If you live in Nebraska (or the midwest in general…) you know the weather can change from day to day. I have lived in both Kansas and Nebraska and the same saying goes, “Don’t like the weather? Stick around, it will change!”
I’m guessing if you live remotely close to me, you can appreciate this meme. While we haven’t seen snow in a while, this week was lovely with 90 degree highs followed by 75 degree high. I’m a HUGE FAN of the 70 degree weather….I know very few people who like 90 degree + temps (tack on some humidity and you have yourself a heat stroke waiting to happen!) but I digress….
How does weather effect your septic system?
Well, there are a few ways….
One, when we have wet seasons — and I mean excessively wet weather, your septic (especially if it is older…) can give you some problems. Why? As you probably know, the ground acts as a sponge to absorb EVERY LAST DROP of water that comes out of your house. Your bath water, shower water, dishwasher water, washing machine water, etc — all of it is absorbed by the ground. If Mother Nature keeps the ground wet for long periods of time and there’s no time for the ground to dry out, there’s no where for YOUR water to go. Typically it starts pooling above the ground, but it can cause problems in the house too if the season is wet enough and your system is older. Now, this mainly happens when the season is ATYPICALLY wet. And OLDER systems are the ones who have the most problems, but it is something you should be mindful of if you’re a home living on septic.
The other way the weather can effect your septic is come pumping time. Most places that have septic tanks are in the homeowners back yard or out in a field. This doesn’t seem like much of an issue until the weather turns bad. If the ground is soft from rain or snow, and our hoses can’t reach from a driveway or road, then we can’t pump. We aren’t exactly light when we show up and we will be heavier when we leave. Therefore if the ground is soft, it isn’t a good idea for us to go driving on it. And since Doc Brown has yet to install the hover feature on our trucks, this just isn’t an option for us in bad weather! (Little shout out to my Back to the Future fans…) This means, when it is time to have your septic tank pumped, bear in mind how weather can effect when we are able to pump.
I think the hardest part for many homeowners new to living on septic is how Mother Nature can effect your life. Even a little rain (if the wind is just right…) can cause some stinky smells from the lateral area too. Nothing overly pleasant is ever coming out of your tank to be absorbed by your laterals so when the ground gets wet, you could have some sour smells depending on the weather.
Most of the time, life will be normal. But I think it is always good to be aware of how things can happen when you live on your own personal wastewater system that uses the earth as it’s absorption mechanism.
Hope you enjoyed my jabs at the weather. If you’re like me, ACTUAL spring weather can’t get here soon enough!!
Until next time!