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Come Home To A Foul Surprise? What To Do When Your Septic Tank Backs Up Into Your Tub

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You've been smelling the faint odor of raw sewage, but you didn't think anything of it. If you just came home to find raw sewage floating in your bathtub, that foul odor you've been smelling was your septic tank warning you about a problem. Now you'll have to act fast to get the mess cleaned up. The first thing you'll need to do is call to schedule a septic tank servicing appointment. They'll be able to pump your septic tank, which will prevent future back-ups. Next, you'll need to get the mess cleaned up quickly. Here are four steps you'll need to take to clean up the raw sewage.

Drain the Tub

When septic tanks overflow, they often back up into the bathtubs. The reason for this is because drain pipes usually run in a straight line from the septic tank to the bathtub. In some cases, the contaminated water will gradually drain back into the septic tank, which will allow you to sanitize the tub. However, sometimes the septic tank is so full that the water and sewage has nowhere else to go. If that's the case, you'll need to release some of the pressure in the line so that the sewage can drain.

Go outside and locate the clean-out drain. It's a large black pipe with a cap that should be located near the bathroom or kitchen along the foundation. Put rubber gloves on and carefully remove the cap. This should release enough pressure to allow your tub to drain. Leave the cap off until you can get your septic tank pumped out.


Before you can use your bathtub again, you'll need to make sure it's completely sanitized. This will remove germs and bacteria that could have been left behind by the sewage. You'll need to wear rubber gloves and a facemask for this portion of the clean-up. The protective gear will prevent sewage from getting into any open wounds you may have on your hands and from splashing in your mouth during clean-up.

Rinse the tub with hot water. Plug the drain and fill the tub with several inches of hot water. Add 1 cup of bleach and allow the water to sit for about 15 minutes. Scrub the sides of the tub with a scrub brush. Slowly drain the water. Repeat the process once the septic tank has been pumped.

Septic back-ups can create a serious mess in your home. If your septic tank has backed up, use the method described above to get the mess cleaned up. To prevent future problems, be sure to have your septic tank pumped at least once every three years.

Contact a service like A-1 Sewer Service for more help.