Septic tank popped out of ground, causing damage to home

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Climate change has been a hot topic for the past few decades. The Earth’s temperature has steadily risen and extreme weather events are becoming more common. One of the most recent consequences of this is an increase in septic tanks popping out of the ground. Septic tank popped out of ground – What are the causes?

  • If you have a septic tank, it’s important to know that the ground around it is as important as the tank itself. The ground can get highly saturated during heavy rainfall or floods. Hydro-static pressure develops and force the septic tank to pop out of the ground.
  • Pumping or emptying out a septic tank while the ground is saturated or flooded will create a buoyancy that in-turn causes it to “pop out” or float out of the ground.

When a septic tank pops out of the ground, it damages the septic system’s intake and outtake pipes. This results in sewage backups into the house, surrounding environment, waterways, or water wells. The first thing you should do when a septic tank pops out of the ground is call an emergency plumber.

How to fix a floating septic tank

It is imperative to conduct a buoyancy analysis before installing a septic tank in an area that is prone to heavy rainfall or flooding. A buoyancy analysis is a process of calculating the buoyant force on an object. It determines whether or not the object will float when submerged in a liquid. The use of concrete tanks is an excellent anti-floatation method. Concrete septic tanks are excellent at withstanding buoyant forces and are less likely to pop out or float out compared to plastic or fiberglass tanks. You can also add a concrete collar around your septic tank as an anti-floatation measure. Most county and state regulations and codes require an anchor for a lightweight septic tank (plastic or fiberglass tank).

Things to Do When Your Septic Tank Is Flooded

If you live in an area that is prone to heavy rain, it’s always a good idea to be prepared for the worst. It’s also important to have a backup plan in case your septic tank floods. So what should you do when your septic tank floods:

  1. You need to check or examine the groundwater level by using a probe . You should immediately stop using the tank if the ground water has risen above the tank, which is normal buried 2 to 4 feet from the top of the ground. Pools of standing water around the drain field or septic tank are a key tell-tale sign of a flooded septic system. A flooded tank is unable to process additional waste water. However, if the ground water level is at least 2 feet lower than your tank you can scarcely operate the septic system until the water level recedes.
  2. Avoid emptying or pumping out the septic tank until the water level recedes and the soil is less saturated. This prevents mud and sediment from getting into the tank and leach field. Mud and sediment can damage the septic intake and discharge pipes. Also avoid walking or driving over the septic tank or leach field, as this compresses the soil.
  3. You have to reduce the volume of household waste water until the ground water level recedes. Here are some tips to reduce household waste water:
    • Fix all leaking taps and pipes.
    • Install water-saving devices in the bathroom such as low-flow toilets or faucet aerators.
    • Use only as much water as necessary for cooking, cleaning and laundry. Whenever you use the washing machine only wash small loads and wait a couple of hours to wash the next load.
    • Install a greywater system to reuse water from showers, sinks and laundry for toilet flushing or irrigation.
    • Use disposable paper dishes, cups, plates and cutlery.
    • Avoid baths and take quick showers.
  4. Install a backflow preventer to stop waste water from the septic tank flooding or backing up into your house.
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Septic tank popped out of ground: FAQs

Some homeowners have experienced septic tank popping out of the ground. We’ve put together a list that answers some of the most frequently asked questions about ‘septic tank popped out of ground’.

How to anchor a plastic septic tank

A lot of septic tanks are made of plastic. These tanks are cheap and lightweight, but they have a major downside. The lightweight nature of plastic is also what makes it terrible at withstanding buoyant forces. It is more likely to float compared to concrete septic tanks. How do you anchor a plastic septic tank? Anchoring a plastic septic tank is not as difficult as it may seem. This section will provide you with all the necessary information to do so successfully:

  • Septic tank anchor straps are used to securely anchor a plastic septic tank in place. This is important to prevent the tank from shifting or moving, which could cause damage to the tank or the system as a whole. Septic tank anchor straps are typically made of durable materials such as steel or reinforced polyethylene, and they are attached to the tank using bolts or other fasteners. It is important to properly install and maintain septic tank anchor straps to ensure the stability and longevity of the septic system.


To anchor a plastic septic tank, you will need to follow these steps:

  1. Begin by locating the appropriate anchor points on the tank. These are typically located near the corners of the tank.
  2. Once you have identified the anchor points, you will need to attach the anchor straps to the tank. This is typically done by drilling holes into the tank at the anchor points and then using bolts or other fasteners to attach the straps.
  3. After the straps are attached to the tank, you will need to secure the other end of the straps to a solid foundation. This can be done by using concrete anchors or other types of ground anchors.
  4. Once the straps are securely attached to the tank and the foundation, you will need to tighten them to ensure that the tank is properly anchored in place. This can be done using a wrench or other tool.
  5. Finally, it is important to regularly inspect and maintain the anchor strap. This ensures that they are in good condition and are properly securing the tank. This will help to prevent accidents and ensure the longevity of the septic system.
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It is always a good idea to consult with a professional if you are unsure about how to properly anchor a plastic septic tank. A qualified professional can provide valuable advice and assistance to ensure that the job is done correctly.

Septic tank water coming out of ground

When septic tank issues arise, wastewater surfacing from the ground signals potential problems like backups, overflows, cracks, or clogs. Cracks in the tank can allow untreated water to escape into the surrounding soil, creating a hazardous situation. Clogs, often caused by solid buildup, impede proper drainage and contribute to overflows. Additionally, invasive tree roots can penetrate and damage the tank, exacerbating the risk of leaks. Swift action is crucial when observing water on the ground, as it indicates a malfunction that requires professional inspection and repair to prevent environmental contamination and property damage.

Will a flooded septic tank fix itself

A flooded septic tank will not typically fix itself. Flooding can occur due to various issues, such as heavy rainfall, drainage problems, or a malfunctioning system. It’s crucial to address the root cause promptly. Ignoring the problem may lead to further complications, including backups and environmental hazards. Professional intervention is often necessary to assess and resolve the underlying issues causing the flooding. Waiting for a septic tank to fix itself is not advisable, as it can result in more extensive damage and costly repairs. Timely action and expert assistance are essential for effective resolution.

Septic tank anchor straps

Septic tank anchor straps play a vital role in securing the tank in place, preventing shifts or tilts. It’s crucial to use corrosion-resistant straps to withstand the harsh underground environment. Corrosion resistance is essential in protecting the structural integrity of the septic tank, providing durability against soil and moisture exposure. Properly installed and maintained anchor straps contribute to the overall stability and functionality of the septic system.

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Septic tank popped out of ground: Final Thoughts

If a septic tank pops out of the ground, it can be a serious problem. This can cause damage to the tank itself, as well as to any nearby structures or utilities. It can also create a sanitation hazard, as waste from the tank can spill out and contaminate the surrounding area. If you experience this issue, it is important to address it as quickly as possible to prevent further damage and potential health risks. It may be necessary to call a professional to help assess the situation and determine the best course of action. In any case, it is important to take proper care of your septic system to prevent issues like this from occurring.

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