City of Amarillo addresses safety with playa lakes, septic systems

Published: Jun. 2, 2023 at 4:41 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 2, 2023 at 10:24 PM CDT
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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - The recent rainfall that has came into Amarillo and the Panhandle is causing widespread flooding, including local playa lakes.

Heavy rains and floodings can damage septic systems and can cause an overflow of untreated wastewater into the community.

Everyone is advised to avoid contact with the floodwater due to possible contamination with livestock waste, human waste, chemicals and other contaminates.

The city municipal water system is currently secure and safe for public use.

Bottled water is an alternative for residents with flooded septic systems.

Here is some flood response information for residents with a septic system or water well:

  • Water Well
    • Avoid the well pump while flooded to avoid electrical shock
    • Do not use water until it’s verified not contaminated
    • Conduct water sample test
  • Septic System before flooding:
    • Do not pump septic tank
    • Make sure tank is at least half full
    • Seal all possible points of excess flow
  • Septic System during rainfall:
    • Eliminate all non-essential water use and flush toilets as little as possible
    • If drain field becomes covered with water, do not use system at all
    • Avoid contact with standing water
  • Septic System following rainfall:
    • Do not pump septic tank, pumping it out could cause the tank to flout out of the ground
    • Avoid using system if at all possible
    • Reduce all nonessential water use

For more information call (806) 378-5219.