How Do I Know If I Have A Septic Tank?

by Mario Garcia
How do I know if I have a septic tank

While most people may not pause and think about what happens when they flush their toilet, it is important to know the kind of waste system you have on your property. You have to determine whether you use an independent septic tank or connect to your neighborhood sewage network. You can find out which one is on your property. 

Now here’s a crucial question. 

How can I Know If I Have a Septic Tank? 

The easiest way to check whether your house has a septic tank or is connected to the public sewer system is to check your water bill. If your property uses a septic system for wastewater management, you will likely see a $0 for sewer services or wastewater from the utility company.

If you have determined if you have a septic tank, you should note certain things. These include when the tank is full, including locating it and more.

Continue reading to get in-depth information on this topic. 

How To Locate A Septic Tank

When you have determined if you have a septic tank, you will want to locate it to know when it needs to be attended. The steps below will guide you. 


First, consider where you live. Your property’s location will help you determine whether you have a septic tank. Your home’s waste system is most certainly connected to a sewer system if your home is in a town, city, or subdivision. 

The system runs through the neighborhood into a network of pipes leading to a sewage treatment plan. If your home is in a rural area, particularly if there is a notable distance between your house and your neighbors’ houses, you most likely have a septic tank.


Now, take a walk around your compound or yard to fish out a large bump in the grass. You may also see it on the side of your house. If there is a domed area under the grass, then you have a septic tank. 

The size of the bump depends on your building and how many toilets you have. The bump will be noticeable, but don’t look for a drastic hill as it may rise just one foot over the ground.


You can also have a proper look around your area to check if there are utility holes or sewage access ports. If you see these, you are most likely connected to a sewage system. This means your house does not have a septic tank.


You can call the branch of your local government in charge of the land, for example, the registry office or assessment bureau at the city level. You can obtain the information you need if you give them your name, address, and other property location.


You can also call a licensed real estate agent to enquire about your property. The agent can check a database and tell you whether your house is connected to a sewer system or you have a septic tank. 


You can contact a septic pumping service in your area to find out if your street has septic systems. If there is, and the previous owner of your home has a septic system, chances are, they had used the pumping service when they were living there. 

How To Know If Your Septic Tank Is Full

If you have been making use of your septic tank for a long time, you may start seeing signs that your tank needs to be emptied. Also, if you have just installed your septic tank, keep these signs in mind. 

These are what to look out for if you want to know if your septic tank is full;

Odor comes out of the tank:

When your septic tank starts to get filled up, the gasses that create odor have no escape route, and this starts to cause some foul odors. If foul odor starts coming out of your sinks, drains, or tank area, know that your tank is full and your drain is blocked. You have to contact your local septic tank, pumping expert.

Pooled water: 

If you notice marshy areas around the septic tank, this could mean your tank leaks. A leaking tank can cause moisture, and the moisture can create pools of water in the area. This can happen if your septic tank is overflowing or when the drainage pipe is blocked. 

Weak flush/slow drainage:

You can tell if your tank is full by noticing how the sinks and toilets in your house flush. If your toilet has a weak flush and your zinc has slow drainage, you need to check your septic tank. A standard clog might not cause slow drainage. If you notice that waste cannot stay down, get your septic tank pumped.

Grass in the area is too green:

Like pooling water, your septic tank’s direct surroundings can show signs that your tank is full or leaking. Look at the grass surrounding the septic tank. If the patches of grass that cover the tank are noticeably greener than the others in the area, this might mean your tank is full.

Naturally, the grass over your septic tank is supposed to be the same color as the grass surrounding them. However, when the opposite happens, it means your overflowing tank is feeding them. 

Sewer backup:

This is not a sign you can miss. It is also not a sign you would want to see or experience. It is the most obvious sign and the most damaging. If the lowest drains in your house show signs of backing up, this means you need to get the help of an expert as soon as possible.

Gurgling water:

Gurgling sounds in your pipes shouldn’t be ignored, especially if the sounds are consistent. If you notice these sounds, you need to get your tank checked as this is another sign that it is full and needs to be drained. 

How Do I Know If My Septic Tank Is Broken?

You don’t just abandon your septic tank. It also needs the right kind of care. If you have a septic tank, you need to know when the tank is broken. And if you find out your tank is broken, you should have it fixed right away. 

  • You will notice any of the signs below if your tank is broken.
  • Your toilet make gurgling noises when you flush
  • You notice drains are fast, and they gurgle.
  • Stand near the tank. If you smell sewage odors, then it is broken. 
  • Sewage backs up into your toilets or other parts of the plumbing system.
  • You notice wet spots around where your septic system is installed.

Is A Septic Cheaper Than Sewage System?

Yes. A septic tank is cheaper, as it can help you save money on many fronts, from the day you install it until the day you sell the property. Septic tanks cost less to install. A new one will usually cost less than the installation of sewage pipes in a home. If your home sits on land that’s more than one acre, then a septic system can cost you less to install.

You do not have to pay any monthly bill if you have a septic tank. Septic systems do not carry any monthly costs associated with city-operated sewage systems because they run independently on every residential home.

Septic tanks are also long-lasting and do not usually need replacement. If the septic tank is properly installed and well-maintained, it can last for a very long time. 

Is Septic Tank Better For The Environment?

Septic systems are considered more environment-friendly than sewage systems because they don’t contaminate water like the latter. Also, when a septic system leaks, the damage it causes is contained to a particular part of the property and doesn’t have any city-wide consequences. 

Septic tanks also cut pollution by using drain fields and leach fields. Drain fields and Leach fields both serve as natural filters. They strain the wastewater before it reaches the soil so that by the time the water enters the field, there won’t be bacteria.

Septic Tanks also help local plant and wildlife. They recycle water in a way that benefits nearby flora and fauna. Once the water enters the soil, it spurs plant growth. This, in turn, provides food for insects, birds, and squirrels that are nearby. 

Can You Convert The Septic Tank To A Sewer? 

If you are wondering if you can covert a septic tank to a sewer, the answer is yes. The switching process from one system to another is very simple. It will take over a few days to finish the switch. It will also disrupt your drainage service for only a few hours. 


Taking care of your septic tank will save you a lot of money. You may spend a few hundred dollars on maintaining it, and that’s needed every few years. This is much lesser than the thousands of dollars it will cost you to replace a malfunctioning septic tank. 

Make sure you drain your pipes or toilets the way use your garbage cans. Don’t flush objects like paper towels, cat litter, and facial wipes. Also, don’t send cooking oils, solid foods, and medicines down the sink drain.

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