Hurricane Ian will make landfall shortly in Southwest Florida and if you’re wondering what you should know as a homeowner in Southwest Florida with a septic system, we’ve got all the important insight.
Here’s a short list of things you need to know as a homeowner with a septic system to help get you through the storm.
Watch your water use as rain increases.
Homeowners with septic systems should always be conscious of their water use, but during heavy rainfall, the soil surrounding your drainfield can become saturated and prevent the natural dispersal of effluent from your drainfield into the soil. This can cause slow drains and even backups. Be sure to reduce your water use during heavy rains, particularly if the area surrounding your drainfield is pooling or saturated.
Here are a few tips for smart water use:
- Avoid doing laundry during the hurricane
- Conserve water by limiting your dish washing to full loads or using paper plates
- Do not take long showers
- Avoid taking baths
- Don’t continually run the water while doing dishes or brushing teeth
- Turn off your sprinklers (sounds like an obvious one, but many have theirs on a schedule and forget to do this!)
Make sure that your septic tank itself is at least half full
A full septic tank will not float if there is flooding or the water table rises. Ensuring that it is at least half full will also keep it from collapsing from the pressure of rising groundwater or floating out of the soil.
Avoid using the septic system entirely with heavy flooding
If you experience damage to your drainfield or septic tank, avoid using your septic system entirely by minimizing or eliminating water use inside the house. This will keep raw sewage out of the groundwater and avoid discharging it to the ground surface.
Turn off your septic system circuit box
If your septic system requires electricity, be sure to turn off your electrical circuit box to your septic system if you have concerns of flooding. Your electrical connections should be waterproofed to avoid damage and shock.
It is beneficial to consider a generator to keep your lift station functioning to prevent sewage backups.
Fill your bathtubs
If you are on a well, you’ll need to fill your bathtubs with water and purchase water, since you’ll lose the use of your well system when the electricity goes out. By purchasing water and filling your bathtubs, you’ll have water to wash dishes, flush toilets (as little as possible), and bathe with while you wait for your power to be restored.
Wait til flooding has dispersed before you use your system
Be sure to wait until the area surrounding your drainfield and circuit box have drained or are dry to resume normal use.
While we will be closed for the storm, you can count on us to be available as soon as we can to help you with your septic system issues after the storm. Contact our after hours line to be placed on priority once conditions are safe for us to service you: 239-332-1986
Stay safe, Southwest Florida.