Flooding Can Damage Septic Systems

Flooding is a highly dangerous hazard. When a flood warning is issued, residents are usually instructed to place sandbags around the exterior of their home and stay indoors. While most people are concerned with staying dry, septic tank owners have another set of issues to consider.

Septic systems are made up of a variety of parts with separate functions that work cooperatively to treat household waste. The entire system is disrupted when one of these facets is damaged. Flooding is a direct result of long periods of continuous rainfall. Like many natural occurrences, floods can be unpredictable and cause extensive property damage. As water levels rise, the possible damage to septic systems simultaneously increases.

Septic Tank Intrusion

Septic tank intrusion refers to when unwanted items enter the tank. Such objects can include:

  • Tree branches
  • Leaves
  • Lawn Decorations
  • Mud

Introducing these items to the septic system can cause outlets to become blocked, increasing the risk of septic failure. Excess water is also extremely harmful to a septic system.

Septic tanks require regular pumping, yet the process of pumping does not entail emptying the tank. Septic pumping simply removes sludge.

There is a standard operating level of water in septic tanks which is usually 8 to 12 inches from the septic tank cap. When water continues to enter the tank, it will likely overflow and disperse its contents into the environment.

Septic Tank Displacement

Many people rush to have their septic tanks pumped when warned of violent storms, but that is not necessarily the best option. Although water remains in the tank after pumping, the tank becomes noticeably lighter. A lightweight septic tank can become buoyant in saturated soil, making it more susceptible to surfacing.

When a tank surfaces, inlet and outlets pipes are bound to break, destroying the septic system. We recommend the use of Septic Maxx, a septic tank additive with bacteria and enzymes that can break down septic sludge.

Drain Field Soil Compaction

Drain field soil compaction occurs when the soil becomes heavily saturated after a storm and excessive pressure is applied to the soil, causing the piping system to collapse. Saturated soil affects the drain field just as much as the septic tank. After the storm has subsided and water levels return to normal, avoid driving over or applying any excessive force to the drain field. It is highly likely that the pressure from a vehicle is enough to compress the soil and crush the underlying pipes.

Water conservation can help prevent drain field compaction from occurring. The last thing a homeowner should do is add more water to an already overwhelmed septic system. Water use can be limited by:

  • Not doing laundry during the flood
  • Reducing the amount of (and length of) showers taken
  • Flushing the toilet less

Septic Maxx is just one of the many eco-friendly products that can be used to help prepare a septic tank for a flood. Septic Maxx Trillion Tabs will replenish septic tanks with billions of bacteria lost after a pump out while combatting slow flushing and clogged septic tanks. Contact us today at 800-397-2384 to discover how to get a hold of our highly efficient septic tank treatment.

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