Tips & Advice

Leaking From Your Septic Tank – What To Look For

Leaks from your septic tank can be hazardous, but with regular servicing, you would hope this wouldn’t occur.

Unfortunately, these things do happen from time to time as a result of irregular servicing or faulty tanks (not ours of course!).

For basic leaks, it is actually unlikely that you will notice them as this will occur under the ground. However, blockages and other complications will have much more noticeable signs that will give you a pretty clear indication it is time to get a service, a pump out, or even have your septic tank replaced.

Low Liquid Level

This is the most common indicator for a leak under the ground. It is likely that you wouldn’t notice this because you are continually adding liquid to the tank but this can be picked up when thoroughly inspecting the tank. You will be able to notice the liquid level is lower than normal, meaning it is escaping somewhere.

Liquid Flow Back or Pooling Water

If there is a blockage or your septic system is full, you may notice pooling water in the yard. When the tank reaches its capacity, solid waste can clog the pipes, which forces the liquid to the surface. This may look like you’ve had heavy rainfall and the grass is yet to absorb the water. If it does not absorb, it is likely liquid flow back.

Slow Drains

Slow draining water that cannot be fixed using septic safe drain cleaners or unblocking products may be the result of blocked pipes caused by a full tank. Keep an eye on your sinks, bathtub and toilet and pump out your tank if necessary.

Bad Smells

This is typically where you get a sense that something is wrong, even if you can’t see any visible signs. If there are unexplained, unpleasant smells persisting on your property, it’s worth contacting Garden Master to do a service and check for blockages.

Sewage Backup

In this situation, you would be at the critical point where it is time to call in expert help. This will happen in the lowest drains first, so if you have a basement and have noticed a bad smell, check there first. Sewage backup is messy and you should never try to clean it up yourself. Call for professional help immediately.


If you notice any of the above signs or simply feel as though there may be a leak or blockage, the best next step is to call Garden Master Waste Water Solutions. Septic Tank leaks can be unsafe and unsightly; it is always best to call in experts and resolve the situation as soon as possible to avoid further damage or complications.

Garden Master offers septic tank servicing and septic tank cleaning from the Hunter Valley and across the Greater NSW region as well as new septic tank and wastewater system installation throughout NSW, Victoria and ACT.  We’ve also completed commercial projects in the Arhnem Land, the Kimberleys and even Alaska in the USA!


For any enquiries about your existing septic system or to get a free quote on an installation, give us a call on 1800 632 582  or submit an enquiry online.


Tips & Advice

Septic System Do’s & Don’ts

Garden Master septic systems are fully automatic and there is no need for much owner intervention, however there are some simple precautions you should observe for optimal performance.


Follow these tips to maintain your septic tank system and keep it working properly:


  • Avoid using strong acids, alkalis, oils and chemicals in your toilet, bathroom, laundry and kitchen (too much can kill off the working “bugs”).
  • Conserve water to limit the amount that goes into the tank.
  • Use only bio-degradable detergents in the laundry and kitchen.
  • Try to spread wash loads over different days.
  • Try to avoid using the washing machine and shower at the same time. 
  • Front loader washing machines reduce water usage. 
  • Plant trees the appropriate distance from your drainfield to keep roots from growing into your septic system.
  • Have your system serviced every 3 months.
  • Pump out your septic tank every three to five years.


  • Do not use harsh cleaners such as bleaches and anti-bacterial products. Do not pour leftover solutions, acrylic paints etc directly down the drain. 
  • Do not dispose of condoms, sanitary products, dental floss, disposable diapers, kitty litter, facial tissue, paper towel, baby wipes or cigarettes down the toilet or house drains
  • Do not put products such as hairdye, Napisan, Domestos, metho, turps or excess fats into the system.
  • Never  put cooking oils or grease down the kitchen sink and avoid excess solids like food scraps and coffee grounds going down.
  • Avoid planting trees or shrubs on or near a septic tank or field lines.
  • Do not build or pave on or near a septic tank or field lines.
  • Never park or drive on your drainfield.
  • Never turn the system off, even when away on holidays.
Bleaches and antibacterial products are a NO NO! Avoid all products with bleach or ammonia!

safe products to use with a septic tank

Your septic tank is a living ecosystem where bacteria digest waste. Like any living system, it can become sick if it is flooded, poisoned with chemicals, or not looked after. 



Your septic may need attention if any of these conditions occur – 


  • The air around it smells – usually like rotten egg gas. 
  • The ground is damp or soggy, or pools form downhill. 
  • There’s lots of dark green grass growing on or around the absorption area. 
  • The toilet or drains are slow to clear, or keep backing up.
  • There are lots of weeds growing downhill from the absorption area, in nearby drainage channels or on the banks of a nearby waterway.
  • The septic tank has not been checked for over 12 months.
  • The septic tank has not been pumped out (de-sludged) in the past 3-5 years (this is the most common cause of problems – get it pumped!). 


If any of these factors apply, you should act quickly so that the damage, and the cost of repair, does not get any worse. 


Garden Master offers a septic system maintenance and repair service across the Hunter Valley, Mid North Coast, Central Coast and Newcastle regions.  Don’t hesitate to get in touch if you need help with your wastewater system! 



NSW Department of Local Government. 2000. The Easy Septic Guide. Developed by Social Change Media for the New South Wales Department of Local Government.


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