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What To Do With Your Septic System After a Flood

September 24, 2021 02:00 PM

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​As Pennsylvania’s climate gets warmer, we’re seeing more frequent heavy rainfall events and flooding, such as the historic flooding that remnants of Hurricane Ida brought earlier this month, damaging communities, businesses, and homes in multiple counties.

Remember that even if your home or business escapes flooding, if your yard is flooded, this may affect your septic system. Here’s what to know and do!

First, minimize damage to your home or business from sewage backup by plugging all basement drains and drastically reducing water use.

Second, minimize damage to your septic system. After the floodwaters have receded,

  1. Have the septic system professionally inspected, pumped out and serviced by a qualified contractor as soon as possible. Silt and debris may have washed into the system filling septic tanks and clogging filters and aerobic units. Silt and debris, if discharged into the soil absorption area, can clog the unit and lead to system failure.
  2. Do not compact the soil over the soil absorption area by driving or operating equipment in this area. Saturated soil is susceptible to compaction, which can reduce the soil absorption area’s ability to treat wastewater and lead to system failure.
  3. Examine all electrical connections for damage before restoring electricity.
  4. Repair erosion damage over your septic system components and absorption area.
  5. Contact your local municipality or Sewage Enforcement Officer for additional assistance and advice. If any system repairs are necessary, you will need a local agency permit prior to conducting the repairs. Septic system maintenance does not require a permit, but repairs do.

Get further suggestions on how to handle a flooded septic system at: What To Do With Your Septic System After A Flood.


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