Weather and Septic Tanks – What You Need to Know

by Ri Industries Ri Industries No Comments

You may not think about the impact of weather on septic tanks as the seasons change, but since weather can affect the functioning of septic tanks, it’s a good idea to understand how it can affect it and what you should do about it. 

We typically give no thought to the septic system at our home or place of business until something goes wrong. And many problems can arise when the septic system isn’t properly working. Fortunately, like most things in life, knowledge and prevention can help keep things running smoothly.

Take the weather, for instance. Having the knowledge that weather can affect how the septic system works means you can take steps to prevent problems. Let’s take a look at weather and septic tanks:

    • Cold Weather – Bacteria in the septic tank is used to digest waste. Waste that is left behind by the bacteria will settle to the bottom of the tank as sludge. Cold weather can cause the bacteria to slow down or even come to a complete stop. When this happens, the sludge builds up and problems arise. Fortunately for those of us living in South Australia, bacteria typically doesn’t slow down until the temperature drops to 10 degrees celsius or below. 
    • Heavy Rainfall – Lots of rain can saturate the drain field which means water will be unable to drain from the septic tank. When this happens, the water will move backwards through the pipes and up into the toilets and various drains in your home. It can also cause untreated sewage to make its way into the groundwater and/or local bodies of water causing contamination.

Now that you have some knowledge about weather and septic tanks, how do you use the knowledge to help keep things smoothly flowing? This is where prevention comes into play.

Prevention is the best tool against malfunctioning septic systems.

  • In a previous blog, Preparing Your Septic Tank for Colder Weather, we shared a number of tips about getting ready for cold weather. The first tip, Get Pumped!, is one of the most important preventative steps you can take … and it only needs to be done approximately every 3 – 5 years! Pumping the septic tank will help prevent problems due to cold weather as well as heavy rainfall. 
  • You can also prevent problems by avoiding harsh chemicals or substances that can negatively affect the bacteria population. We have a number of blogs with household tips for your reference. 
  • Heavy vehicles or machinery can damage the drain field, so be sure to place them away from the septic area. 

Knowledge about weather and septic tanks can help you prevent problems. If you have questions or are in need of a new septic tank, please call us at 8444 8100 and we’ll be pleased to assist you. 


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