Do you have a septic tank that is behaving suspiciously? During times of heavy rainfall, the drain field area connected to the septic tank can become saturated and the tank will no longer be able to drain properly. This can also happen if a hose has been left running too long or someone is draining a pool.
Unfortunately, if this happens your tank will start acting as if it is full. You may have drains moving slowly or you may even have water backing up into the drains inside your home. This could lead you to assume that you have clog, but you may not. If you use a septic safe chemical, or even the use of a plumbing snake fails to solve the problem, you may think your septic tank is full, but again, this is probably not the case and having it pumped will cause more problems than it solves.
A look inside your tank will help you figure out what to do next, but it will not be pleasing to your senses. Just brace yourself, it will smell something awful, I can promise you that. Nevertheless, if you discover that your tank is only half full of solid waste and the rest is full of water, pumping it will not solve your problem. If you pump a septic tank that is flooded with water it will give you a little more room in the tank, but if the flooding continues it will just fill up again and back up into your home – again. It can also seriously damage your tank because the pressure outside your tank (due to saturated soil) becomes greater than the pressure inside your tank.
The best thing to do when your tank is flooded is to reduce the use of water in your home – drastically. Don’t flush your toilets – as long as you can. No long showers, don’t do laundry or run the dishwasher. Switch to paper products for dishes if you need to and take your dirty clothes to the laundry mat. The goal is to reduce the amount of water going down the drains until the drainfield has had time to dry out. Once the drainfield is dry, your plumbing should return to normal, but it can take a good deal of time and effort to figure out whether your tank is only flooded or something else is going on like a collapsed pipe that will need repairing, or overgrown tree roots, etc.