Septic Tank Water Pooling In Yard: Reasons And Effective Solutions

It happens occasionally where the septic water coming out of ground when something is wrong with the tank or pipes. Having smelly standing water in the yard is an obvious sign of this issue.

When the septic tank water pooling in yard. you need to address it right away to avoid the serious consequences and nuisance.

I will talk about signs, reasons, and how to solve this problem quickly in this article. Stay with me for a while.

Septic Tank Leaking Into Yard: Reasons And Fix

septic tank water pooling in yard

Possible reasons for having septic tank water in your yard:

  • Full Septic Tank
  • Problematic Drainage
  • Flooded Drain Field
  • Overusing The Septic System with Limited Capacity
  • Broken Distribution Box
  • Busted/Leaky Pipes
  • Runoff Water From Rain/Storm

The traditional septic system has a tank leaking problem along with other issues. That can spread sickness and damage wildlife.

So, some people prefer the alternative to a septic tank system to avoid these issues. But for now, let’s talk about why the septic tank is leaking in detail.

  • Full Septic Tank

Lots of factors may lead to a full septic tank. When a septic tank is full, there will no more room for the incoming wastewater. So, the extra pressure leads to leaks.

emptying full septic tank

As a result of the above situation, the wastewater or excess effluent will escape to the drain field. So, when you see wastewater in your yard, this may be a potential reason.

Due to a full tank, you will end up with a slow-flushing toilet and slow draining bathtubs and sinks.

Now, you don’t need to see the running water in your water to understand whether your septic tank is full or not; having a foul odor is another sign of a full septic tank.

A full septic tank should only be emptied by a professional. This is particularly important to hire a professional if the sludge level is too high in the septic tank.

If your septic tank has a higher level of sludge, pumping out the wastewater alone won’t leave enough room for the incoming wastewater.

So, let a professional inspect it first and remove the sludge and liquid. As a general rule of thumb, you should empty and clean your septic tank once every 3 to 5 years to avoid this nasty scenario.

  • Problematic Drainage

Another reason for having standing water in your yard is the poor drainage. Yes, your own landscape around the septic tank might be the culprit!

Or, maybe you don’t have the right soil type in the drain field.

Besides, lots of factors like an intense storm or heavy machinery can push down the soil around the septic tank.

That will make the soil compact and the soil won’t be able to absorb water effectively anymore. If poor drainage is the issue, don’t worry about having a full septic tank for now.

If you have any porous materials in your arsenal, you can aerate the land to solve the problem. Otherwise, you can always call a septic tank technician to fix the soil.

  • Flooded Drain Field

Many reasons can lead to a flooded drain field but heavy rains or intense storm is most common. With a flooded drain field comes the saturations.

A saturated drain field won’t be able to absorb water. So, any new wastewater coming from your house will end up everywhere including your yard.

A flooded drain field from the heavy rains is nothing but bad luck because you can’t do much about it. But the good news is the situation should improve as soon as the rain stops.

But don’t just wait for the fix to happen naturally. Let a professional inspect the flooded drain field. Maybe it’s already weak and a new drain field needs to be installed.

You should start constructing a new drain field while the old one is still functioning in its limited capacity. It’s totally doable.

  • Overusing The Septic System with Limited Capacity

It does not happen a lot but using water continuously may overwhelm your septic system and flood the drain field. And it will cause a flooded yard from the wastewater.

You should pump the system if you are sure this is the case. For a limited capacity septic system, you should spread the water usage schedule across the entire day or week to avoid overwhelming the system.

  • Broken Distribution Box

Not everyone is aware of the jobs of a distribution box in a septic system. It is connected to the septic tank and helps to evenly distribute the wastewater into the drain field.

That mechanism helps to avoid overwhelming the soil with wastewater. 

It’s important to understand and fix it because a broken distribution box that is connected to your septic tank can be the reason of having septic water in your yard.

With a broken distribution box, the soil around the septic tank won’t have the capacity to absorb the water. So, you will have standing water in your yard.

Now, to fix this box, you need a septic specialist or a repair company. Without the necessary expertise, you should not be dealing with this complex box.

  • Busted/Leaky Pipes

You don’t need anything unusual to happen to have leaky pipes. Only a severe clog can lead to leaky pipes.

And if you don’t notice or fix the pipes, the wastewater will be released to your yard. You may end up having puddles in your yard too.

Having puddles of wastewater is bad news for your kids and pets. You need to fix it ASAP.

  • Runoff Water From Rain/Storm

Your yard may get water from other sources apart from the septic tank. If the standing water does not have any foul odor, it’s probably the runoff water you are dealing with.

People living in a rainy climate will have standing water in their yards more frequently. That’s completely natural to have that standing water if it has been raining for the last couple of days.

However, if that standing water bothers you for a longer period, you can install a water retention system in or around the yard.

A septic tank can go wrong in several ways. Sometimes, maybe it was not the right decision to go for the traditional septic tank.

If nothing of the above fix works for you, you may consider having other septic system alternatives like a mound septic system to avoid flooding your yard with dirty septic tank water.

Signs of Septic Tank About To Leak Water

septic tank overflowing the yard

Before it gets too late and floods your yard with toxic wastewater, you should take steps once you notice any signs of a bad septic tank.

Here are some of these signs you should be looking for:

  • You are having a foul smell from inside of your home like from the toilet, tub, sink, etc. Any foul odor from these fixtures indicates a full septic tank that needs to be emptied ASAP.
  • The grass in your yard is growing differently around the septic tank than the rest of the yard. If the grass around the septic tank is more lush and green than the rest of the yard, it indicates liquid waste is escaping the septic tank.
  • Suddenly the drains of your home are draining slowly and if you are not sure of the reasons, you are possibly having septic system problem. If you can’t unclog the drains, you should pump the septic tank.
  • Test your well water and if you find high level of nitrate, wastewater from the septic tank is probably escaping. You need to pump your septic tank ASAP as higher level of nitrate in well water is unhealthy to drink.
  • Lastly, if water is pooling in your yard on a regular basis, that also indicates full septic tank that needs to be emptied. If that happens occasionally after a heavy rain, your septic tank may not be responsible.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why is there septic water in my yard?

Many factors lead to a full septic tank. As the incoming wastewater does not have enough room in the full tank, it leads to a leak in the leach fields. Such leaks in the leach field lead to water in your yard.

What are the signs of a failing septic field?

There are some obvious signs of a failing septic field like slow drainage, the appearance of green grass, gurgling pipes, foul odor, blocked pipes, etc.

Is it normal for a septic tank to be full of water?

No. A septic tank should be filled to the normal liquid level which is the bottom of the outlet pipe.

Can heavy rain cause septic backup?

Yes, but it’s normal that your septic tank will be back up after or during heavy rain. As the rainwater will flood the ground around the absorption area soil, the water in the tank won’t flow out. So, you end up with a backed-up septic tank.

Will a flooded septic tank fix itself?

Yes, a flooded septic tank will fix itself most of the time. But if the tank and chamber is filled with debris and silt, they need to be professionally cleaned.

Closing Remarks

Sometimes, you can’t avoid the issue where the septic tank water pooling in yard no matter how carefully you maintain your septic system due to many natural reasons.

But if you want to avoid the frequent overflow of septic tank in yard, you need to pay attention to the reasons why it happens as mentioned above along with the signs.

Considering the serious consequence to the surrounding ecosystem and the health of your family, you need to fix the septic tank fast.

And dealing with your septic system should be done professionally. So, I always recommend hiring a professional to look into that sort of matter.

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1 thought on “Septic Tank Water Pooling In Yard: Reasons And Effective Solutions”

  1. Elaina D'Agostino

    My mom was doing her gardening yesterday when she noticed a puddle somewhere at the back of the yard. I’m glad I found this article and learned that wastewater leaks into the leach field if there’s no more space for it in the septic tank. I don’t think we’ve had it pumped since we moved in three years ago. It might be due for a cleaning.

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