Overflowing septic system

Help! Why is My Septic Tank Overflowing, & What Do I Do?

DVS Uncategorized

You wake up one morning thinking it’s the same as any other day. Then you notice some drains aren’t acting the way that they should, and it hits you.

Alright, so your septic tank is overflowing into your yard, and you’re freaking out. Don’t panic, though! Close your eyes, and take a deep breath (without inhaling the smell, that is).


The First Thing You Should Do

The first thing you want to do is to stop using the water in your house. Make sure all of the faucets and showers are turned off and that nobody flushes the toilet. You want to eliminate the chance that even more water enters the system and causes an even worse overflow. 

Now that you’ve gotten that out of the way, you can take an even deeper breath and assess the situation. Identifying the leading cause of the overflow will help you determine your next course of action.

What’s Causing the Overflow?

In a nutshell, there could be several things causing your septic tank to overflow:

  1. There are too many people using your home’s water at the same time.
  2. There’s heavy rainfall causing it to overflow.
  3. Your septic system is leaking or clogged with something.
  4. Poor maintenance routines can lead to blockages.
  5. Lower levels of beneficial bacteria can lead to solid waste materials not breaking down properly.

Higher Than Usual Water Usage

More specifically, if too many people are using the water at once, it can cause an overflow. This can be especially common during holiday vacations, where more people than usual are using the shower, the bathroom toilet, and the faucet than what would be typical. Likewise, heavy seasonal rainfalls can cause water to leak from your yard into the tank, which can overflow if there’s no room left.

Alternatively, your tank could be leaking or even clogged because a) your tank hasn’t been pumped for a long time or b) the helpful bacteria that is naturally found in septic tanks and that helps break down solids has itself worn away. Fortunately, there are methods you can use to help fix these problems. 

Irregular Maintenance Routines

Your septic system is a well-oiled machine that requires you to perform regular preventative maintenance to maintain that efficiency. It’s recommended that your system gets pumped every one to three years. In the case of infrequent maintenance routines, having a respected septic pump company come out and pump your system should help your situation. A trained staff, such as the one found at Delaware Valley Septic, Sewer & Storm, can come to your home and pump your septic system quickly and safely. 

Improper Chemical Use

When it comes to keeping the helpful bacteria in your septic system alive and working to break down the solid waste, be mindful of what chemicals you pour down your drains. Often, the same chemicals we use that are considered toxic to humans will end up killing the helpful bacteria in your tank. To help give the bacteria in your tank a fighting chance, avoid pouring cleaning products into your drains such as bleach, disinfectants, and toilet cleaners. 

What Can I Do to Fix the Problem?

That depends. If your Montgomery County septic system has been pumped in the last year or so, most likely, you can bet on rainfall or too much water use to be the culprit. If this is the case, we advise waiting it out for a short while; the problem should resolve itself in a few days, especially if you keep your water use to a minimum. However, if the situation doesn’t resolve itself quickly, an underlying issue may ultimately be responsible. While there are ways you can help prevent the problems in the future, a professional service will be required to service your septic tank right away.

In the meantime, try to relax, and call Montgomery County’s leading septic installation crew if you need assistance! The Delaware Valley Septic, Sewer, & Storm team specializes in septic tanks, sewers and storm inspections for your property. Contact us today to receive your quote!