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Help! My Septic System is Flooding!

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What to do when your septic system floods

A flooding septic system can be your worst nightmare, especially if sewage is backing up in the house (or worse, if you have guests). Diagnosing the exact cause of a backup requires a professional, but there are a few things you can check and do until you’re able to book a maintenance appointment.

The backup may be a plumbing problem

Sometimes a backup can be a plumbing issue, rather than a septic system one. A few simple tasks can help you determine whether a backup is a plumbing or septic system problem.

Ease the load on your septic system

If you’re pretty sure the backup was caused by your septic system, there are some things that can provide you some temporary relief until the problem is resolved.

  • Reduce the amount of water entering the system (the water going down your drains). Conserve water by holding off on laundry and dishwashing and only use minimal water for hygiene.
  • If you have a cleanout (usually a white PVC pipe between the house and the tank), open the cleanout. This may allow some of the backup to flow out of the cleanout instead of in your house. Caution: keep children, animals and pets away from any surfacing sewage.
  • Check for and repair any dripping faucets, running commodes, or malfunctioning water softeners as they can cause a septic system to flood out.
  • Pump out your septic tank. This may not solve your problem completely, but it can help give you some temporary relief while the tank fills back up.

Septic backups may mean repairs or replacement

If your septic system is the cause of your backup, you may be in need of major repairs or a whole new system. If you are having problems with septic system backups, please contact Van Delden. We’ve been installing septic systems since 1937, and provide Hill Country residents with services they can count on.


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