If you have a conventional septic system, heavy rainfall that comes with floods can make the system to stop working. As rainwater floods over your drain field, the effluent from the septic tank will have no place to drain because the ground under the drain field is already saturated with water.If you have a conventional septic system, heavy rainfall that comes with floods can make the system to stop working. As rainwater floods over your
Septic drain field – Wikipedia
, the effluent from the septic tank will have no place to drain because the ground under the drain field is already saturated with water.
- Heavy rain poses another potential problem to the septic system’s drainfield. As the rain comes down, it can collect inside this component. If the drainfield becomes saturated, it will be unable to absorb wastewater properly. The water won’t have anywhere else to go, and it can potentially overflow your septic tank.
How do you fix a slow draining sink on a septic system?
Baking Soda and Vinegar Dump a couple of teaspoons of baking soda into your clogged drain, followed by one half cup of vinegar. This will create a fizzing action that may cause a fizz-like eruption. This is normal. This fizzing action may help to break the clog up and get things moving in your drain once again.
How do I stop my septic tank from backing up when it rains?
How to Prevent Septic System Problems During Heavy Rain
- Pump your septic tank every 3-5 years. Pumping the septic tank every 3-5 years will keep the solid side of the tank from over flowing into the liquid side of the tank that drains to the leach field.
- Install septic tank risers and lids.
- Check baffle tees.
Will a lot of rain affect your septic?
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.
How do you tell if your drain field is clogged?
Stay vigilant for five signs your drainfield does not drain correctly anymore.
- Slowing Drainage. Homeowners first notice slower than usual drainage from all the sinks, tubs, and toilets in a home when they have a compromised drainfield.
- Rising Water.
- Increasing Plant Growth.
- Returning Flow.
- Developing Odors.
How do I know if my septic line is clogged?
Signs of Septic System Clogging: Water and sewage from toilets, drains and sinks backing up into your home. Bathtubs, showers, and sinks draining slowly. Gurgling sounds present in the plumbing system. Bad odors coming from the septic tank or drain field.
What causes slow drains on septic system?
The most common one is the overuse of the system. This means that too many people are using or too much water is being used in the household or building that the usage has gone beyond the system’s capacity. Another common cause of this problem is the lack of or delay in inspection, maintenance, and pumping.
How long does it take for a flooded septic tank to drain?
In a conventional system, the septic tank holds wastewater for 2-3 days as the anaerobic bacteria treat it.
How long does it take for a drain field to dry out?
Except for mound systems, most drainfields are 2 to 4 feet below the ground surface. The groundwater will take time to recede to the level of the bottom of the drainfield. This could happen within a week or two or require a couple of months.
Does a septic tank stay full of water?
Depending on the size of tank and number of the home’s occupants, a septic tank will usually fill back up to its normal liquid level after it has been pumped out within a few days to a week.
How does rain water get into septic tank?
Clogged Drainfield As the rain comes down, it can collect inside this component. If the drainfield becomes saturated, it will be unable to absorb wastewater properly. The water won’t have anywhere else to go, and it can potentially overflow your septic tank.
Why is my drain field wet?
If you notice puddles on the field, it is possible that a hydraulic overload has caused the water to rise to the surface. With a clogged leach field, the pressure is causing the water to rise. When discharged in large quantities, wastewater can literally puddle on the ground.
Will a flooded septic tank fix itself?
Most septic tanks are not damaged by flooding since they are below ground and completely covered. However, septic tanks and pump chambers can fill with silt and debris, and must be professionally cleaned. If the soil absorption field is clogged with silt, a new system may have to be installed.
What happens to your septic system during heavy rain?
In the case of a typical septic system, excessive rainfall that occurs in conjunction with flooding might cause the system to malfunction. As precipitation washes over your drain field, the effluent from your septic tank will have nowhere to drain since the earth underneath the drain field has already become saturated with water from the downpour. Septic waste will begin to back up inside the home and overflow onto the yard as a result of this situation. According to traditional systems, waste is held for two to three days in the septic tank while the anaerobic bacteria treat it.
The pathogens in the water are eliminated by aerobic bacteria as it travels through the gravel in the leach field before the water is recycled back into the groundwater system.
This will cause the wastewater to build up in the tank and overflow into the leachfield as a consequence.
Signs of a flooded drain field
The greatest thing you can do if you are having severe rains in your region is to keep an eye out for any telltale indications of a flooded drain field. Here are a few examples of warning signs:
- Drains that are sluggish in the house
- When flushing the toilet, the water drains slowly
- Gurgling noises coming from the toilet and drains
- Backing up of water into the floor drains and the basement is an issue.
Septic systems are intended to manage solely the wastewater generated by the home. In reality, the size of the septic tank that is put on a property is determined by the number of people that live there (number of bedrooms). If storm runoff water gets into the septic tank, it will overflow, and because the soil in the leachfield will already be excessively saturated, the water will begin to back up into the home or from the manhole, causing it to fail.
Maintaining the septic system BEFORE the heavy rains
If your septic system is properly maintained, it should be able to tolerate strong rains without failing. In order to prevent this from happening, you should always pump your septic tank on time and check to see that it is operating smoothly throughout the year. Due to the fact that anaerobic bacteria are required to liquefy the waste in your septic tank, it is in your best interest to guarantee that the bacteria in the tank are in the best possible condition. First and foremost, you must refrain from using any poisonous agents that might kill the beneficial bacteria, such as scented soaps, antibacterial soaps, paint, and so on.
It is the enzymes and bacteria that are introduced into the septic tank by the additives that aid in the restoration of its efficiency.
What to do if the weather forecast warns of a looming storm
If the weather prediction has indicated that a flood is imminent, take the following preventative procedures to assist protect your system in advance of the flood:
- Remove anything that might be an entrance point into the septic system
- To guarantee that additional rainwater does not find its way into the tank, all inspection points should be sealed. Turn off the pump at the circuit box before the area becomes completely submerged in water. If your mound system has a pump at the lift station, turn off the electricity to it if it is connected to the grid. If you want to safeguard the pump from harm, you may even take it out of the system completely. To prevent electrical wire from becoming damaged or from being shocked, it is necessary to waterproof any electrical connection in the system.
Maintaining the septic system DURING the heavy rains
Once the heavy rains begin, it is recommended that you refrain from using water for anything that is not absolutely necessary. The goal is to keep the system from becoming even more overburdened than it already is. For example, flush the toilet only when it is absolutely required and decrease the number of showers or the length of each shower. Using the toilet and faucets should be avoided entirely if your drain field becomes clogged with water. A flooded drain field indicates that the system is already clogged, and you don’t want to make an already poor problem even worse by adding to it.
Maintaining the septic system AFTER the heavy rains
Do not attempt to get the septic tank drained until the floodwaters have subsided completely. While flood waters are rising, pumping the tank in the middle of a flood might force it to float out of the ground, causing significant damage to the entire system. One thing to keep in mind is that the problem is not with the septic tank itself, but rather with moist soil in the drain field. The most effective course of action is to discontinue usage of the system until the floodwaters recede and the earth around the drain field region has dried up.
- Do not discharge the water from the basement sump pump into the septic tank. Rainwater from your roof gutters should be diverted away from the drain field to avoid flooding. Discontinue the use of the garbage disposal and dishwasher. Showers should be taken less often and for shorter periods of time
- Sponge baths should be used whenever feasible. While brushing your teeth, do not turn on the water. Alternatively, you might use a laundry service.
Sometimes the backlog is a more serious problem than the stormwater itself; it might be caused by a clogged drainfield, for example. In the event that organic waste is allowed to exit the septic tank prematurely, it may clog the drainfield, resulting in sewage backups. A pumping operation will not solve the problem in this situation since the tank will quickly fill up again after the pumping operation is completed. To eliminate the blockage, the most effective technique would be to use a shock therapy.
Each of these biological additions introduces millions of bacteria into the septic system, liquefying the organic waste and unclogging the system as a result of their presence.
Safety precautions after a heavy downpour
If the floodwaters were very severe, you could be forced to temporarily vacate your residence. Unless it is absolutely essential to evacuate, do not return to your home until you have checked with the appropriate authorities to confirm that all advisories have been rescinded. Other vital safety precautions to be aware of are as follows:
- When the dirt around the drain field is still moist, it is not recommended to dig around it. Heavy machinery should not be used over the drainfield as well since it might produce soil compaction, which will make it difficult for aerobic bacteria in the drainfield to obtain adequate oxygen. It is possible that the scum layer in the septic tank rose to the surface and blocked the exit. As a result, you should inspect the outlet tee once the flooding has stopped to ensure that it is not obstructed. Before handling any of the electrical equipment that are part of the system, make sure they are fully dry. Upflow filters, media filters, aerobic plants, and other components of sophisticated systems that are susceptible to clogging by mud and debris from floods might get clogged. As a result, you should properly clean these systems before bringing them back into service.
Providing you take excellent care of the system before the water hits, it should be able to withstand the storm without difficulty. That being said, there are some storms that are simply too severe for any system to manage, especially if you continue to use water in the manner in which you are used.
If this is the case, you may want to consult with an expert who can evaluate the system and assist you in correcting any damage that may have occurred. Otherwise, simply adhere to the recommendations provided above and you will be OK.
Prevent Septic System Problems During Heavy Rain
Do you have a slow-draining toilet in your bathroom? When you flush your toilet, does it make a gurgling sound? Is there standing water in your leach field area that has a foul odor to it? All of these concerns might be signs of septic problems, which are more common during years with a lot of rain. Heavy rains can cause ground water levels to increase, resulting in flooded leach fields that are unable to function efficiently. If your septic system has not been properly maintained, heavy rains might potentially cause difficulties.
In the event that solid waste makes its way to the leach field, it has the potential to block the leach lines or, even worse, clog the soil pores.
You can maintain your septic tank running smoothly by doing the following preventative maintenance procedures:
- Every 3-5 years, you should pump out your septic tank. It is recommended to pump the septic tank every 3-5 years to prevent the solids side of the tank from overflowing into the liquid side of the tank, which drains to the leach field. Riser and lids for septic tanks should be installed. The majority of tanks are buried beneath the earth and are not easily accessible. In order to prevent flooding, it is recommended to have your septic tank dug up and to build risers with lids at the ground level. If a problem does arise, septic tank risers and lids make it possible to make repairs more quickly and at a lower cost. It will be necessary to locate and dig up your underground septic tank lid, or to hire someone to do it for you, in order for the tank to be serviced if you do not have risers and lids. Most septic tanks have their tops buried between 1′ and 3′ below the surface of the ground. Check out the baffle shirts. Inside the tank, baffle tees can be located on each side of the pipes leading into and out of the tank. Ties used to block the flow of wastewater are called baffle tees. The baffle tee allows incoming trash to flow into the tank below the crust level, allowing it to be recycled. Check to see that the baffle tees are correctly placed and that they are not blocked with debris. If a baffle tee is not present, this will result in tank stoppages because the solid side crust level will prevent the flow of incoming waste from entering the tank.
If you require expert septic tank services in the local area, contact Fletcher’s Plumbing Contracting at 530-285-3793 now. Visit our website for further details.
4 Things to Do When Your Septic Tank Is Flooded
If your neighborhood has recently been flooded or has been subjected to strong rains, you may discover that your toilet isn’t flushing properly and that your drains are draining more slowly than usual. It is possible that raw sewage will back up into your tub and sink drains. Drains that are slow or clogged may signal that the water table has risen over the level of your septic field and septic tank. If you believe that your septic system has been flooded, there are four things you should do immediately.
- Check the level of groundwater in your area.
- Septic tanks are typically located a few feet below the surface of the earth.
- If you are aware of the location of your septic tank and drainfield, you should check the water level in the area to ensure that flooding is not a concern.
- When there isn’t any evident standing water in the area, use a probe to check the water level or an auger to dig deep into the earth to find out how much water is there.
- If your tests reveal that the water level is higher than the top of the septic tank, you should immediately cease utilizing the tank.
- Until the Ground Becomes Dry When you believe that your septic system has been flooded, contact a septic pumping specialist immediately; however, you must wait until the earth has become less soggy before having your tank drained.
- If a septic tank is pumped out when the earth is saturated, it may potentially float out of its location.
- Following a decrease in the water table level, it is necessary to pump your system as quickly as feasible.
- Approximately 70 gallons of water are flushed down the toilet per person every day in the average home.
The first step is to check for leaks in all of your fixtures. An inoperable toilet flapper or fill mechanism can leak up to 200 gallons per day, creating a backup of water that your flooded septic system doesn’t have room for. Other suggestions for keeping water out of the drains are as follows:
- Prepare meals that don’t require cooking, such as sandwiches. Disposable flatware, such as paper plates and paper cups, should be used. Showers are preferable to baths because they are shorter. Save the rinse water and put it to good use on the plants. Only flush the toilet when absolutely essential
If your clothes washing machine drains into your main sewage line, it can cause a significant amount of water to be discharged into your septic system. Wash your garments at the laundry until the water table begins to fall below the surface. In the event that you must use the washing machine, wash only modest loads and wait a few hours between each load of laundry. 4. Make modifications to your septic system to make it more efficient. After your septic tank has been drained and your house drainage system has been restored to working order, you should make certain modifications to your system in order to minimize flooding problems in the future.
During a septic emergency, the backflow preventer prevents waste water from entering your home or building.
Also, check to be that your yard’s storm drainage does not overflow into your septic field and storage tank area.
When your septic system is inundated, call Eckmayer Inc right away.
Can a rainstorm or hurricane damage a septic system?
The hurricane season has returned! High gusts, inches of rain, and felled trees are all part of the picture. Did you realize that all of these things might have a negative influence on your septic system? It is not uncommon for a septic system to back up after or even during a big rainstorm. The land around the soil absorption area (drainfield) can get saturated very rapidly after a significant amount of rainfall, making it hard for water to flow out of the septic system and into the environment.
Flooding can also result in untreated sewage pouring into the groundwater and nearby streams, putting them at danger of being contaminated and contaminating the ecosystem.
We’d like to share a few basic recommendations with you that will benefit you and your septic system before, during, and after a major weather event occurs.
- The easiest approach to prepare for significant rainfall is to ensure that your septic system is in good working order before the rains begin. If your tank has to be pumped or if the system has not been properly maintained, your septic problems may become more severe. Visit our article on the indicators that your sepitc tank needs to be cleaned out to start with
- At the very least, Make sure that runoff water is directed away from the drainfield in order to prevent the surrounding soils from becoming too moist. Maintain the cleanliness of rain gutters and ensure that all gutters flow away from the drainfield area. Heavy equipment or other vehicles that might compress the dirt over the drainfield should not be used. Compacted soils can have a negative impact on the ability of a soil absorption field to treat wastewater. Only grass should be planted above the drainfield.
- Surface water is ponding in the drainfield region, drains are not draining fast, toilets are flushing slowly or making unusual sounds, and water is backing up into your basement as a result of the stress you are under. After a significant rain event, the only method to alleviate strain on the system is to use it less frequently in the future. Reduce or decrease the amount of water that goes down the drains until the drainfield has completely dried up. The use of an emergency septic service cleaning can give temporary respite, but fighting Mother Nature is typically a fruitless endeavor. Conserve water in order to reduce the burden on your septic system. Appliances with the highest water consumption should not be utilized (washer, dishwasher, etc). If it is not absolutely required, avoid flushing the toilet. If at all possible, avoid taking a shower. Don’t put anything in the dishwasher. Continue to put off doing clothes until the system has been repaired
If you feel that your septic system has been damaged, or if the water over the drainfield does not recede when the rain stops, you should have your septic tank inspected and serviced by a qualified professional. If silt and debris have accumulated in your septic tank, you should get the system flushed as soon as possible to prevent further damage. Before opening the tank, wait until the water has retreated and the surrounding area is no longer saturated with water. Don’t wait until there is an emergency.
How to Fix a Septic Tank Full Of Water When It Rains
If you have a septic system, you’ve undoubtedly had to deal with rains flooding your drain field at some point. In particular, during the rainy season, when rainfall is intense and merciless, this is a typical occurrence.
It is discussed in this post what to do when your septic tank is overflowing with water after a heavy rain. We will also cover some helpful septic system preparation suggestions for the next rainy season.
What Are the Signs of a Flooded Drain Field?
Flooding happens when heavy rainfall causes the earth surrounding your septic tank to become saturated. Therefore, the drain field’s ability to discharge effluents, or liquids, into the soil would be limited, resulting in dangerously high amounts of liquid filling the tank. It might be difficult to determine if flooding around a septic tank is caused by rain or by a clogged tank that needs to be drained and pumped. Regardless matter the cause, a flooded drain field is a problem that should be addressed by a professional as soon as possible.
- Drainage from the toilets, sinks, tubs, and other fixtures in the home is taking longer than normal
- Toilets that are sluggish or take a long time to flush
- Standing water or mushy, spongy earth in the vicinity of the septic tank
- The presence of standing water in the basement and/or floor drains
- Gurgling noises emanating from the drains and/or toilets on a continuous basis
- Sewage or toilet scents that are noticeable around the septic tank and drain field Back-ups in the drains and toilets
Aside from flooding induced by severe rains, flooding can occur when homeowners fail to pump or clean their septic tanks on a regular basis, or when the drain field’s pipe has collapsed or been damaged by animals. It can also occur when there is a shortage of oxygen in the tank as a result of excessive grease, or when the land around the tank has been significantly compacted as a result of automobiles or heavy machinery.
How to Fix a Flooded Tank Before, During, and After It Rains
The land around a septic system’s drain field can quickly become inundated during heavy rains, therefore all homeowners must be aware of how to repair a flooded tank before, during, and after the storms. First, let’s talk about how to keep a septic system in good working order before it rains:
Septic Tank Maintenance Before Heavy Rain
Throughout history, we’ve heard the phrase “prevention is better than cure.” You will avoid dealing with messy scenarios during and after the rain if you prepare your drain field many days in advance of the anticipated rainfall. Here are some suggestions for protecting and maintaining your septic tank in preparation for the rainy season:
- Product clogs and backups may be caused by items such as baby wipes, dental flooring, paper towels, and other similar items
- Thus, be cautious about what you pour down or flush down the drain. Keep bleach and other harsh chemicals away from your tubs, sink, and toilet because they can destroy the beneficial bacteria in your septic tank and cause it to overflow. Only biodegradable cleansers should be used. Avoid driving automobiles and other heavy vehicles and equipment near the drain field because they may compress the soil surrounding it, reducing its absorbability. To maximize water absorption during rainstorms, plant grass above the drain field. Make sure to direct gutters and runoff water away from the field to avoid wet soils around the field. A expert should evaluate your septic system to ensure that it is capable of withstanding severe rainfall
- Make sure to empty your septic system several weeks before the start of the rainy season, especially if it is due for a thorough cleaning. You should keep in mind that your tank should be pumped at least once every three to five years. Any potential sites of entrance into the septic system should be sealed. In order to prevent rainwater from collecting within the tank, you should place septic tank risers and lids between 1-3 inches below the surface of the ground. Several hours before the heavy rain begins, turn off the water pump at the circuit breaker box. If your mound system has a lift station, disconnect the electrical supply to it if it has one.
It may also be a good idea to prepare your home for the possibility of a day with reduced water usage, in addition to the items listed above. Prepare no-cook meals such as sandwiches, for example, many hours before the anticipated downpour. In addition, you may want to wash your laundry, take showers, or deep clean your home before the rain arrives so that you won’t have to worry about using up as much water when it does rain later on. In order to avoid having to clean up after yourself, make sure you have paper plates, paper cups, and disposable utensils on hand.
Septic Tank Maintenance During Heavy Rain
It may also be a good idea to get your home ready for a day when water use is restricted, in addition to the things already listed above. Prepare no-cook meals such as sandwiches, for example, many hours before the anticipated rain. In addition, you may want to wash your laundry, take showers, or deep clean your home before the rain arrives so that you won’t have to worry about using too much water when it does rain. Prepare paper plates, paper cups, and disposable flatware as well, so that you won’t have to worry about washing dishes afterwards!
- During periods of heavy rain, reduce the amount of water you consume. Unless absolutely necessary, refrain from flushing, showering, or doing the dishes or laundry. If you opt to wash your plates, keep the water you used for rinsing and use it to water your plants instead of flushing it down the toilet. In flood-prone areas, avoid working around the septic tank at all costs. Whenever water begins to back up in your home’s basement and/or floor drains, you should consider calling for emergency septic services to provide temporary relief.
Septic Tank Maintenance After Heavy Rain
If you have any reason to believe that your septic system has been damaged, or if the water does not recede from the drain field after the rain has ceased, you should contact your septic cleaning services.
Have your septic tank pumped as soon as possible, since doing so might cause the tank to float out of the earth and do extensive damage to the entire system if the flood returns. You should follow these steps after a severe downpour of rain:
- Rainwater from the roof gutters should be diverted away from the drain field. Reduce your water consumption for a few of days. Instead of taking a complete shower or bath, try to wash your clothing at a laundry and take sponge baths rather than full showers or baths. Depending on the severity of the obstruction, shock therapy may be required, which is a popular kind of septic tank treatment that restores the digesting process of bacteria to its natural state.
In the event of heavy rain, septic tanks are very vulnerable to flooding. Fortunately, there are numerous things you can do to prepare yourself before the rain arrives in order to prevent or at the very least keep the flooding at bay, including sealing any potential septic tank entrance points and emptying the drain field. When it’s raining, it’s also a good idea to keep your water use to a minimum. Once the rainy season has passed, you can resume your usual water use. Wishing you the best of luck!
Can Rain Affect My Septic Tank?
Yes! Septic tank flooding can occur as a result of heavy rain or other sources of water oversaturating the soil surrounding your septic tank. When your septic tank is flooded, you should immediately contact a septic tank specialist for help to avoid any more complications. Septic tanks are divided into three basic parts, to put it simply.
- Septic tank inlet pipe: This pipe transports waste from all of the drains in your home to the septic tank. Sludge, scum, and effluent (liquid) are collected in an underground two-chamber tank while the waste is being separated into these three components: Drain field: A perforated conduit discharges wastewater into the soil, where it might be further decomposed by microorganisms. Specialists are often called in to pump solid
Solid trash settles to the bottom of the tank and decomposes into sludge as bacteria break down the materials present there. Scum is formed when grease and lighter solids float to the surface of the water. A regular, non-rainy day sees liquid material, also known as Effluent, travel from the drain field into the soil where it is cleansed by bacteria before being released back into the environment.
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.
In certain cases, it might be difficult to determine whether flooding is the source of your tank’s problems because the signs and symptoms of flooded tanks are similar to those of a clogged pipe or a tank that need pumping. Considering that your tank may be flooded if you’ve lately seen severe rainfall and are experiencing problems with water draining efficiently in any of the drains in your home, you should consult a professional. Contact our professionals right once to check the tank and determine the source of the problem.
How To Fix A Flooded Tank
Pumping the tank is not a realistic option when dealing with a flooded sewage system. Pumping can really cause harm to the tank if it is filled with water in an unusual manner. Instead, the most effective course of action is to limit the quantity of water consumed in your house to the greatest extent feasible. Discontinue or decrease the usage of any equipment or faucets that use water until the drain field has had time to dry up completely. If you have flooding in your home and the water is not draining, adding any chemicals or other materials will only make the situation worse.
How Do I Prevent My Tank From Flooding?
Septic system maintenance and care should be performed on a regular basis to lessen the likelihood of floods.
- During periods of severe rain, reduce your water consumption. Only septic-safe, biodegradable materials should be flushed. During flooding circumstances, avoid digging or doing any other work around the septic tank. Recognize the location of your tank – do not drive or park on top of the system. Only biodegradable cleansers should be used. Maintain a safe distance between trees and the tank to avoid root damage. Inspect and pump your septic tank on a regular basis.
If you believe your septic tank has been flooded, or if you require periodic septic tank maintenance, please contact us immediately or for a free estimate. Request a Price Estimate
Septic Tank Problems When It Rains
Featured image courtesy of CreativeaStudio/E+/Getty Images
In This Article
- Understanding the Septic System
- Identifying the Signs and Symptoms of a Flooded Septic System
- The Difference Between Occasional and Frequent Flooding
- How to Deal with Septic Flooding
The majority of your septic system is sealed and thus will not be impacted by heavy rain, but one section — the drain field — is not sealed and will be affected by heavy rain.
After a particularly heavy downpour, you may notice that there is an accumulation of water in your drain field, which might indicate that your septic system has been blocked. In order to expedite the drying process, it is recommended that water use in the house be reduced.
Anatomy of a Septic System
There is a tank buried in your yard, generally within 100 feet of the house, which is used to serve the septic system that services your home. It is equipped with an intake for garbage from your home and an exit for waste from the drain field. Solid matter is retained in the tank, while black water departs the tank and soaks into the earth in the drain field when the system is correctly operating. Due to the fact that you reside on a sloping property, your drain field may be on higher ground than your tank, and your system may also feature a transfer pump that activates when the tank is nearly full.
Symptoms of a Flooded Septic System
You don’t need anybody to tell you when it’s been raining heavily, but you may not be aware of the signs of a flooded system until the damage has already been done. As the soil in the drain field gets saturated, septic water will be unable to absorb into the ground and will instead rise to the top, causing an odor. With worsening conditions, water backs up into the tank, and if you have a transfer pump, it may begin to operate continually as a result of the backflow. Because the water has nowhere else to go, it eventually finds its way into your plumbing system.
Occasional vs. Frequent Flooding
You don’t need anybody to tell you when it’s been raining heavily, but you may not be aware of the signs of a flooded system until the damage has been done to it. Due to the saturation of the soil in the drain field, septic water cannot be absorbed and may rise to the surface, causing an odor to be released. With worsening conditions, water backs up into the tank, and if you have a transfer pump, it may begin to operate continually as a result of the overflow. After a while, because there is nowhere else for the water to go, it finds its way into your plumbing.
How to Handle Septic Flooding
Puddles and a foul smell emanating from the drain field can be reduced by redirecting any roof runoff that is directed to the drain field during a severe rainstorm. If you have a transfer pump in the tank, turn off the power to it for a short time to prevent damage. This not only saves power, but it also keeps the pump from overheating and causing it to fail. You should limit your water use in the house to only what is absolutely necessary, because every time water is flushed down the toilet, it contributes to the buildup of water in the tank.
Flush your toilets as seldom as possible.
Septic tips for a flooded yard
We like our sunlight in Florida, but we must accept the heavy rains and the odd storm as a necessary trade-off for our pleasure. Here are some things you should be aware of if your yard has been flooded by strong rains or hurricane-force winds. Do I need to pump my tank if the drainfield is flooded or saturated with water? No! Pumping the tank is simply a short-term remedy at the best of times. Pumping it out might cause the tank to attempt to float out of the ground, resulting in damage to the inlet and outlet pipes in the worst case scenario.
- What should I do if my septic system has been utilized to dispose of wastewater from my business (whether it is a home-based or small-scale operation)?
- Taking extra measures to prevent skin, eye, and inhalation contact with chemicals in your septic system that receives them is recommended if the system backs up into a basement or drain field.
- For particular clean-up information, contact your state’s environmental protection agency or the Environmental Protection Agency.
- After the floodwaters have gone, there are numerous things that householders should keep in mind: Drinking well water should be avoided until the water has been analyzed.
- Continue to refrain from using the sewage system until the water level in the soil absorption field is lower than the water level around the home.
- The presence of settling or an inability to take water are both signs of deterioration.
- However, septic tanks and pump chambers can get clogged with silt and debris, necessitating the need for expert cleaning.
Septic tanks should only be cleaned or repaired by skilled professionals since they may contain potentially hazardous gases.
Cleaning and disinfecting the basement floor is necessary if sewage has backed up into the basement.
After a flood, pump out the septic system as quickly as possible to avoid contamination.
This will clear any silt or debris that may have been washed into the system during the rainy season.
Pumping the tank is simply a short-term remedy at the best of times.
Do not drive or operate machinery in the area where the soil absorption field is located since this will compress the soil.
Before re-establishing electrical service, thoroughly inspect any electrical connections for damage.
Examine the plants surrounding your septic tank and soil absorption field for signs of disease.
Keep in mind that if the water table is high or your sewage system is threatened by floods, there is a possibility that sewage will back up into your residence.
What are some of the recommendations made by professionals for households who have experienced a sewage backup?
If at all possible, avoid using the system if the earth has become saturated and inundated with water.
Conserve as much water as possible while the system is rehabilitating and the water table is failing to replenish itself.
Silt has a propensity to settle in the pump chambers when the chambers are flooded, and if the silt is not cleaned, the chambers will block the drainfield.
Mud and silt may find their way into the tank and end up in the drain field.
(Similarly, systems that have been recently installed may “pop out” of the ground more quickly than systems that have been in place for a longer period of time since the soil has not had enough time to settle and compress.) While the land is still wet or flooded, it is not recommended to dig into the tank or drainfield area.
- These operations will have a negative impact on the soil conductivity.
- Some of this scum may have floated to the surface and/or partially filled the outlet tee, but this is unlikely.
- Clean up any floodwater that has accumulated in the house without dumping it into the sink or toilet, and give the water time to recede before continuing.
- Solids may be transferred from the septic tank to the drainfield as a result, resulting in obstruction of the drainfield.
The presence of mud and silt has a propensity to block aerobic plants, upflow filters, trickling filters, and other media filters, among other things. These systems will need to be cleaned and raked after they have been installed. Source:EPA
Tips to Reduce the Impact of the Rainy Season on Your Septic Tank Installation in Modesto, CA
All homeowners with septic tanks are well aware of the rapidity with which issues may emerge both inside and outside the home—particularly in areas around water fixtures and the tank itself—and how to prevent them from occurring. Aside from blocked pipes and faulty components, major heavy rains might also pose a threat to your septic system’s operation. Fortunately for you, there are steps you can do to avoid having a flooded drain field or an indoor sewage backup in your house before, during, or after a rainfall by following these guidelines.
These useful suggestions can help you minimize the negative impact of the wet season on your septic tank installation in Modesto, California.
- Starting with the start of the rainy season is a good time to evaluate your septic system and do any necessary routine maintenance activities. If you see any damage or believe that something is wrong with any aspect of the system, contact a professional immediately. If you live in a region where it rains frequently, or if the forecast is for heavy rain, you should seriously consider having the tank pumped out. A partially full septic tank will further exacerbate the matter if it floods, which is a condition in which the tank’s contents will more than likely seep into your home through drains and toilets.
During a downpour of rain
- Living with a septic system forces you to develop a different routine than you would if you had a regular plumbing system
- You learn what to do and what not to do during a downpour, for example. First and foremost, you should avoid flushing the toilets too frequently and, if at all possible, refrain from having a shower. Also, refrain from using the dishwasher. The same holds true for the washing machine: put off doing the dishes and laundry until later. Keeping a tight eye on your septic tank installation in Modesto, CA during periods of heavy rain is also a good idea during these circumstances. This guarantees that your toilets, sinks, showers, and drains are all in excellent functioning order and will not become a flood hazard in the future. Here’s what to keep an eye out for: Slow-flushing toilets, weird sounds emanating from piping, and basement or garage floor drains gurgling with water are all signs of a plumbing problem.
Following a torrential downpour
- Following a heavy downpour,
It is critical to ensure that your drain field and septic tank do not become inundated during the rainy months, both for the benefit of your septic system and your sanity. If you need a septic tank inspection or if you’re having problems with your septic tank installation in Modesto, CA, don’t hesitate to call the experienced experts at Alvarado Pumping Septic Service this season.
Septic Tank Problems
Unfortunately, the answer to this frequently asked question is a resounding yes. Large volumes of rain may have a severe influence on the environment and cause septic tank issues. In fact, when the earth gets too saturated as a result of severe rainfall, even the tiniest shower might cause your septic system to slow down or back up. Rain is not usually the source of the problem. A leaking water hose or a burst water main can create ground saturation, which can result in septic tank troubles. What is the root cause of this problem?
- After entering the septic tank, household waste and wastewater begin to segregate into smaller particles.
- Oils, lipids, and proteins accumulate near the top of the scum layer, while grey wastewater, also known as effluent, is found in the center.
- When the earth becomes saturated (or reaches the point where it is no longer able to absorb any more water), the effluent has nowhere else to go.
- What Can You Do to Help?
- Following the measures outlined below will assist you in weathering the storm.
- Toilets should only be flushed when absolutely required. Purchase a portable toilet and dispose of trash in a responsible manner. Consider ordering takeout to avoid dirty dishes and running the dishwasher
- Make an effort to avoid doing a lot of laundry. Showers should be shorter. If at all feasible, take a shower at a friend’s place. Wait for it to pass. The water table will begin to decrease as soon as the rain stops falling.
These appear to be severe procedures, yet they are often the only ones available. If the earth gets excessively wet, the effluent from the septic tank will not drain from the tank. Just like that, the problem is solved. The usual operation of your septic system should resume once the water table has been reduced and the drain field has been dried off. What You Shouldn’t Do When a septic system breaks during a storm, many homeowners make the mistake of calling a plumbing contractor and having their septic system drained while the storm is in progress, which is not recommended.
In contrast, pumping your septic tank after a heavy downpour when the earth is already flooded is not recommended.
Also crucial is the fact that the increased tension might cause your tank to crack or even collapse since the weight of the saturated earth around it is greater than the pressure within the tank when it is empty.
To get answers to your queries, get in touch with The Pink Plumber right now. Image courtesy of Flickr. OUR EXPERT PLUMBERS ARE AVAILABLE TO HELP YOU.
How the Rainy Season Can Ruin Your Septic System
Despite the fact that these appear to be severe procedures, they are often the only alternatives. Septic tank effluent will not drain from the tank if the earth gets too saturated with moisture. Just like that, it’s done. The usual operation of your septic system should resume once the water table has receded and the drain field has dried up. Don’t Make These Mistakes When a septic system breaks during a storm, many homeowners make the mistake of calling a plumbing contractor and having their septic system drained while the storm is in progress.
Pumping your septic tank during the rain, when the earth is moist, is, on the other hand, not a good idea.
Also crucial is the fact that the increased tension might cause your tank to split or even collapse because the weight of the saturated earth around it is higher than the pressure within the tank when it’s empty.
Flickr is credited with this image.
Significant rainfall has the potential to immediately flood the ground. The soil area surrounding the septic tank is responsible for absorbing the water that drains from the septic system. However, if an excessive amount of rainwater has already accumulated around the septic tanks, there is nowhere for the water to drain. Because there is no route out, the water backs up into the home’s drainage system. If there has been ground flooding, the toilets may not flush properly and the water may drain extremely slowly.
A drain field is an area around a septic tank where water can be flushed out into the surrounding environment. Even if it hasn’t rained enough to create standing water, wet soil around the septic tank prevents water from draining away from the system properly. This indicates that septic water has backed up into the house and is causing an odor. If the water is not treated, it can overflow from the floor, shower drains, and toilets, causing flooding. A specialist may be called to evaluate the tank and the system if any of these indicators are present.
How To Prevent Overflow During Rainy Season
There are various things that homeowners may take to keep the soil around their septic systems from becoming saturated or flooded. Generally speaking, these issues are only problematic if the system is not well maintained.
- Pump the sewage tank: Septic tanks must be pumped on a regular basis to prevent them from overflowing. This will vary depending on the size of the tank, thus it is necessary to become familiar with the system. Making certain that the tank is drained out before the rainy season might help to minimize flooding, even when it is raining. However, if the residence has a tiny tank, it may be refilled in a matter of days. Install the risers and lids as follows: Many underground storage tanks are inaccessible because they are located far beneath. Most pros propose digging it up and installing risers with caps to protect it from the elements. As a result, repairs may be handled more quickly and efficiently, saving the homeowner money. When there is a problem, digging up the tank will be more expensive if there are no risers installed. Direct runoff is a type of runoff that occurs when water is poured directly into a drain. A drainage path that is separate from the drainage field can help to prevent the surrounding soil from getting too saturated. Make sure the gutters on your property are pointing away from the drainage field and that they are clean of debris. Check out the baffle tees: Baffle tees are fittings that are installed within the tank on the sidewalls of the pipes to prevent the flow of water. These assist in stopping the flow of water while allowing incoming water to flow into the tank. Making certain that they are properly placed and free of debris might assist in keeping the tank running smoothly throughout the rainy season.
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The septic tank must be pumped on a regular basis in order to prevent it from overflowing completely. As a result, it is critical to become familiar with the system before attempting to fill it. Flooding may be avoided by having the tank drained out prior to the rainy season. This can be done even when there is no rain. For those who have a small water tank, it may be refilled in a matter of days; however, for those who have a larger tank, it will take many weeks. Risers and lids should be installed as follows.
In most cases, digging it up and installing risers with covers is recommended by specialists.
When there is a problem with the tank, it will be more expensive to dig it up without risers.
A drainage path that is separate from the drainage field can help to protect the surrounding soil from getting too moist.
These aid in stopping the flow of water while allowing incoming water to flow into the tank. The tank will function more smoothly during the rainy season if these are placed appropriately and are not clogged with debris.
3 Potential Plumbing Problems That Can Be Caused by Rain
Date of birth: January 28, 2017 Date of death: August 16, 2021 Even though rain storms aren’t common in Southern California, every now and then a decent, strong downpour may be expected. Storms that drum on your roof and keep you cooped up inside are tremendous demonstrations of the force of nature, no matter how many measures you take to be safe. Rainstorms may create significant disturbance not just to your regular activities but also to your plumbing system when they arrive. Plumbing problems, both minor and major, might arise as a result of a heavy downpour.
Heavy rains, particularly after a prolonged period of drought, can cause the earth to move significantly, to the point that it may cause pipelines to burst or be damaged. As a result, dry soil becomes quickly saturated with a large amount of liquid, causing it to shift and expand dramatically. This movement has the potential to shatter fragile pipes. If your pipes are older and composed of galvanized steel or other comparable materials, you are more likely to encounter this issue than others.
It is possible that you will notice discolored water and debris in your water as a result of subterranean pipes that have ruptured.
A large amount of rainwater carries a lot of detritus with it. It is possible for twigs, leaves, debris, and dirt to sneak into the sewage system and clog drains to a significant degree. One advised precaution you can take is to maintain your roof clean and clear of debris to avoid extra blockage that may have been avoided if you followed the other recommendations. You’ll discover that your pipes are clogged if your drains are slow to empty and your water does not drain as rapidly as it should.
Try using a plunger as a first line of defense, but if that doesn’t work, you may need the assistance of a professional plumber.
It’s possible that the city’s sewers are also backed up, and that your drains will not work until the situation is resolved.
The high rains on your property may cause your drain field to get saturated, which will prevent your septic tank from producing enough water to adequately flush your toilet. It is possible to reach a point where your drain water has nowhere else to go but back up via the plumbing system. Due to this issue, you may need to make some significant modifications to your septic tank system, which may need water use limitations until your drain field is dry again. When Southern California’s uncommon, but occasionally severe rainstorms arrive, be on the lookout for any of these problems that might develop before they get too serious.
Avoid letting material to accumulate over time that would otherwise be carried away all at once by a strong storm, blocking your drains and causing them to overflow.
Do you have a plumbing issue that needs to be resolved? In Orange County, you can rely on the expert plumbers at BiardCrockett Plumbing Services to get the job done right. Please contact us at (714-639-4400).
Three Ways a Storm Can Impact Your Septic System – Septic Maxx
The majority of homeowners are unaware that a strong downpour (or even just lengthy periods of persistent mild rainfall) can have a significant impact on their septic system’s performance. Don’t put it off until it’s too late. The most effective strategy to prevent damage to your septic system is to take all essential preventative steps ahead of time and to remain up to date on the latest developments. In this way, you and your septic system will not be caught off guard when the rainy season comes around.
- Flooded Drainfield– When there is an excessive amount of rain, the earth surrounding your drainfield can get saturated with water very rapidly. The result will be that it will overflow and become incapable of absorbing any more moisture. In turn, water will not be able to exit your septic system in an effective manner as a result.
- Blocked Septic System– Because there is nowhere else for the water to go, it will gather in your drainfield pipes, ultimately causing your septic tank to overflow.
- Blocked Septic System– Because there is nowhere else for the water to go, it will gather in your drainfield pipes, ultimately causing your septic tank to overflow
- Before it rains, check to see that your septic system is in good working order. This entails making certain that it does not require any pumping or maintenance. Take precautions to ensure that your gutters do not overflow into the drainfield. In order to prevent runoff from accumulating, ensure that your drainfield properly sloped. If you find that your drains are emptying slowly or that your toilet is not flushing properly, this might be an indication that your septic system is becoming clogged. Because of the rain, the only answer is to reduce the amount of time spent outside. Check your septic system for damage after a storm has passed. If you have a suspicion that anything is amiss, call a professional as soon as possible to get it checked out. It is always preferable to deal with any possible septic problems as soon as they arise rather than waiting until they become worse. The need to pump your septic tank may be essential in extreme circumstances, such as after a hurricane
- In these instances, you should contact a professional.
Remember to keep an eye out for severe weather and to use caution while using your septic system during periods of heavy rain. In the vast majority of situations, this should be sufficient to prevent any significant harm to your septic system. If your septic system is not operating correctly, we recommend that you use one of our septic cleaning solutions to start the cleaning process. It’s possible that you’ll wind up saving money. For additional details, please contact us right away.
7 Warning Signs of Septic Tank Problems!
If you are new to living in a home with a septic system, as we are, you should be aware of the following seven symptoms that septic issues may be on the horizon: There is no guarantee that any of these difficulties will result in an expensive repair, but if there is a problem and you ignore it, the situation will only deteriorate and become more serious. You should contact a septic specialist if you detect any of the following seven indicators that your system is malfunctioning.
- Inefficient draining
- Toilet that does not flush correctly
- There are gurgling sounds coming from the pipes. Back-ups of water are occurring in drains. Grass that is more lush over the drain field area sewage or rotten egg stench both inside and outside the house. Standing water in the vicinity of a septic tank or a drain field
Let’s take a look at each symptom to see what could be causing it, how you might try to solve it, and when you should seek expert assistance.
1)Drains are emptying slowly
There are several possible causes for this: something is blocking the drain (flushable wipes, hairball, small toys), the septic tank is not emptying into the drain field (also known as a leach field), or the drain field is not working properly. If the drain field is not working properly, the septic tank should be emptying into the drain field (also known as a leach field) as soon as possible. A septic tank is a type of system that works on the principle of “water in, water out.” There are other pages on this site that go into much deeper information about the system.) Because of the exit tube that leads to the drain field, it is able to keep a particular amount of water within.
- As a result of the heavy rains experienced in your region, and if the ground is saturated, the drain field may simply be unable to discharge water properly since the earth cannot take any more water at this point in time.
- Another reason for a brief backlog is when a large amount of water is pumped into the system in a short period of time.
- You should keep in mind that when water flows into the septic tank, it leaves the opposite side through the drain field and filters down into the earth.
- When there isn’t a problem with soggy soil, do all of the drains discharge slowly?
- Is it possible for the shower drain closest to the septic tank to back up before the kitchen sink on the other side of the house in a single-level home?
- If the lower-level drains are working properly, you most likely have a blockage that has to be cleared up completely.
- The Drain Weasel contraption hasn’t been used by me yet, but we’ve had to use a drain auger (snake) on a number of occasions over the years.
Purchase a decent one, and if feasible, get one that is long enough to clean all of your pipes. It will prove to be a wise investment over time and will save you a significant amount of money.
2)Toilet Won’t Flush Properly
A toilet that doesn’t flush correctly is suggestive of the same problem as a drain that empties slowly, both of which are common. The flushing of the toilet is being hindered by some sort of clog (or septic backup). It is possible that obstructions exist in the pipes going to the septic tank or in the roof vent (see3 below for a deeper explanation). And if you have tiny children, it’s possible that a doll’s hairbrush has become stuck in the trap (true story).
3)Gurgling Noises in the Pipes
Noises in the plumbing can be caused by a simple obstruction in a pipe, a blockage in the vent pipe that runs through the ceiling, or a backed-up septic system, amongst other things. When we utilize the plumbing system, air is flushed down the drains together with the water. If the air cannot keep up with the flow, it will back up and gurgle out of the pipes (kind of like a plumbing burp). Additionally, an air intake is required for the plumbing to function at all, which is why our homes have vent pipes installed on the roofs over the bathrooms and kitchens to provide for proper ventilation.
Vent pipes are pipes that run from your plumbing to your roof (usually; however, we appear to have one in our back yard) and serve several functions: they allow foul-smelling (and potentially dangerous) sewer gases to escape, they allow air into the entire sewer system to encourage aerobic bacteria digestion, and they keep the entire flow of water moving throughout the system.
- Did you ever drink from a glass of water, soda, juice, or any other beverage using a straw when you were a kid?
- Were you perplexed as to why the liquid remained in the straw till you removed your finger from it?
- When you remove your finger, the pressure on the top is restored, and gravity takes hold, resulting in the liquid spilling out.
- And, like the liquid in the straw, they require airflow in order to move things along smoothly.
Vent pipes can get blocked as a result of leaves or other debris becoming lodged in the pipe (even small, curious animals who go down the pipe, but not back up.) Also, the presence of openings in sewage manhole covers allows poisonous gases to exit and fresh air to pour in, therefore keeping everything moving.) But I’m getting ahead of myself.)
4)Water is Backing Up Into Drains
When you flush a toilet, water may back up into a shower or bathtub, which is not uncommon. In addition, this can occur when the dishwasher or washing machine is completely empty. This indicates that there is a partial or total obstruction in the drain lines. A backed-up septic tank or leach field area might also be an indication of a clogged drain field. Back in the day, we lived in a house that would back up at least once every couple of years or so. When the dishwasher or washing machine (both of which were located in the kitchen area) was completely empty, one or both bathtubs would begin to fill.
- The water in the shower had backed up.
- As the big amount of water from the dishwasher or washing machine was being thrown out, the blockage prevented the water from flowing down to the city sewer pipes and into the storm drain.
- This might be one of the reasons why you’re experiencing water backup into the drains.
- As previously said, if it has been particularly wet and the water table in the earth has risen significantly, it is possible that the water in the drain field has nowhere to go.
- The presence of an excessively high level or thickness of sludge layer in your septic tank is yet another possible cause of clogged pipes.
Both of these scenarios have the potential to generate scum or sludge to block the outlet and drain field lines. This is a dreadful situation. This is the most important reason why you should get your septic tank drained on a consistent basis.
5)The Grass Is Greener … On YOUR Side of the Fence, Especially Over the Drain Field Area
It sounds wonderful to have a thick, green grass without having to water it, which is especially true if you live in a desert area. However, a thick, green grass that is not being watered may be an indication of a problem with the septic system’s drain field. A unusually green patch of grass, most likely above a leach line, was discovered. If you have sections of thicker, greener grass, or even if you don’t have grass, but the ground around the drain field region is spongy and moist, you may have a problem.
Similarly, if you notice healthier grass surrounding the septic tank, it is possible that there is a leak or seepage of sewage stuff right there.
6) Sewage or Rotten Egg Smell Inside or Outside the House
Decomposition of sewage will result in the production of gasses such as methane (which is odorless) and hydrogen sulfide (rotten egg smell). Both of these things may be quite hazardous. If you notice a sewage, sulfur, or rotten egg odor, the first thing you should check is that all of the drain p-traps are filled with water. If you look beneath your bathroom or kitchen sink, you will notice that the pipes come out of the sink, descend down into a u-shape, and then rise up and out of the wall once again.
Due to the presence of water in the bottom loop of this trap, sewage gasses cannot move back from the septic tank (or sewer; the concept is the same here) via the drains and into your home.
Alternatively, if the p-trap was empty and allowing gasses to escape, this will halt the stench, however it may take several minutes for the smell to dissipate.
This might happen when on vacation, at a summer house, or in a drain that isn’t used very much at all.
7)Standing Water Around Septic Tank or Drain Field or Leach Field
If you notice standing water surrounding your leach field or septic tank, it is an indication that either a) water is arriving from an area where it should not be, or b) water is not going where it should. This is similar to noticing a greener lawn than intended. It is possible that standing water or even squishy ground near your septic tank indicates the presence of a leak in the pipes or tank, which is enabling sewage to escape. Standing water or mushy ground above your drain field might indicate that the drain field is struggling and is not allowing the water to flow down into the earth as it should.
- Water-logged soil from another source (has it been very wet, was a hose left on in that area, is there water runoff from a neighbor’s house towards yours, etc.)
- Blocked drain field pipes
- Clogged up drainage regions
- Compacted soil
- Water-logged soil from another source
Water-logged soil from another source (has it been very wet, was a hose left on in the region, is there water runoff from a neighbor’s house towards yours, etc.); Blocked drain field pipes; Clogged up drainage areas; Compacted soil; Water-logged soil from another source
So Now What?
What should you do if you are experiencing one or more of these problems? You could, of course, get a plumber in to have a look at the situation. If you don’t want to spend a couple hundred dollars for a service call since it’s something you can fix yourself, what options do you have? If you go through these seven indicators once again, you will notice that they all point to two generalized problems:
- What should you do if you are experiencing any of these problems? You could, of course, hire a plumber in to have a look at the problem for you. If you don’t want to pay a couple hundred dollars for a service call since it’s something you can fix yourself, what do you do in such situation? Look over these seven indicators once more and you will notice that they all point to two generalized problems: 1.
Because a temporary problem such as delayed draining or backed up drains that ultimately clear out, or wet drain fields might be caused by an excessive amount of water, such as washing numerous loads of laundry on one day, or several people having long showers, etc., I use the term “potential problem.” If your rain gutters pour into your septic tank, this can potentially cause an overflow in the system.
Fixing it Yourself
If you are at all proficient and confident in using a plunger or a plumbing snake, you should attempt to unclog the pipes on your own before calling a professional. If you’re going to use a plumbing snake, start at the bottom of the home drains and work your way up to the septic tank. You may use the snakes in the sink, bath, and shower drains, as well as in the toilet drains, if necessary. Don’t forget to empty the washing machine’s drain as well. There has been a blockage in that area in the past.
If you believe a solid object, such as a toy vehicle or a miniature green army man, is causing a blockage, you can remove the p-trap from the sinks to see if you can locate the source of the problem.
We couldn’t get the snake to push it through (we didn’t know what the clog was at the time), but we could tell there was something there, so we had to take the toilet apart and turn it upside down to attempt to reach it from the bottom of the toilet bowl.
Don’t Use Chemical Cleaners!
There are a plethora of chemical “remedies” available for unclogging your drains. While they do work occasionally, it is evident that they will not work on all blockages (such as a stuck army man). In this instance, you also have caustic chemical cleaners backed up in the pipes, and if you or a plumber attempts to clear the pipes, the caustic chemical cleaners will likely go all over you. Additionally, any chemicals in your septic tank might destroy the bacteria and enzymes that are doing such a fantastic job of decomposing all of the doo-doo and garbage in the tank.
If your system is not momentarily overwhelmed with water and you are unable to resolve the problem on your own, it is time to bring in a professional plumber for assistance.
One Final Word
Keep in mind, as well, that a septic tank is constantly full (unless it was just pumped or it was newly installed a couple days ago). Don’t allow anyone convince you that “all you have to do now is pump the tank” straight from the beginning. It is possible that this will ‘cure’ the problem for a few days until the reservoir fills back up to normal operating levels.
However, they cannot say for definite that pumping the tank will repair the problem unless they first measure the level of the sludge and scum layers within it. They cannot tell you this for certain until they have measured the depth of the sludge and scum layers within the tank.