Because so much of your septic system is underground, signs of trouble might not be immediately apparent, especially if you aren't noticing any problems inside your house. If you notice any of these issues around your house, your tank will need to be serviced immediately.
When there's a leak in your tank, the leach field, or even the drain pipe leading from your house to the tank, soil that normally stays dry can begin to be saturated with water. This causes it to condense and subsequently sink. When this happens, certain areas of your yard, beneath which lie your tank or pipes, will start to sink, which is often very noticeable.
Depending on where the leak is, you may only need to have a few parts dug up and replaced, but it can also be something serious that requires your tank to be replaced. If your tank itself is sinking, this can cause the drain pipe from your house to break, which will flood your yard underground with anything flushed down the drains, so it needs to be taken care of immediately.
If you aren't able to see any sinking, this can still present a problem if it's happening underneath concrete or part of your home's foundation.
When waste starts to leak from your tank or drainpipes and seeps into nearby soil, the odor can start to linger around your house. If you've been smelling sewage but can't seem to find where it's coming from, take a closer look at the soil in your yard around where your tank is located. If you notice any signs of sinking, damp soil, or sudden plant growth, there's likely a leak below the soil that's emitting this smell.
Damp Soil and Plant Growth
Sometimes the dampness from the leak will reach the surface or just below, which is where it can start to become obvious even if nothing has started to sink. When this happens, the soil may look a little darker than the surrounding area, or you may even notice puddles of water with no visible cause. In other instances you might see sudden plant growth in the area; when the soil in the area suddenly becomes constantly damp, this provides a perfect space for plants, especially those like weeds, to start growing.
This is just as likely to occur by your drainpipe as it is over your tank, so don't forget to check around the foundation of your house. Reach out to a septic repair service for more information and assistance.