Your septic tank works by constantly leeching liquid into the surrounding soil. Since the surrounding soil is dryer than the inside of the tank, the water flows out naturally. However, when the weather becomes very wet and the soil becomes saturated, water does not always flow out of the tank properly -- overflows and septic backups then become more likely. Here are four ways to help avoid a septic backup during wet weather.
Conserve water use in the home.
The less water you can put into your septic tank at this time, the better. Conserve water use in the home by taking shorter showers (or even showering every other day), turning the water off when you're brushing your teeth, and waiting to do laundry until it is drier outside. You may wish to go to the laundromat to do your laundry for the time being, since even one load of laundry adds a considerable amount of water to your already wet yard.
Divert rainwater from the drainfield area.
If water is pooling in the area around your septic tank, the chance of an overflow becomes much higher. Your goal should be to divert the water elsewhere. If you have a system of drainage ditches on your property, make sure they are not blocked. If your septic field is located in a low spot, consider having a landscaping professional build up the grade in that area or add additional drainage so that the tank does not overflow during subsequent wet spells.
Make sure your plumbing system is accidentally emitting excess water.
A constantly running toilet, leaking pipe, or leaky faucet can excrete a lot of excess water into your septic tank without your knowledge. Check to make sure there are no leaks in your plumbing. A good way to do this is to watch the spinning dial on your water meter. It should not be spinning when all of the water sources in your home are turned off. If it is spinning, you have a leak. If you have a leaky faucet or toilet that runs constantly, replace it or turn the water off to it temporarily.
Turn off any irrigation systems in your yard.
If you have a sprinkler system or drip irrigation system in your yard, turn it off until the yard dries out. The extra water is not only unnecessary at this point, but it will contribute to the flooding and perhaps eventual overflow of your septic tank.
If you smell sewage in your yard during wet weather, this is a sign that your tank is overflowing. Call a septic service, like AAA Cesspool & Rooter Service, promptly so they can pump and drain your tank.