A working septic tank should accept wastewater from your house. Signs that your septic system could be on the verge of failing include sewage backing up into the house through plumbing fixtures, water or sewage surfacing in the yard, and strong odors both indoors and outdoors.
A system failure can take place if the system is not properly maintained or by overloading the system. Overuse of water is just as common as lack of proper maintenance because the typical person uses about 100 gallons of water per day. A standard septic system is designed to handle a normal amount of water, but any extensive amount of water could lead to an overload of the system. Improper maintenance of the system could also cause the system to malfunction. Solids that accumulate inside the septic tank must be removed regularly. A large amount of scum or sludge in the septic tank causes the solids to enter into the soil treatment area and cause clogging.
The size of the tank and how many people are living in a household will determine how much and how often your septic tank needs to be pumped. It is recommended that an efficiently running septic tank be pumped every three to five years.