Hurricanes, Flooding, and Your Septic System
Hopefully, everyone with a septic system knows and understands that they need to take special care of their systems. But what about during hurricane season? Thankfully, our region here in New England has not had a bad storm in quite a while (certainly not like the recent floods in North Carolina!) If we were to get a storm, though, it is helpful to know that the Environmental Protection Agency has created a list of steps to take to make sure everything is safe and usable after waters recede.
- Do not pump the tank if the area around the septic system is saturated. This may cause the tank to ‘float’ out of the ground and severely damage pipes. Until the ground dries out, it is best to ration water usage in the house or building.
- Do not use the system soon after the flood. Until the waters have gone down, the drain fields will not work properly. Also, shifting of the ground during a flood could have caused pipes to break. Get your septic system inspected after a flood. The good news is that most tanks are not damaged, but they can fill will debris and should be pumped and cleaned as soon as possible after flooding (again, once waters have receded and ground is no longer saturated)
- If you do have a mishap and sewage has come into the basement, be sure to disinfect the area using a bleach solution.
- Any electrical connections should be inspected before turning electricity back on.
- Be sure that the cover of the septic tank is in the correct position.
- If the grass cover over the system has eroded due to the flooding, it may be necessary to resod the area to restore grass cover.
- Avoid driving on the area of soil over the soil absorption field as this can cause compaction of the soil. This is can reduce the ability of the soil to treat the wastewater.
- And lastly, until the water table returns to normal, be gentle on the system and use it less. This will reduce the risk of backups into the home.
Have questions? Grenco will be happy to help! Call us at 401-295-9119 or visit our website for more information.
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