Septic Systems & Power Outages

Here in Northern Colorado we’re fairly used to the snow. But that doesn’t eliminate the risk of experiencing a power outage. In fact, power outages are fairly common when there’s lots of snowfall. Heavy winds and even freezing rain can cause damage to the power lines leaving you and your family in the dark. But what happens to your septic system when the power goes out? Should you be concerned about the health of your septic system should a power outage occur? Let’s answer those questions in this blog! 

Here’s the basic answer: Your septic system will work during a power outage…kind of. 

During a power outage, your septic tank will continue to hold water that enters the system through washing dishes, using the toilet, etc. However, your septic system will not be able to pump the waste from the tank to the drainfield. This means that while the system overall will function, it will become full. You must be mindful of the amount of water your using during the outage to ensure you don’t overflow your septic tank. Here are some best practices to follow during a power outage. 

  • Try to avoid washing laundry or running the dishwasher. These are large influxes of water that may overwhelm the septic tank. 
  • Take quick showers. 
  • Avoid overflushing the toilet (try only flushing when necessary). 
  • Turn the water off when you’re not using it (brushing teeth, shaving, doing dishes, etc.). 
  • Turn the breaker off to the septic pump.

After the power outage is over and power has been restored it’s important to continue with caution. Power outages can cause damage to systems, including your septic system. It’s best to consult with a septic professional when setting your system back after the outage. This will ensure that everything is set up correctly and the system is functioning properly. Depending on the kind of system you have will determine how to best handle the aftermath. Each kind of system requires different resetting. One common suggestion amongst all systems is to REDUCE waste over the next several days. As your system gets back on its feet it’s best to remain conservative with your water usage as to not overweight your system. 

Should you need assistance with your septic system before, during or after a power outage Lion Home Septic is there for you. Our team of experts is available 24/7 to assist you with any septic emergencies. We highly encourage you to contact our team after a power outage to ensure that your system is reset properly. Call (970) 829-8222 for help! 

Another great resource for information is the National Environmental Health Association

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