Can Rain Affect My Septic Tank?

Yes! Heavy rain and other water sources that oversaturate the soil around your septic tank can cause your tank to flood. This can be a serious and delicate issue, so be sure to contact a septic tank professional when your system is flooded.

In simple terms, septic tanks have three primary units.

  • Inlet pipe: Waste from all of the drains in your house run through this pipe into the septic tank.
  • Tank: An underground two-chamber tank holds the waste as it separates into sludge, scum and effluent (liquid).
  • Drain field: A perforated pipe releases effluent into the soil for further biodegradation. Solid is routinely pumped by specialists.

The solid waste settles at the bottom of the tank and becomes sludge as microbes break the material down. Grease and lighter solids will float to the top and create scum. On a normal, non-rainy day, the liquid material, also called Effluent, flows from the drain field into the soil and is purified by microbes. 

Heavy rain results in excessive water in the soil. This limits the drain fields ability to release liquid, or effluents, into the soil and leads to dangerous levels of liquid filling up in the tank.

Is My Septic Tank Flooded From Rain?

It can be difficult to tell if flooding is causing issues with your tank because flooded tank symptoms are similar to those of a clogged pipe or tank that needs pumping. If you've recently experienced heavy rainfall and are having issues with water draining properly in any of the drains in your home, consider that your tank may be flooded. Contact our specialists today to inspect the tank to identify the problem. We'll find a quick solution and answer any questions you have.

How To Fix A Flooded Tank

Pumping the tank is not a viable solution for a flooded septic system. When the tank is unnaturally full of water, pumping can actually cause damage. Instead, the best course of action is to reduce the amount of water use in your home as much as possible. Completely limit or reduce the use of any machines or faucets that use water and give the drain field time to dry.

If water in your house isn’t draining due to flooding, adding any kind of chemicals or other material will only worsen the problem. Unfortunately, all you can do is limit water use and schedule an appointment with a septic tank specialist to assess any potential damage and solutions.

How Do I Prevent My Tank From Flooding?

Regular maintenance and care for your septic system can reduce the chance of flooding.

  • Limit water use during heavy rain
  • Only flush septic safe, biodegradable material
  • Do not dig or work around the septic tank during flooded conditions
  • Know where your tank is – do not drive or park over the system
  • Only use biodegradable cleaners
  • Keep trees away from the tank to avoid root damage
  • Regularly inspect and pump your septic tank

If you think your tank may be flooded, or if you are in need of routine septic tank maintenance, contact us today or request a free quote.
 

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