Septic System Mistakes To Avoid

Look At All That Water! 3 Steps To Take If Your Septic Field Is Flooded

by Melinda Crawford

Now that the rainy season is here, it's time to start paying closer attention to your septic system. Torrential rains and seasonal flooding can wreak havoc on your septic system, especially if you're left with standing water in the yard. The best way to protect your septic system from flood damage is to prepare in advance. If you know what to do following a flood, you'll be able to react faster, which will prevent serious septic issues. Here are three steps you should take if your septic field is flooded.

Look for Signs of Septic Damage

Once the rains stop, or the flood waters subside, you'll need to inspect your septic field for signs of damage.

Sewage Backups

Sewage backups are the first thing you should look for after seasonal flooding. Those backups are a sign that excess water has seeped into your septic tank and caused it to overfill. To locate sewage backups, check your bathtubs, and the areas around the base of your toilets. If you find sewage in your tubs, or brown water leaking from around your toilets, your septic tank has been compromised.


Once you've inspected for sewage backups, you'll need to inspect the surface of your septic field – including the area over your seepage pit. Look for areas where the soil may have sunken in – including obvious sinkholes. If you notice sink holes, or areas where the soil seems lower, avoid walking on those areas. Those are signs that the soil is compacting around your septic field.

Check the Clean-Out Drains

If torrential rains have left your yard covered with standing water, you'll need to check your clean-out drains. Those are the drain openings that are located around the foundation of your home – usually under your bathroom and kitchen windows. Those drains lead right to the septic system. If the covers aren't on properly, the standing water in your yard could be draining right into your septic tank. To prevent that, be sure to tighten each cover, and replace any that might be damaged.

Replace the Covering Over the Septic Field

During the flood, the septic covering may have been washed away. Unfortunately, that covering helps filter surface water through the soil more slowly, which helps protect your septic system. To prevent further damage, and to protect your septic system during the next torrential rainstorm, you'll need to replace the covering over the septic field as soon as possible. Sod, or light-weight gravel are among the best coverings for your septic field.

Standing water can destroy your septic system. The information provided above will help your septic system survive the next flood. For other tips on how to protect your septic system during seasonal floods, be sure to talk to septic services near you.