If heavy rains are heading into your area, the excess water could adversely affect your septic system, especially if the tank is almost to capacity. Below are three ways heavy rain can harm your septic system.
Floods the Drain Field
When the drain field is working normally, it slowly gets rid of the excess water from the septic system. The pipes in the field allow the water to seep into the surrounding soil.
However, when heavy rains come through your area, the rain water saturates the ground above and around the drain field. Because of this, the excess water cannot drain into the soil. Instead, it will back up into your septic tank, potentially leading to another problem, as discussed in the next section.
Overflows the Tank
When a period of heavy rain cause saturation of the ground of the drain field and the soil surrounding the septic tank, these conditions can cause the tank to overflow. Not only does the water have nowhere else to go, but any small cracks or holes in the tank will allow even more water to seep into the tank.
If your septic tank has been emptied recently, you may not have to worry about it overflowing. However, if it has been a few years since you had a professional pump out the tank, the extra water could make your tank flood not only into the ground surrounding it but also back up into your home.
Waste Backs up into Your Drainage Pipes
If your tank becomes overfilled with water, the liquid will take the path of least resistance. When talking about your septic system, this means that the water will start flowing into your home's drainage pipes and backing them up.
When the water starts backing up, you may start to hear gurgling coming from your home's drains. You may also notice that the toilet and your sink drains are not draining as quickly as they should. If you do not have someone inspect the tank and empty it, you may eventually see and smell wastewater coming up through the drains in your home.
If heavy rains are threatening to flood your area, make sure your septic tank is well maintained and has been emptied recently. Contact a plumbing service so they can send someone to inspect your septic system to ensure it can handle the excess water, as well as provide any maintenance required to ensure the tank does not flood.