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Severe Weather and Your Septic

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Septic Support in All Types of Weather

At Cyclone Septics, we know your septic system has to work no matter what the weather is outside. That’s why we’ll always be there for you and your system. We can provide emergency service.

We can help you prepare your system for all types of inclement weather. If your system has been impacted by recent weather, give us a call! Use this handy guide to manage things until we are able to provide help.

After a severe storm, you may have damage to your home or property. If your electricity is still operational and the ground is saturated, it’s normal for your sprayers to be working overtime. Your tank is as watertight as possible, but water may still get in. The system will run to get rid of the excess water.

However, if your power is out, different measures should be taken. If it seems like your power outage will last for a while, reduce your water usage as much as possible. If you have a generator, hook your system up to it for an hour or two every day. It’s not a perfect solution, but it will help.

If you have an aerobic system, the bacteria in your system will die without oxygen. At best, your system is going to stink for a while after the electricity comes back and while the bacteria has a chance to re-colonize.

At worst, solids will reach your pump tank. If this happens, your system will stink and your pump may go out. The best solution at this point is to get your tank pumped.

If the tank backs up into your line from the house to the tank, it may cause a clog. When the system comes back on, ensure everything is draining. The most common place for it to clog up is at the baffle in the trash tank. When you open the trash tank compartment, you should be able to see the baffle.

looking into an open septic tank showing the baffle

If there is toilet paper or something else blocking it, the clog can be cleared using a piece of pipe or a stick. The baffle is open so the plug can be pushed out the bottom. It is normal to see stuff floating on the top of the tank.

Cyclone Septics can help you make sure your tank is ready to go after any storm. Our team is local and family-owned, so we’ll always be here for you.

If you have an aerobic system and know there is a strong chance of flooding, shut off the electricity to the system.

If you have a conventional system, the system may start to backup as the ground becomes saturated.  

Once heavy rains start to fall and a flood is underway, reduce water usage going to the system. The amount of damage to the system is related to the depth of the water over the system combined with the length of time the system is flooded.

After the floodwaters recede, a comprehensive system inspection and assessment should also be conducted before putting the system back in use. This means opening all parts of the system and assessing whether sediment or debris has entered the system.

All tanks should be pumped and cleaned out. The tanks should be evaluated for structural defects due to the flooding. Pumps and controls should be recalibrated and tested. About a month after the system is restarted, you should schedule a follow-up visit to check for proper operation.

To complete this testing and evaluation, give us a call at Cyclone Septics.

Oklahoma is no stranger to extreme weather, and you need to be prepared for a freeze this winter. During any cold snap, we receive countless calls for support at Cyclone Septics. We respond as fast as we can, but it can take some time. That’s why it’s best to have some coping strategies for a frozen septic system.  Aerobic systems are the ones most effected.  

Conventional systems may backup if the ground is frozen for an extended period.  There isn’t much that can be done to prevent problems.  If it does occur, reduce your water usage until the ground thaws or you can get your tank pumped.

If you have an aerobic system, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, so if you know a severe winter storm is coming, try to prevent any damage to your system. The easiest way to do this is to insulate the spray heads with an overturned bucket filled with hay. This can also help you find the heads later if there’s snow.

NuWater aerobic system control panel showing the location of the pump breakerfront of a NuWater aerobic system control panel indicating the pump test switch

If you want to keep your system on, try to insulate the spray heads with an overturned bucket filled with hay. This can also help you find the heads later if there’s snow.

Prevention can be effective, but it doesn’t always work. If your heads are frozen, you can unscrew the heads to allow the water to pump down. If you do this, screw them back on once the system is pumped down or dirt could fall in.

If the lines are frozen, removing the heads won’t help. Open the pump tank, which is probably the lid farthest from your cleanout, and attach a hose to the sample port. You will need a 1/2-inch slip x 3/4-inch MNPT fitting. Glue the fitting to the outlet of the sample port valve and screw the hose on.

Run the hose into the yard and manually pump the system using the test switch. Turn off the tank and drain the hose when it’s done. Watch the first video below for more help with this bypass process.

If you’ve waited too long, your sample port may be below water. Unscrew the 1-inch union inside the pump tank just inside the riser and pick up the entire pump assembly. It’s not light, and it’s a little awkward, so you may want some help.

While you hold the pump assembly so the 1-inch line is above the top of the riser and pointing away from you, have a helper manually pump the system using the test switch. Once the tank level is pumped down, you can re-attach the pump assembly and use a hose as described above. Watch the second video below to learn more.

Once it warms up, you may find you have broken sprinkler heads or lines. Give Cyclone Septics a call if you don’t feel comfortable making the repairs yourself. Keep in mind, we will probably be getting hundreds of calls, so repairs may take some time!  Please be aware that any damage caused by freezing isn’t covered by warranty.

Most installers don’t install king drains in the sprinkler lines. We haven’t traditionally needed them in Oklahoma! However, once it warms up, you may want to talk to us about installing one at the lowest point.

This upgrade is cheap insurance that may keep you fully operational while your neighbors are out in the snow with buckets of hay. Call us to learn more about your options when it freezes!

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Our Office Will Be closed
for Thanksgiving
November 23rd & 24th

during this time, our phone messages
will be monitored for emergencies.

We will reopen Monday at 8am