Septic System Flooding: How Does This Affect Your System and Drain Field?

septic flooding, drain field flooding

Aside from hot weather, summer also sees its fair share of storms. Many homeowners know septic system flooding is a serious issue. However, they don’t understand why and how to minimize the damage. We’ll examine some of the ramifications of flooding and explain how you can be proactive.

The Consequences of Septic System Flooding

When the drain field is exposed to standing water, it can become waterlogged. The consequences of this could include having wastewater back up into your toilet or sink. This can pose a serious sanitation issue and health hazard. 

The flood actually seldom damages the septic system itself. However, any openings may allow floodwater and accompanying debris to enter. Areas the floodwater can enter through include the tank cover and the manhole cover, as well as the inlet and outlet pipes. The debris and silt that get in may cause solid waste in the tank to rise and plug the outlet and inlet pipes.

What Homeowners Can Do

If the drain field is flooded, you may not even be able to run your sink or flush your toilet. The best solution is to limit water usage as much as possible. As soon as the water recedes, arrange for an OSS inspection to evaluate for potential backups. The system may require a septic tank pumping

During this time, don’t place excess weight over the drain field. This compacts the soil, making it harder for the system to expel effluent. Don’t drive a vehicle or place heavy machinery over the area. You shouldn’t be doing this ever but it’s especially a no-no during a flood.

We Inspect Septic Systems Post-Flood

We service residential septic systems and commercial grease traps throughout the Bellingham area. Call Lil John Sanitary Services after a storm that results in puddling water over the drain field. Septic system flooding requires professional inspection.

Summer Septic System Inspections

Serving Bellingham, Ferndale, Lynden, Everson, Deming, Lummi Island, Nooksack, Blaine, Whatcom & Skagit Counties, Maple Falls, Bow Birch Bay, Custer, and Acme