How Storms Can Impact Your Septic System

March 19, 2018

This year has already been a wet one for the Atlanta area. This time of year tends to be our rainy season, which is precisely why we feel it’s a good time to more properly educate you about some of the potential dangers that inclement weather can have on your septic system. More importantly, we want you to know what there is that you can do to avoid these issues in the future.

Rain is by far the most nefarious element that your septic system is likely to encounter on a regular basis. Although a light rain isn’t likely to do much to your system, heavier downpours can quickly dampen your property, rendering the soil of your septic system’s drainfield saturated and ultimately flooded. As the rain continues to fall (and you continue to use your septic system for regularly scheduled activity), water continues to build but with nowhere else to go except into your plumbing system, running backward and possibly back into your home. You may notice water draining slower or even backing up if the weather is strong enough.

Bishop-Thiem’s focus is always on the health, safety, and happiness of our customers, but we also take pride in ensuring that the human impact on our surrounding environment is minimized. Aside from the damage that such an event can have on your home, a flooded drainfield can also negatively affect the groundwater and local streams as untreated sewage flows into them. This can significantly harm your area’s ecosystem, and even your family’s health by extension.

So, what can you do to prevent this contamination? Here are a few tips to follow that can keep you safe and happy.

Before the Storm

   –   The first thing to always remember is that you can avoid a multitude of unforeseen issues if you simply have your septic system regularly serviced. Bishop-Thiem Septic Services recommends that most septic tanks be pumped every three to five years.

Of course, servicing your septic system can extend far beyond pumping. If you suspect a pump or your entire drainfield needs to be replaced, make sure to get it inspected before you have further cause for concern.

   –   If you’re planning on landscaping above your drainfield make sure to only plant grass or shallow, thin-rooted plants in that area. Allowing a little greenery to exist atop your soil can reduce the chance of flooding, but planting woody, deep-rooted plants can cause your system’s pipes to clog or become damaged, creating far more problems than their worth.

   –   Avoid placing heavy materials on top of your drainfield or driving equipment over it. By compacting the soil, you reduce the amount of water that it can absorb, increasing your risk of flooding.

Weathering the Storm

   –   When the rain starts to fall, you may notice your drains releasing water more slowly or your toilet making strange, pained sounds when it flushes. These are signs that your drainfield may be experiencing unusual stress. Combat this by reducing your water use until the field has had time to dry.

After the Storm

   –   Keep a close eye on your drainfield. When the weather has stopped, it shouldn’t take long for the soil to recede. If flooding persists, its likely time to have the system inspected.

Getting your septic system through a storm may seem like a daunting endeavor, but it doesn’t have to be. By keeping these tips in mind, you’ll be properly prepared and vigilant for the next rainfall. And never forget that you’ll always have Bishop-Thiem Septic Services to lend a hand.

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