Summers in Southwest Florida are known for our afternoon thunderstorms and heavy rain. During some storms we can get several inches of rain at once, which often overwhelmed our municipal water treatment facilities and drains and leaves our streets flooded. But how does all this rain impact your septic system? We get this question often. For the most part, you won’t have issues with your septic system in heavy rains.
When DO you have to worry about it? If you experience extended flooding or the ground surrounding your drainfield is completely saturated for an extended period of time, it could prevent your drainfield from accepting effluent into the soil.
If this happens, that water could collect into your septic tank, travel back through your pipes and find its way back into your drains, slowing your drainage and even backing up in your home. While this is rare, it definitely happens.
If it has been a few years since your last pumpout, its important that you take the time to have your tank pumped and inspected so that you don’t experience any issues when and if there is excessive rainfall.
Make sure that you don’t use excessive water during heavy rainfall, so that the rain has the opportunity to be absorbed and you’re less likely to overwhelm your system.
Here are a few helpful hints for smart water use when you’re experiencing heavy rain fall:
- Be sure to spread out daily laundry, only run full loads.
- Conserve water by limiting your dish washing to full loads
- Do not take long showers
- Avoid taking baths
- Run only full dishwashers
- Don’t continually run the water while doing dishes or brushing teeth
- Use efficient heads on showers
- Use low flow toilets
- Turn off your sprinklers (sounds like an obvious one, but many have theirs on a schedule and forget to do this!)
Efficient use of water should be an everyday thing, but make sure that during heavy rain you’re particularly cognizant of how you use your water to help keep your system running properly and give the rainwater time to absorb and replenish the natural water table.