While talking about big home renovations and DIY projects, the septic tanks don’t often come up – it isn’t one of the most glamorous parts of the project – but it is one of the most essential.

Your septic tank is designed to be pumped at regular intervals to ensure it is in good working order – and that the microorganisms are breaking down waste as they should.

Many things can go wrong if your septic tank system isn’t working correctly, so here are some things to watch out for so you know if you need to call in some septic engineering professionals.


The overflow of your septic tank might not be noticeable until there is heavy rain. The heavy rain leaks into the septic tank if there are cracks or holes in it, and the waste is forced to overflow into the ground around the tank.

The first thing a professional will do is inspect the tank for any damages and make recommendations based on their findings.

Lush Greenery

While you might be excited to see lots of lush greenery and plants in the garden – if it is particularly noticeable closer to the tank – this can be a huge red flag.

An overflow is often obvious, as the tank’s contents will sit on the surface. However, if there is damage to the tank, the sewage can leak into the soil around the tank.

While this is great for the plants, as it acts as a fertilizer – it means that your tank is damaged, and it is only a matter of time before it gets worse. The leaking sewage will eventually make its way to the surface.

Slow Drainage

You might notice that your kitchen sink or bathroom sink seems to be draining a little slowly – most people will shrug this off and forget about it for a while. Another sink in the home or the toilet might also exhibit the same behavior.

There might be a clog somewhere in the pipe, which a plumber could remove – however if there are more than a few places that are draining slowly – it could be an indicator that the septic chance is the cause of the issue. Typically, slow drainage is down to damage to the pipe or the septic tank itself.


When your septic tank is in good working order, the solids, toxins, and liquids will all be safely contained within the tank. However, if you notice a distinctly off-putting smell in the home, this is likely a septic tank problem.

Smelling sewage in your house can be an early notification that there is going to be a backup, which leads to the next indicator.

Backed Up

Potentially one of the worst types of issues with your septic tank is when the slow drainage or smell in the home turns into a backup. Wastewater can overflow quickly into the home and cause a lot of mess that is expensive (and extensive) to clean up.

A trending construction is adding tiny homes to properties, and the septic tank is a consideration, along with these four other things: Tiny Home – 4 Considerations When Adding It to Your Property –