A Leaky Septic Tank Is A Lousy One And Needs Attention!

Unfortunately, there are no glass-housed septic tanks which would allow us to see inside to be sure there are no leaks and everything is always functioning properly. That would be a nice feature, especially in the case of those who may be purchasing a home. I wonder how many home buyers only find out about those things after the purchase has been made. A good thought to keep in mind if you or someone you know is in the home buying process. Always ask for a septic system inspection before you buy! 

How Do I Know If My Septic Tank Is Leaking and if I Need a Septic System Inspection?  

This can be tricky! There is no easy answer, but here are a few things to keep in mind if you suspect that may be the case. 

Unoccupied Homes

There is an outlet pipe in the tank located about 8” – 12” from the top that should be airtight. So even if a home has not been occupied for a few years, there should still be wastewater inside. A leak, of course, would cause the levels to drop which could produce solidified scum and sludge that collect low in the septic tank, making septic cleaning extra difficult and more costly. A leak can be verified by filling the tank to its normal liquid level, waiting a day or two  without running any water inside the house, then re-checking for a level drop.

Occupied Homes

If, however, the home is occupied and the tank is being used, because of the constant influx of water, the liquid level may appear normal upon inspection. This is where it gets tricky. When the tank leaks, it may saturate the ground around it, causing the water to flow back into the tank when the liquid is pumped down. The level of water inside the tank may look normal, yet in reality it is only a false reading, and contaminants are oozing out around the tank. If a house is occupied, however, and the liquid level is low, that is a pretty good indicator that the tank is leaking.

Obvious Signs

Since most tanks have a top and bottom section, where these two sections meet is one of the first places to check for leaks as this is where they will frequently occur.

Oftentimes there will be no odors or outward visible signs of leakage. If, however, you do notice such changes like extremely vibrant patches of green turf grass or areas where vegetation seems to be growing at a much faster rate, that is a pretty clear indicator of a leak – but a bit too late. Most people catching a problem at this stage have waited too long already and may face costly bills for repairs to their system.

Routine Maintenance Is a Must!

A leaking septic tank is dangerous to the environment and to your family. Even if a homeowner is not experiencing a backup in the house or moisture over the yard, that is no guarantee there is not a leak.

Sealing a leaking tank may fix the problem for a short time, but is not a long term solution. Once a tank begins to leak, a replacement is usually recommended. Depending on the age of the system and local regulations, replacing a septic tank may require replacing the entire system. Sometimes this cannot be avoided. But with routine septic system inspections, maintenance and repairs, you could save yourself thousands of dollars.

The septic management plans we have developed are designed to maintain your system in a manner that will extend the useful life of your system as well as protect the health and safety of your family, neighbors, and the environment.

If your system is not functioning as it was meant to when it was installed, we are qualified to renovate your system so that it can function properly. We can meet all of your septic tank cleaning and sewer and drain cleaning needs along with septic repairs and many other services.


  • It’s good to learn that you should replace your septic system once it starts leaking. My wife and I are wanting to build our first home together and we were wondering what we should do if our septic system leaks. I’ll be sure to tell her that we should have it replaced if it starts leaking.
    - Steve Jones
  • It’s great to learn that you can save a lot of money on replacing a septic tank by getting it routinely inspected. My wife and I are preparing to build a new home and we were wondering how we can save on our septic system. I’ll be sure to tell her that we get our septic system routinely inspected to protect it.
    - Travis Smith
  • It’s interesting to know that patches of green turf or areas that grow faster than others in your garden could be a sign that you need septic tank cleaning. My husband and I noticed that the grass around my mother’s septic tank is growing a lot faster, and we are looking for advice about what to do. I will let him know about the benefits of septic cleaning to help her.
    - Ellie Davis
  • Comment *My septic tank is leaking and I have no idea how to deal with this. I never knew that when green turf grass is starting to grow around the septic tank, it’s an indicator that there’s something wrong with the latter. I better start looking for a septic tank service that will be able to fix this matter.
    - rachel frampton
  • I like that you state that routine maintenance is a must for saving money. My wife and I just got a house with a septic tank. I will keep this in mind and get it pumped regularly.
    - Benjamin Andrews
  • It was really helpful when you said that a sign could be really green patches of grass. Yesterday I was doing some yardwork in my front yard and I noticed how there were patches of really green grass, and I didn’t know if that was a bad sign or not. I’ll have to look into hiring a professional to come and inspect my septic tank.
    - kate hensen
  • Thank you for explaining leakage often has no outward signs. My brother has a cabin that he bought last year which has a septic tank. We’ll have to look into septic tank inspection.
    - David Johnson
  • I didn’t know that increase growth in vegetation near a septic tank meant that it had a leak. People who want to buy a septic tank should know about this beforehand so that they can know if they need to repair it or not. Thanks for this helpful advice about when to repair your septic tank.
    - David Norriss
  • That’s a good point that an issue with the system could be smelly. I would think that my family and neighbors won’t be happy about that. I’ll have to make sure to maintain my septic system if I get one.
    - Tyler Johnson
  • Wow. I never thought that a tank leak could lead to the saturation of the ground around it causing water to flow back into the tank! We kept thinking that our septic tank was leaking, but when we checked the level we kept thinking everything was ok. Now that I know this, there’s no doubt that I’ll be calling a septic maintenance company as soon as possible. Besides, we haven’t done any maintenance on it since we moved in, so now it’s more than necessary. Thanks!
    - Wade Joel
  • I didn’t know that septic tanks can leak. Thank you for your information on how to identify if a tank is leaking. My brother will be interested to know this since recently bought a place with a septic tank.
    - Elisabeth Southgate
  • I will be sure to take into account the fact that a leaking septic tank may likely call for a replacement as the issue may be too great to fix. In order to sell my home in the near future, I am looking into different ways to improve it prior to putting it on the market. In the near future, it is crucial that I get into contact with a repair contractor.
    - Lloyd Bronson
  • I liked that you said that one thing to consider when you own a septic tank is to check for leaks in order to ensure that you can call professional repair if there is a problem in order to ensure a well-functioning unit. I have been thinking about having a septic tank installed but I have been worried that I would not be able to keep it running correctly. I would be sure to watch for leaks in order to catch problems early on and be able to call for professional help if necessary.
    - Ashley
  • It was interesting to read that extremely vibrant patches of green turf grass could be a sign of a leaking tank. One of my neighbors was telling me how one spot of his lawn was greener than the rest. I will inform him to contact a septic service company because he might have a leak.
    - Eli Richardson
  • My favorite part about this article is that you mentioned that sometimes if there are more green patches of grass in the area where the septic tank is, you should call a professional in for help. As I read that, I actually looked through the window and I noticed that this is actually the case in my house, and there is a large greener patch closer to the corner of my house. Thank you so much for writing all this information to help others, I will need to keep it in mind in the future.
    - Fay
  • It’s good to know that your septic system might be leaking if you notice that vegetation is growing much faster. My uncle has owned his house for a few years and has started to notice that a particular part of his lawn is growing very fast, we think it might be where his septic tank is buried. It might be a good idea to call a professional who can inspect the tank for leaks.
    - Stefan Bradley
  • It’s good to know that leaking septic tanks could saturate the ground around them. My brother has been telling me about how the part of his yard that has his septic tank has gotten wet without it raining. I’ll pass this information along to him so that he can look into his options for getting his septic tank repaired.
    - Thomas Jameson
  • Thanks for the tips on how to check for a leaky septic tank. My grandpa’s tank is getting old. Maybe I need to mention these tips to him.
    - Elisabeth Southgate
  • Thanks for explaining that regular maintenance is a must for our septic tank. My husband and I just bought our first home. Your article helped me see why we should prioritize routing septic tank pumping.
    - Daphne Gilpin
  • You got me when you said that it’s possible that your septic tank is leaking if you notice that there are areas where your vegetation seems to be growing at a much faster rate. With that in mind, I’ll be sure to hire a professional that can service and inspect our septic tank. There are parts of our lawn that’s always flooded. Our lawn used to have withering plants, so it’s a surprise that our plants are growing healthy.
    - Ellen Hughes
  • I like that you state the dangers of a leaking septic tank, and the signs that it’s not holding its contents. I will be keeping an eye out for the signs, and I’ll be hiring a tank repair service if I notice anything. Thanks for the info!
    - Nathan Carter
  • I have noticed especially vibrant patches of grass over where I believe my septic tank is, so I’ll definitely get that repaired as soon as possible. We haven’t experienced backup yet, and hopefully we’ll be able to get the tank repaired before it’s too damaged. I’ll be sure to take your advice and invest in a management service after this; taking good care of my tank is important for my family’s health as you say.
    - Rhianna Hawk
  • I think my septic tank my be having issues. I didn’t know that there are some issues that you can’t even detect without a professional! Maybe I should just find a professional to have them come in and take a look at my system for me.
    - Braden Bills
  • Out septic service inspected our concrete septic and adjacent pump tanks on a group system, found cracks, and recommended their replacement. Two of the five households want a second opinion before considering replacement (with the attendant $1,200 to $1,500 added cost for pre-inspection pump outs). Is another interior visual inspection confirming the cracks are indeed present enough to confirm the tanks are leaking? Or is there another test that is more certain? The current tanks date from 1986 – a previous group system – that were repurposed for use in the current (2002) system that succeeded it. Your thoughts are appreciated. System is located on the Northern Neck of Virginia.
    - Gary

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