What Do I Do With My Septic Tank After A Flood?

Posted on: 27 April 2017

Flooding can affect septic tanks in a number of ways and make the home's sewage system unsafe to use. Here is some advice on how to deal with septic tanks and flooding.

Wait to Pump the Tank

One thing you may be eager to do is pump your septic tank so that it can accept more water. That's a bad idea because when the area is flooded, part of your tank is probably submerged under water. If you significantly reduce the weight of the tank, it may be lifted off of the ground by the water levels. So wait until the flooding water levels have subsided to below ground level.

Avoid Using the Septic System

Until you can get everything sorted out, do your best to avoid putting any more water into the septic system. Depending on your home insurance, it might cover a stay for you in another location until your home is restored to a fully functional and livable situation.

Get Help When Cleaning a Drain Field

When the drain field becomes flooded, waste may be present in the floodwater. If there are local environmental toxin issues, you might also find that the flood water contains chemicals that could be hazardous to your skin or eyes. So contact local authorities to see if there are any risk factors with the water. It is a great idea to wear protective equipment, such as gloves and goggles, if you do need to do any clean up.

Get Water Tested

Before you can use well water again, you need to get the water tested for contaminants. With a septic tank in the area, you might find that groundwater is contaminated during a flood. Waste particles and bacteria can wash into your water supply. So before you begin to drink the water again, get it tested.

Call a Septic Tank Professional

Once the water levels have receded, it's safe to have a septic services team come and inspect the tank. A lot of times, the tank itself is not damaged in a flood. However, it's possible for the tank to get silt or other debris trapped inside. A septic tank pumping should take care of these issues. It will also take care of a situation where your septic tank is not able to accept any more water after a flood. The septic team will advise you on whether the drain field is damaged, as well, and how you can cultivate a functioning drain field again after your natural disaster.