It seems that, in recent years, flooding of rural and residential areas across the UK has become a regular winter occurrence. Whether caused by climate change or aggressive development on natural flood plains, these incidents are a tragedy for those affected.

Storms Desmond and Eva flooded 16,000 homes, mainly in northern England, during what was the wettest December in a century. Whilst the focus of flood protection is quite rightly preventing water from damaging the inside of your home, people will not often consider the issues of flooding outside of your home, particularly if you have a septic tank.

If you live in an area prone to flooding and have a septic tank on your property, what can you do to minimise the risks?

Contamination danger

If heavy rain is forecast –  and particularly if you receive a flood warning from the Environment Agency, you should consider having your tank emptied in advance of the bad weather. Sewage contamination of flood water will often occur in mains sewage areas, but if the area around your tank does become flooded, you can at least be assured that there will be 600 gallons less sewage floating around your garden and thus a lower level of bacterial contamination in the flood water.


Septic tank rising:
Flooding can cause dramatic scenes

If the flooding was sudden, or you were not able to arrange for your tank to be emptied prior to inundation, you may be tempted to have your tank emptied whilst there is still flood water in the area. Be warned, if your tank has not been fitted properly, the emptying and sudden increase in buoyancy of the tank could cause it to rise out of the ground as it floats on the flood water around it. Certainly dramatic, but definitely not ideal.

A further hazard could be caused by the lid being pulled off the septic tank by the flood water. Mayglothling were called out one night to a customer whose system had flooded. Someone had parked their car in the car park in the dark, opened their car door and jumped out. They went straight down into an open manhole full of flood water and sewage, as the pressure of the floodwater in the drains had blown the manhole cover off. Luckily, they were only waist height in water, but had it been an open septic tank, things would have been much worse.

Don’t take any risks

If you own a septic tank, you are obligated by the Public Health Act to keep it in good order. Failure to do so can result in three months imprisonment or a fine of up to 30,000.


4×4 power:
Mayglothling’s new all-terrain tanker

If you live in a flood-prone area, to save yourself future grief, why not get your septic tank checked out by Mayglothling If you think your tank may need replacing, Mayglothling will ensure that the new one is fitted and secured properly to prevent any unfortunate incidents should the floods hit.

If you do have flooding in your area, but still need your tank emptied, Mayglothling also has a shiny new 4×4 tanker out and about, which may be able to get to you when other tankers cannot.

If you\’d like the tanker to pay you a visit, or you’d like Mayglothling’s expert engineers to take a look at your tank, why not drop us a line?