Why Is My Septic Tank Surfacing? Septic Tank Repair Information For Homeowners


Unless they are observing a major repair or installation process, most homeowners may never actually see their septic tank. Functional septic tanks are typically buried under several inches to several feet of soil. Depending on the design of the tank, however, a lid or entry portal may remain fully or partially exposed to provide easy access for services such as septic tank pumping. 

Homeowners who have rarely or never seen their septic tank are likely to be shocked if they find that theirs has begun to push up from its resting place and has now become partially visible. If you have just discovered that your home's septic tank is surfacing, this information will help you understand the problem and how you can address it. 


One of the most common reasons for a septic tank to float or thrust upward from its underground burial location is that flooding has occurred in the immediate area. Soil saturation and rising water levels in the area allow the septic tank to become more buoyant and enable it to push upward. 

Buoyancy during or immediately after flooding is most often a problem for septic tanks that are constructed from very lightweight materials, such as thin metal or plastic. It can also be a problem for any type of tank that has been recently pumped out and, as a result, weighs much less than it normally does. 

New installation

The newly installed septic tank at a vacant or under-construction home may also tend to work itself upward and become partially exposed because the cavity is filled with air and is lighter and more buoyant than the surrounding soil. Once the home is occupied and water and waste matter begin to fill the tank, this problem resolves itself. 

This problem can be avoided by ensuring that a few hundred gallons of water are added to the tank to provide enough stabilizing weight to hold the tank firmly in place during the vacancy period. Most of this water can then be pumped out once the home is ready for occupancy. 


Homeowners who have experienced or are at risk of experiencing a surfacing septic tank may also have to deal with broken pipes and connections caused by the movement, as well as cleaning up spilled sewage afterward. A good way to prevent the possibility of a surfacing septic tank due to flooding or any other problem is to have an anchoring restraint system added to the septic tank to hold it in place. Anchoring the tank is a lasting solution to prevent surfacing issues, and unlike adding water, this option has no impact on the capacity of the tank. 

To learn more about installing anchoring restraints on your home's septic tank or to repair damage after an unfortunate surfacing incident, take time to discuss your situation with a septic tank repair business, such as American Septic Service.


12 December 2019

Building Septic Tanks on New Properties: Tips, Facts and Ideas

Hello and welcome to my blog. My name is Heather, and a few years ago, my partner and I got a very cheap property up in the mountains practically in the middle of nowhere. I knew we had to build, but there were many elements that I overlooked. I never even considered the idea that we wouldn't be connected to a town sewer system for example. However, I learned quickly as we built our septic tank. Through the process, I also researched a lot of alternatives to ensure we got the perfect septic system for our needs. If you are building on a new property and you don't have the option of sewer, this blog has everything you need to know about septic systems. I truly love to help others, and I hope these posts help you.