Subzero Septic: Tips To Avoid Septic Tank Freezing

If you're new to having a septic system, you may be surprised to find out that your septic system is susceptible to freezing. Luckily, when you understand the most common risk factors for septic system freezing, you can take steps to help prevent it. Here are the risks you should know about before the temperatures start dropping to usher in the winter weather.

Limited Ground Cover

If the septic system is new, it needs time for the vegetation to grow back over the top of it. That thick layer of ground cover provides insulating benefits to keep the tank and drain field from freezing. The closer it is to winter when the system is installed, the more likely it is that you'll have this problem. You can avoid it altogether by having your septic system installed as soon as the ground thaw happens in the spring. Then, you can plant over the top of the tank early in the spring to ensure thorough ground cover for fall and winter.

No Snowfall

Believe it or not, snow is a natural insulator. An even layer of snow on the ground over the top of your septic tank can help provide some protection against harsh cold snaps. If the winter has been all cold and no snow, your tank may be at risk of freezing. When the temperatures are persistently in the single digits and there are no flakes in the forecast, talk with a local septic system service about how you can protect the tank.

Poor Cover Seal

If the tank cover isn't sealing properly, you're going to have cold air seeping past the edges and into the tank. This can lower the ambient temperature inside the tank. Since you can't combat the leak to raise the temperatures in the tank, it's likely to freeze as soon as the temperatures are below the freezing mark. Avoid this altogether by having the tank cover inspected annually to be sure that the seal is still holding up.

Periods of Inactivity

Spending days at a time without water flowing into the septic tank is another problem. If you're not home for several days, it interrupts the flow of the system, which is part of what helps maintain the temperature balance in the tank. Since nothing new is going into the tank, there's nothing to raise the temperature to combat the chill. Don't leave your home unattended for several days at a time during the winter months if you want to avoid this problem.

As you can see, septic tanks need a bit of attention to protect them from freezing. If you're concerned about any of these risk factors, talk with a septic tank pumping and maintenance specialist today. Talk to experts like Richmond Sanitary Service Inc. for more information.