What to Do if Your Septic Tank Floods

What to Do if Your Septic Tank Floods

November 18, 2020

Even if you keep up with your septic maintenance and pumping, major storms and floods can cause problems for your septic system. As a general rule, septic systems need annual maintenance and should be pumped every three to five years. That said, you may need additional maintenance or emergency septic tank pumping during extreme weather and flooding in El Centro, CA. If you think your tank is full or flooded, here’s what to do.

  • Do not drink water from your tap. Many homes with septic systems also rely on wells for their household water. If you use a well, do not use your tap water for drinking. The flooded septic tank overflow may have contaminated the water. In other words, human waste and harmful bacteria may be in your drinking water. Use distilled water until your system is serviced and your well water is tested.
  • Check for manhole or tank covers. If your property floods, the water can move manhole and tank covers. Once the water recedes and it’s safe for you to inspect your property, check to make sure any tank or manhole covers are securely in place. Also, look for any holes that have opened up due to the flood. If the tank covers are missing, take the opportunity to check for any visible blockages or damages before you recover the tank. People and animals can fall into uncovered cavities. This can cause severe injuries or even death. If you can’t find the covers, try to fence off the area.
  • Call a professional for service. After you’ve ensured you have safe water and there are no falling hazards on your property, it’s time to call a professional. Your septic system contractor will come to make sure your system is still functioning properly. As long as your septic tank is buried far enough, a flood probably won’t damage it. However, other issues can arise. For example, you might find that your tank will no longer accept water, or that the drainfield is so clogged with dirt and mud it can no longer absorb the wastewater properly.
  • Schedule a pumping appointment. Even if it looks like your septic system is still functioning properly after a flood, you need to have it pumped. Dirt, debris, mud and more can clog the pipes, openings and drainfield. Pumping your tank will remove any blockages and excess water that filled the tank. Wait until the waters fully recede—otherwise the floodwater will defeat the purpose of pumping.

Floods can damage your septic system. Even in Southern California, it’s smart to keep a septic contractor’s number on hand—you never know when the weather will turn dramatic, plumbing will break or other occurrences will lead to a flood.

When you have a full septic tank in El Centro, CA, Sharps Sanitation can help. We perform septic pumping and maintenance on both regular and emergency bases, so you’ll always have a functioning system. Call today to get started.

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