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What to do if heavy rains cause sewage backups

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Posted at 12:24 PM, Jun 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-03 12:24:57-04

COLLIER COUNTY, Fla. — Public health officials want to remind residents about the risk of sewage backups associated with heavy rainfall events such as tropical storms.

Florida Department of Health in Collier County says that following a storm, you may experience problems with the operation of your sewage system.

If you have a septic system that runs by a dosing pump, it will not work without electricity. You should stop using water in your home as much as possible until the electricity comes back on. Without the pump working, the septic tank will fill and may cause backup of sewage in your home.

General precautions include:

  • Do not let children play in flood waters, as these waters may be contaminated by sewage.
  • If you live in a low-lying or flood-prone area, the ground in your area may be soaked with heavy rainfalls or flooding from a storm/heavy rains/tropical storm/hurricane.

What should I do if sewage backs up into my home?

  • Stay out of affected areas and keep children away.
  • If your entire home has been soaked, abandon the home until all affected areas, including but not limited to carpets, rugs, sheetrock, drywall, and baseboards, have been thoroughly cleaned and disinfected.
  • If sewage has overflowed in open areas or streets, avoid these areas and do not let children play in these areas.
  • If you are having problems in areas served by public sewer systems, please contact your utility company to make sure they are aware.