Rain, rain, go away…We certainly see a lot of rainfall here in New England during this typically drizzly month and we always have to be ready to expect more. Before you can enjoy May flowers, you should ensure your septic system can withstand downpours and prevent overflow from ruining your beautiful Spring yard.

The Problem

Heavy rain and other water sources, such as melting ice, can quickly oversaturate the soil around your septic tank, causing it to flood. This can result in some serious issues! On a normal dry day, your septic tank purifies the dirty liquids in the tank by using tiny microbes and drains it back into the soil. This allows for more room in your tank for toilet waste until it’s time for your routine pumping.
However, when there’s heavy rainfall and the soil surrounding your septic doesn’t have time to dry out, it limits the system’s ability to release these fluids into the ground, causing a backup in the tank. And as the liquids rise to a dangerous level, it could clog the drains and toilets in your home. If left untreated over an extended period of time, the issue can contaminate the surrounding environment by spilling the sewage into local streams—but let’s not let it get that far!

The Prevention

Luckily, taking preventative measures can save your septic system, your home, and the environment from disaster striking.

Here is a list of actions you can take:

  • Try your best to limit your water use during heavy rain. This is most important if you have a large number of guests or family members in your home all using sinks, showers, laundry, etc.
  • Only flush septic-safe, biodegradable materials and chemicals down the toilet. Anything that isn’t easy for your septic to break down will increase the likelihood of a clog.
  • Keep trees away from the tank to avoid root damage. Roots can both clog the pipes as well as create tears.
  • Continue to schedule regular inspection and tank pumping every 2-3 years. This ensures your septic will be in optimal condition to take on any rainstorms.
  • Direct runoff water (especially from gutters) away from your septic system and drainfield. This keeps the soil around your tank from getting extra soggy.
  • Don’t drive or place any heavy equipment on the drainfield as compact soil isn’t able to absorb as much liquid.

Following these steps can help avoid the problem, but you should still be prepared for a curveball. If you notice your septic tank and the surrounding areas begin to overflow, it’s time to bring in the professionals to help! Our technicians will be able to resolve the mess by repairing any damages to the tank, pumping out excess liquid, and even installing a septic tank riser (if you don’t already have one) for easier maintenance in the future. Give us a call 24/7 at 800-595-7907 or fill out our online form to get started.

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