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DOH-Flagler - Storms can Cause Problems with Sewage Systems

By Mary Lachendro-Figueroa

September 12, 2017



BUNNELL, FLA - Following a storm, your sewage system may not be functioning properly. If you have a septic system that has a dosing pump, aerator, or grinder pump, it will not function properly without electricity. You should refrain from using water in your home as much as possible until electricity is restored. Without the system working properly, the system may cause a sewage spill in your home.

General precautions:

  • Do not enter flood waters since they may be contaminated.

  • If you live in a low-lying or flood-prone area, the ground can become saturated from heavy rainfalls. You should limit use of water to prevent backup of sewage into your home during these times.

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

  • If a sewage backup has occurred in your home, keep everyone out of affected areas.

  • If your entire home has been saturated, leave the home until all affected areas, including but not limited to carpets, rugs, drywall, and baseboards, have been thoroughly cleaned and disinfected.

  • If you choose to clean up the spill, wear protective clothing such as rubber boots and waterproof gloves. Clean walls, hard-surfaced floors, and other household surfaces with soap and water, followed with a disinfecting solution of 1/4 cup of bleach in one gallon of water.

  • If sewage has overflowed in open areas or streets, have everyone avoid these areas.

  • If you are having problems in areas served by public sewer systems, please contact your utility company to ensure they are aware of the issues.

For further information, go to or contact the Florida Department of Health in Flagler County at (386) 437-7358.