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Storms can Cause Problems with Septic Tank Systems

By Florida Department of Health in Brevard County

November 09, 2022

November 9, 2022

Storms can Cause Problems with Septic Tank Systems

Cynthia Leckey, EH Director

Viera, FL — Following a storm, your septic tank system may not be functioning properly. If you have a septic system with any type of dosing pump, aerator or grinder pump, it will not function properly without electricity. Refrain from using water in your home as much as possible until the electricity is restored. If the septic tank system is not working properly, it may cause a sewage backup into your home. If the yard becomes flooded with contaminated water, remember you and your pets can track the contaminated material into your home or vehicles causing additional contamination issues.

General Precautions

  • Do not enter flood water since it may be contaminated. If you must enter flooded areas, it is best to use high waterproof boots or waders to keep your body dry and clean.
  • If you live in a low-lying or flood-prone area, the ground can become saturated from heavy rainfalls. Limit water use to prevent backup of sewage into your home.

What should I do if sewage backs up into my home?

  • If a sewage backup has occurred in your home, keep everyone out of the affected areas.
    • If your entire home has been saturated, leave the home until all affected areas, including but not limited to carpets, rugs, drywall and baseboards, have been removed or thoroughly cleaned and disinfected.
  • If you choose to clean area(s) affected by the sewage backup yourself, wear protective clothing such as rubber boots and waterproof gloves.
    • Clean walls, hard-surfaced floors and other household surfaces with soap and water, followed by a disinfecting solution of 1/4 cup of bleach in one gallon of water.
  • If sewage has overflowed in open areas or streets, everyone, including your pets, should avoid these areas.
  • If you are having problems in areas served by public sewer systems, please contact your utility company to make sure they are aware of these issues.

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