Everyone knows the electricity will go out from time to time, be it because of ice or wind knocking down trees and taking out power lines, an automobile accident taking out a pole, or, God forbid, running out of money before you run out of month.

One of many problems you may encounter during this time is that, depending on how long the power is out, you will for one reason or another still need to run the water. After all, even Batman has a bladder.

And, one aspect of your home you may not necessarily associate with electricity is your septic system. But the pump that keeps things moving along from the tank to the drainfield won’t be powered without electricity.

You can, of course, employ a generator if you have one to keep the septic system running. But, if you don’t have a generator or it’s needed to power more critical appliances, you could be stuck up a creek without a paddle, to use a sewage-friendly metaphor.

So, the question is, can you keep using water with the power out?

Faucets and toilets should still operate, as long as your pipes haven’t been taken out by the same problem that killed your power (temperatures that would freeze pipes and make trees fall to take out power lines, for example).

But eventually, if you’re not careful and if your power is out for long enough, you might use enough water to cause the system to back up.

To try to prevent this, use the least amount of water you can. Take short showers and turn off the water when you’re brushing teeth or shaving (you should probably be doing this anyway). Put off washing clothes and dishes as long as you can without feeling like you’re living in a pig sty. Be … strategic with your toilet-flushing (again, without sacrificing being sanitary).

Again, the power being out can create any number of problems, ranging from simple inconvenience to potentially life-threatening. The septic pump being down probably rates somewhere in between. But, be mindful to manage the situation in a way that doesn’t create a bigger problem of septic backflow later.