If your home is located in an area with severe winter storms, then your septic system is vulnerable to flooding. You might be surprised to learn that just as waste water flows out of your septic tank, it can also flow back in! The reversed water flow will happen if the ground surrounding the leach field and leach lines becomes swamped with water. Since the excess water can't drain quickly enough into the ground, it will flow back up into the septic tank and can even flood back into the drains inside of your home.  

Here's what you should do if your home's septic system becomes waterlogged:

Step 1: Call a Licensed Plumber to Come out and Inspect the Septic System

Before you do anything else, you need to place a service call to your local plumber or septic tank specialist, such as those at Rob's Septic Tanks Inc. The plumber needs to come to your home and inspect the septic tank, leach lines, and leach field to determine if the stormwater is the true cause of the problem.

If they determine the flooding isn't too bad, then the septic tank can be pumped out and you will be able to use your system again. If the flooding is severe, then pumping will do nothing but temporarily remove the water from the tank and doing so won't accomplish anything because it will soon refill with water. When this is the case, you will just have to wait it out until the stormwater absorbs into the ground.

Step 2: Clean Up Any Spilled Sewage

If your septic tank overflowed into drains inside of your home, then you need to clean up the raw sewage so it can't make anyone ill. Clean spill areas using bleach to kill any dangerous bacteria.

Step 3: Avoid Introducing Any Additional Wastewater into the Septic System

During the time your home's septic system is waterlogged and unable to drain water, you must avoid introducing any more water into it. Some ways you can do this are:

  • showering at your gym or a local truck stop
  • eat takeout food and use disposable plates
  • rent a portable toilet

Finally, it is advisable that you turn off the water to your home when your septic system isn't flowing. This will ensure that no one in your household accidentally flushes the toilet or runs the water. As the ground starts to dry out, the water from the septic system needs to be able to seep out and drain. Adding water into the system will make this process take a lot longer and can further damage the septic system.