Typically, most of our septic systems are made up either concrete or plastic and their primary duty is to collect wastewater and sewages from toilets, bathrooms and kitchen sinks. They treat the wastes they collect before it reaches its final destination which is either an adjacent water course or a farm as fertilizers. They work by settling the placid sewages into a primary tank for primary treatment. They would be then released into a saturated soil through a drain field.
In case of floods, these mechanisms are usually left unharmed because they are buried, yet what terminates them is when water leaks into the tank through the lid or when it is immersed in the groundwater when it rises. This may cause sewages, wastewater and rainwater to enter your homes though your sewer lines, toilets and drains. This would expose you and your family to pathogens and water damage which may risk and endanger your health and your family’s.
Flooding does not only endanger your household’s health or destroy your properties on the ground surface, but they could disturb and contribute to your underground system’s instability as well. Your septic tank will be filled with water and could cause sewer backup too.
Here are the things you should do in case of septic tank flooding.
1. Avoid flushing your toilets
It is certain that water from the septic tank contain harmful organisms and pathogens that may harm your family’s health such as bacteria, viruses and parasites. These could cause serious human illnesses. That is why when septic tank flooding occurs, avoid using or flushing your mechanisms associated with your septic tank first to avoid sewer backups and bringing these harmful organisms into your home. Keep your children and pets away from the wastewater affected areas to avoid direct contact between them and the harmful organisms.
This situation would require you to safely dispose your sewages when the system is still not used and handle your system properly to protect your health from possible dangers of flooding.
2. Seek help from experts
When you notice or discovered physical damages in your sewer systems, engage with health professionals immediately and seek advises about what is appropriate to do and what is not to keep your family safe. Engage with a plumbing professional as well to handle and assess the situation for you especially because this can no longer be restored by do-it-yourself procedures and should definitely be handed over to skilled plumbers who knows how to remedy this situation without risking your family’s and your system’s well-being.
3. Pump water after flood
When the rain is finally over and as well as the flood, you can contact a service contractor to pump the rain water out of your septic tank. This is advisable in order to remove dirt, silt and other unwanted materials that have penetrated your system during the flood. Your inlets, outlets and vents would as well be cleared if they are congested with the fluctuating scum layer upstretched and elevated by the water into the tank top but are adhered after the water retroceded.
On the other hand, when pumping is not necessary, especially when drainfield and tank are merely flooded with high water table, then it would be better to consult a septic specialist and know what is best for your system.