When you're planning a backyard wedding, you have more to worry about than just renting picnic tables and hiring a caterer. Without proper planning, your septic tank could backup during your wedding, which is an easy way to ruin your party! Here are four ways to prevent an embarrassing septic tank backup during your backyard wedding.
Pump the tank before your wedding
The recommended pumping schedule for your septic tank is based on the number of people that are using it and how much waste water is being sent to the tank. For example, if only two people are using a 2000-gallon septic tank, the tank may only need to be pumped ever 12.4 years. If 10 people are using that same tank, it will need to be pumped every two years. If one or two hundred people are using that same 2000-gallon septic tank, it's easy to see how the tank could back up.
To avoid a backup, pump your tank right before your wedding. Ideally, have the tank pumped the day before your guests arrive to ensure that you have the most space possible inside the tank. If the tank is already partially full when your guests arrive, the waste water they produce can overload the tank and the drainfield.
Restrict water usage before your wedding
All of the waste water that you produce—from your toilets, showers, sinks and water-using appliances—flows through your pipes and into your septic tank. Once inside the septic tank, the solid parts of your waste sink to the bottom, while the liquid waste leaves the tank. It flows into the drainfield, which is the soil around your septic tank. The drainfield's job is to finish filtering and treating your waste water before the waste water re-joins the groundwater. The soil can only absorb a limited amount of water, and if it becomes oversaturated, your septic system won't work properly.
During your wedding, your toilets and sinks are going to be seeing a lot of action, and a lot of waste water will be produced. If your drainfield is already saturated with water before the party starts, it won't be able to absorb the waste water produced by your guests, and the waste will flow back into your house. To avoid an embarrassing septic backup, restrict your water usage before your wedding to allow the drainfield to dry out. Take short showers, run your dishwasher infrequently, and avoid doing back-to-back loads of laundry. As long as you restrict water usage, your drainfield should be dry and ready for your party.
Rent portable toilets
If you're planning to host a large wedding, consider renting portable toilets for your guests. Portable toilets will avoid the issue of septic tank backups entirely and allow you to enjoy your wedding without needing to worry about pumping your tank or cutting back on your water usage.
Portable toilets are surprisingly inexpensive, especially when compared to the cost of a septic tank failure! Generally, it costs between $75 and $150 to rent a portable toilet for a one-day event, and you should have one portable toilet for every 50 guests.
Keep your guests off of your drainfield
For your drainfield to work properly, the soil also needs to be loose enough for water to flow through it. If the soil becomes compressed, water won't be able to pass through it as easily. This is a big problem because if the water can't flow through the soil quickly enough, there's only one place for it to go: back into your house!
It's also important that you don't use your drainfield for any of your wedding-related activities. While the open area may seem like a perfect place to arrange the chairs for your wedding ceremony or the picnic tables for dinner, the weight off your guests can compress the soil and ruin the drainfield.
To ensure your backyard wedding goes off without a hitch, hire a plumber to help you prepare your septic tank for the event. So talk with plumbing services or click for more info.