Can a septic tank fill up from too much rain?

The septic tank is a small treatment plant that collects toilet waste. The climate change we have observed in recent years has led to more frequent heavy rainfalls. Those downpours can prove dangerous for the proper functioning of most septic systems. 

But can it overflow, what are the dangers in such a case and how to protect yourself? You will find out in this article.

Can a septic tank fill up from too much rain?


Can a Septic Tank Fill With Rainwater, Causing Flooding?

Yes, it can. In fact, your drainfield is the leading cause for an overloaded septic tank. It is the only exposed part of a septic system and can cause plumbing problems by direct contact with stormwater.

Soil Flooding

The drainage field purifies the water and is therefore safely dispersed into the surrounding soils. The septic tank can hold a certain amount of untreated sewage. However, significant rainfall may inundate the surface around the drainfield.

Excess water mixes with the sewage and overwhelms the tank. If the runoff water can’t find a way to go, it will come out and make a pond in the yard. Also, it can back up the drains and flood your home.

Drain Clog

Another problem can be the plumbing system itself. During the rainy season, the drainage field becomes saturated. This means it will not be able to absorb sewage. Since the water has nowhere to go, the septic tank will overflow. Over time, it will cause plumbing problems such as bad odors and gurgling pipes.

Clogged drainfields also facilitate the flow of untreated sewage flowing into groundwater. As a result, it can mix with local streams and cause serious pollution.

Can a septic tank fill up from too much rain?


A few things could happen with your system

If a septic system is overloaded, it can prevent solids from settling and decrease the necessary bacterial activity. This could result in solids blocking the drainfield and cause the septic tank to become less efficient or even break down entirely. 

Additionally, a high volume of wastewater can decrease the number of beneficial bacteria in the tank, leading to inadequate wastewater treatment. These are just a few of the many potential issues that may arise in the upcoming rainy season.

The septic tank has directly absorbed all of the water through a maintenance chest

It is conceivable that the solid waste and residue, along with the liquid in the septic tank, may spill over into the other maintenance compartments. This can sometimes result in overflow from the toilet, shower drain, and other connected drains.

The rain water has flooded the drainage field of the septic tank

This time the problem is slower, although more severe because the septic tank does not have the drainage field cleared as an escape measure. When the drainage field is flooded or blocked in some way, such as a garden or open field, the septic tank cannot drain the filtered water. If you notice that the problem exists, your drainfield is likely flooded or blocked.

There is a blockage in the filtration systems of the septic tanks

This is the most laborious septic tank problem that you could come across. It is necessary to evaluate the situation, locate the blockage and, what is often most complex, solve it. 

In this case, you’ll be glad that you called the professionals of extractions and unblocking. 

The septic tank has been moved

It is usually rare but more common than it seems. Due to multiple causes that we will explain in another post, the septic tank can move. One of these causes is torrential rain. The movement of the pit can cause breakage of the cistern or container compartment. 

It is also possible that one of the connecting pipes of the septic tank has moved, loosened or broken, causing a strong undesirable odor.

All this can be solved with the correct installation of the septic tanks. The type of land that surrounds the septic tank, the climate and the possible problems that may arise should be considered.

It’s important to carry out correct daily and annual care and maintenance. Those can be performed either by the individuals who stay in the house or by your trusted extraction and emptying company.

Can a septic tank fill up from too much rain?


Situations that could cause issues with your septic system and how to prevent them

To keep your septic system in order you should maintain it properly. Unfortunately, several factors can negatively impact your septic system, resulting in unpleasant smells, slow draining, or even complete system failure. It is important to be mindful of these situations and take prompt action to prevent or address them. 

Here are some of the common situations that could cause problems with your septic system.

  • Drainage plumbing is connected to the septic system incorrectly;
  • A sump pump and downspouts are connected to the septic system;
  • Floor and footer drains or yard drainage are also connected to the system;
  • Surface water is not routed properly;
  • Water from downspouts is discharged onto the septic tank or leach field;
  • Water from the entire yard creates puddles on top of the leach field after rain;
  • Subsurface drainage is incorrect;
  • An underground drainage pipe discharges water into the septic system;
  • Subsurface water in the yard flows downhill through soil and floods the leach field beneath the yard’s surface.

How to prevent any problems?

You may have noticed that your septic tank works worse when it rains, it floods, clogs, etc. A pumped septic tank is only a temporary relief for saturated soil. 

Awareness of the significance of preventive maintenance is crucial to prevent flooded conditions. Incorporating perforated pipes can facilitate the smooth discharge of water. 

Here is what you should do:

  • Before the rain: The most crucial thing is to ensure that our pit is in good condition. In addition to monitoring the septic tank environment, storm drain systems must be properly treated with biodegradable cleaners. They should also be cleared from debris. In the pit’s drainage area, you should avoid excessively compacting the ground around and, if you prefer, plant some grass to help drain the water.
  • During the rain: A quick way to put less pressure on the pit system is to use it less when it rains. If during this process septic tank problems begin to arise, it is essential to contact professionals for a quick solution.
  • After the rain: When the problem is with a flooded tank, avoid pumping it. If you already notice problems in the system, it is important to limit water usage as much as you can. The issues that may occur in the event of a flood are complex. Various problems may arise in the pit.

Can a septic tank fill up from too much rain?

Always seek the help of professional technicians to repair any damage that has occurred as soon as possible. Their heavy equipment will handle these types of issues seamlessly. 

At Fresh Clean N Septic, dealing with such problems is a regular occurrence. We have the expertise to handle them with a professional and hygienic approach.