Symptoms of Hidden Hurricane Damage to your Septic System

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Symptoms of Hidden Hurricane Damage to your Septic System

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South Carolina Hurricane Ian update: SC surveys damage, start recoveryIn the weeks following Hurricane Ian, you’ve probably been busy mitigating damage, cleaning up your yard, filing insurance claims and dealing with repairs to your home. One of the factors that you may not have considered is the underground damage that may have happened to your septic system if you experienced downed trees or other issues during the storm. Excessive weight on your drainfield or septic tank may warrant repairs that won’t necessarily be apparent as you move forward and back into your routine. Worried about hidden hurricane damage to your septic system?

Here are a few symptoms that your septic system may need repairs:

Slow drains

If your system flooded or even if you just experienced excessive rainfall that resulted in pooling above your drainfield, you may have damage to your drainfield or a full septic tank. When the area surrounding your drainfield has pooling water or flooding, there is not only excessive pressure that may cause damage, but it also inhibits the natural process by which your system processes wastewater and may mean your septic tank has filled up.

When your system cannot process effluent (the partially treated wastewater broken down by the bacteria in your septic tank), it can mean slow drains.

Bubbling or gurgling toilets

When your septic system is functioning properly, your drains should easily clear water at a rate of about one gallon every 30 seconds. If you find yourself asking the question, “Why are my toilets bubbling or gurgling on a septic system,” then odds are good that you may need a septic system pump out and inspection. If your drainfield has damage, is obstructed, or your septic system is full, it can mean water and air isn’t flowing properly through your pipes. If this is true, and your septic system needs to be pumped or repaired, your toilets will make bubbling or gurgling noises.

Bubbling or gurgling toilets can have a few causes, including blocked or backed up drains, drain lines, pipes or an over-full septic tank. Be sure to limit water use and remedy the problem fairly quickly by calling an expert out to assess the situation.

Pooling water by your drainfield

It is important to pay attention to when water pools by your drainfield, as it’s a sign that your drainfield may need to be repaired. While this may happen in the rainy season, the water should dissipate fairly quickly as it soaks into the ground. Excessive rainfall like we have during a hurricane can cause damage to your system and will need to be addressed fairly quickly. During this time you’ll want to be particularly judicious with your water use to avoid straining the system.

Signs of cracked septic tank

With the flooding, downed trees and boats and cars that shifted during hurricane Ian, there is a chance that your septic tank may have shifted and cracked. While this is extremely rare, the extent of this major storm caused significant damage and you don’t want to rule out the possibility that this may have damaged your septic tank itself.

If you are seeing patches of green grass surrounding the area where your tank is buried or sewage smells near your septic tank, you’ll want to have it immediately inspected before the sewage can impact the groundwater.

Long story short, there are a number of hidden things that may take time to present themselves when it comes to septic system damage after a hurricane. Protect your investment by being particularly cautious with water use, inspecting the areas around your septic tank and drainfield and calling a septic contractor as soon as possible after the storm to pumpout and inspect your system if you experienced flooding.

Crews Environmental continues to be here for all your septic system needs surrounding this hurricane and any other storms that come along. Please contact us 239-332-1986