Have you noticed that your yard, and particularly the area around your septic tank, is wetter than usual? It's possible that your septic tank just needs to be pumped and therefore water is flowing out before it has a chance to sit in the tank. However, if you've had your tank pumped in the last few years and are pretty sure that's not it, then you need to look into other possibilities — one of which is that your septic tank has a hole in it.
How can you tell if your septic tank has a hole in it?
The number one sign of a septic tank hole is, of course, a lot of wetness and water in the land around the tank. You may not notice the wetness so much when there is a dry spell and the land is otherwise dry. You will, however, notice that grass around the tank is growing longer than the grass elsewhere. You may also notice an odor around the septic tank. This is because the water leaking out has not sat in the tank long enough for the waste it contains to break down. It will smell like sewage.
A hole in the septic tank won't cause your drains to slow down or your toilets to gurgle. So that's one way to distinguish between a septic hole and a full tank that needs pumping. (If your tank needs pumping, your drains will likely slow down and your toilets will gurgle.)
What do you do if you think your septic tank has a hole in it?
Call a septic company. They will send a camera into the tank to get a better idea of what is going on. If they do see a hole, their approach will depend on what type of septic tank you have.
Usually, holes in metal tanks are not repairable because they are due to rust. Your best choice in this case is to replace the tank. Holes in concrete tanks, on the other hand, can often be patched. You will probably need to go without using your plumbing for a few days so these repairs can be made. Plastic tanks rarely develop holes. If your has a hole, it is probably because the tank was crushed, perhaps by a vehicle parking over it or tree roots growing into it. Plastic tanks usually need to be replaced once damaged.
A leaky septic tank doesn't do anyone any good. Get in touch with a septic system repair service ASAP if you think you may have a hole.