.  


4. Standing Water in the Yard

Any water in your yard from your septic system is a bad sign. Although, it could just mean you're in need of a repair and not a replacement. It might also be an issue with your drain field. It’s important you don’t ignore standing water because the problem won’t go away, it’ll only get worse.

It might not be your septic tank causing you problems. Sometimes, standing water is from a failing drain field. The drain field is where liquid from the septic tank flows into your yard. Organisms help break down the liquid, which is why it’s best to have grass and plants above your drain field.

Fixing a drain field issue begins with using a chemical or biological additive to clear the blockage. The second solution is mechanical aeration. Your last option is a replacement.  

Sometimes, you can replace the drain field without needing to replace the septic tank. However, if the problems your experience are mostly age related, then you should prepare to replace the tank as well.

5. Nearby Contaminated Water Sources

If nearby water sources have nitrate, nitrite, or coliform bacteria, this is a big sign there is a problem with your septic system. If you discover pollution in water sources, then it’s essential you investigate the issue immediately.

Other Septic Systems Issues

Replacing the septic tank is a worst-case scenario. A lot of these signs can be symptoms of smaller issues in need of minor repairs. You might need your septic tank pumped or the system flushed to remove clogs.

If you’re concerned about a septic tank issue, the best strategy is to call the professionals. At BL3, we offer a variety of sewer line services. Call us at (405) 895-6640 in North OKC or (405) 237-1414 in South OKC to talk to a plumber.