Baton Rouge --- In the aftermath of a hurricane or flooding, some homeowners may be experiencing difficulties with sewage systems not functioning properly. 

If your sewage system was inundated with floodwater and operates with a “sump pump” or “aerator,” these components were most likely damaged and may need to be repaired or replaced. For inspection and repair, the Department of Health and Hospitals, Office of Public Health recommends that you contact a qualified maintenance provider.  

Without the sump pump working, the tanks will fill and may cause backups of sewage into your home. Without the aerators working, the sewage is not being treated and your sewage system may be discharging partially treated or untreated sewage.


The following are indications of potential problems with wastewater systems:


• Alarms or lights going off

• Changes in the system’s normal operating sound

• Changes in the normal color of sewage in the aeration chamber (a grayish-brown color could indicate a problem)

• Excess solids, foam or scum in the unit

• Plumbing backups

• Sewage odors in the house or yard


Maintenance is key to the performance of any sewage system, but when floodwaters inundate components, either mechanical or electrical, the need for proper maintenance to ensure proper functioning increases dramatically. 


Citizens with questions about this process should contact their local parish health units to obtain a list ofqualified maintenance providers, or the list can be viewed on the LDH Web site at: