If your home has experienced a flood, your septic tank could be at risk. It can fill with rising ground water, or leak through the lid, leaving it unsafe to use. Follow these tips after a flood to make sure your septic tank is properly taken care of.
- Limit household water use as much as possible for a few weeks after the flood. When the water table is high in your sewage system, the sewage could begin to backup into your home. The only way to avoid this from happening is to use the the system less.
- DO NOT drink well water until it is tested by your local health department.
- Many times, if the field around the septic system is flooded, it can no longer hold the discharge from the septic tank. Try to use the system as little as possible until the water recedes.
- Don’t have the tank pumped during a flood or even after a flood if the ground is still saturated. Pumping is only safe when the water level is completely below the tank.
- Limit foot and vehicle traffic over the drain field, as soggy soil is easily compacted and could crush the septic tank underneath.
- If sewage has backed up into your home, it needs to be dealt with very carefully and right away. Contact your local authority or health department.
- If sewage has backed up outside your home, make sure children and pets do not encounter it. Solids should be removed, and the affected area should be covered in a chlorine bleach solution.
- Vacate your home right away if it is sewage-contaminated.
- Examine all electrical connections for damage before restoring electricity.