Flooding and Your Septic Tank
- Only flush biodegradable material that is safe for your septic system.
- Do not dig or work in the area around the septic tank when it is flooded.
- Keep trees away from the septic tank so the roots don’t damage the system.
- Regularly inspect the tank and have it pumped.
- One of the best ways to do it is by cleaning the water before it leaves the tank. Applying a strong monthly septic tank cleaner upstream of the drainage zone as it abolishes the ill effects of soaps and cleaners that kill the bacteria in the tank. For decomposition of solid waste, it is very important that bacteria stays in the tank.
How long does it take for a septic 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.
How do you divert water out of a septic tank?
Avoid altering the slope of your landscape to ensure water drains away from the drain field as intended by the builder. Angle your gutters in a way that diverts water from the drainfield. Have new ditches dug to divert excess water from your yard and drainfield.
What can I do about a saturated septic field?
Additional ways to help keep the soil in your drain field from becoming over-saturated include:
- Avoid using too many water fixtures in the home at once.
- Ensure all home gutter downspouts are directed away from the drain field.
- Don’t point lawn sprinklers toward drain field.
Where can a septic tank drain to?
The waste from most septic tanks flows to a soakaway system or a drainage field. A drainage field is typically a network of perforated or slotted pipes which allow waste water from the septic tank to percolate through and into the surrounding sub soils.
How do I know if my septic field is failing?
8 Signs of Septic System Failure
- Septic System Backup.
- Slow Drains.
- Gurgling Sounds.
- Pool of Water or Dampness Near Drainfield.
- Nasty Odors.
- Unusual, Bright Green Grass Above Drainfield.
- Blooms of Algae in Nearby Water.
- High Levels of Coliform in Water Well.
How do I know if my drain field is failing?
The following are a few common signs of leach field failure:
- Grass over leach field is greener than the rest of the yard.
- The surrounding area is wet, mushy, or even has standing water.
- Sewage odors around drains, tank, or leach field.
- Slow running drains or backed up plumbing.
Is it normal for a septic tank to be full of water?
A septic tank should always be “filled” to its normal liquid level, or the bottom of the outlet pipe which carries effluent to the absorption area. If the tank is overfull, this is usually a sign of problems with the absorption area.
Why is my septic full of water?
The water flow backs up when your drain field floods, causing the water level in your septic tank to rise. Other common issues are plumbing and excess water use. The septic system functions as a step-by-step process which takes time to complete.
Can I take a shower if my septic tank is full?
Only the water would get out into the leach field in a proper system unless you run too much water too fast. The thing to do is to run your shower water outside into it’s own drain area, but it may not be allowed where you are. Used to be called gray water system.
Will a drain field dry out?
The remaining liquid evaporates or penetrates far beneath the surface. That is, unless the surface is saturated. If your drainfield is taking on more water than it can absorb, it never has a chance to dry out and make room for more water. As long as your family is awake, you’re sending water to that drainfield.
How much water can a drain field handle?
The septic tank and drain field should have adequate capacity to hold two day’s worth of waste water even during peak use. The two day recommendation is usually long enough to allow solids to settle to the bottom of the tank.
Does heavy rain affect septic tank?
It is common to have a septic back up after or even during a heavy rain. Significant rainfall can quickly flood the ground around the soil absorption area (drainfield) leaving it saturated, making it impossible for water to flow out of your septic system.
Can I sell my house with a septic tank?
If you currently have a septic tank that discharges to surface water then the sale will trigger the requirement to replace or upgrade the system. Buyers should satisfy themselves that any system is in good working order and does not cause pollution.
Can you sell a property with a septic tank?
If you’re selling a property with a septic tank, then you must be transparent with buyers about the fact the property uses a one and provide a detailed specification of the system. In fact, You are required by law to inform a buyer in writing about the presence of a septic tank. The age of the system.
Can a septic tank discharge to a watercourse?
Septic tanks cannot discharge into ditches, streams, canals, rivers, surface water drains or any other type of watercourse. Under the new Environment Agency General Binding Rules, If you have a septic tank that discharges directly to a surface water (ditch, stream, river, etc.)
Septic Systems – What to Do after the Flood
What is the best place to go for information about my septic system? Please consult with your local health agency if you require further information or support. More information about onsite or decentralized wastewater systems may be found on the Environmental Protection Agency’s Septic Systems Web site. 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. Contact your local health department for further information. Do not use the sewage system until the water level in the soil absorption field is lower than the water level in the surrounding area of the home. If you feel that your septic tank has been damaged, you should get it professionally inspected and maintained. The presence of settling or an inability to take water are both signs of deterioration. Because most septic tanks are below ground and entirely covered, flooding does not usually do any harm to them. Septic tanks and pump chambers, on the other hand, can get clogged with silt and debris and must be properly cleaned. If the soil absorption field becomes blocked with silt, it may be necessary to build a completely new system. Septic tanks should only be cleaned or repaired by skilled professionals since they may contain potentially hazardous gases. Inquire with your local health agency for a list of septic system contractors who operate in your neighborhood. Cleaning and disinfecting the basement floor is necessary if sewage has backed up into the basement. To disinfect the area thoroughly, make a chlorine solution by mixing half a cup of chlorine bleach with each gallon of water. After a flood, pump out the septic system as quickly as possible to avoid contamination. Make careful you pump the tank as well as the lift station. This will clear any silt or debris that may have been washed into the system during the rainy season. It is not recommended to pump the tank while the drainfield is flooded or saturated. 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. Do not compress the soil over the soil absorption field by driving or operating machinery in the vicinity of the soil absorption field. Soil that has been saturated is particularly prone to compaction, which can impair the ability of the soil absorption field to treat wastewater and ultimately result in system failure. Before reconnecting the electricity, check for any damage to all of the electrical connections. Examine to see that the manhole cover on the septic tank is securely fastened and that no inspection ports have been obstructed or damaged. Examine the plants surrounding your septic tank and soil absorption field for signs of disease. Damage caused by erosion should be repaired, and portions should be sodded or reseeded as needed to ensure turf grass cover.
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. The only way to avoid this backup is to reduce the amount of strain placed on the system by utilizing it less frequently.
- What are some of the recommendations made by professionals for homes who have flooded septic systems
- And Make use of your common sense. If at all possible, avoid using the system if the earth has become saturated and inundated with water. It is unlikely that the wastewater will be cleansed, and it will instead become a source of pollution. Conserve as much water as possible when the system is re-establishing itself and the water table is depleted. Prevent silt from entering septic systems with pump chambers by installing a filter. The pump chambers have a propensity to fill with silt when they are inundated, and if the silt is not cleared, the chambers will clog and obstruct the drainfield. While the earth is still damp, it is not recommended to open the septic tank for pumping. Mud and silt may find their way into the tank and end up in the drain field. It’s also possible that emptying out a tank that’s been sitting in soggy soil can cause it to “pop out” of the earth. (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. While the soil is still wet, it is best not to perform any heavy mechanical operations on or around the disposal area. These operations will have a negative impact on the soil conductivity. It is likely that flooding of the septic tank caused the floating crust of fats and grease in the tank to rise to the surface. Some of this scum may have floated to the surface and/or partially filled the outlet tee, but this is unlikely. If the septic system backs up into the home, first examine the tank for an obstruction in the outflow. Floodwaters from the home that are passed through or pumped through the septic tank will produce greater flows through the system. Clean up any floodwater in the house without dumping it into the sink or toilet, and give enough time for the water to recede. This may result in sediments being transferred from the septic tank to the drainfield, which will block the drainfield. Discover the location of any electrical or mechanical equipment in the system that may have been flooded and avoid coming into touch with them until they are dry and clean
- The presence of mud and silt has a propensity to block aerobic plants, upflow filters, trickling filters, and other media filters, among other things. Cleansing and raking of these systems will be required.
Septic Systems and Surface Water
|1. Bathrooms and Kitchens||Wastewater from toilets, sinks, showers, and other appliances contains harmful bacteria, viruses, and nutrients that could contaminate nearby surface water sources. You can help reduce the amount of nutrients in your wastewater by limiting use of the garbage disposal and using phosphate-free detergents. Avoid flushing other chemicals or medications down the drain or toilet since they could also contaminate surface water sources.|
|2. Septic Tank||Wastewater generated in your home exits through a drainage pipe and into a septic tank. The septic tank is a buried, water-tight container that holds wastewater for separation and treatment. The solids settle to the bottom (sludge) and fats, oil and grease float to the top (scum). Microorganisms act to break down the sludge and destroy some of the contaminants in the wastewater. Your septic tank should be serviced and pumped on a regular basis to make sure it’s working properly.||Learn more about how your septic system works.|
|3. Drainfield||The drainfield is a shallow, covered trench made in the soil in your yard. Partially treated wastewater from the septic tank flows out through the drainfield, filters down through the soil and enters the groundwater. If the drainfield is overloaded with too much liquid or clogged with solids, it will flood and cause sewage to surface in your yard or back up into your home.||Learn more about maintaining your drainfield.|
|4. Wastewater Treatment in Soil||Filtering wastewater through the soil removes most bacteria and viruses (also known as pathogens) and some nutrients. While soil can treat many contaminants, it cannot remove all of them (e.g., medicines, cleaning products, other potentially harmful chemicals). If untreated wastewater surfaces in the yard, wastewater may contaminate the streams, lakes, or coastal waters near your home. Avoid putting chemicals or medications down the drain or toilet since they could end up in surface waters too.||Learn more about sources of and solutions to nutrient pollution.Learn more about preventing eutrophication.|
|5. Water Table||The water table is where you first hit water if you dig a hole into the ground.|
|6. Groundwater||The water below the water table is called groundwater. Groundwater flowing underneath a drainfield captures any remaining contaminants released from the septic system. A stream, lake, or coastal water is at greater risk of becoming contaminated if it is in the path of groundwater flow beneath the septic system.||Learn more about getting up to speed with protecting groundwater.|
|7. Nutrients in Surface Water (Nitrogen, Phosphorus)||When there are too many nutrients in surface water, they act as a fertilizer for fast-growing bacteria and algae. This rapid growth can cause algal blooms that can reduce water quality, kill aquatic animals and plants, and form toxins in the water. This process is called eutrophication. Harmful algal blooms (HABs) in lakes and streams can be toxic to humans and animals.Phosphorus: Depending on your soil type, phosphorus from wastewater can be absorbed and retained in the soil. Unabsorbed phosphorus can travel in groundwater toward a waterbody and become a source of contamination. Freshwater is more vulnerable to phosphorus pollution.Nitrogen: Some nitrogen may be removed as wastewater flows through the septic system and soil. But the remaining nitrogen can enter the underlying groundwater and flow towards a surface water body. If there are many septic systems in a small area, the nitrogen flowing through groundwater could overload a waterbody, causing eutrophication. Saltwater is more vulnerable to nitrogen pollution.||Learn more about harmful algal blooms and cyanobacteria.|
|8. Setback Distance||Most states or local governments require a specific horizontal distance (or setback) between a septic system and surface water bodies. If the soil where you live is sandy, or porous, you may want to place your septic system farther away than the minimum required distance. Contamination is less likely the farther away your septic system is from a body of water.||Consult your local health department about required setback distances in your area.|
|9. Streams, Lakes and Coastal Waters||Groundwater and surface water runoff flows into streams, lakes, and coastal waters. If this water contains contaminants, they can make their way into surface waters, causing eutrophication (see7). It’s important to keep surface waters healthy to use for recreation, fishing, and as a drinking water source.||Learn more about the environmental problem of nutrient pollution.Learn more about the effects of nutrient pollution.|
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.
Septic & Storm Water Drainage
Stormwater management is an important part of keeping your septic system in good working order. Normally, stormwater is not intended to wind up in your septic tank. Even a severe downpour is unlikely to flood your tank unless you have a hole in your tank or your tank cover has been damaged in some way. However, this does not rule out the possibility of rain having an impact on your septic system.
Stormwater is defined as water that has been collected as a result of precipitation or ice/snow melt. While this water may appear to be reasonably clean, it may include a range of toxins, such as oil and gasoline; fertilizers; farm runoff; and other potentially harmful pollutants. There’s no way you want any of these toxins to end up in the water table (the upper surface of our groundwater). When you have a private well or get your drinking water from the local municipality, you are using groundwater, which is where it originates from.
To the groundwater, this loose debris provides a rather direct channel through which to go.
The proper draining of your septic field is critical to the proper operation of your septic system. More water will not be accepted by a saturated soil. Unless your septic field has been completely saturated with rain water, your septic drainage will have nowhere to go. The effluent from your septic tank may back up into the system or pool on the ground in the septic field, depending on the situation. Neither of these outcomes is ideal. In fact, they can be hazardous to your health, your property, and the long-term operation of your septic system.
Maintaining the overall health of your septic field is dependent on how well you manage stormwater. It is vital that you are aware of the location of your septic system. In addition, you must make certain that rainwater flow from your house and land is diverted away from your septic field.
The drainfield may get overly saturated during heavy rains, making it impossible for the wastewater to penetrate into the soil. It is preferable to minimize water use in your home as follows:
- If something is yellow, it’s best to let it mellow, as the expression goes. Taking a shower is also preferable than having a sewer backup into your home
- So, skipping your shower is preferable. Use of washing machines and dishwashers should be avoided during rainstorms
- It is necessary to do routine maintenance on your septic system in order to remove accumulated particles and preserve the system’s capacity to process wastewater. Pumping your septic system during times of floods or saturated conditions may seem counterintuitive, but it is important to do so. Empty septic tanks can become buoyant and burst out of the ground as a result of hydrostatic pressure from saturated soil. This can result in costly damage to the inlet and outlet pipes, as well as an increased danger for you and your family’s safety.
The presence of wastewater backing up into residential drains, a strong stench near the septic tank and/or drainfield, and the appearance of bright green, spongy grass on the drainfield, even during dry weather, are all symptoms that a septic system requires repair.
- Maintaining and cleaning your septic tank on a regular basis will help to prevent overflows. A registered septic professional can be found through the Butler County Health Department’s online directory. Parking or driving cars on any portion of your septic system is prohibited. Planting trees or bushes over or near your septic system is not recommended since the roots can cause damage to the pipes and tank. Only human and animal waste, toilet paper, and wastewater should be flushed. Toilet paper should be flushed, however non-biodegradable materials such as diapers, condoms sanitary napkins baby wipes cigarette butts or cat litter should not be flushed.
Butler SWCD, United States Environmental Protection Agency www.butlerswcd.org/septic-systems
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.
Protecting Your Septic Tank
The subject of septic tanks is not one that is frequently discussed at the dinner table, and for good reason. However, knowing how your septic tank works, how different types of severe weather influence it, and what to do if you have difficulties with it are all important aspects of protecting your property. So, what exactly is a septic tank, and how does it function? When using an aseptic system, wastewater is treated by the earth before it is returned to the groundwater cycle. Septic tanks and drain fields are used in this method.
- During the natural treatment of wastewater, the soil removes bacteria, viruses, and nutrients before the wastewater is released into the groundwater system.
- One of these issues is an excessive amount of water in the drain field.
- When it rains, the field can get too saturated to adequately treat wastewater, which can result in a variety of issues.
- One of these is to make certain that your storm water runoff is directed as far away from your septic system as is reasonably practical.
- Having your septic tank emptied out on a regular basis and having it inspected annually are both recommended.
- There are a variety of options for accomplishing this, including having a plumber place a back flow preventer on the home to ensure that sewage does not backup during a flooding incident.
- The following are some extra measures you may take to minimize flooding in your septic tank.
- Make sure to flush only biodegradable materials that are suitable for your septic system. When the septic tank is inundated, do not dig or do any other work in the surrounding area. Keeping trees away from the septic tank will help to ensure that the roots do not cause harm to the system. Maintain a regular inspection and pumping schedule for the tank.
A recurring theme is the need to reduce wasteful water use when there is a risk of floods in the area. For those who are aware that a storm is approaching, turning off the sprinklers and beginning to minimize wastewater before to the rain is a smart idea. Recovery from a Septic Tank that has been flooded If your septic tank overflows and backs up into your home, the most important recovery phase is one that concerns health and cleanliness. Keep everyone away from the area, both inside and outside, and thoroughly disinfect any surfaces that came into contact with the contaminated water.
Septic systems will require expert inspection and maintenance, and in severe cases, it may be necessary to replace the entire system with an entirely new one.
It is likely that your septic system may require some maintenance following a flood.
Make preparations now to make this portion of defending your house a little bit less difficult. You might also consider adding a water backup endorsement to your homes insurance policy even if you are not in a flood zone.
Can a septic tank discharge into a ditch?
Many homeowners are unsure of the sort of off-mains drainage system they have installed in their home. After all, since they are neatly tucked away underground, it might be rather difficult to figure out where they are. And, if the system is functioning as it should, the vast majority of people are content to leave it alone. It is possible to have three distinct types of off-mains drainage tanks, which are: the septic tank, the sewage treatment plant, and the cesspit. An exit pipe will be installed on a septic tank or sewage treatment plant, which will run from the tank and will normally take some of the waste water and release it either into the ground or into a nearby watercourse or ditch, depending on the situation.
The majority of septic tanks discharge their waste onto a soakaway system or a drainage field.
Another sort of soakaway is any device that permits wastewater to travel into the earth, such as a bore hole soakaway or an underground soakaway chamber.
Where there is no drainage field or soakaway system, the waste water will instead be channeled through a sealed pipe and discharged directly into a ditch or into a local water course.
So, is it a problem if your septic tank discharges into a ditch?
Yes, in a nutshell. Septic tank waste water is no longer regarded acceptable to discharge directly into local watercourses or ditches without any type of treatment, which has resulted in an increase in complaints. A soakaway system or drainage field is a type of treatment that prevents waste water from becoming a source of environmental degradation. A sealed pipe, on the other hand, will physically transport untreated waste right to its destination and into the surrounding environment, where it can create serious problems.
Simply said, the waste settles into three distinct levels, with the middle layer of separated waste water serving as the conduit for the waste to flow into the drainage field or soakaway system.
Septic tanks that discharge into a ditch or a nearby watercourse are no longer permitted.
In previous years, you were only required to take action to correct the situation if it was discovered that your system was polluting the environment.
In addition, the legislation specifies that if you want to sell your home before 2020, the system must be improved as part of the transaction.
How do I know if my septic tank discharges to a ditch?
Because the system is underground, it’s difficult to know what’s going on. It is possible to look into a ditch that is close to your property to see if you can detect the end of the outlet line that would flow from your septic tank and which is typically visible. You may also peek in the manhole after your septic tank, which is generally a distribution chamber, to see if there is anything wrong. Seeing a lot of distinct openings to pipes suggests that your septic tank is connected to a soakaway system rather than a traditional septic system.
The most reliable method to know for sure is to have a local professional examine and confirm this for you, as described above.
They can validate the sort of system you have in place, as well as the condition of the tank and the pipework that supports it.
What are my options if my septic tank discharges into a ditch?
There are two alternatives available to you:
- Drainage fields should be installed in lieu of the pipe that leads to the ditch or watercourse. You’ll need to do percolation experiments first, which will take some time. These are extremely significant since they will tell you whether or not the ground on your site is suitable – and, if so, what size drainage field you will require
- Install a sewage treatment system in lieu of the septic tank, and
It is not feasible to determine which of the aforementioned solutions would be the most cost efficient from a financial standpoint. The reason for this is because so much depends on the ground conditions at your property in order to determine the amount of drainage field you could want – and hence how much it might cost to create it. For big drainage fields, it may be more cost-effective to build a treatment plant rather than an additional drainage field to accommodate them. Of course, there is a wide variety of pricing for sewage treatment plants, so it is worthwhile to seek professional advice on which one is the most appropriate for your home.
Consequently, if your septic tank is leaking into a ditch, you will need to take action to correct the situation.
For additional information, please contact our team at 0800 028 9903 or send us a message by clicking here.
Protecting Your Septic System From Flooding
Septic waste can back up into your home during floods, and there are precautions you can do to minimize the risk of this happening. Photograph courtesy of George Hurd of Penn State Extension A buildup of water in your septic system’s drainfield might lead it to overload, which can cause the treatment of your wastewater to slow down or stop completely. If this occurs, you face the risk of septic waste backing up into your home, which is particularly dangerous if your drainfield becomes plugged.
- There are steps that you can take now to help protect your system before this occurs, if you wish.
- Rainwater collected on rooftops and driveways should be channeled away from the septic tank and drainfield for disposal.
- To encourage rainwater to flow off of your system rather than onto it, the soil above your system should be somewhat mounding up.
- Have your septic system examined at least once a year.
- The sludge and scum levels in the tank should be examined on a regular basis, and the drainfield should be monitored for smells, damp areas, and surface sewage on a regular basis.
- This is an extremely crucial stage in the ongoing maintenance process.
It is recommended that you have a licensed plumber install a backflow preventer on the building sewer if you live in an area that is susceptible to flooding, according to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency factsheet, “What To Do With Your Septic System During A Flood.” If you live in a flood-prone area, you should have a backflow preventer installed on the building sewer so that sewage does not backup into your home during a flood.
Because there is some worry that a basic check valve may fail to close correctly, sewage may back up into the residence, it is advised that a backflow preventer be installed.
Additional information on managing your septic system during a flood can be found in the U.S.
- The National Environmental Services Center may be reached at 800-624-8301, and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection can be found by searching for “Onlot Disposal System.”
Stormwater and Septic Systems
Stormwater management is an important part of keeping your septic system in good working order. Normally, stormwater is not intended to wind up in your septic tank. You shouldn’t worry about flooding your tank unless you have a hole in it or your tank cover has been broken. Even a severe thunderstorm is unlikely to cause flooding. However, this does not rule out the possibility of rain having an impact on your septic system.
Managing stormwater is important
Weather-related runoff can be a reasonably pure source of water, or it can be contaminated with a wide range of pollutants such as mud, oil, gasoline, fertilizers, animal waste, and other harmful chemicals. You don’t want any of these substances to make their way into the groundwater. Despite the fact that they may percolate through the earth and reach the water table through other routes, the soil in your septic field is very loose and susceptible to flooding. It provides a rather straightforward route to the groundwater beneath your property.
- The proper draining of your septic field is critical to the proper operation of your septic system.
- Unless your septic field has been completely saturated with rain water, your septic drainage will have nowhere to go.
- That is not a desired outcome in any circumstance.
- Maintaining the overall health of your septic field requires effective stormwater management practices.
- In addition, you must make certain that rainwater flow from your house and land is diverted away from your septic field.
- Clear Drain Cleaning may assist you in keeping your drains and drain field in excellent working order.
- Drain maintenance helps to keep your house and property safe while also ensuring the long-term health of your septic system’s performance.
4 SIGNS OF SEPTIC SYSTEM PROBLEMS
Moving into a property with a septic system is something that should never be done without taking the necessary measures, regardless of whether you are an experienced septic user or a complete novice. Before purchasing a home, you should engage a professional to do a complete septic system assessment to ensure that everything is in working condition and that the system has been cleaned and pumped on a regular basis. However, there are certain symptoms of problems that you may be able to discover on your own before paying for a professional evaluation.
- It’s best to move on to the next possible home if you observe some or all of these four symptoms and the seller refuses to acknowledge that there could be an issue.
- Septic problems that arise as a result of a system that has been ignored for decades can frequently cause problems with the drains.
- Because these pipes are meant to carry only water and not sludge, they are susceptible to being partially or completely blocked.
- Even though the drains appear to be functioning well, it is still recommended that you get an examination done.
- If the odors are coming from within the home (perhaps originating from the drains), they are more likely to be coming from outside, near the septic tank or leach field.
- Standing water or marshy areas should be avoided.
- Water can indicate that the system is leaking, deteriorating, or that it was not correctly built or designed, and so is not capable of adequately treating wastewater.
This additional water has the potential to overload the system and poison the surrounding communities.
Problems with Well Water If you live in an area that isn’t served by city sewage lines, there’s a good possibility that a private well is located on the same property as the septic system, which makes sense.
In the event that your septic system fails, the groundwater may become contaminated, resulting in unexpected findings when you test the well water.
If this is the case, you’ll need to investigate the septic system more as well as looking for other potential sources of contamination.
At this point, a malfunctioning septic system might be in such terrible shape that it will require complete replacement.
Whether you want further information about septic issues and inspections, or you require a regular everyday septic pumping service, please do not hesitate to contact us by phone or online now.
What’s Causing Standing Water in Your Yard?
Owners of septic systems should be on the lookout for any standing water in their yards at all times. Standing water is a noxious, unclean indicator of a far greater problem with your septic system, and it should always be treated as soon as possible when it is discovered. Failure to remove standing water may have major effects for the ecology in your immediate vicinity, as well as the potential to transmit illness to your family and the nearby species. Here are a few possible explanations for why you may have standing water in your yard.
- If your soil has gotten too compact, either as a result of being forced down by heavy machinery or as a result of violent storms, it will be unable to effectively absorb water.
- For those who feel that their soil is the problem, they should seek professional help to aerate the area with porous materials.
- When you utilize water in excess of what your septic system can handle, your drainfield may get inundated, preventing it from being able to absorb the excess moisture.
- Septic tank is completely full.
- The result of this might be leaks in the leach fields, which causes wastewater to accumulate on your property.
- If you want to avoid this problem in the future, make sure to get your septic tank emptied on a regular basis (preferably every three to five years).
- The fact that you live in a wet climate is a major source of anxiety for many homeowners.
If there has been a lot of rain in the last several days, it might be the reason.
The Distribution Box has been damaged.
This box is equipped with holes and spinning mechanisms, and it is intended to transport water uniformly into the drainfield while avoiding oversaturation of the soil.
A septic service provider or repair crew can quickly repair or replace your distribution box if it is in good condition.
Quality With excellent customer service and competitive pricing, Septic provides septic system maintenance, repairs, and replacements.
We have the knowledge and experience to ensure that you get the most out of your septic system to the maximum extent possible. For a free quote on our services, please contact us or visit our website right now!
How to Keep Heavy Rainfall from Overflowing Your Septic System
Whether you enjoy the sound of rain or despise being cooped up indoors, you might be startled to find that heavy rainfall can cause your septic system to overflow and cause damage. During a heavy storm, your drainfield may become inundated, which may cause your septic system to backup, and untreated sewage may end up harming nearby rivers and streams. Fortunately, there are steps you can take before, during, and after a storm to reduce the likelihood of long-term damage. Quality Septic can assist you if your septic system has been damaged as a result of recent storms.
- Preventative Actions are taken.
- Preferably, you should have your system tested and serviced before storm season begins to ensure that it is capable of withstanding the strain of severe rain.
- Examine your septic system for indicators that it need cleaning, and have your tank drained every three to five years to ensure that it is in good working order.
- Only grass should be planted in the drainfield since it has smaller roots that can help in absorption without disrupting the soil structure.
- While the Storm is blowing, The need for vigilant monitoring of warning indicators is critical for those with septic systems during storms.
- These are all indications that your drainfield is flooding and inflicting system damage.
- Unless absolutely essential, refrain from using the dishwasher, showering, or doing laundry, and refrain from flushing the toilets.
- Have your tank drained as soon as possible if debris is found in your water but do not do so until the surface water in your drainfield has subsided.
- Sewage System Repairs and Maintenance With the help of Quality Septic Quality Septic can assist you with any septic system inspections, repairs, or maintenance that you require.
Make a phone call or visit our website now for additional information or to receive a free estimate on our inspection, maintenance, and repair services!
Nutrients from septic systems can impact well and surface water
Increased nutrients entering local water wells and surface water as a result of a malfunctioning septic system might be harmful. Septic systems are used to treat wastewater in approximately 30% of Michigan’s homes and businesses, according to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. High quantities of nitrogen and phosphorus can be discharged into nearby water bodies or groundwater when a septic system is not properly maintained. In the United States, it is estimated that 10 to 20 percent of septic systems fail at some point throughout their operating lifespan.
Because of the nitrogen and phosphorus content in fertilizers, yard and pet waste, as well as some soaps and detergents, when they are used or discarded improperly, they can contribute to nutrient pollution in and around the house.
The Environmental Protection Agency of the United States has recognized septic systems as one of the top five sources of contaminants in surface water bodies.
Nitrogen and phosphorus are two nutrients that, when present in excess in surface water, function as fertilizers for bacteria and algae that develop quickly.
Eutrophication is the term used to describe this process.
Each nutrient has a distinct effect on the water quality, as follows: In terms of phosphorus, it is possible for wastewater to be absorbed and kept in the soil depending on the soil type in question.
Freshwater is more prone to phosphorus contamination than saltwater.
A surface water body can be reached if the residual nitrogen is allowed to penetrate the underlying groundwater and flow there.
Saltwater is more susceptible to nitrogen contamination than freshwater.
This condition is known as “blue baby,” and it is caused by a lack of oxygen in the blood.
coli) and Salmonella into the environment’s surface soils and ultimately into the environment’s surface waters.
Nutrient contamination in groundwater, which is used as a source of drinking water by millions of people in the United States, may be detrimental even at low levels, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Did you find this article to be informative?
- Foodwater that is safe to drink
- Septic systems
- Surface water
- Water quality