Septic Tank Emergencies: Best Practices Guide


Septic Tank Emergencies: Best Practices Guide

Even a well-maintained septic system can run into problems, especially if the weather is in play. Septic tank emergencies can leave homeowners scrambling, trying to figure out how to respond to the problem and keep their water supply safe. Learn how to react to septic tank emergencies and what causes them.

Septic Tank Problems

Flooding and heavy rains can wreak havoc with septic tanks. When the ground becomes saturated with water, the system may not operate correctly. In the worst-case scenarios, tanks can collapse or even move out of position, causing a trickle-down effect of problems on other connecting parts. Other problems also contribute to septic problems, such as a lack of maintenance, system overuse, or damaged components.

If your septic system is experiencing stress as a result of excess water, you may notice:

  • Sinks aren't draining as quickly as they used to.
  • Toilets are slow to drain.
  • Sewage is gathering outside of the home.
  • There is a foul, sewage odor inside or outside the home.
  • Drains in the floors start to overflow.
  • Drains that gurgle.
  • Basement flooding.
  • Drainfields that have standing water.

How to Respond

During septic tank emergencies, it's important that you act fast. A disruption in the delicate balance of wastewater removal and breakdown of waste can lead to health hazards, such as contaminated water. Call a professional to evaluate the condition of the tank and respond appropriately. Here are a few of the factors a septic tank professional will look for:

  • Proper water levels inside the tank. If the water level gets too low, it's likely that the pipe that connects the home to the tank is clogged. When water levels become too high, there could be a problem with the tank, or any of the components that lead out to, and including, the drainfield. To remedy the problem, the technician may need to pump the tank or replace components.
  • Broken parts. A pipe that's damaged can cause problems like standing water on the drainfield or a foul sewage odor. The technician will assess the pipe and replace it if necessary. If the drainfield itself isn't working properly, you may be facing a complete replacement project where a new drainfield will need to be installed.

As a homeowner, it's important that you are familiar with how to respond to septic tank emergencies, as well as know how the system should work so you can spot problems early on. For answers to your questions, contact the Pink Plumber today.