Understanding how excessive rainwater threatens your septic tank starts with understanding your septic system in general. Your septic system involves three basic units (the inlet pipe, the tank and the drain field) that each perform important tasks in processing the waste from your home. After waste is dismissed from your home and enters your septic tank through the inlet pipe, the solid waste settles at the bottom of the tank and the lighter solids float to the top. On a normal day, the effluent or liquid material flows from the tank to the drain field where it is delivered into the soil for further biodegradation.
This entire septic system process can be thrown off in the presence of heavy rain and/or flooding. When the soil is oversaturated around your tank, it can limit the drain field’s ability to do its job of releasing effluents into the soil. In result, tanks can experience high levels of liquid and possible flooding.
How Can I Tell If My Septic Tank Has Flooded After a Heavy Rain?
It is not always easy to determine if tank flooding is present. However, most homeowners will notice signs that look very similar to a clogged pipe or a septic tank that needs to be pumped out. This can include slow or backed up drains in your home and an obvious soggy drain field. If you have experienced a recent storm or heavy rain, consider tank flooding as a possibility, but always avoid a “DIY diagnosis” of your septic problems.
Repairing a Flooded Tank
Typically, slow drains are remedied by pumping a full septic tank. However, if the tank is flooded due to rainwater, this is not an effective solution and can actually do more harm than good. It is critical that you have a septic professional to accurately diagnose your septic problems. The better course of action for a flooded tank is to drastically reduce water usage in your home and allow the drain field time to dry. Preventing septic tank flooding during future heavy rains should involve regular maintenance of your tank as well as limiting water use during storms and only flushing septic-safe materials.
If you suspect your septic tank may be flooded or damaged due to heavy rainwater, please call the experts of Metro Septic. We can remedy your septic system at an affordable rate!