How Does Weather Affect Your Septic System

How Does Weather Affect Your Septic System


Severe or extreme weather can have a devastating effect on your septic system. Whether it’s damaging thunderstorms and heavy rains, freezing cold temperatures, heat waves and drought conditions, or even wildfires and tornadoes — all of these weather extremes pose serious risks to your septic system. In this article we’ll take a look at how different types of weather can impact your septic system, and what you can do to minimize the risk of damage.

Heavy rains and thunderstorms can cause a number of problems for septic systems. Excess water can overload the system, causing sewage to back up into your home or business. Additionally, heavy rains can flood the leach field, preventing the system from properly draining. This can lead to a whole host of problems, including system failure and costly repairs.

Freezing cold temperatures can also wreak havoc on septic systems. When water in the tank freezes, it expands and can cause the tank to crack or rupture. This can allow raw sewage to escape and contaminate the surrounding soil. Additionally, cold temperatures can affect the operation of a pump system by causing it to stop and start repeatedly due to a lack of sufficient heat.

On the other end of the spectrum, excessive heat can exacerbate many problems already present in septic systems. For example, too much heat can cause solids in the tank to break down too quickly, leading to a backup. Additionally, evapotranspiration — the process by which water is lost through evaporation and transpiration (i.e. plant respiration) — can occur more quickly in hot weather, causing the soil around the leach field to become dry and hard. This can make it difficult for water to seep through and properly drain, leading to system failure.