Storm Damage Repair: Mending Septic Tank Damage from Flooding

Storm damage repair is a vital procedure if your septic tank becomes flooded during severe storms. A flooded septic tank creates various complications in the home. Inability to accept water is one of the most common signs of damage. Silt and debris may also fill the tank chambers. Below are some useful steps to help you mend septic tank damage caused by flooding.

Materials Needed

  • Bucket
  • Mops
  • Water
  • Household detergent
  • Chlorine bleach
  • Disposable gloves
  • Rubber boots

Step 1 – Inspection of Septic System

Check the manhole cover for your septic tank and make sure it is secure. If the cover is not secure or is absent, somebody could fall into the tank. Examine the inspection ports for signs of damage or blockage.

Step 2 - Household Flooding

Check your entire house for signs of flooding. In some cases, you’ll find that sewage has backed up into your basement or garage. Wear rubber boots and disposable gloves. Clean the affected areas thoroughly. Prepare a disinfectant solution of ½ cup chlorine bleach to 1 gallon of water. Thoroughly disinfect the areas you’ve cleaned. This helps to prevent serious illnesses caused by pathogens found in wastewaters. Check all electrical connections to confirm that they’re in good condition. Arrange to repair any damaged connections before you restore electricity.

Step 3 - Relieve Pressure on Sewage System

Flooding increases the risk of sewage system backup into your home. Saturated or flooded soils around the septic system are a clear indication that the water table has risen. This is a threat to the septic system. It is vital that the system is used less to relieve pressure on it. Use household waters sparingly to allow the water table to fall. This helps the septic system to gradually restore itself. It is best to undertake laundry elsewhere for a while. Take showers instead of baths and reduce on shower time. This helps to relieve pressure on the system and supports the drain field to dry faster.

Step 4 - Pumping

This should be done only after the floodwaters recede. It helps to remove silt, debris and contaminants that may have found their way into the system. Be certain to pump both the septic tank and lift station, if you have one. The soils that surround the tank should not be saturated when you pump. High water content could cause the empty tank to float in the ground, especially with plastic or fiberglass tanks. This can damage the inlet and outlet water pipes.

Step 5 - Drain Field

Flooding often erodes soil and destroys vegetation in the drain field. Allow the water to drain from the field before you undertake any work on the ground. When you work on wet soils, it ruins soil conductivity. Add more soil and spread it out to achieve a uniform surface level. Reseed areas where grass cover may have been destroyed. Keep foot traffic, heavy equipment or debris piles away from the drain field. This helps to prevent compaction. Compaction hampers the capacity of the field to treat wastewaters which can lead to early failure of your septic system.