Cold Outside? Make Sure Your Septic Tank Does Not Freeze

When the temperatures dip below freezing, your septic tank can become affected. Many people do not consider this, and assume it is okay because it is buried in the ground. This is not true, however, because when the ground starts to freeze so can the septic tank. Below are some tips on how you can keep this from happening to you.

Prevent Your Septic Tank from Freezing

There are several precautions you can take to prevent this problem from happening:


Put a few inches of mulch, straw, pine needles, bags of leaves, or hay over the septic tank. Make sure you spread it out to where it covers the entire leech field. Snow can also insulate your septic tank, so if you have snow throughout the winter you will not have to worry about it.

Snow has small air pockets in it, which keeps the ground from freezing as much as it would without it.

Keep Traffic Away

Do not let automobiles or people constantly drive or walk over the septic tank area. This compacts the soil, which allows it to freeze much deeper. If you have animals that run outside, keep them away also. This is something you should do throughout the year.

When your soil is compacted, the air pockets in the soil are pressed together, which reduces the pore space and water cannot drain properly through it.

Keep an Eye on it

Watch out for any pooling water around your septic tank area. If you do see this, then you should contact a septic tank company to find the cause of this problem. In most cases, this means your septic tank is full. If you notice your toilet is not flushing well, such as it is backing up often, this is another sign that it is full.

You can try to check if it is full yourself. To do this, use a stick, such as a PVC pipe and put measurements on it like a ruler. Lower it down into the tank to see the level of scum and sludge. Let the service company know what the measurement is, and they can tell you if it needs to be pumped.

Another way to keep your septic tank from freezing is to have it serviced before winter starts. Besides their regular maintenance of pumping and cleaning your tank, they can check for any leaks in your plumbing. For more help with your septic systems questions, contact a professional/