Most people have a love/hate relationship with their septic system. Septic systems are great when they are working correctly, but when they are not working correctly it can be a nightmare. Don’t think that a full system or a backed-up system are the only septic issues you might face. The cold northern winters we face in MN can also create frozen septic systems. Even as late as March, temps can drop so low that systems can freeze up below the surface. Let’s look at a few ways you can prevent septic system from freezing.
Use Your System Regularly
You can decrease your chances of a system freezing up when there is hot water flowing through it on a regular basis. If the system freezes up it can be damaged due to cracking pipes, tanks or filters. This can cause wastewater to back up into your house, which no one wants.
Leave the Snow
This might sound counterintuitive if you want to prevent septic system from freezing, but the snow will actually provide insulation over the system. You should avoid shoveling the snow around the area of your septic tank. If you do not think you will have enough snow cover before a big freeze, you can insulate the septic system with hay or straw piled up on top. You can also leave grass growing at the end of the mowing season on top of the septic system. This just adds another important layer of insulation.
Keep the Heat Going
Even if you are not staying in the house during the winter, you should keep it heated. You can prevent freezing by just leaving the temp at 56 to 58F.
If you will be leaving the house for the winter, you can have your septic system pumped at the same time as you have your pipes drained. This is a great way to prevent damage to your home during freezing temps. Research tips to winterizing a septic system to find out all of the ways you can keep your system safe during winter.
New Tank Considerations
If you are installing a new tank, you should consider burying the tank as deep as possible to protect it from freezing. Keep in mind, burying a tank very deep, however, will create issues with maintenance later on.
If you do wind up having issues with your septic tank freezing, you will need to call in professionals who know how to help you solve these issues quickly and safely. Remember, septic tank maintenance and repair can have an effect on community health. It is very important that you allow professionals to assist with this job.