Septic tank maintenance

Will Rain Water Keep My Drain Field Flooded?

When the rainy season comes, flooding always becomes an issue especially with septic systems that have drainage problems in the drain field lines. This can become more of a severe problem with homeowners that live in flood zones or areas where the water table is relatively high. These areas are some of the toughest zones to try to install and maintain a functional septic system. In some areas, there are times when you cannot go outside without wearing boots and the surround yard areas become a complete mess of muck and mud. 

Your septic system’s drain field depends on gravity to keep liquids flowing out to the field lines for absorption. It is comprised of trenches that are lined with perforated piping and filled with gravel. These drain field lines are the components that function so as to equally distribute the wastewater through the subsoil’s below the system. The drain field is responsible for the secondary treatment of the household’s wastewater as it enters the trenches. The wastewater is them further filtered by the bio-mat before it is finally absorbed by the surrounding soil. 

If you have a weak system, you may start to notice that your drains become slow whenever it rains heavily and your toilets may make strange noises, sometimes flushing at a slower than normal rate. It can really be frustrating when wastewater starts to backup into your home and if the backup is driven by rainwater, only Mother Nature knows how long the flood battering will continue. The backing up of the sewage happens simply because it has nowhere else to go and that the flooding in your yard has greater pressure and pushes back the wastewater into your home. 

It is common notion that when all of this commotion happens, there must be something wrong with the septic tank and while this may be true, usually the problem lies in the field lines. Some homeowners do not pump their tank according to schedule and as a result, sludge accumulates and this flows right into the drain field. If you are proactive and assure that only healthy material pass into the tank area, generally you can rule out a full septic, especially if you use bacteria additives and have the system inspected every few years for sludge levels. 

Consider the leaks or damages that can be present somewhere in your septic system. These leaks or damages can be a cause of floodwater take in or a leakage in the wastewater out into the surface of the drain field. Sediments may also enter the pipes in the drain field or distribution box that may cause blockages. As a result, the water will not be absorbed as quickly as it should and may backup to the surface of the yard, above the drain field. This is aggravated by rainfall or excessive use of water in the household. 

 If you have ruled out other causes of leakage and are certain that your drain field is flooded, the first thing that you have to do is to reduce the amount of water that your household consumes everyday. Doing so will decrease the water flow into the tank and lessen the water load in the system. Next is to plug the floor drains where the wastewater could backup to. You wouldn’t want to wade in sewage until the problem is solved. Try to flush only once a day per person or use a portable potty along with off site laundry care in emergency situations. Fewer showers won’t hurt, too. It is also a must that you do not use your dishwasher for a while and just have your clothes washed at the Laundromat while the drain field situation is being controlled. Also check for any leaks in the house plumbing. Another thing that you can vigilantly do is not to use anti-bacterial detergents or solutions. This lowers and even depletes the bacterial population in the septic tank. When this happens, the solid wastes are not properly digested, resulting to the drain field blockages or clogs that make things worse when flooding occurs. 

Don’t fret. Once the water output has been reduced, plan a treatment course based on the amount of people in the home and the size of the system. You can obtain help from a remediation professional who specializes in restoring drainage to weakened or clogged drain field lines here on this site. If there is no visible or probable damage to your septic system then everything should return to normal after committing to water reduction followed by various drain field restoration treatments. While some drain field systems are flooded as a result of breakage, most systems are simply clogged and can usually be corrected through diligence and the right tools.

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