When You Should Call for Emergency Septic Pumping

When You Should Call for Emergency Septic Pumping

By default, emergencies are unscheduled events that can’t be planned for. An emergency is by nature an inconvenient and often unpleasant experience, but a septic system emergency doesn’t have to be as bad as it sounds.

Call our office and schedule an emergency septic tank service if you see any of the following signs:

Sewage (also known as blackwater) overflowing the tank. Be careful and avoid touching the place with bare skin if you can, but check around the septic tank cover for excess moisture. If the tank is full, it’s possible that solids are plugging exit baffles or the disbursement system itself, and causing leakage around the top of the septic tank.

Excess moisture over your septic system and leach field. If there’s a relatively small pool of localized water, it could be a broken leach pipe. If there’s a great deal of excess water on the field and not elsewhere on your property, the field itself might have failed.

Slow, gurgling, bubbling, or backed-up drains, which could be signs of damaged pipes or a compromised septic tank. Septic alarms sounding. Some septic systems have alarms to alert property owners to failing pumps or tanks, and this is an easy way to quickly find the offending piece of your system.

If you suspect a septic emergency in your system, DO NOT run any more water, and call us, Shankster Bros, immediately. We always try to answer emergency calls as quickly as possible and get your septic system back up and running in a timely fashion.

The truth is that even with regular and comprehensive septic maintenance, septic system emergencies can happen at any time. Sometimes these emergencies are caused by things out of the property owners’ control: a crushed sewer pipe, sewage pump failure or clogged line. Sometimes these emergencies come about because of high use, bacteria-killing chemicals in the tank or simply old age of the system. No matter why the emergency happens, it always requires immediate attention, and we are happy to help.

Septic Tank Odor: How to Eliminate it

Septic Tank Smell: How to Eliminate it

While the idea of a septic tank and system seems like an unclean option for waste management, most septic systems rarely exude any septic tank odor or unpleasantness, even after years of service. Of course, the key to keeping your septic system working properly and smelling fresh is regular septic tank maintenance and proper practices.

It’s important to know what causes the occasional septic tank odor though, so here’s a brief overview of the problem:

Micro-organisms (healthy bacteria, etc.) are positive forces that naturally occur in a septic tank and process the organic matter in the tank completely naturally. This is what makes your septic tank work: waste enters the tank and is broken down over time. As these organisms process or digest the material, they produce large quantities of carbon dioxide, hydrogen sulfide, methane gas, and organic acids.


These gases can result in a highly acidic pH level, which can in turn damage the essential micro-organisms in the tank. When this happens, the organisms stop the good work they were doing (digesting the organic matter) which can cause an increase in hydrogen sulfide gas. This release of gas is often described as smelling like rotten eggs, and as you can imagine, it’s very unpleasant for the septic system owners and users!

Avoid Toxic Chemicals

The easiest way to avoid this smelly gas buildup is avoiding toxic chemicals which can kill the bacterias and organisms in the tank, and making sure that the septic tank is not being overloaded with water or waste, which can overwhelm the organisms and cause the excess gas mentioned earlier.

Routine Tank Pumping and Cleaning

Another key element of septic tank health is obviously professional septic tank pumping and cleaning, which improves the overall health of the organic matter working in the tank as well as ensures the tank does not become overloaded by water or waste.

Contact Us

If you start to smell something unusual or unpleasant coming out of your drains or septic field, call us immediately. We’re always happy to offer emergency septic service and cleaning, or we might able to recommend some homeowner solutions (we also have some blog-posts here on the site that have some great resources as well.)

What Constitutes as a Septic Tank Emergency?

What Constitutes as a Septic Tank Emergency?

With all the information we provide about septic systems, how to keep them in good operating order and what to expect with their maintenance, it would be surprising if one of our regular blog-readers or customers had a septic tank emergency. But, accidents happen and sometimes there are unusual circumstances that can cause unexpected emergencies in even the most well-maintained system. So here are our four key signs that you might be experiencing a septic tank emergency on your property.

Sewage Backup – Sewage smell is incredibly foul and impossible to disguise or ignore. It might be one of the most unpleasant possible odors and fortunately is very unlikely in a well-maintained septic system, as it is an advanced sign of septic tank problems. You might also see bubbling in your toilet, and backups in drains. Sewage looks black and smells terrible – call us
IMMEDIATELY if you think you smell sewage in your home or business and let us address your backup as quickly as possible.

Drainfield Pooling – Most drain fields are relatively close to the home or business they serve, and so this is an easy sign to catch. If you see standing water on your lawn (particularly if the weather’s been dry) this is an obvious sign that something is happening in your septic system. It could be something as minor as a clogged pipe or as major as a compromised drain field or septic tank.

Your Septic Alarm – Not everyone has a septic alarm installed, but if it’s going off, it might mean that you are experiencing high water in your system. This can be because it can’t handle your waste load because of higher volumes, tank problems, or drain field issues. Either of these issues can cause significant problems in your septic system and should be addressed quickly by a septic professional. Call us if you want more information about your alarm, or if you’re interested in installing an alarm for your septic tank.

Nitrate Concentration – This is only applicable to those septic system owners who have freshwater wells for personal or agricultural consumption, but since most septic systems are installed in rural areas, it’s important to keep in mind. It’s important to have your well water tested on a regular basis – sometimes unmaintained or overloaded septic systems can leech into the local groundwater and cause high nitrate levels in your drinking water – not a good situation!

Having your septic tank maintained regularly and sealing all leaks will keep your well water clean and fresh – free of high levels of nitrates.

As always, if you have questions, are ever in need of emergency septic service, or any other septic system concerns, call us anytime. We love to hear from our customers and we want to help. Healthy septic systems make for healthy people, agriculture, and the environment – a win-win for all of us.