Prevent Winter Septic Problems

Take Steps Before and During Winter to Prevent Septic Problems

If you’re like many people in the Christiansburg, VA, area, you’re always looking for solutions to prevent winter septic problems. The cold winter temperatures pose a big threat to residential and commercial septic systems. If you fail to prepare your septic system for winter, the result might be frozen lines or other problems. There are several other reasons for a frozen septic tank or lines during the winter.

Today Montgomery Sanitation recommends some tips on preventing winter septic problems. We hope these tips help, but our team will be here ready to answer you call just in case you need us. We can help with walkover inspections, septic system evaluations, and alternative septic system inspections.

You Can Perform These Preparations

  1. Insulate your septic tank and system with a cover, straw, leaves and/or dirt, or blanket. Consider covering your leach field too.
  2. Run water and use tank daily.
  3. Winterize the plumbing pipes
  4. Pump the Septic tank.
  5. Keep the pipes free from clogs and leaks, so line stays warm and drainage works properly.
  6. Plant vegetation nearby in the spring or summer to help shield your tank from the cold.
  7. Keep snow over your tank.
  8. Avoid soil and snow compaction around the tank.
  9. Repair any leaking fixture.
  10. Use biological additives to clean out the system.

Insulate Your Septic Tank and Septic System

When snow or frost slips into your septic tanks and surrounding parts and freezes, you could have a major problem. The freeze could slow down or prevent healthy bacteria in your tank from breaking down waste. If the wastewater is not broken down properly, it may cause the system to malfunction. We suggest you insulate your septic tank with actual insulation, a cover, straw, leaves, or dirt to prevent a freeze.

Regular Water and Septic Tank Usage is Important

You should run water as much as possible and flush the toilet multiple times during the day. Regular use of the septic system is very important during the winter. If you don’t run water and use the tank daily, the septic system will not receive wastewater.  That might cause septic tank problems. Just to be safe, you can have Montgomery Sanitation pump your tank to prevent the components from freezing.

Winterize Your Plumbing Pipes

Winterize your plumbing pipes for the extreme cold of winter to prevent them from freezing or bursting. The winterizing process involves you draining all water from all pipes and emptying the water heater.  This involves draining all of the water from the pipes and emptying the water heater. We know some homeowners add antifreeze to their system, but we don’t recommend that. It will affect the bacteria in the septic tank.

Our Septic Pumping Before Winter Helps You Avoid Blockages

Montgomery Sanitation can pump the septic tank before the winter weather hits. We do that so there won’t be any blockages.  If the tank gets full during winter, pumping it will be tough to do in the cold weather. When we pump the septic tank, it might also help to prevent freezing of the tank. Our trained professionals can determine if you need septic pumping. We recommend that you should have us pump your tank every three to five years.

Keep Your Pipes Free from Clogs and Leaks

You should keep your pipes free from clogs and leaks, so the line stays warm and drainage works properly. If there is a leak, your septic tank could freeze up. You might not know it, but your sewer or septic tank could have a leak. One sign you have a leak is a lush patch of grass and weeds over top of your septic tank. If you see the growth or sewer puddling, call Montgomery Sanitation.

Grow Grass or Weeds Over the Septic Tank

If you septic system is at least a year old, then you probably grass or weeds growing over the tank. If you installed a new septic system just recently, there’s a chance that winter hits before your grass grows. Vegetation helps to provide insulation during winter.  It also helps to hold the snow in place, so lack of it might cause the septic tank to freeze.

Snow Insulates the Septic Tank

You might be tempted to shovel snow away from your septic tank, but we recommend not shoveling it. When there is no snow cover on the tank, there might not be enough insulation for the tank. Snow actually provides a protective blanket on the tank and drainfield areas. Snow cover is crucial in the winter because it helps to retain the geothermal heat of the soil and septic tank.

Avoid Soil and Snow Compaction over the Tank

You should avoid soil and snow compaction around the septic tank. When the soil remains compacted, the compaction presses the particles too tightly together. There is no space for air and water to pass through freely. Even naturally compacted soil like clay can easily get compacted due to applying too much pressure. You should avoid driving over the soil. Compacted soil or snow during winter can result in a frozen septic tank.

Repair All Leaking Fixtures

A leaking fixture can not only waste water and drive up the water bill, but it can also result in other septic tank problems. The leaking water can freeze in the pipes because it is not moving fast enough. It is vital that you make any needed repairs to fixtures, including showers, tubs, toilets, and sinks. Better yet, Montgomery Sanitation can make the repairs for you.

Flush Septic-Safe Biological Additives

We recommend flushing septic-safe biological additives. These additives will introduce bacteria and enzymes into the system. They will ultimately clean up the system by digesting the organic waste.

Give Montgomery Sanitation a call at (540) 382-2205 or Follow us on Facebook. Talk to our team today to get more tips on preventing winter septic problems.