Common Septic Tank Issues During Winter and How to Deal With Them

septic tank

As much as everyone is excited about the winter season, we can’t deny the fact that this frosty weather can also cause significant trouble for others. For one situation, winter’s cold temperatures pose a real threat to either residential or commercial septic systems. During this cold season, several issues may arise and can impair the water treatment. From the freezing ground down to the freezing pipes and tanks, all of these can cause major damage to septic systems.

Who would want to deal with those awful problems during this season? That is why it is best to know how to avoid those predicaments by proper preparations and maintenance. Most importantly, determining what complications to expect and how to prevent them is key to a winter without any setbacks in septic systems.

To help you with this matter, here are some septic system issues and helpful tips on how to deal with them:

 

Freezing Septic Tanks and Pipes

During the winter season, frozen tanks and pipes are the most common problem for septic systems. Once snow or frost falls around the septic tanks and surrounding areas, problems may arise. As a matter of fact, when the components of a septic system freeze, it slows down or stops natural bacteria from breaking down waste in the tank. If the wastewater is not sufficiently broken down, the system can be overloaded and may cause clogging. In addition to that, if the wastewater accumulates in a frozen line and ruptures, this poses a significant health hazard.

How to deal with it?

It can easily be avoided by:

  • Setting up a cover on a septic tank or simply covering it with a blanket during the wintertime to insulate, particularly at night.
  • Running the water and using your septic tank every day will also reduce the possibility of freezing.
  • It is also recommended to put mulch, leaves, or plant cover on your pipes.
  • Avoid cutting grass in the soil treatment area by mid-September or so. The extra grass length would help trap the snow, providing insulation over the field.

 

Snow and Soil Pressure

Be careful where you park your vehicle as it can cause compacted soil and snow. Ensure that there are no heavy objects in the area above where the septic system is installed. The compacted soil and snow above could reduce the insulation of your septic system. It will build pressure and solidify the septic tanks. These will impede the proper treatment and drainage of the wastewater in the draining fields.

How to deal with it?

To prevent these issues, aerate the soil around your system before the winter season arrives. Aside from that, it would be best if you cleared the snow from your septic system, but stop moving around where your system is installed.

 

Overused/Improper Use by the Guests

The Winter season is also a Holiday season. It means there are more celebrations and parties, as well as more meal planning and increased visitors. Your septic system could be overworked with additional shower and toilet use, laundry, and food preparation.

Moreover, we cannot avoid guests who always misuse the bathroom and sinks. Some are unfamiliar with septic systems and continuously flushing objects in the toilet, and that causes further damages to your septic. As seen on the septictank.com site, there is a lot of information about different things that can impair your septic system. Make sure to maximize the use of the internet to learn more about septic systems.

How to deal with it?

The best way to prevent further complications is you can try arranging a scheduled time for showers and dishes. Besides that, remind your visitors of the proper use of the bathroom and kitchen sinks when staying with you. These may make you sound like a party-spoiler, but it is better than going through a mess because of a damaged septic system.

 

Irregular Usage

Did you know that the process of digesting organic waste by anaerobic bacteria tends to maintain the septic tank warm? That is why irregular use of water in a household during cold seasons can affect the septic system.

Using warm water on a daily basis will also help keep pipes from freezing. When septic tanks are not used frequently, they are more prone to freeze. In houses and other unoccupied properties for a long time, the system is unable to sustain a constant temperature due to the low level of water and sewage that flow through the system. This causes damage to the septic system.

How to deal with it?

If you or your family are planning to be away during the winter period, it is suggested that you empty your septic tank. You should schedule a pumping first before traveling to help keep the septic tank parts from freezing and bursting.

 

Breach in Water Pipes

Pipes that are tattered with leakage or clogging will mostly lead to inadequate drainage and preventable damage to the septic system’s area. In other words, faulty pipes can worsen the possibility of damage in the winter season.

Leaks during the cold weather will also increase the chances of freezing, which will further weaken the device. Clogs will end up causing the wastewater to accumulate in the pipes. Frozen drainage can end up causing damage to the septic tank, which can also contaminate drinking water.

How to deal with it?

These problems can be solved by replacing or fixing leaky pipes before the winter arrives. Also, both clogs and leaks should be taken care of as soon as they are spotted in order to avoid escalating these problems into severity.

All in all, dealing with septic system issues during the winter season can be a lot of work and also brings trouble for most of us. It may also interfere with our fun times during this period. The best way to avoid these is by taking precautions and preparations before the cold season comes. Homeowners need to ensure that their septics systems are fault-free and not prone to freezing. By following the recommendations suggested above, your septic system will operate efficiently. You won’t have to worry about the inconvenience and dealing with frozen or damaged systems in the winter.