Your septic system is an important part of your home and the function of your household. And even in winter, when the ground can freeze, you still need the system to work well without any problems or issues. Fortunately, you can take some steps to ensure it lasts. Here are some tips to help you keep your septic system protected this winter.
Ensure Ground Cover Insulation
During the winter, especially the first winter if your septic system is newly-installed, you should make sure the soil above the tank is covered with sufficient insulative materials. This will protect the tank from freezing during the low temperatures of winter and is something you need to look at before winter sets in.
If the soil above your tank is covered with lawn, let it grow out a bit before the end of fall so it can provide extra insulation to the area. However, if your soil has no vegetation growth over it yet, look to add a layer of mulch several inches to a foot thick, or a similar layer of straw. You can find both of these items from a local landscape supply store. When you spread the materials over the tank, don't use heavy machinery to spread it as this can compact the soil and cause damage to your system. Spread the mulch or straw with a shovel and rake.
Protect the Tank in Winter
Another way you can protect your septic tank is to make sure you arrange for it to be pumped and cleaned out before snow covers the ground and the lid is iced over. If you suspect your septic tank is nearing time for it to get pumped out, contact your septic professional to arrange for this service before the end of fall. Doing so will also give your professional a chance to inspect your tank and drain field to eliminate any possibility of problems to the system. You don't want to realize your tank or drain field, for example, have become clogged with waste and you need to complete a repair during the middle of winter. And inspecting and pumping the tank can help prevent a clog from freezing inside the pipes or drain field lines.
If you complete your own snow removal in winter or hire out professional snow plow services on your property, be sure the snow does not get piled up over the septic system site. This includes the tank's location and the drain field. A layer of soft naturally-fallen snow over your tank or drain field sites will not cause problems but can actually provide insulation to your system. However, compacted snow on top of the system's area will put too much weight on the tank and drain field and can lead to damage, especially if the lines or tank openings are frozen and brittle.
For more information about septic pumping, contact a local service.