Flooding is a nightmare for homeowners, especially when you don't know how to handle the situation. Flooding is even more complicated when you rely on a septic system. Here are three things that you need to do after a flood if you have a septic system.
Turn off your home's water supply
The first thing you need to do after a flood occurs is turn off the water supply to your home. The water supply valve is generally found where the cold water pipe enters your home. The water may enter your home in your crawlspace or beside your hot water heater. Look for a red knob or handle and shut the water off.
Turning off the water is important because after a flood, your septic tank is full of water and your drain field is also saturated. If someone in your house flushes a toilet or uses a sink, the waste water won't be able to be processed by the flooded septic system, and the waste water will back up into your house.
Have your septic tank inspected
Many of your septic tank's components can be damaged in a flood, so you should have your tank inspected after the waters have receded. Since septic tanks are full of dangerous gases, you should never attempt to inspect your own septic tank; doing so can lead to serious injury or even death.
Your septic contractor will inspect your tank and look for problems like these:
- Pumps which have shorted out due to flooding;
- Cracks in the tank due to the pressure of the flood water;
- Damaged pipes due to the tank floating up in the water.
If any problems are found, your septic contractor can repair the damage, and in severe cases, replace your septic tank entirely.
Repair erosion damage to the septic mound
Some septic systems make use of a mound system, which is a large mound of dirt which is used to help treat wastewater. During a flood, your mound may fall victim to erosion; if this happens, you'll need to have the damage repaired once the flood waters have receded. Since the mound is a key part of the septic system, don't try to rebuild it yourself. Instead, have a septic contractor do it for you.
Ideally, a septic mound should be at least 24 inches tall, so your septic contractor may need to order large quantities of dirt for this purpose. Once the mound has been rebuilt, you should plant wildflowers, grasses, or other plants with shallow roots on top of the mound to help hold the dirt in place.
If your area floods, make sure to take these steps to keep your septic system in good working order. Contact a local septic service, like Lavenders Contracting Ltd, for more help.