Septic: From A to Z

What To Do If You Experience A Septic Tank Emergency

From scheduled maintenance to making sure you don't put the wrong thing down the drain, you have always taken great care of your home's septic system. Unfortunately, despite your best efforts, there is still the possibility you will suffer a septic tank emergency that will require immediate professional assistance. Here are a few steps you need to take if you ever find yourself in the middle of a septic tank emergency.

What Are the Signs of a Septic Tank Emergency?

The first step in reacting to a septic tank emergency is understanding when you are in the midst of a septic tank emergency. Here are a few signs that your septic system needs to be looked at immediately:

  • Sewage backup. Sewer backup inside your basement or through your toilets or sinks is a sign of a serious problem. Typically, the tank is overflowing, there is a blockage, or a major storm.
  • Foul odor throughout your home. With or without the presence of sewage, you may also smell a noticeable foul smell throughout your house and around your drain field.
  • Water pooling in the drain field. When a tank overflows, it will drain waste into the drain field. This will show up as a puddle.

Prior to these more serious signs, you may notice other signs that a sewer problem could be brewing. This includes slow drains or clogs.

Call a Professional Immediately

Once you notice any of the above-mentioned signs, call a professional right away. Never attempt to diagnose the problem and try to repair your septic system by yourself. For example, if you suspect the problem is a clog, you may consider using a septic additive to break the blockage. Unfortunately, septic additives can not only disrupt the natural environment of the septic tank, but the caustic nature of these products can also damage the pipes and septic tank.

What To Do While You Wait  

Depending upon the extent of the problem causing your septic failure, you may need to wait several hours or days for the septic tank to be functional. Do not turn on the water while the septic tank failing or being repaired. Additionally, if you have sewage in your basement, never clean it yourself. Instead, hire a professional. The sewage backup is filled with harmful bacteria that can make you very sick.

If you ever suffer a septic tank breakdown and need help right away, don't hesitate to contact a professional to diagnose the problem and make the necessary repairs.