If your home is attached to a septic tank, seasonal flooding can be particularly worrisome. Although septic tanks are buried underground, they're still susceptible to flood damage, especially if the soil is thoroughly saturated. If your yard is flooded, you'll need to protect your septic tank in the following four ways:
Give Your Tank a Break
If your yard is flooded, excess water may have seeped into the septic tank and seepage pit. If that's happened, you shouldn't use your tank until you can have it inspected by a professional. While it may be an inconvenience not to use your septic tank, failure to give it a break could result in a septic overflow. When that happens, you could end up with raw sewage in your yard, as well as inside your home – especially in your bathtubs and around your toilets.
Have Your Tank Pumped
Contact your septic service technician as soon as you can and schedule a service call. You'll need to have your septic tank pumped out as soon as possible. This is particularly true if your tank was already near capacity prior to the floods. If it's been longer than three years since your last service call, your septic tank is probably at or near capacity.
Clean Up Sewage Back-Up
If your septic tank has backed up into your home, you should clean up the sewage spill quickly. Raw sewage can spread diseases such as hepatitis and gastroenteritis, as well as many other harmful diseases. Use hot water and bleach to clean any surfaces that came in contact with the sewage. You'll need to wear protective clothing while cleaning up the sewage. Your protective clothing should include the following:
Avoid Soil Compaction
It's important that you avoid driving over the soil located above your septic tank or seepage pit until the soil has had a chance to dry out. Soil that's saturated with water can become compacted when exposed to significant pressure – such as being driven over or having heavy equipment parked on top of it.
Once the soil around the seepage pit becomes compacted, it will not be able to properly absorb liquids. If that happens, you may have to have a new seepage pit installed in your yard.
Contact a septic tank cleaning company for additional tips and information.