Short power cuts (2-4 hours) should not be a cause for any particular concern. If the power cut is for a longer duration, then it depends on the system as to whether it would cause a problem or not.
Gravity Outlet Systems – A gravity outlet system allows water to flow out of the sewage treatment plant naturally. In the event of a power cut, the system will not back up (fill up with water) because of the natural flow out of the tank. Therefore, it is not urgent if power fails. If however there is a long term power failure, water quality will slowly deteriorate as bacteria in the system die off.
Pumped Outlet Systems – Sometimes a pump must be installed in the system to lift the water out of the treatment plant. This occurs if the ditch or stream happens to be at a higher level than the pipes in the ground. Pumped outlet systems do not have a natural way to allow water to leave the treatment plant and because of this, more caution is urged in the event of a power cut. If you have a pumped outlet system and the power fails for a short period, don’t worry too much, there is capacity in the system for a few normal toilet flushes. If it fails for a longer period of time please be aware that long-term usage would eventually see water levels rise in the system and you could end up with sewage on your lawn!
Take home message
Don’t panic if there is a power cut, when power has returned it is a good idea to check that the system is working again by listening to see if you can hear the blower working or if power has returned to the control panel (if you have one).
If you are in the East of England and are concerned, you can book one of our engineers to come and assess the system by calling 01371 850537.