A septic system is a big investment for a home owner, so it is important to take care of it. The septic system is one of those things we tend to take for granted, until it is not working! If you live in an area where the temperature drops below 32 degrees, you may need to do some added preparation for winter.
Tips to help your septic system be prepared for winter…….
Forget to mow! In other words, let the grass grow on your septic system in the fall. This includes the mound or drain field and above sewer lines and tanks; 6 inches of grass is recommended. This will give added insulation for your system during the cold winter months.
Put covers on! Yes your septic system likes covers in the cold, just like you do! Purchase frost blankets from septicsafe.com. It is an easy and effective way to help insulate your septic system. If frost blankets are installed prior to freezing conditions, they trap the heat of the soil and reduce freezing problems associated with frost. The frost blanket is waterproof, so it sheds late fall rain and holds snow for added insulation. Each blanket is 6' wide and 25' long. The blankets have a surface R value of 1.5 and an air space R value of 3.43. Frost blankets can be used for added insulation over septic tanks, drain fields, and sewer lines to help prevent frost from building in the soil. Additional uses for the frost blankets: Perennial gardens, vegetable gardens and shrubs.
Do Not Disturb! Limit activity around your septic system. This is important all year, but especially in the winter months. You should not drive any type of motorized vehicle on or around your septic system. If you do this in the winter, this can cause frost to penetrate deeper into the soil and may cause freeze up problems. Do not allow children to use your mound as a sledding hill and keep the snowmobiles off all parts of your septic system. Snow adds additional insulation; so let it lay as fallen.
Use Your System! Lack of use can cause problems in the winter months.Seasonal use or periodic use is one of the biggest reasons for a freezing septic system. Without warm water entering a system, heat will dissipate. Also if your home or cabin has a high efficiency furnace you could have frozen pipes. These furnaces discharge a trickle of water capable of freezing and blocking a sewer line; especially if there is no other water running through the pipes for an extended time.
One factor is what type of soil your septic system has. A heavy soil, like clay will hold moisture and frost may penetrate deeper than if you have a lighter sandy loam soil. Also important is how deep your pipes are buried vs your coldest temperture for winter months. New septic systems need added attention for the first winter, since the soil has been disturbed and you have a new seeding of grass. The best time to prepare for winter is before frost and snow come. So depending on where you live, the months of September and October are prime time for winter preparation.
Proper insulation is very important, it can prevent freezing and will protect the good bacteria inside your septic system. This good bacterium is responsible for breaking down solids within your system. If it gets too cold, the bacteria could slow down or possibly die, causing the solids in your system to build up. A septic system that is not functioning properly is more likely to have freeze up problems during the cold winter months.
Check out septicsafe.com today for your frost blankets!