We’ve heard clients repeatedly say, “But, I didn’t know” and “How are you suppose to know?” when we are over for a septic repair.

And those are fair responses! After all, you can’t see your septic system. So, it can feel like you need to be an expert to discern an issue. But that’s not true. You can tell when something is wrong with your septic system with a bit of attentiveness.

This leads us to septic leaks. Not all of the causes of leaks in your septic system are underground. Your septic habits may be the issue — and that’s something you can easily see and avoid.

Signs and Causes of Septic Leaks, Advanced Septic Services of Florida

Common Causes of Septic Leaks

There are many causes of leaks in your septic tank, from hidden monsters to old age to your septic use. Let’s dive in.

Tree Roots

A tree grows its roots as it grows in search of water and more nutrients. And they don’t care what gets in their way during their quest for expansion.

That includes your septic tank and drain field. With tree roots and some hearty shrubs having quite strong roots, they can easily damage your septic components leading to cracks and leaks.

We highly recommend avoiding trees and shrubs and focusing on septic-safe landscaping and plants. This lets you have a beautiful yard while protecting your septic system from damage.

Heavy Items & Crushed Pipes

As a septic owner, it’s imperative that you know where your septic tank and drainfield are — so that no heavy items go on top. This includes parked cars, sheds, hot tubs, and heavy landscaping items.

Surrounded by grass and soil, your septic system is the most solid item underground, meaning when heavy things are placed on top, it bears most of the weight. With too much weight, your pipes and tank will be crushed, which causes septic leaks.

Old Age

A septic tank typically lasts for a few decades (depending on maintenance schedules and care). But, they do eventually start to degrade.

If you ignore the old age and needed replacement, you could find yourself with a septic system that’s falling apart — and leaking. It could just be from the baffles, or you could experience structural damage to the tank. If your technician says it’s time for a new tank, then it’s time for a new tank.

Forgotten Maintenance Schedule

Septic maintenance isn’t just a way for septic companies to make money outside of installations and repairs. It’s a way for you to prolong needing repairs and a new septic tank.

If you’ve been bad about scheduling your needed septic pump-outs, you could find that your septic tank tries to do the job for you. During pump-outs, your technician will remove the sludge layer, which reduces the amount in the tank. Without this removal, your septic tank will overflow. If there are cracks in the tank or the seal, untreated wastewater will find its way out.

Too Many Chemicals

Your septic tank relies on naturally-occurring bacteria to break down waste and create space. These bacteria are delicate. Too many cleaning products (especially bleach and Drano) will easily kill them off.

Without these bacteria, your septic tank fills up faster than expected, and it could overflow before you have your next scheduled pump-out.

Signs of Septic Leaks

With so many potential causes and the potential for contamination, you’ll want to be well-versed in the sign of septic leaks.


If you can smell your septic while in your yard (trust us, you’ll know), that means that something is escaping. Whether it’s air or waste and wastewater, you’ll want to schedule a repair immediately.

The exception to this is after a heavy rain, which can cause you to smell a slight odor as the ground absorbs the extra moisture. Otherwise, odors are not usually associated with septic UNLESS there’s a problem.

Greener Grass

We all love a lush, green lawn. But if it’s that green because it’s feasting on fertilizer and water, then it’s not worth it. If you notice a patch of lawn that grows faster than the rest of your landscape, you may have stumbled upon the location of your leak.


Do you know an easy visual sign your septic tank is leaking? Puddles. If it hasn’t rained, you haven’t watered your yard, and the puddles don’t smell good, please call your septic company.

Avoiding Septic Leaks – We are Here to Help!

Septic leaks are avoidable. It’s all about following the septic rules, scheduling your needed maintenance, and being aware of your septic’s age and status.

In need of a septic appointment or repair in Lake County or Central Florida? Advanced Septic Services is here to help. Call us today at 352-242-6100.