Wet Weather is the Enemy of Septic Systems 

We can’t wait to say hello to spring! But that can mean we’re heading into a wet season here in coastal Virginia. With snow melting and lots of rain, the ground can get pretty damp and stay that way too. Now it’s often not obvious, but wet weather can be a burden on your septic system. Let’s look at why wet weather is the enemy of your septic system. Plus some tips on how to combat that wet weather! 

Why wet weather is an enemy

Wet weather, like tons of melting snow or heavy downpour, can cause issues for your septic. The main problem is the pooling of water in your drain field. Water can pool in your drain field, or it can simply over saturate the soil in the area. Both of these issues lead to the septic system being unable to complete moving water from the tank. This leads to an incredibly full septic tank, which leads to a possible back up into your home. You do NOT want to deal with a septic backup in your home. It can be a huge mess, dangerous, and can cause damage to areas of your home, depending on the severity. The good news is there are ways to manage your septic tank before, during, and after a heavy storm to prevent issues. 

How to prevent wet weather-related septic issues 

The critical thing to note here is that simple maintenance and consciousness will do the trick. As with most problems, just being mindful of the situation and taking good care of your septic will help avoid costly issues like a septic backup. Here are some tips for how to prep your septic before, during, and after heavy rain. 

  • Before the storm: Take care of your septic tank. It’s as simple as that. Maintaining a healthy septic tank will leave it more durable and better prepared to handle an influx of water. Getting your tank pumped regularly is the first step in good maintenance. Other tips are to avoid harsh chemicals and get regular maintenance check-ups. 
  • During the storm: Try to reduce your in-home water usage. There’s already going to be “too much” water during heavy rain. Avoid making it worse by using excessive amounts of water during the storm. Adding water to your tank will only aid it in becoming too full too quickly. If your system does flood, be sure to avoid it because it’s likely contaminated. Call a professional for help as soon as you can! 
  • After the storm: The idea here is similar to ‘during the storm’ – avoid using too much water. You want to give the drain field time to dry out, and using large amounts of water isn’t going to do that. You should also reroute any water from your home (i.e., gutters) away from the drain field. We encourage you not to get your tank pumped during a flood/heavy rain and wait till the weather is clear. Be patient and mindful until the storm passes. Once it’s cleared, ask a septic professional to come out and assist you with checking the entire system to be sure everything is functioning correctly. 

We hope that these tips will help prepare you for the upcoming spring weather! Miller’s Services is always available and ready to assist you. Should you experience any septic issues, be sure to give us a call. We’re available to answer any questions – (804) 758-4314. We also encourage you to schedule regular maintenance for your septic system.

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