Just had septic tank pumped and full again!

Septic Tank Dude Author at Septic Tank Dude
Jack has been working all of his life in the septic tank maintenance, cleaning and pumping business. In 2020 when COVID hit he decided to retire from pumping septic tanks and use his knowledge to help out readers of Septic Tank Dude. Jack has a wealth of knowledge to share on septic tanks, leach fields and much more.
Jack Cacy

tub drain starts bubbling after pumping septic tanks using a specialized vacuum hoseIf you just had septic tank pumped and full again, this can be frustrating because septic tank pumping is not cheap!

One thing to keep in mind is that when you get your septic tank pumped, this is mainly to remove the sludge and the solids waste (solid waste) from your system. The wastewater is what your septic system is designed to process through your drain field where it should be draining correctly. If you want to reduce, and in many cases, eliminate the need to have your septic tank pumped as well as avoid system failure events, click here for the best treatment to fix all your septic tank issues and save you a small fortune each year.

Remember if your septic tanks is rated for 1,200 gallons then after have pumped your septic tank the septic tank fills. Once you have used 1,200 gallons in your house such as running toilets, using the washing machine, showers, washing dishes etc, your septic tank will be back to the standard operating level of 1,200 gallons. Depending on the number of people you have in your household and the excess water you use, this can happen in 2-5 days.


don't wait for your septic to fail, prevent it



What to do next

It is important to determine if your septic tank is filled to a normal operating level or if it is overflowing from the top of the tank or full. See our recent article on how to determine this “How to tell if septic tank is full“. All septic tanks will have a normal liquid level and a high liquid level. If your septic tank is operating above the normal liquid level when you have just had your system pumped, this could be one of these problems:

tub drain starts bubblingWater leak in the house

If you have dripping faucets or leaky faucets, shower, toilet or taps in the house, this could lead to excess water into your septic systems. It is important to get these fixed so you don’t get an overfull tank, or you are not putting unnecessary water into the tank.

Drain field issue

The drain field or leach field is a disposal area for treated septic tank water located under the ground where contaminants are further removed from the water coming from your septic tank. Organisms in the soil perform a more complex anaerobic digestion of the biodegradable materials that come from the septic tank before sending the clean water out through many drain field drains. If your septic system is not correctly processing the water from the septic tank, a drain field issue could be the problem. An issue with your drain field is more of a plumbing issue and a plumber or septic tank company should be engaged to determine if this is an issue. Call the septic tank professionals on 888-814-2654

Another issue you could have with your drain field is that it is either too small or too old. For example a 1,000 to 2,000 gallon septic tank for a 3 bedroom house requires drain fields of between 1,000 to 2,900 sq ft.

Septic tank is too small for the household

The size of your septic tank will be determined by your local county regulations. In general, the size of your septic tank is determined by the number of bedrooms in your household, amount of water you use daily and the size of your property (the size of drain field or drain field it can support.


Frequently asked questions

Why is my septic tank overflowing after being pumped?

If your septic tank overflows, this is a sure sign that you need to contact a professional to check for blockages or a clogged pipe in the outlet pipe or other areas of the septic system. Any time the water level is above the normal operating water level (high water level) for a prolonged amount of time it is worth getting your system checked by a professional.


high water level are common issues a few days afterHow long does it take to fill a septic tank after pumping?

Depending on how much water you use in your house and the size of your tank. After you have the septic tank pumped and all the septic waste and sewage waste is removed your septic tank fills to the normal water level, as long as it doesn’t go over the high water level then your system should operate normally. One thing to look for are any dripping taps, toilet or dripping faucets. Also see this article on what to do after your tank has been pumped.


Is it normal for a septic tank to be full of water?

Yes, every healthy septic system has a standard operating level that a septic tank fills to from using your household and a high water level. If it is operating at the normal water level then there could be a problem somewhere in your system like it will not drain correctly or you have slow drains in your drain field.


Can your septic tank be pumped but still back up?

The purpose of having your septic tank pumped or cleaned is to remove the solids (the liquid usually gets removed too) that build up in your tank. If your septic system is backing up it could be because of a blockage. If you are having your septic system pumped regularly you might want to get a professional around to check out your entire system.


What septic tank treatment could help my system

There is a range of bacteria and enzyme septic tank treatments available.


Can rain water or surface water fill up septic tanks?

The amount of rainwater you receive is not something that will lead to a system failure like your septic system continually filled up. Water from rain should not be able to get into your septic tanks in rural areas. It could lead to your drain field being saturated and therefore reduce the water that can be absorbed by the soil, but this should not have a big effect.


Could a saturated leach field make my septic system fill up?

Yes, a saturated leach field could is one of the common problems and can contribute to your septic system filling up or operating above normal levels. It could also be tree roots affecting the drainage or pipe in the ground.


What are the common things that block the system

If you don’t want sewage backing up in your house or the outlet pipe, there are some things that should not go down the toilet when you have a septic system. Anything with plastic in the product is a no no as are baby wipes. Down the kitchen sink it is not a good idea to flush coffee grounds or cigarette butts. Also, see the article What to put in septic tank to break down solids & grease and Is my septic tank clogged or my drainpipe & how to unclog.


Should there be a bad odor after having the pump?

No you should never have a bad odor coming from your septic system, outlet pipe or leach fields, this is more a sign that the bacteria are turning anaerobic (without oxygen) as opposed to aerobic bacteria in your effluent. If you have just had your septic tanks pumped then give it a few days to see if it settles down as it will be filling up with wastewater and sewage in the coming few days which can push air out of the vent and tank. See article Septic Tank Sewage Odor Inside & Outside Why The Sewage Smell In House for more information on this topic.


Is it safe to use water softeners in the house?

It is wise to steer clear of water softeners if you are on a sewage tank, it will vary depending on how much you use. The way a tank is designed is the solids sink to the bottom while the liquid settles at the top and is drained off into the secondary tank to then be sent to the fields. Typically the high concentration of salt from the water softener interferes with this process, which can mean solid effluent can flow out to the drainfield and cause failure by clogging the pipe. This can cost a lot (cost thousands sometimes) to fix if you need to get a professional in to fix the problem.



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