Septic tank problems when it rains are fairly common complaints with homeowners that have septic tanks and drain fields.
Septic tank problems can occur when it rains for a few different reasons. The obvious reason is the abundance of water flowing over the drain field flooding the system. The back fill soil will eventually settle upon the completion of the drain field installation creating the formation of dips and valleys. The dips and valleys collect runoff rain water that flow into the drain field filling up the septic tank.
Depending on the grade or slope of the soil will determine the amount of rain water draining into the system. Septic tanks that have little or no slope with deep dips and valleys over the drain field can collect up to several hundreds of gallons of water in just a few minutes.
Open areas of the septic tank that have been freshly dug out for the purpose of pumping the system can also present a problem with accumulation of water filling the septic tank.
Correcting water collection over a septic tank and drain field can be as easy as spreading a load of top soil over the system. The soil should be spread over the drain field in an attempt to create a 1 inch to 3 inch grade over the septic tank and drain field. This should divert any water accumulation over the system. Grass should be planted over the drain field to help prevent erosion of the new soil.
Rain gutters and down spouts should all be diverted away from a septic tank and drain field. This can be accomplished in several different ways. The most obvious is to dig a shallow trench and install a PVC pipe in order to direct the water away from the drain field.
French drains are also a viable option. Although the cost of diverting access rain water away from your septic system will cost considerably more than simply installing an inexpensive length of PCV pipe. The outcome would be the same but a more stable and long lasting fix.
With the right weather conditions a septic tanks can fill up in just a few minutes. In the worst case scenario water can fill up in the septic tank and drain filed pushing up into the home causing thousands in sewer cleanup and repairs. It is easy to divert rain water away from your home. Take a few minutes and consider the options. A few minutes of in preventive maintenance can save you thousands in repair costs.