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After a too long drought, Texas is receiving generous rainfall. As of this writing, Lubbock has received 7.26 inches of rain in May. Drying lakes are filling up. The flowers and trees are happy. Septic systems? Maybe not so much.

For those with septic systems, excess rains can cause problems. Simply put, when it rains for a prolonged period of time the drain field around the septic tank becomes saturated with water. When the ground is saturated, the tank is slow to drain. In extreme cases, it can cause backup into your pipes and drains.

If you use a septic tank, know that during seasons of excess rain it’s important to limit the amount of water draining into the tank. Take shorter and fewer showers. Obviously, make sure any lawn sprinklers and drip systems are turned off. Think about taking your laundry to a friend’s home or Laundromat to avoid water draining into the septic tank.

Hopefully the rain will let up and give the ground a chance to dry out. Otherwise, you’ll need to call your septic service to have the tank drained.

For those who have septic tanks, here’s a couple tips to keep the system healthy and functional.

Conserve your water. As discussed above, excess water from any source reduces the efficiency of a septic system. Low flow toilets, water conserving shower heads, high efficiency faucets are all ways to save water. When running dishwashers and washing machines, make sure the loads are full. Doing one full load will use less water than three partial loads.

Important, too, is to check for and repair all water leaks. Dripping faucets and leaking hoses, etc.

Use bio-degradable cleaners and products. Septic tanks work with active bacteria. Therefore, using anti-bacterial soaps and cleaners (including bleach) work against your septic system. These products will kill the active bacteria necessary for your septic tank to function properly.

If it’s not organic, don’t flush it. Everything else gets thrown in the trash to avoid clogging up your tank.

Don’t plant trees or shrubs close to your drain field. Root systems on trees can extend three times beyond the outside of the canopy. These roots can invade, tangle and plug your system. If any planting is done in the area of your tank and drain field, make sure they have shallow root systems. If in doubt, ask your local greenhouse for suggestions.

Your friends at Sinclair are here for all your plumbing needs. Please give us a call today at 806-749-COOL (2665)

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