Holiday septic system emergency? Here’s what to do.

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The holidays can place an added strain on your septic system, especially if you plan to have guests over, cook, produce more waste, or use more water than normal. While septic systems can often handle a bit of an extra load, there is some risk for your system to become overloaded. Signs of overload include water surfacing over the yard (over the tank or drainfield), backup in the house, slow flushing toilets, gurgling toilets, drains that drain slowly.

If you find that your system isn’t performing as it should, below are some tips to help you diagnose and start to alleviate the issue.

  1. Reduce the amount of water going into the system by trying to use less water in your household.
  2. If your septic system is backed up, first make sure that you are experiencing a septic problem and not a plumbing problem (insert link to that video blog here) to determine the correct person to call. Misdiagnosing the issue happens more often than you would think!
  3. Try to pump the tank. This could temporarily solve the issue.Your system may resume back to normal operation after periods of increased usage, but this is not always the case. If you have an alarm on your system, pumping may not solve the problem. We suggest the best thing in this case is to call a trusted technician to check the pump and electrical components to diagnose the issue.
  4. Check for running commodes (an indication that water is continuously running). This could be caused by a stuck or jiggly handle. Also pay attention to drippy faucets or a malfunctioning water softener which could cause system flooding.

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