What To Do if Your Septic Tank Overflows

What To Do if Your Septic Tank Overflows

A worry that every homeowner has when having a septic tank, is the potential issue of the system overflowing. From nasty odours to potential dangers to health, people have every right to be worried about their tanks overflowing. However, when you know how to properly maintain your septic tank, there will be no need to worry. However, if it is too late for that, there are things that you can do in this situation. So, what do you do if your septic tank overflows?

In the case of an overflow, the first step should be to stop using water completely for the time being. Then check to see if there is a visible leakage from the tank’s inspection lid. If the septic tank itself is overflowing, it is best to call an expert ASAP to investigate and resolve the issue.

There are other things you can do in the situation of an overflow which depend on the situation and its severity. In this article, we will take a look at the various things you can do if you are experiencing this issue.

What To Do if Your Septic Tank is Overflowing from The Inspection Lid

Dealing with an overflowing septic tank can be a challenging and unpleasant situation for any homeowner. When you notice sewage or wastewater seeping out of the inspection lid, it’s crucial to take immediate action to prevent further damage, health hazards, and costly repairs.

First and foremost, prioritise safety by keeping children and pets away from the area, as sewage contains harmful bacteria and pathogens. Reduce water usage in your home immediately to minimise the load on the septic system. Locate the septic tank inspection lid, exercise caution when opening it, and contact a licensed septic tank professional or plumber to assess the situation, as they have the expertise and equipment to diagnose the issue accurately.

Avoid attempting DIY fixes, as they can lead to further problems, damage or contamination. If the inspection lid overflow persists, your drain field may be clogged or failing, requiring immediate professional attention. If recommended by the professional, have your septic tank pumped to remove excess solids and restore proper functionality. To prevent future overflows, schedule regular septic tank inspections and maintenance, and be mindful of environmental considerations to ensure sewage doesn’t harm nearby water bodies or soil. Additionally, comply with local regulations regarding septic system maintenance and repairs.

What To Do If Showers & Sinks Are Taking A Long Time To Drain Due To Overflowing

When your showers and sinks begin to drain slowly, indicating a potential overflowing issue, taking immediate action is crucial to avoid plumbing complications and water damage. To address this problem effectively, follow these steps:

First, reduce water usage in the affected areas to prevent further overflow, refraining from using additional fixtures or appliances. Inspect the drains for visible blockages, such as hair or debris, and remove them if possible. A plunger can be useful for minor clogs; ensure a proper seal over the drain and apply steady pressure. 

If the issue persists or worsens, it’s advisable to contact a licensed specialist who can assess the situation and use specialised tools to clear stubborn blockages or identify underlying problems. Slow drains can sometimes indicate septic tank issues, making regular professional inspection and maintenance of the tank essential.

How To Be Sure That The Overflowing is Coming from The Septic Tank

To be sure whether the overflowing issue actually stems from your septic tank, a systematic approach is essential. Begin with a visual inspection of the area around the septic tank and its inspection lid. Look for signs of standing water, soggy ground, or sewage pooling nearby. The presence of these indicators strongly suggests a septic tank overflow. Additionally, pay attention to any foul odours in the vicinity, as sewage odours are distinctive and can further confirm the source of the problem.

Monitoring the performance of your drains is another crucial step. If multiple drains, toilets, or fixtures in your home are slow to drain or backing up simultaneously, it is a strong indication of a septic tank issue. Opening the septic tank inspection lid can provide visual confirmation, however, this should be avoided by anyone without the recommended training, and should be done by a professional. If you find the tank full or nearly at capacity with sewage or wastewater at or near the top, you have identified the source of the overflow.


To be sure and to assess the extent of the problem, consider contacting a licensed septic tank professional. They possess the expertise and specialised tools to confirm whether the septic tank is the root cause. Additionally, reflect on the last time your septic tank underwent maintenance, as a lack of recent maintenance increases the likelihood of an overflow. Lastly, keep in mind that other plumbing issues within your home, such as clogged pipes or a blocked sewer line, can mimic septic tank problems. Therefore, professional assessment remains invaluable in ruling out alternative causes and implementing effective solutions.



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