Winter is going to be here sooner than you know it, so if you own a seasonal home in Prior Lake, MN, it’s time for you to start thinking about some of the winterization steps you need to take on your property. For people who have septic systems at their seasonal homes, this means taking certain steps to shut the system down for the winter and make sure it’s in good condition when you return to the property in the spring. Here’s a quick overview of the steps you should take for winter septic tank safety.
- Inspection: Perform a thorough inspection of your septic system before shutting it down for the season. Make sure the water supply lines have been properly drained and that all water is out of the lines so they don’t freeze over the winter. Flush toilets several times to get their water level down.
- Antifreeze: Add septic antifreeze into the septic system tank. This will prevent any potential issues with the tank contents freezing. You should not use automotive antifreeze for this—there are specific septic antifreeze products you should purchase to use for this purpose.
- Furnace: If you have a furnace that will stay on over the winter, you should make sure no water drips into the septic system. Try to keep the drip water flowing to a floor drain or bucket instead. Any water that gets into the system, even in very small quantities, can freeze and cause some serious issues. You need to completely eliminate water in the system before leaving the property for the system.
- Pumping: Now might be a good time for you to schedule a tank pumping if you are nearing the point where this will be necessary. There’s always a possibility that a septic tank that’s left full for the winter without use will result in sewage freezing inside. This is, of course, why it’s important to use the aforementioned septic antifreeze, but it’s still something to consider.
- Blower: If you have an electric aerobic treatment system, Shut the blower off whenever you’re going to be absent from the property for a long period of time.
- Drainfield: It’s a good idea to add some extra insulation to the drainfield over the winter months. Avoid cutting the grass after the end of September, as longer grass will give some extra insulation to the ground and also attract and preserve more snow, giving even more natural insulation to help prevent freezing of the tank or drainfield components. Extra layers of straw or leaves over the top of the tank or the drainfield can also help give some of that extra insulation.
- Proper ventilation: Have a plumbing vent in the system to properly ventilate the tank and remove gases. The pipe should be clear in all weather conditions.
For more information about the steps to take for winter septic tank preparation, we encourage you to contact us about septic cleaning and maintenance services in Prior Lake, MN.