If the thought of raw sewage floating in your septic leaves you feeling more than just a little queasy, you might want to take a closer look at your septic tank. When a septic tank decides to malfunction, it can leave quite a mess in its wake. Fortunately, your septic tank will usually give you plenty of warning before a disaster occurs. You just need to be able to spot the warning signs. If you're not sure what to look for, here are signs you should be aware of.

Sewage Odors from the Drains

When your septic is about to malfunction, foul odors coming up through the drains may be the first sign you notice. As the methane gases build up in your septic tank, they fight to find a way to escape. Unfortunately, the easiest access routes are back up through the drains. If you're starting to smell sewage odors coming up through the drains, it might be an indication that your septic tank needs to be serviced.

Smelly Puddles in the Yard

Go for a walk around your yard. Pay close attention to the area over the septic tank and seepage pit. If you notice puddles of dark water, or the soil feels damp and soggy, your septic tank is leaking into your yard. This is especially true if the puddles smell like raw sewage. Have your septic tank pumped immediately to avoid septic system failure.

Gurgling Toilets

A gurgling sound when you flush the toilet could be your septic tank telling you that it's about to back up into your house. When your toilet gurgles, it usually means that your septic tank has reached maximum capacity and it's trying to find room for the additional waste. This is particularly true if the gurgling sound is coming from deep inside the drain pipes. Go through your house and flush each of your toilets. If you hear gurgling all of them, you should have your septic tank pumped as soon as possible.

Increased Occurrence of Clogs

Clogged drains are a common occurrence, especially if you use your sinks a lot. Unfortunately, clogs that are occurring at an increased rate, or that are difficult to clear, may be an indication that your septic tank needs to be pumped. Once your septic tank has filled to capacity, waste can have a difficult time entering the tank. When that happens, raw sewage backs up into the drain pipes, which can lead to increased clogs. If you're dealing with clogs on a regular basis, have your septic tank serviced by a company such as All County Operations.

The signs described above will help you identify potential problems with your septic tank. To protect your septic system and prevent malfunctions, be sure to have the tank pumped at least once every three to five years.