Septic Tanks - What to do after flooding

Advice from the Environmental Protection Agency regarding septic tanks during flooding.

Due to the potential for toxic gases in all septic systems, any servicing, cleaning, repairs, internal damage assessments and emptying/pumping must be carried out by trained and experienced specialists.

  • After the flooding subsides, replace any dislodged manhole covers and check the system for any external signs of damage such as settlement, ponding of waste water, overflowing, blocked drains or not accepting water from the house.
  • If you suspect damage, or if your system relies on electrical components such as pumps, have the entire system assessed by a professional service engineer.
  • Ensure that any nearby private wells are checked and disinfected prior to use by following the EPA advice available here.
  • As always, do not enter flood waters as manholes may have been dislodged and the flood water will be contaminated and may pose a risk to health.