Whenever the water table is high or your sewage system is threatened by flooding, there is a risk that sewage will back up into your home. The only way to prevent this backup is to relieve pressure on the system by using it less.
Once floodwaters have receded, there are several things homeowners should remember:
- Do not drink well water until it is tested.
- Do not use the sewage system until water in the soil absorption field is lower than the water level around the house.
- If possible, don't use the system if the soil is saturated and flooded. The wastewater will not be treated and will become a source of pollution. Conserve water as much as possible while the system restores itself and the water table falls.
- Flooding of the septic tank will have lifted the floating crust of fats and grease in the septic tank. Some of this scum may have floated and/or partially plugged the outlet tee. If the septic system backs up into the house, check the tank first for outlet blockage. Clean up any floodwater in the house without dumping it into the sink or toilet and allow enough time for the water to recede. Floodwaters from the house that are passed through or pumped through the septic tank will cause higher flows through the system. This may cause solids to transfer from the septic tank to the drainfield and will cause clogging.
- If sewage has backed up into the house, clean the area and disinfect the floor. Use a chlorine solution of a half cup of chlorine bleach to each gallon of water to disinfect the area thoroughly.