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Rainy Weather and Your Septic System

rainRain, Rain Go Away!

Heavy rains can cause septic issues.   Significant rainfall can quickly flood the ground around the leach field or drainfield leaving it saturated and making it impossible for water to flow out of your septic system. When the water has nowhere to go, it can eventually travels backward through the plumbing system and back into drains and toilets and into your home.   When the  drainfield becomes flooded, it  can also lead to untreated sewage flowing into the groundwater and local streams.   This can lead to environmental contamination.

There are things you can do to help minimize any damage to the way your septic system functions and keep everything functioning smoothly.

Before it starts to rain:

  • Prevention is always the best bet.  Make sure your septic system is properly maintained, and is regularly pumped.  Septic problems can be worse if your tank needs to be pumped or the system has not been properly maintained.
  • Keeping water away from the home and the drain field is key.   Rain gutters are important. Make sure all gutters drain away from the drainfield area so as not to saturate the area, and make sure you clean the gutters in the fall and spring to help the water drain properly.
  • Maintenance of your drain field is essential.  Do not drive any heavy equipment or other vehicles that could compact the soil over the drainfield. This can compromise the soil absorption field’s ability to treat wastewater. Also, plant only grass above the drainfield or groundcover with shallow roots.  Do not plant any trees or vegetation with deep roots which could harm the leach field.

During the rainstorm:

  • If  you begin to notice that your drainfield is flooded, be alert to drains that are not draining quickly, toilets that flush slower or make strange sounds, or water that is backing up into your basement.   To take pressure off your system and allow it to recoup, use it less.  If possible, reduce or eliminate water going down the drains until the drainfield dries out.  Hold off on laundry until the water recedes.  Try to cut back on showers, and dishwashing and flush the toilet only when necessary.  It should only be a day or two until the rain stops and the sun dries up some of the excess water.

After the Storm

  • If the water does not recede and you suspect that your septic system is still not working properly, it’s time to call in a professional.  All Clear Septic is able to quickly come out and check your system and offer a solution.  It may include pumping the system or repairs may be needed.   Do not wait to have your system checked.  This could greatly increase your chances of major septic repairs or septic system failure.
  • All Clear Septic and Wastewater Services also has a great septic maintenance program.  Take the worry out of your septic system and call All Clear at 508-763-4431 and let them put you on their maintenance program.  This can help you extend the life of your system.  Visit www.allclearseptic.com for more information.