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Storms can Cause Problems with Septic Tank Systems

By Patricia Roberts

September 17, 2020

Contact:
Patti Roberts, PIO
Patricia.Roberts@flhealth.gov
850-401-6353

DeFuniak Springs, 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 waters since they may be contaminated. If you must enter flooded
areas, it is best to use 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 use of water 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 thoroughly cleaned
and disinfected or removed.
If you choose to clean up the spill 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.
About the Florida Department of Health
Florida Health is nationally accredited by the Pubic Health Accreditation Board, and works to
protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county
and community efforts.
Follow us on Twitter at
@HealthyFla and on Facebook. For more information about the Florida
Department of Health please visit
www.FloridaHealth.gov.