If you haven't taken steps to winterize your septic system, you still have some time to do that. Your septic system can suffer serious damage during the winter months, especially if you haven't taken the proper precautionary measures. Here are three important steps you need to take to protect your delicate septic system this winter.
1. Pump the Tank Before the First Freeze Arrives
If your septic tank needs to be pumped, you need to do that before the first freeze arrives. Once the soil freezes, your service technician won't be able to dig through to the septic system. Unfortunately, that could lead to a situation where you septic tank overflows this winter. To avoid messy overflows and costly repairs, have your tank pumped right away.
If winter has already arrived, and you're already experiencing freezing temperatures, protect your septic system and prevent overflow by switching to gray water for your washing machine. Diverting washing machine water to your gardens will protect your septic tank this winter, and allow you to wait until spring to have your tank pumped.
2. Prevent Frozen Tank Components
If you're expecting freezing temperatures this winter, take precautions to prevent frozen tank components. First, cover your septic field with compost, hay, or other material that will insulate the soil and protect your septic system. Second, plant vegetation around your seepage field to provide additional protection for your septic system. Third, have your drains cleaned to remove any debris that may freeze during the winter. Finally, watch the flow of wastewater through your pipes. If your drains become sluggish, flush warm water through your pipes to get things flowing again.
3. Avoid Compacted Soil
Winter can cause the soil over your septic system to become compacted. Unfortunately, compacted soil can spell disaster for your septic system. First, compacted soil interferes with proper absorption of moisture. Second, compacted soil can lead to ruptured pipes. Finally, compacted soil prevents wastewater from filtering through to the seepage field properly. To avoid problems with compaction, aerate the soil over the septic field before the temperatures get too cold. Second, avoid parking or driving over the septic field. This is particularly important if you will be using snow removal equipment during the winter.
There's still time to protect your septic system from the cold winter weather. Use the methods described here to prevent septic problems this winter. For assistance with your system, contact a septic company like Lentz Wastewater Management.