Ah, the great British weather. Sometimes it feels like all we get is rain - and lots of it. Does all that rain affect your septic tank? And if so, what can you do about it?
The answer is that rain can cause septic tank problems for a number of reasons. The biggest one is that a huge increase in rain can cause your septic tank to physically pop out of the ground! Luckily it’s not as dramatic as it might sound, if you’re imagining your septic tank whizzing through the air like a firework. Typically, it will lift out of the ground – sometimes only by a few inches, other times by a number of feet. Here’s what I’m talking about:
This is a picture of a sewage treatment plant which has lifted up out of the ground, since heavy rain can affect any type of off mains drainage tank. This happens due to hydrostatic pressure - the build up of pressure from the water in the ground surrounding the septic tank, which becomes so great that it physically pushes the tank up and out of the ground.
Unfortunately, it’s not just a case of getting all your friends round to apply a bit of elbow grease to get it back where it should be. The biggest problem when this happens is that the pipe running from your house to the tank shears…..meaning that all the waste from your property just flows straight into the ground – or into the hole that your tank has left behind.
Getting the tank back in the ground is a big task, especially as it needs to be reconnected to any pipes that run in or out of it. And sometimes, you can be left with a damaged septic tank which means that the tank that's popped out of the ground can't even be re-installed. The better news is that most buildings insurance policies provide cover for accidental damage to underground services. Accidental damage is typically considered to mean something which is unforeseen and unexpected - it's certainly fair to say that your septic tank popping out of the ground is unexpected!
First things first, if rain has affected your septic tank and it has risen out of the ground, use our eligibility checker to find out whether you could be covered by your buildings insurance. If you are, the UK Drainage Professionals team can manage everything from start to finish for you, as our team are experts in all things septic tanks and insurance claims management so contact us today to find out more. If you're lucky enough that your septic tank is still where it should be, but you want to make sure that you're covered in case some torrential downpour should ever change things, then check out our guide to septic tank insurance which can help you make sure you've got the right cover in place.
The thing with septic tanks is that you often don’t know there’s a problem underground until you start to notice a change in things above ground. And unfortunately heavy rain can often bring septic tank problems up to the surface. For example, if there’s damage to your septic tank, such as a split in the tank wall, you might not know about it until a downpour means that ground water gushes in to the tank, causing it to flood.
As ever, the best thing to do is keep your eyes peeled for any signs of possible trouble. These could be:
The first thing to do is to get your septic tank emptied, as this can often be a solution to the problem if there's no physical damage. If getting the tank emptied doesn't do the job, then just contact our team here and we’ll help you get to the bottom of what's going on.
If any damage is found, we can check whether you might be covered by your buildings insurance policy, and if so, we can manage everything for you from start to finish.
Sam's career prior to UKDP was spent in the marketing and service industries, so she is focused on making sure we look after our customers – and getting the UKDP message out there! Sam has overall responsibility for business operations and for delivering the best customer service we can.