How To Clean Up Septic Tank Leak? (Best solution)

Steps to clean up outdoor sewage spills

  1. Liberally sprinkle garden lime until the affected area is covered in white dust.
  2. If sewage is thicker in certain areas, mix in lime with a rake or a spade.
  3. Let lime-covered areas stand for 24 hours.
  4. Once dry, shovel sewage-contaminated lime into doubled, heavy-duty trash bags.

How do you clean a septic tank leak?

How to Clean Up Sewage Backup

  1. Remove the sewage water as soon as possible – use a pump if there is a lot of water or a wet-dry vacuum with an appropriate filtration device if the spill is small;
  2. Shovel dirt, soil, and debris into strong plastic bags and dispose of them immediately;

How do you clean up a raw sewage spill?

When the area is visibly clean, either a chlorine / water solution (using Clorox or a bleach that has “sanitizes” or “kills germs” on the label) or hydrated lime should be applied to the spill area to disinfect. To make a 5% chlorine solution, add 3/4 cup Clorox bleach to one (1) gallon of water.

How do I dry out sewage under my house?

Discard heavily contaminated items in the crawlspace in plastic bags, then seal the bags. Disinfect lightly soiled, hard, non-porous items by submerging them in 1 cup of bleach mixed in 1 gallon of water. Rinse in clean water and allow them to air dry.

What can I do with raw sewage?

Raw sewage can be a serious health hazard, even in small amounts.

  1. Allow the sewage to sit.
  2. Handle any of the sewage material, or anything it came in contact with, without proper protective gear.
  3. Run any air/heating/cooling systems.
  4. Move contaminated contents into uncontaminated areas.

What does lime do to sewage?

Lime for Sewer Smell Lime can absolutely be used for sewer odor removal and to remove persistent sewage smells in your home. This is not only because of Lime’s high pH, which helps neutralize it, but also because the calcium ions within it combine with the sulfur molecules of the sewage to create non-odorous particles.

How do you clean sewer off concrete?

All hard surfaces, such as linoleum, hardwood floors, concrete, wood moldings, wood, and metal furniture, and on should be thoroughly cleaned with hot water and a mild detergent (dish detergent), and then rinsed with a bleach solution by mixing one tablespoon of liquid household unscented bleach to one gallon of water.

Does vinegar disinfect sewage?

Vinegar is also a wonderful natural cleanser and disinfectant that will eliminate most sewer smells. One easy way to keep your pipes clear and odor-free is to pour a one-quarter cup of baking soda down the drain, followed by one cup of vinegar.

How do I get rid of the sewer leak smell?

Start by pouring ¼ cup of baking soda down the drain, and then leave it for about 10 minutes. Then, follow it with one cup of vinegar. Let the mixture fizzle and work for a few minutes, and then finish by turning on the water and running the disposal to clear out any leftover food waste.

What type of lime is best for sewage?

Quicklime and hydrated lime can be used to correct pH of industrial sludges for further treatment, neutralize acidic wastes, and to remove or immobilize contaminants.

Why does my crawl space smell like sewer?

Sewage. A sewage backup in the crawl space will cause an extremely foul odor. When the main sewer line clogs, it can cause the water to back up in the pipe and spill into the crawl space. A sewage backup can lead to serious damage, such as mold growth and damage to wooden support posts.

Can you pump raw sewage?

Sewage Ejector pumps are generally designed to handle up to 2” diameter solids. The most common application for a Sewage Ejector pump is to move raw sewage from a residence to a septic tank or gravity flow sewer main. Sewage Ejector pumps can pump high volumes of sewage (up to 220 Gallons Per Minute).

Is Breathing in sewage harmful?

Exposure to low levels of hydrogen sulfide causes irritation of the eyes and respiratory tract. Other symptoms include nervousness, dizziness, nausea, headache, and drowsiness. At extremely high levels, hydrogen sulfide can cause immediate loss of consciousness and death. Asphyxiation.

How Do I Clean Up an Outside Sewage Spill?

Ensure that sewage spills do not infiltrate storm drainage systems. Because of the hazardous bacteria included in outdoor sewage spills, they represent a major threat to both the environment and human health. In the event of an outside sewage leak, you should act quickly to contain the damage and prevent it from spreading. Maintain safety for yourself and others by preventing the spill from spreading, cleaning the spill, and disinfecting the area to the greatest extent feasible while you await expert assistance.

Protect Yourself

Prevent yourself and others from coming into touch with sewage by wearing protective clothing. Keep dogs and children away from the area. Prior to dealing with the sewage spill, put on protective garments to keep hazardous germs, viruses, and parasites from infecting your skin and flesh. Australian health officials warn that “microbes in raw sewage can enter the body through the nose, mouth, open wounds or inhalation of aerosols or dusts,” according to the Workers Health Centre. Microbes that may be found in raw sewage include tetanus, Hepatitis A, E.

Wearing rubber gloves, rubber boots, a waterproof bodysuit, goggles, and a mask are the best ways to protect oneself from infection.

Protection can be provided by items such as sunglasses, pants, a long sleeved shirt or jacket (including a rain jacket), gardening gloves, and water-resistant hiking boots.

After you’ve finished cleaning up the sewage leak, throw away all of your protective clothing and go take a shower.

Contain the Spill

It is necessary to contain the sewage spill in order to prevent it from spreading and polluting a greater region. Most critical, prevent the spill from reaching storm drains or neighboring natural water sources. If at all feasible, turn off the main water supply to avoid any further water from entering the sewer. If there is evidence that debris is causing the sewage discharge, it is necessary to remove it. Immediately surround the spill with sandbags, soil, or plastic tarps in order to prevent the sewage from spreading farther.

Clean the Spill

Make sure to contain the sewage leak in order to prevent it from spreading and polluting a bigger region. Most critical, prevent the spill from reaching storm drains and surrounding natural water sources. To prevent further water from entering the sewer, turn off the main water supply if at all possible. If the source of the sewage leak is obvious, remove any material that is contributing to it. Immediately surround the spill with sandbags, soil, or plastic tarps in order to keep the sewage from spreading.


Bleach should be used to disinfect concrete and other man-made surfaces. Alaska’s Department of Environmental Conservation advises mixing 3/4 cup Clorox bleach with one gallon of water for a cleaning solution. Scrub all man-made surfaces with the bleach mixture using a brush broom or mop, taking care not to allow any bleach to enter storm drains or contaminate natural bodies of water throughout the cleaning process.

Use of bleach on grass, soil, or other natural surfaces is not recommended. In lieu of this, contact an environmental waste cleanup business, a septic tank firm, or your local health authority to come out and sanitize the area.


Engage the services of a professional plumber to resolve the issue that resulted in the sewage leak. In order to have the area inspected for severity of environmental pollution and further cleaned if necessary, you should notify an environmental waste clean-up business or your municipal health authority.

Sewage Spills: Do’s & Don’ts When a Septic or Sewage System Backs Up

The stench of sewage seeping into a business or property isn’t the only thing that you’ll notice when this happens. Even in little volumes, raw sewage may pose a major health concern to anyone who come into contact with it. Sewage spills include germs, viruses, and parasites, and if they are not cleaned up immediately and thoroughly, you run the risk of exposing your family or employees to serious illness and disease. Uncontrolled sewage overflows or spills can occur anywhere in the system, including: an overflowing septic tank, tree roots invading and blocking underground lines, misaligned sewage pipes that cause buildup over time, and blockages within the interior systems caused by improper materials flushed down toilets.

The degree of the pollution as well as the underlying cause of the spill will play a role in determining the next measures you must take.

  • If you’ve come into contact with sewage, assume that everything – even if it’s dry – has been contaminated. After the moisture has been removed, disease-causing pollutants will remain in the environment. Pay particular attention in close quarters, such as crawlspaces. Open any windows and doors to allow fresh air to circulate. In addition to sewage waste, pollutants are present in the air and can potentially include dangerous compounds in high concentrations. The additional air will also assist in lowering the humidity level and initiating the drying process. If there is any electrical power that may be safely turned off, do so. Water and electricity do not mix, just like they do in every other flood disaster. Remove yourself from the area if you are unable to reach the shutoffs without walking into the polluted area. Turn off any water sources that may be contributing to the clogging of the drain system. This includes the flushing of sinks and toilets. It may be essential to turn off the water supply to the building if this is necessary. If your system is tank-based, contact your septic firm, and if your system is connected to a public sewer, contact the sewer department. They may be able to assist you with emergency pumping as well as pinpointing the source of the leak if one exists. Make contact with a reputable environmental cleanup business. This is not a plumber (although you will very certainly require one at some point). Trained environmental remediation professionals will locate and manage the leak, as well as clean and sanitize the area in an environmentally friendly manner. They will employ all necessary safety equipment and adhere to HAZMAT regulations, securely dispose of hazardous items and contents, and guarantee that the property is dry and safe to return
  • They will If your property has been damaged, you should contact your insurance carrier.
  • Allow the sewage to settle for a while. On top of the bacteria and parasites present in the sewage, the dampness offers an ideal environment for the formation of potentially hazardous mold. Contaminants get airborne as a result of the unregulated drying process
  • Do not handle any of the sewage material, or anything it has come into touch with, without wearing appropriate protective equipment. A standard bar of soap or detergent will not be effective against the pollutants contained in wastewater. Start any air-conditioning, heating, or cooling systems. In the process, airborne germs that were previously contained to the spill region will be disseminated throughout the building and pollute the HVAC system. Relocate hazardous materials to a clean region where they may be disposed of. Pathogens can spread to surfaces they come into touch with, even if they are completely dry, until they are decontaminated. Transfer them to a secure staging place outside
  • If you can, avoid using traditional cleaning agents, especially those of professional quality, on structures, contents, or furniture. To safely eliminate bacteria, fungi, and other pathogens from surfaces, special detergents and disinfectants are required.

Located in the tri-state area of New Jersey, Philadelphia, and New York, Insurance Restoration Specialists, Inc. is a leading supplier of emergency response, remediation, and disaster recovery services for fire, flood, environmental disasters, and biohazards. Businesses will have a pre-qualified contractor with a master services agreement, pricing, and insurance in place before a crisis strikes if the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is included in their Emergency Response Plan (ERP).

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FACTS How To Safely Clean Up Yard Sewage

The accumulation of waste in your yard occurs when a pipe bursts, allowing raw sewage to stream out and settle in your yard. This is a serious subject that should never be put off or put off until a later date. It will not go away on its own, and the longer you wait to treat it, the more money you will spend, the more annoyance you will experience, and the more health hazards you will face. Being exposed to open sewage can result in a variety of serious infections, including hepatitis, if not treated promptly.

Call the Twin Home Experts immediately at (877) 941-1640 to schedule a no-obligation home assessment and estimate.

We are pleased to provide service to the Los Angeles County region. A sewage leak may happen to anybody at any time, even to those who have the most immaculate of homes. There are a variety of reasons why sewage might back up onto your yard, including:

  • Pipes bursting
  • Pipes loosening as a result of a backup
  • Pipe corrosion caused by aged pipes
  • Pipes are being obstructed by tree roots.

It is critical that you act quickly if you detect a sewage leak in your yard. Preventing more damage and restoring your yard to its natural, safe, and enjoyable state as soon as possible can save you money in the long run. Contact a specialist who can provide you with guidance on what to do next. You may be able to deal with a sewage leak on your own under exceptional situations. This should only be done after checking with the local health agency, a sewage cleanup business, or a plumber, among other professionals.

If the spill is modest, you can remediate it yourself using garden lime purchased from your local agricultural supply store or farm supply store.

When you come into close contact with sewage, you should constantly take steps to ensure your safety and protection.

  • Make a cover for your clothing out of a plastic garbage bag with openings cut out for your head and arms
  • Wear rubber gloves and boots to protect your hands and feet. Put on a mask and goggles to protect your face

To be on the safe side, wash your garments completely in hot water after cleaning, or toss them away altogether. Avoid eating or drinking in the immediate vicinity of the sewage and always wash your hands after coming into close proximity to the sewage. When dealing with a minor spill, follow these steps:

  • Using a generous amount of lime, cover the sewage with white dust (it should be totally coated). If required, work the lime into the thicker areas of the sewage using a rake. For a 24-hour period, leave the lime on the sewage. Transfer the leftover lime stuff into heavy garbage bags that have been doubled for extra protection
  • Using a hose, remove any residual lime from the surrounding area. Allow the area to dry completely in the sun
  • Rinse down the area again if necessary.

If you notice big volumes of raw sewage in your yard, it is recommended to contact a professional. A sewage cleanup firm can guarantee that the waste is correctly removed from your home in order to protect the health, safety, and convenience of your family. They do this by using specialized equipment and professional vehicles. A sewage leak in your yard may be daunting, costly, and perhaps hazardous if you attempt to fix it yourself. Fortunately, Twin Home Experts are here to assist you with any of your sewage and drain issues at any time of day or night.

To find out more, please contact us immediately.

Call the Twin Home Experts immediately at (877) 941-1640 to schedule a no-obligation home inspection in your area.

How To Fix A Leaking Septic Tank

Even though septic systems perform a very vital function, we rarely give them a moment’s thought. When they leak, on the other hand, the only thing we can worry about is the leak. Our water use is becoming increasingly restricted within our homes, and our septic tank is leaking into the yard, harming the environment and the health of the surrounding community.

Naturally, if and when this plumbing emergency occurs, we want to be prepared to handle the problem in a calm, efficient, and well-informed manner. Here, we’ll discuss the operation of a sewer system, the many methods of identifying a malfunction, and what to do in the case of a leak.

How Does a Septic System Work?

Despite the fact that there are many various septic system designs, their essential function is the same. They are all intended to transform home waste water (blackwater and graywater) into a less polluted effluent that can be blended with groundwater in a manner that has no detrimental influence on the environment or human well-being. Septic systems can be either passive or active, but passive septic systems account for the great majority of residential sewage systems. Generally speaking, passive systems are composed of three fundamental components:

  • This line transports wastewater from the house to the septic tank
  • It is also known as the inlet pipe. Septic tank: This container is used for the biological degradation of organic solid waste. The absorption component is commonly represented by a gravity drain field.

As a result of flushing your toilet, wastewater is channeled via an input pipe and into an underground septic tank. A proportional quantity of effluent is displaced in the tank when wastewater is introduced and exits to the drain field when wastewater is removed. Finally, the effluent is absorbed by the earth. In the septic tank, there are numerous anaerobic bacteria that feed on the solid organic material present in the effluent. The quantity of bacteria in the tank is dependent on the amount of organic material in the tank; thus, when the amount of organic material in the tank is low, the number of bacteria falls, and when the amount of water used is large, the quantity of bacteria grows.

  1. If this function is not there, the tank might quickly get depleted while the house is vacant, such as when a family is on vacation and no water is being utilized.
  2. In the wastewater industry, this period is referred to as “holding time,” and it may be described as the amount of time that passes between the time that wastewater enters the tank and the time that it flows out.
  3. Bacteria in the wastewater break down solid organic material contained in the wastewater during this time period, lowering the strength of the substance by around 40%.
  4. This, in turn, defines the length of the holding period and the amount of processing that takes place in the tank.
  5. The anaerobic bacteria in the drain field continue to cleanse the effluent, eliminating the majority of the organic material that remains before the effluent is absorbed into the groundwater.

Signs of Septic Tank Problems

Sewer backups and other sorts of damage to septic tanks can occur, and these problems are frequently accompanied by warning indications such as strange odors, unusually lush flora, and overflowing toilet bowls. Both new and old systems can experience problems, and a system failure can occur suddenly if a new family moves into the house, as their cooking, laundry, and showering habits are often different from those of the previous residents.

A new family’s cooking, laundry, and showering habits are often different from those of the previous residents. The following are some of the most typical warning indicators of a failing septic system:

1. Foul Odor

If you detect the stench of sewage gases, it is possible that one of the system’s lids has been broken or has been moved. This might be the lid that covers the filter access port or the riser that connects to the septic tank. Alternatively, these sewage gases might be escaping from the tank body itself, implying that the tank body may have fractures or holes in its outside. You may be aware of it for only a few minutes or for an extended amount of time. Make an effort to determine where the scents are the most potent in your environment.

Always remember that this odor might be originating from the drain field and that it does not necessarily indicate that your tank has been damaged.

2. Lush Vegetation

Lush vegetation can also be a warning indication that a septic tank is failing to function properly. Alternatively, it might indicate that the system is overflowing, or that a neighboring pipe has been broken or become loose in some way. If your drain field or filters become blocked, this may result in a damp area forming in the area surrounding the drain field or the tank, which will in turn encourage the growth of further plants.

3. Soggy Yard

You should be aware of wet ground surrounding your tank, which might indicate that septic tank water is seeping out of the ground. To begin with, make sure to rule out your sprinkler system, as this can also cause portions of your yard to get damp.

4. StandingWater Around Septic Tank

When soil is subjected to moist circumstances for an extended length of time, it is likely to compact. If you have a leak in your tank, the water that leaks might cause the soil in the surrounding area to settle and decrease as a result. In particular, if the area surrounding your septic tank contains loose backfill that was poured there after the septic tank was installed in the hole, this is a possibility. When earth settles and lowers down, it creates a collection point for water from rainfall and sprinklers to gather.

In addition, the sewage line that leads to the septic tank might be causing issues.

5. Toilets or Sinks Are Backing up or Slow to Drain

If these incidents occur frequently, they may serve as a signal that the tank has been damaged. The roots of trees can sometimes obstruct and cause harm to the region where wastewater comes out of the tank. In other cases, this is caused by a collapsed baffle, which can also result in clogs and the failure of the drain field. Tanks and sewer systems may potentially become backed up as a result of this. It is also possible that the tank will back up due to an excess of scum and debris in the tank.

If the scum and sludge together account for more than a third of the tank’s total capacity, the tank may fail and will most likely need to be emptied out of the system.

6. Alarm Sounds

If you have a more recent septic system, it is likely that it has a built-in alarm that will notify you if there is a problem. These alarms make a beeping sound or flash a red light when activated, and they may be installed either inside or outside of your home as needed.

Why Is My Septic Tank Leaking?

Septic tanks that overflow can be caused by a variety of circumstances, including a failure to properly maintain the system, contamination of wastewater with cleaning chemicals, environmental variables, and design defects.

1. Insufficient Maintenance

As wastewater passes through the tank, nonbiodegradable elements, as well as some solid debris, drop to the bottom of the tank almost instantly, according to the manufacturer. The level of muck increases with time. It is advised that septic tanks be drained every three to five years in order to avoid an overflow situation. Of course, the frequency with which the tank is pumped is determined by the size of the tank as well as the amount of wastewater it holds. If there are four persons in a home with a 1,000-gallon storage tank, the tank should be pumped every two and a half years.

2. Cleaning Products Are Killing the Useful Bacteria

Septic tank bacteria, as previously indicated in this article, aid in the breakdown of wastewater before it is discharged into a drainage field or pond. If the numbers of bacteria in the tank are insufficient, the solids will not be broken down and will begin to collect at a faster pace than usual, resulting in a clogged tank. This may result in the tank overflowing or the blockage of drainage lines or trenches in the surrounding area. Bacterial levels in wastewater can be reduced as a result of the presence of cleaning chemicals in the wastewater.

To ensure that cleaning agents such as bleach, toilet cleansers, and disinfectants do not enter the waste pipe system, it is essential that they are kept out of the system entirely.

3. Damaged Pipes Between Tank and Drainage Field

Upon leaving the septic tank, effluent that has been broken down is sent via a series of pipelines and into a drainage field. If the pipes in this region are broken, it is possible that an overflow will occur as well. Tree roots have been known to grow through pipes, causing the walls of the pipes to collapse and preventing appropriate drainage from occurring. Overflow can also occur as a result of blocked drains.

4. Poorly Designed System

Overflow might occur from a system that has been constructed incorrectly on occasion. Drainage pipes normally require a slope of 1 to 2 percent in order for the wastewater to drain adequately through them. Water will not flow as efficiently through pipes with a shallow slope, and the pipe will need to be rebuilt if it is too shallow.

Solutions for a Leaking Septic Tank

In the event that you discover a leak, how do you deal with the situation effectively? Here are some of our best recommendations:

1. Do Not Pump Water Out

Start with something you certainly should not do: pumping water from your tank onto your yard is not a good idea. This creates a serious health threat since children and dogs may be able to walk through it, and it has the potential to make its way into a nearby stream. This, in turn, might result in the spread of waterborne sickness, which can be extremely fatal and spread quickly from person to person.

2. Determine the Exact Location of Your System

Whenever a tank is flooded, water can enter through any entrance, including the intake and exit pipes, the manhole cover, and the tank lid. This may then result in groundwater filling the tank, which may take dirt and silt with it as a byproduct. As a result, any floating trash that has already accumulated inside the tank, such as scum, will rise to the surface and may clog the tank’s inlet and outflow pipes. It is possible that water from the drain field will find its way into the tank. You should determine the precise location of the tank and drain field on your property before beginning any work.

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Your septic system may have been installed by them and they may have files providing information about it.

By driving a pointed metal rod into the ground at the top of the tank, you can determine the depth down to the bottom of the tank.

3. Inspect for Damage

Inspect the area around the septic tank and drain field for any signs of damage or malfunction. Things like holes in the soil and dirt sinking are examples of common signs. If you see any symptoms of damage, you should contact a qualified specialist to come and evaluate your system for you immediately. While the earth is saturated, it is best not to operate heavy gear near the drain field or storage tank.

4. Measure the Depth of the Groundwater

The depth of groundwater around the tank and the drain field should be measured. It is possible to achieve this with a soil probe, or you may dig a hole using an auger. This should be done within 10 feet of your tank and around 20 feet of the drain field. It is OK to utilize your tank as a holding tank if you establish that the tank’s top is at least 3 feet above the water table but that the drain field is still saturated or inundated. In this scenario, you should have the tank pumped, but you should make sure that at least 50% of the tank’s capacity remains in the tank after the pumping.

It is possible that water will enter the tank while it is being pumped from the drain field and the home.

All but one mound system is placed 2 to 4 feet below the ground’s surface, and this is where most drain fields are located.

It will take a long time until the groundwater recedes to the level of the drain field’s bottom. It might take anywhere from a week to many months to complete the process. Monitor the depth of the water table surrounding the drain field on a frequent basis to avoid causing harm.

5. If You Have a Mound System, Turn off the Power

The depth of groundwater surrounding the tank and the drain field should be determined. This can be accomplished using a soil probe or by digging a hole with an auger. This should be done within 10 feet of your tank and around 20 feet of the drainfield. As long as the top of the tank is at least 3 feet above the water table and the drain field is not saturated or inundated, you may utilize your tank as a holding tank for the water. This is a situation in which you should have the tank pumped, but you should ensure that at least 50% of the tank’s capacity remains in the tank.

The tank may be filled with water from the drain field and the home while the tank is being pumped.

Unless they are part of a mound system, the majority of drain fields are positioned 2 to 4 feet below surface level of the land.

It might take anywhere from a week to many months to complete the process.

6. Reduce Water Use

As soon as the septic system is operational again, it is beneficial for the home to limit their water use. Check to see that there are no leaky sinks or showers, and that there are no running toilets. Even if a faucet drips only one drop every 15 seconds, the cumulative effect over time might result in a significant amount of water being accumulated in the septic tank. In the event that any fixtures leak, get them fixed as quickly as possible. The water from your basement sump pump should not be discharged into your septic tank for safety reasons.

In addition, rainwater from roof gutters should be diverted away from the drainage field.

When attempting to reduce your water consumption, utilize common sense.

If the water table in the area surrounding the drain field is high, the drain field’s capacity to manage the water from your home is severely restricted.

7. If You Continue to Experience Problems, Hire a Licensed Professional

If you’re still experiencing plumbing problems after the water table has returned to normal levels, it’s possible that the septic tank or drain field has been compromised. It is possible for groundwater to set or move when the level of the water is high, which can have an impact on the septic tank as well as the drain field’s distribution system.

The inlets and outputs of the septic tank may potentially become clogged as a result of this. If any of these things occur, call a septic system installation or a qualified septic tank pumper for assistance.

Contact Us for Your Septic Needs

However, one thing this essay did not teach you was how to repair a leaky septic tank. This is due to the fact that it is preferable to leave this difficult and potentially hazardous task in the hands of trained experts. You can count on Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Greater Syracuse to provide you with septic system repair services if you are a homeowner or a business owner in need of septic services in or around the greater Syracuse, New York, area. The best of both worlds is what you get when you work with Mr.

  1. In Onondaga County, our plumbers are trained and licensed in the detection of leaks and the completion of all plumbing-related jobs.
  2. With a diverse spectrum of plumbing difficulties ranging from minor drain troubles to emergency pipe repairs, they have dealt with them all before.
  3. We also provide new septic system installation.
  4. If you need to schedule an appointment on our website, or if you are in need of emergency repairs, you can reach us at any time by dialing(315) 472-1203.

Backups, Leaks and Odors

In the event that sewage is backing up within your home’s drains or surfacing outside your property, or if you detect foul odors in and around your home, it is possible that your septic system is malfunctioning. The most likely perpetrators are as follows:

  • Absence of maintenance – If solid waste accumulates in the tank to an excessive level, it may be driven out of the tank and into the drainfield, where it might cause clogging of the gravel and soil. The result might be a backup of wastewater or an eruptive eruption from the earth. Fittings that are missing, damaged, or worn – Tee fittings and baffles are tank components that are used to slow down the input and outflow of wastewater, respectively. The purpose is to provide bacteria enough time to digest waste while also allowing for the separation of solids, grease, and scum from liquids during the process. If any of these fittings are damaged, the system will not function as it should. Because of the obsolete “perc” soil testing procedure, some septic tanks have been constructed in soils that would not pass a site inspection today under the current standards. There are also other elements that might influence the lifetime of a septic system, including annual maintenance. A septic system is not intended to endure indefinitely. Incorrect installation – tanks installed backwards, drainfield sections that are not level, soil that has been compressed by heavy machinery – there are many things that might go wrong during the installation process. Misuse – When more people live in a home than the home was built to accommodate, it might lead to difficulties in the future. In the case of a three-bedroom home that is subsequently transformed into a rental property that “sleeps 12,” a septic tank intended for that residence will be prone to failure.

Check out our septic tank maintenance recommendations. Water Flooding – What to DoWhen grass surrounds a tank or drainfield, it indicates the presence of a leak or other issue. A septic tank pit that had been exposed to the elements and was full to ground level with disgusting-looking backed-up sewage tank garbage.

Your Legal Responsibility

If the Department of Health and Human Services receives a complaint about a failing septic system or links a pollution problem to a failing septic system, the owner will be served with a notice informing them that they are in violation of Regulation 61-56, Onsite Wastewater Systems, and that they must repair their failing septic tank system immediately. For individual households, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) does not provide any funding or financing alternatives to assist with the repair or replacement of failing septic systems or the construction of new residential septic systems.

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Regular inspections and pumping (by DHEC-licensed septic tank contractors or pumpers) of your septic system are the most effective and least expensive methods of keeping your septic system in good functioning condition.


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Cleaning Up the Mess After a Sewage Backup

Being caught off guard by indicators of a sewage flow is something no homeowner wants to experience. Not only does this filth cause difficulties in your house, but it also has a negative impact on the health of you and your family. You will not be able to mend or clean up the mess if you attempt to deal with the matter on your own. You should keep reading if you’ve just had a sewage backup in your house or want to learn how you may avoid a sewage backup from occurring in the future and aren’t sure what to do next.

What to Do Immediately Following a Sewage Backup?

There are many crucial steps that must be followed in order to keep the problem from spreading further. Immediately after discovering that your home has had a sewage backlog, you should take the following steps to protect yourself and your family:

  1. Make sure that all children, pets, and elderly people are removed from the house. Do not let them back into the area until the damage has been entirely repaired and the area has been declared safe. Put on whatever protective clothes you have, such as rubber boots, rubber gloves, eye protection, a face mask, and so on, to keep yourself safe while working. If the distribution panel is above water, turn off the electricity with a dry wooden stick and rubber gloves
  2. Otherwise, turn off the electricity. Turn off the water in your home and refrain from using any water for bathing, drinking, washing your hands or dishes, or doing anything else that requires water. It is possible that this water is tainted. Depending on how dangerous it is to switch off your utilities yourself, you may need to contact your utility company and have them shut off the supply to your home. Open all of the doors and windows in your home to allow for optimum air flow. Your air conditioning system will not be effective since it will disseminate tainted air throughout your home. Any things that are not contaminated and are dry should be removed from the area. You may add modest amounts of chlorine bleach to the standing water to disinfect it a little bit more effectively. Make contact with your insurance company and inform them of the situation. The damage caused by the sewage backup should be documented using photos if possible. This will come in helpful as proof when it comes time to file a claim. Never try to unclog the drains on your own. First and foremost, you will need to clean up the sewage leak before proceeding with the rest of the plan.

What Causes a Sewage Backup?

Some people believe that a blockage in the sewage system is the cause of a sewage backup. In actuality, a blockage isn’t the only thing that might cause a sewage backup to occur. A blockage might be caused by grease or a piece of rubbish becoming stuck in the drain. A sewage backlog is more likely to occur as a result of a leak in a pipe. There are a variety of reasons why a leak might occur. Consider the possibility that a pipe was broken during a building job. An obstruction is not the source of this sort of dysfunction.

These sewer lines, like humans, become old and need to be replaced.

Installing new sewer pipes may be a lifesaver for sewer systems, as it can prevent sewage backup problems from occurring.

Tree roots can enter sewer lines through fractures, but they can cause damage to the pipes, resulting in a sewage backup problem.

Things to Remember

When dealing with a sewage leak in your house, there are some important considerations to keep in mind. Keeping these important pointers in mind can assist you in keeping your house and family safe, preventing more damage, and ensuring that your insurance company has all of the documentation they want.

  1. Along with your photographs, the insurance company will need you to submit invoices for any work that was required as a result of the backup, for any goods purchased to help in the cleansing and repair of your house, and for any objects that were damaged and had to be replaced. Maintain as much separation as possible between the contaminated area and the rest of the house. This involves closing any doors that lead to or are connected to the affected location. When you keep the doors closed, you reduce the likelihood of polluted air moving into the adjacent rooms. It is not recommended that you put strong chemicals in your pipes to attempt to remedy the problem. This can cause significant damage to your pipes, and you should seek the assistance of a professional plumber instead. Professional plumbers are well-versed in the right methods of pipe cleaning.

How to Start Cleaning and Sanitizing?

Before attempting to clean up the area on your own without the assistance of a professional, be sure you are properly protected.

You’ll also want to think about the dangers of starting the cleansing process on your own. It is usually preferable to enlist the assistance of specialists to guarantee that the task is completed appropriately. Here are some suggestions on how you can start clearing up the mess:

  1. Natural drainage or a pump can be used to discharge any backed-up water and sewage. You’ll need to get in touch with the appropriate authorities to find out where the sewage should be properly discharged. Remove and remove any dirt or debris that has accumulated on the surfaces that have come into touch with the sewage
  2. Wash down any walls, floors, and other surfaces that may have been contaminated by sewage water in a thorough manner. Make use of a low-suds detergent and hot, clean water
  3. After cleaning, thoroughly rinse the surfaces with warm water. Using a sanitizing solution, disinfect all of the surfaces. With addition, take careful not to infect neighboring rooms by strolling into them in unkempt shoes. Open any windows and doors going outdoors to allow fresh air to circulate around the space.
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How to Prevent a Sewage Backup?

It’s important to appreciate the necessity of taking all necessary precautions to avoid a sewage backlog in your house if you’ve ever experienced one. You will be grateful that you took the time to go through the instructions on how to prevent a sewage backlog in your house, even if you have never encountered one before. Here are some preventative measures you may take to avoid a sewage backup:

  1. Make sure that all of the pipes and valves in your house and on your property are inspected on a regular basis. Check to see that they are in excellent shape and that any necessary repairs have been completed
  2. Do not flush significant quantities of chemical items down the toilet or into the sewage system. Do not flush anything other than toilet paper down the toilet
  3. This includes paper towels. It is not a good idea to pour grease down the kitchen sink because it may solidify in the pipes. Planting trees near pipes should be avoided since the roots of the trees might cause the pipes to burst.

When to Call in the Professionals?

The best course of action when confronted with a sewage backlog is to call in the pros. Even while there are some precautions you may take in order to ensure everyone’s safety and to begin the cleaning process, it is best left to the professionals who will come in and do the work professionally and safely. At Fischer Plumbing, we’ll take on the project while providing you with the assurance that it’s being done correctly the first time around. Contact us now to learn more about how we can assist you with all of your plumbing requirements!

Fact Sheet: Cleaning up After Flood & Sewer Backups

Bacteria, fecal debris, viruses, and other organisms linked with sewage water backups have the potential to cause illness. Make use of the information provided here to preserve your health and ward off sickness.

How do sewer backups occur?

  • Flooding of sanitary sewers as a result of heavy rain Blockage in a private sewage line (at a residence or in an apartment building)
  • Blockage in a public sanitary sewer line difficulties with plumbing, such as clogged gutters/down spouts or sump pumps that are attached to sanitary sewers

How do I clean up after floods and sewer backups?

  • The smells emanating from sewage backups are unpleasant, but they are not hazardous. It is critical to remove and clean up sewage water. Wash infected surfaces/objects with warm, soapy water and disinfect with a bleach/water solution (one cap of 5.25 percent chlorine bleach per one gallon water) to remove any remaining contamination. Remove infected things from the environment, or wash and disinfect them adequately if they are still usable. Wearing rubber boots and gloves throughout the removal and cleanup is recommended.

How do I prevent disease during floods and sewer backups?

  • Avoid contact with sewage water on your skin, especially if you have wounds or sores. Maintain their cleanliness and protection
  • Allowing children to play in hazardous locations due to sewage overflow is strictly prohibited. Avoid consuming or drinking anything that has been exposed to sewage water. Maintain a safe distance between infected items, water, and hands and mucous membranes (mouth, eyes, and nose)
  • Frequently wash your hands, especially after using the toilet and before eating anything, and immediately after coming into touch with sewage water or infected objects or surfaces.

When disinfecting contaminated objects…

  • When using bleach, read and follow the directions on the label. Cleaning products should never be mixed. Ammonia should not be used.

Additional cleanup recommendations and precautions

The following recommendations may aid in the prevention of illness spread and the reduction of property loss.


Main power switches should be turned off. Before using any appliances or electrical outlets that have been exposed to water, make sure they are completely dry. If you have fuel oil or gas systems, make certain that the tanks are safe and that none of the lines are broken.

Carpets and rugs

Keeping carpets in situ and washing them with a mild detergent will help you save money on carpet replacement expenses. Carpets that have been cleaned after removal almost invariably shrink beyond repair. Carpets and rugs that have been exposed to a lot of water must be removed in order to be professionally cleaned. Remove any silt that has developed on your carpet liner. It is usually necessary to remove the carpet liner since it cannot be cleaned well enough. If you want, you may hire a trustworthy carpet cleaning company.

Floors, drapes andfurniture

All items in your home, including clothes, that have been exposed to flood waters should be scrubbed and washed. Utilize the city water supply if it is available; it has been properly chlorinated to give moderate disinfection. Use cold tap water with soap instead of boiling the water, as heating the water will remove the chlorine content. Floors and other flood-affected surfaces should be cleansed with a chlorine solution manufactured from household bleach before being resurfaced. Prepare the solution by combining one heaping tablespoon of bleach (5.25 percent) with every four gallons of water in a large container.


Open all of the windows to allow for proper drying and ventilation. Make use of electric fans.

Food and water safety

Food that has been exposed to floodwaters should be thrown away. If floodwaters have infiltrated refrigerators and/or freezers, throw away any food that has been kept there. In the event that no flood water reached these appliances but power was out long enough for meals to thaw, discard any partially thawed items unless they are going to be cooked right away. Milk, cheese, and other items that are prone to deterioration should be thrown away. Meats and vegetables that have been completely thawed should be tossed without hesitation.

If at all possible, keep floodwaters away from your mouth, nose, eyes, and skin. Floodwaters have the potential to transport germs and other pollutants. Children should not be allowed to play in the water. All contaminated utensils and cookware should be washed and sanitized.


More information may be obtained by calling the Hamilton County Public Health Department at 513-946-7800. This fact sheet is also available in a printable version by clicking here.

250 William Howard Taft Road2nd Floor, Cincinnati, OH 45219Phone 513.946.7800 Fax

Sewage overflows at home – Better Health Channel

  • Septic tank failure, backflow from the sewerage system, or flooding that contains sewage are all reasons for sewage overflows to occur at home
  • Nonetheless, sewage overflows are more common in urban areas. Bacteria, viruses, and protozoa are among the hazardous microbes that may be found in sewage. Diseases such as gastroenteritis can be contracted by direct contact with sewage or surfaces that have been polluted by sewage. When cleaning, make sure to use safety clothes (such as rubber gloves, boots, and eye protection). If you are unsure about the safety of your water source, wait until you have confirmed it is safe. A licensed plumber may be able to tell you whether or not your sewage system is functioning properly.

Sewage overflows at home

Spillages of sewage contain pathogenic microbes such as bacteria, viruses, and protozoa, which can result in diseases such as gastroenteritis. A number of factors contribute to sewage spills include broken or clogged plumbing, sewer system backflow, septic tank damage, and flood water. If you have an overflowing toilet in your house, the first thing you should do is safeguard yourself and your family. Direct contact with sewage and other polluted surfaces should be avoided. Disinfect any surface that has come into contact with sewage.

When cleaning, use a non-contaminated water source — do not use your own water supply if you are unsure about the cleanliness of your water supply.

It is essential that any malfunctioning (blocked, damaged, broken, or worn-out) portions of a sewage system be fixed as soon as possible once they cease to function properly.

Public health advice

  • Wash your hands often, especially after handling contaminated surfaces or before preparing food
  • Maintain excellent hygiene habits
  • All polluted locations should be cleaned and disinfected. Make sure that children and dogs stay away from contaminated objects and spaces until they have been thoroughly cleansed. If you feel that your plumbing or septic tank system has been damaged, call a plumber right once. Septic tanks should be cleaned devoid of silt and debris. A professional should pump out your tank as quickly as possible when it has been determined that access to your tank is safe for the vehicle. Consult your local business directory to find a licensed contractor to do septic tank pumping services. If you see sewage spilling outside your property line, you should contact your local water company or local municipality. The problem may be accessed through your local water company. Depending on where the leak is located, either the water company or the householder may be responsible for the problem. Use bottled or boiling water instead of tap water for non-drinking purposes such as washing dishes and brushing your teeth if your private water supply has been polluted. If you become ill or injured, seek medical attention immediately.

Clean-up procedures

  • A chlorine solution made by mixing one cup of home chlorine bleach with 10 litres of cold water (about a bucketful) can be used as a disinfectant. Before you begin cleaning, be certain that all electrical dangers have been addressed. Call a competent electrician to take care of this for you, or turn off the electricity at the main switchboard or fuse box. Wearing protective clothes, such as rubber gloves, boots, and eye protection, is recommended. Hands should be washed with soap and water on a regular basis. You should wash yourself promptly if you acquire something on your skin when cleaning. Remove any standing water. Any contaminated home items that cannot be cleaned or disinfected successfully should be thrown away. These materials may include carpeting and mattresses, upholstered furniture, and children’s soft toys. Drywall, plasterboard, and insulation that has been polluted should be discarded. If you are unsure of how to accomplish this or are concerned about the structural stability of the structure, get advice from a building professional. Prepare utensils by soaking them in a chlorine solution. To disinfect hard surfaces, use a chlorine solution and let it wet for 10 minutes before wiping down with clean cold water. After that, thoroughly rinse the area with clean, cold water. Bleach the mop heads, brooms, and brushes to disinfect them. All contaminated areas should be cleaned and disinfected with cold water and detergent, followed by disinfection with a chlorine solution. Keep a close eye on your cooking utensils and surfaces, such as walls, benchtops, and floors, in particular. Throw away any and all food, food containers, and medications that have been contaminated, including canned and packaged foods. Shoes should be cleaned and dried thoroughly, and contaminated clothing should be washed in hot water with soap. Mixing with unaffected footwear or apparel is not recommended. Remember to wash your work clothing once you’ve completed cleaning. Also, ensure that your home has appropriate air to aid in the drying process. Ventilators, air conditioning systems, and dehumidifiers can all be beneficial. Cuts and wounds should be treated as soon as possible. After disinfecting the wound, use a waterproof bandage to keep it from becoming infected again. Open wounds should be kept as clean as possible by cleaning thoroughly with soap and clean water. Mould or mildew may form if items are not thoroughly dried after they are removed from the heat source. In order to clear mold, the Department of Health and Human Services gives information and recommendations
  • If the exterior of your home has been harmed, clean any hard surfaces with a chlorine solution to prevent further damage. Further information about sewage management may be found at the Department of Health and Human Services website.

Where to get help

  • Consult with your local water company or the Environmental Health Officer of your municipality for guidance. Water Unit, Department of Health and Human Services, telephone number: 1300 761 874
  • If you need emergency assistance during a flood, call the State Emergency Services of Victoria at (03) 132 500. If you or anybody in your family is experiencing symptoms of illness, see your doctor. Business dealing with water in the area
  • A plumber who is licensed to practice

This page was created in conjunction with and with the approval of the following individuals: This page was created in conjunction with and with the approval of the following individuals:

Content disclaimer

The material included on this website is given solely for informational reasons. Information regarding a therapy, service, product, or treatment is not intended to be an endorsement or support of that therapy, service, product, or treatment, nor is it intended to be a substitute for advice from your doctor or other qualified health professional. Although the information and resources featured on this website are extensive in nature, they do not purport to be a full guide to the therapy, product, or treatment discussed on the website.

The State of Victoria and the Department of Health accept no responsibility for any actions taken as a result of a user’s reliance on the content published on this website.

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