How Do You Install A Septic Tank In Cold Weather Applications? (TOP 5 Tips)

  • If you live in a cold climate and your septic pipes are exposed to the elements, there are a few ways to improve insulation: Firstly, you can simply use insulated sewage piping that comes encased in an insulating urethane foam sandwiched between a polyethene exterior sleeves. Installation is simple and it is not likely to come apart.

Can you put in a septic in the winter?

Yes your septic system likes covers in the cold, just like you do! 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.

Can a septic holding tank freeze?

Water holds a great deal of heat, and with daily use, septic tanks rarely freeze, even in the coldest weather. However, when the house is vacant for a week or more, water does not enter the tank to keep it warm and it may freeze. Often, water will freeze in the distribution boxes for the drainfield laterals.

What keeps a septic tank from freezing?

Place a layer of mulch 8 to 12 inches thick over the pipes, tank, and soil treatment system to provide extra insulation. This can be straw, leaves, hay or other loose material that will stay in place and not become compacted.

Can a leach field be installed in the winter?

The temperatures are below freezing. It’s not the temperature that affects the installation of a septic system, it’s the wet ground. We could install if the ground is dry and not raining.

Can cold weather affect your septic tank?

The harsh weather of winter can prove to be brutal on your septic system. There are various factors such as snow and soil compaction that affect the components of your septic system and even freeze them up. During winter, the freezing temperature outside makes the various components of your septic system freeze up.

How do I prepare my septic tank for winter?

Open all the taps and leave them open. Drain the septic system’s pressure tank completely. Flush all the toilets in the house. Remove all drainage hoses for the washing machine and/or dishwasher, and check that any flexible hoses in sinks, wash basins or bathtubs have been completely drained.

Should I pump my septic tank before winter?

Winter. Winter is really the only season we don’t recommend pumping septic systems. Unfortunately, frozen ground, heavy snow, and slippery ice can make it extremely difficult for even our skilled technicians to properly dig up and securely cover the septic tank.

Is it bad for a septic system to sit unused?

Do Septic Systems Go Bad If They’re Unused? No, it is not bad if septic systems sit there unused. That doesn’t mean that it’s in the best shape of its life, however. As the new owner, you should always inspect the septic system before using it.

How do you thaw out a frozen septic tank?

What to Do When Your Septic System is Frozen

  1. Thaw via the drain. If you’re so inclined, you can also try to thaw them out yourself.
  2. Use a hot water bib.
  3. Use a steam machine.
  4. Inspect the septic lines.
  5. Add insulation.
  6. Check for plumbing leaks.

How can you tell if your septic is frozen?

Symptoms Your Septic System Is Frozen

  1. First up is the toilet. With a frozen system, the functionality of the toilet is removed and it won’t flush.
  2. None of the sinks in the home are going to drain.
  3. The washing machine water line is not going to work.

Do septic tank blankets work?

When to Use Frost Blankets Your septic tank will be sufficiently insulated. An added feature of frost blankets is that they are waterproof and snowproof. They can hold snow, which will create an added layer of insulation over the tank. No matter what conditions are above ground, your septic tank is covered!

Does a leach field freeze?

The drain field area can be in danger of freezing in prolonged cold weather, especially if it is very dry air, or if there is not enough dirt or other ground cover to insulate the area.

How do I winterize my aerobic septic system?

Winterize the pipes Shut off the water main and open all faucets to let them drain. Flush the toilets a few times until the water no longer fills the tank and bowl. Drain all appliances, including your water heater. Completely empty your septic system’s pressure tank.

Do mound systems freeze?

Water Logged System: If a system was hydraulically failing (e.g. water coming to surface or seeping out the side of a mound) in the fall, it is a prime candidate to freeze. This effluent will freeze and prevent further effluent from entering the soil.

How to Prepare Your Septic System for Cold Weather

The Christmas season can be particularly challenging for the aseptic system. Not only does the weather become more severe, but your system also experiences more wear and tear as a result of the influx of seasonal visitors. This winter, you’ll need to take extra precautions to ensure that your septic system continues to function at peak performance. We’ve compiled a list of the top three strategies to prepare your septic system for the upcoming cold weather. ‌

Get it pumped!

It is critical to get your septic tank drained on a regular basis. Pumping out your tank eliminates all of the trash contained therein, including grey water that would otherwise freeze if left unattended. It is recommended that you pump your tank once every three to five years. If it’s time to clean your tank, you should do so as soon as possible, preferably before the weather turns. Tank pumping is more challenging in the winter months, especially if there are any crises or difficulties with your tank or system.

That being said, if you believe your tank need a pumping, you should not put it off until the spring.

Inspect the lid.

During the installation process, you should have been given a map that showed the location and layout of your septic tank system. Every year, before the onset of the winter snap, we recommend that you thoroughly inspect your home. In most houses, it’s between ten and twenty feet away from the house’s exterior perimeter wall. This is critical since any issues that already exist will be amplified as a result of the temperature shift. Check for cracks or holes, and make certain that the seal is intact and securely fastened with a rubber band.

Doing so will prevent current problems from becoming worse.

Protect the drainage field.

During the installation process, you should have been given a map that showed the location and layout of your septic tank and treatment plant. It’s a good idea to give it a thorough once-over before the cold snap hits each year. In most houses, it’s between ten and twenty feet away from the house’s exterior perimeter fence. Any difficulties that already exist will be worsened by the shift in temperature, which is critical. Verify that the seal is not cracked or holed, and that it is properly and securely fastened.

Doing so will prevent the situation from getting worse.

Conquering Cold

In northern Minnesota, where Jim Bertucci owns and manages A-1 Services Inc., it can get extremely cold – very, very cold. The headquarters of the corporation are in Eveleth, which is approximately 100 miles south of International Falls and 60 miles north of Duluth. It’s possible that you’ve noticed that International Falls is often the coldest area in the lower 48 states, according to Bertucci. “And it isn’t all that much warmer 40 to 100 miles south of the Arctic Circle.” Customers within a 60- to 70-mile radius can have their septic systems serviced or new systems installed by the firm.

  1. Bertucci’s tactics include anything from putting ground cover in the fall to offer insulation to installing heaters to protect tanks and drainfields from the elements.
  2. Despite being small, the company is inventive.
  3. “I had no idea what I was doing when I started this business,” he admits matter-of-factly.
  4. “We entered into maintenance and installs almost soon when our pumping clients requested these extra services,” Bertucci explains.
  5. Despite the limited number, Bertucci and his four employees do not believe that their devotion to high-quality installations and cutting-edge technology has been weakened.
  6. “You don’t have to be a large corporation to benefit from the most cutting-edge technology or practices,” Bertucci asserts.
  7. Jamie Bertucci and Jamie Metcalf, an employee of Bertucci’s, are both full-time vacuum truck operators.

Sam Leatte is responsible for the delivery, servicing, and upkeep of the company’s fleet of more than 200 portable bathroom units.

The weather is changing.

Some “truths” regarding how septic systems work in cold areas have been altered in two of the previous four years as a result of abnormally mild temperatures during and immediately after snowfalls.

As Bertucci explains, “it is the removal of snow cover that has forced the onsite wastewater system components to act in an understandably different manner.” In the winter, snow serves as an excellent insulation, shielding everything beneath it from the freezing temperatures of the air above.

The average number of calls for frozen pipes in a typical snow-covered year was around 15.

According to Bertucci, “Homeowners contact seeking answers to situations that we have very seldom seen in the past.” Increasing the level of freezing In the past, failures caused by frost followed a predictable pattern.

Hot water was sprayed into the pipes by company technicians, sometimes repeatedly, to restore their functionality.

It is believed that the pipe was coated in frozen earth, which prevented the pipe from exploding when the water contained within it froze and swelled, according to Bertucci.

Although the entering wastewater contains a little quantity of thermal energy, this is insufficient to keep pipelines and tanks from being iced over.

As debris arrives at the entrance, it begins to collect on the ice surface, where it subsequently freezes, causing the first detrimental consequences.

All too soon, the entire building’s sewer system is overflowing, resulting in a backlog for the homeowner.

The floats can no longer activate the pump.

Until the effluent delivery line from the upstream tank is completely filled, the water level continues to increase.

In search of solutions Bertucci and his colleagues have been invited to discussion tables and seminars as a result of this pattern of system behavior.

In his own words, “I do not believe in global warming except as a continuation of natural cycles that have been going on for thousands or millions of years.” When we witness a shift from short-term, random occurrences to long-term shifts, the industry will be forced to make major adjustments to system design, installation and operation,” says the author.

  • There are two pressing problems, according to Bertucci: how to safeguard current systems from freezing temperatures that penetrate deeper into the earth, and how to design and install new systems to counteract the same circumstances that present now.
  • In addition, the service providers have gone outside of the onsite business for ideas and technology that they may take and modify.
  • This submersible heater is placed prior to the onset of the winter freeze.
  • “That’s a significant amount of additional effort that might have been avoided,” he adds.
  • These heaters provide chances for maintenance and servicing, but they also raise the running expenses for the property owner.
  • What about the pipes, do you think?
  • To combat the frigid environment of northwestern Minnesota, Bertucci has upgraded some of his systems with a device known as a Septic Heater, which was created in that region and is offered by the Septic Heater Co.

Additionally, this gadget is operational around the clock much like the submersible heaters.

A-1 Services has installed a number of these heaters, and the owners have expressed satisfaction with the results.

Some landowners have been successful in keeping their crops from freezing by spreading several inches of straw on the ground above the absorption area.

In the absence of snow, straw can be used as an excellent alternative.

Problem-solving techniques The terms “triage” and “septic” system are not commonly associated with one another, but triage is the term Bertucci uses to characterize his approach to call response, and then to whatever circumstance he finds himself in or on the ground after that.

The prospect of probing to locate underlying structures is out of the question when the earth is frozen for miles around, according to him.

Occasionally, in cold locations, a backhoe is fitted with a frost hook, which allows it to break through concrete-hard frozen ground.

Every activity, whether it’s system installation, pumping, or thawing, necessitates the use of the appropriate tools and equipment.

A total of four Chevrolet pickup trucks and a 2003 Ford E250 service van round out the fleet.

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As shifting conditions produce new issues for homes, Bertucci may be seen most of the time in or near a vacuum truck, a backhoe, or in a meeting, addressing the traditional and unorthodox demands of his clients.

Starting with thorough observations, which then solidify into conclusions that lead to solid ways that are able to tackle the new problems Mother Nature delivers to our business, the process is complete.

Common Winter Problems with Septic Tanks and Systems

For homes and business owners, the winter season poses the possibility of a significant amount of stress being placed on their septic systems. The cold weather, snow, visitors stopping by for the holidays, and clients coming in to discuss business can all combine to cause serious damage to a septic tank, which is something that no one wants to deal with during the cold winter months. Fortunately, there is a way to prevent this from happening. To ensure that septic systems operate well throughout the winter, it is important to understand what problems to expect and how to avoid them.

Bur First, Insurance

One method of keeping a septic system in good working order is to insure it with a septic tank insurance policy. It is designed to provide specialized protection for businesses that have a problem with their septic system, which can occur at any time throughout the winter. This coverage is not available anywhere else. It is important to follow the best maintenance practices throughout the winter months in order to minimize costly damage, but not all problems can be avoided. In the event that anything does occur, such as a leak or a blockage, septic tank insurance can assist in providing the financial resources necessary to guard against more expensive claims.

Frozen Tank Issues

Frost or snow can accumulate deep inside the components of a septic system, causing these components, or potentially the whole system, to become frozen. When a tank is frozen, the metabolic rate of bacteria in the tank is slowed, which means that waste will not be able to be broken down and moved through as quickly as it should. In the colder months, especially at night, this may be easily prevented by placing an insulating cover over the top of the septic system or by simply covering it with a blanket.

Compacted Snow

When compacted snow and lower temperatures combine, the earth atop a tank can become tight and compacted as well. A septic tank will be less efficient at insulating as the earth above it becomes compacted, according to the National Septic Tank Association (NSTA). This will result in the system becoming frozen. Furthermore, when the soil in a drain field is compacted, wastewater will not be able to be filtered or drained as effectively as it would otherwise. It is critical to aerate the soil before to the onset of cold weather in order to prevent this from occurring.

Difficulty Pumping a Tank

It might be more difficult to pump a septic tank during the winter months because of the cold. Gravel that is firm and frozen in places can get encrusted with snow, making digging into the earth to reach the septic system extremely difficult. While it is not impossible to undertake this maintenance during the winter, it is recommended that you avoid this degree of difficulty at all costs.

Septic tanks should be drained out when they become full in order to avoid situations like these from occurring. Pumping the system early in the season, before the ground freezes, will reduce the risk of maintenance throughout the winter.

Trouble with Pipes

The use of pipes that are frayed with leaks or blockages may frequently result in poor drainage and the creation of unnecessary harm to the environment surrounding the system. Leaks that occur during the cold can also increase the likelihood of freezing, which can further damage the system and cause it to fail. Clogs in pipes might result in wastewater accumulating in the system. Frozen wastewater may cause harm to a septic system and can even pollute drinking water supplies if not treated properly.

All blockages and leaks should be addressed as soon as they are discovered in order to prevent allowing the severity and cost of these problems to escalate.

About Watercolor Management

WaterColor Management has been providing insurance to the water business for more than 30 years. In the event of a lawsuit being filed against you, our plans provide for limitless defense costs coverage. To receive a quick price for your Water Business Professional, Products/Completed Operations, Pollution, and General Liability Insurance, please call (256) 260-0412 or contact [email protected] now!

Septic Tank Installation and Pricing

To process and dispose of waste, a septic system has an underground septic tank constructed of plastic, concrete, fiberglass, or other material that is located beneath the earth. Designed to provide a customized wastewater treatment solution for business and residential locations, this system may be installed anywhere. Although it is possible to construct a septic tank on your own, we recommend that you hire a professional to do it owing to the amount of skill and specific equipment required.

Who Needs a Septic Tank?

For the most part, in densely populated areas of the nation, a home’s plumbing system is directly connected to the municipal sewer system. Because municipal sewer lines are not readily available in more rural regions, sewage must be treated in a septic tank. If you’re moving into a newly constructed house or onto land that doesn’t already have a septic tank, you’ll be responsible for putting in a septic system on your own.

How to Prepare for Your Septic Tank Installation

Here are a few pointers to keep in mind to make sure your septic tank installation goes as smoothly as possible.

Receive Multiple Estimates

Receiving quotations from licensed septic tank installers and reading reviews about each firm using trustworthy, third-party customer evaluations should be done before any excavation or signing of any paperwork is done. Examine your options for a contractor and make sure they have the appropriate insurance and license, as well as the ability to include critical preparations such as excavation and drain field testing in their quotation.

Test the Soil and Obtain a Permit

For septic systems to function properly, permeable soil surrounding the tank must absorb and naturally handle liquid waste, ensuring that it does not pollute runoff water or seep into the groundwater. The drain or leach field is the name given to this region. Before establishing a septic tank, you are required by law to do a percolation test, sometimes known as a “perc” test. This test indicates that the soil fits the specifications established by the city and the local health agency. In most cases, suitable levels of permeable materials, such as sand or gravel, are necessary in a soil’s composition.

Note: If you wish to install a septic tank on your property, you must first ensure that the ground passes the percolation test. Prior to acquiring the land that you want to utilize for residential purposes, we recommend that you obtain a soil test.

Plan for Excavation

Excavation of the vast quantity of land required for a septic tank necessitates the use of heavy machinery. If you already live on the property, be sure to budget for landscaping fees to repair any damage caused by the excavation. If you’re building a new house, make sure to plan the excavation at a time when it will have the least amount of influence on the building process. In most cases, this occurs prior to the paving of roadways and walkways, but after the basic structure of the home has been constructed.

The Cost of Installing a Septic Tank

Excavating the vast amount of land required for a septic tank necessitates the use of heavy machinery. Make careful to account for landscaping fees to repair any damage done during excavation if you are presently residing on the property. If you are building a new house, plan the excavation at a time when it will have a minimum influence on the building process. Adobe Licensed This is often done before paving the driveway and walkways, but after the main frame of the house has been erected.

Percolation Test

A percolation test can range in price from $250 to $1,000, depending on the area of the property and the soil characteristics that are being tested. Ordinarily, specialists will only excavate a small number of holes in the intended leach field region; however, if a land study is required to identify where to excavate, the cost of your test may rise.

Building Permit Application

A permit will be required if you want to install a septic tank on your property. State-by-state variations in permit prices exist, however they are normally priced around $200 and must be renewed every few years on average.

Excavation and Installation

When you have passed a percolation test and obtained a building permit, your septic tank is ready to be professionally placed. The cost of a new septic system is determined by the size of your home, the kind of system you choose, and the material used in your septic tank. The following is a list of the many treatment methods and storage tanks that are now available, as well as the normal pricing associated with each.

Types of Septic Tank Systems

When you have passed a percolation test and obtained a building permit, your septic tank is ready to be professionally constructed. It depends on the size of your home, the type of system you choose, and the material of your septic tank that you want to install. A list of the numerous treatment methods and tanks that are now available, as well as the normal pricing associated with each, is provided below.

Types of Septic Tanks

  • Concrete septic tanks are long-lasting and rust-proof, but they are difficult to repair if they are damaged. It is possible that concrete tanks will cost up to $2,000 depending on their size. Plastic —While plastic tanks are cost-effective, they are also susceptible to damage. They are around $1,200 in price. Fiberglass —While fiberglass septic tanks are more durable than their plastic counterparts, they are susceptible to shifting or displacement if the water table rises to an excessive level. Depending on the model, these tanks may cost up to $2,000

More information may be found at: Septic Warranty Coverage and Costs.

Using Your Septic Tank

It is important to maintain the area around your new septic tank’s drain field and to frequently check your tank using the lids included with it. Never use a trash disposal in conjunction with your septic tank since it might cause the system to clog. Additionally, avoid driving over the land that contains the septic tank or operating heavy gear on your septic tank or drain field. Typically, after five years of septic system use, you’ll need to arrange a cleaning and pumping of the system.

Using this method, solid waste is prevented from piling up and leaking into the surrounding soil or groundwater. To provide comments or ask a question about this article, please email our Reviews Team [email protected]


When living in a location that experiences freezing temperatures, it is critical to have a plumbing system that is constructed appropriately. All components of the water system, including storage, supply, waste, vent, and septic systems, must be thoroughly reviewed. The more harsh the conditions, the greater the need of having a properly constructed system in place to protect the public. Your water requirements will be satisfied regardless of the weather conditions in the icy north thanks to proper plumbing design, materials, installation, and maintenance.

Septic Systems

Despite the fact that many Alaskan homes are built on land that is incapable of supporting such infrastructure, the usual approach for handling water and wastewater is a septic tank and leachfield. It is possible to prevent unprocessed sewage from seeping directly into the land or groundwater by using septic tanks. Inside the tank, anaerobic bacteria progressively break down the sewage, with treated effluent draining out the other end and untreatable sediments dropping to the bottom. When the tank is linked to a series of perforated pipes that extend into your yard and create an underground drainage system, wastewater is allowed to scatter over a vast area to mix with oxygen and soil.

Above-Ground Systems

Septic tanks and leachfields are the conventional way for handling water and wastewater in Alaska since many residences are built on land that cannot sustain such equipment. Using a septic tank, you can avoid unprocessed waste from seeping straight into the ground or soil. Inside the tank, anaerobic bacteria slowly break down the sewage, with treated effluent draining out the other end and untreatable sediments dropping to the bottom of the tank. In addition, the tank is connected to a network of perforated pipes that extend into your yard and form a drain field, allowing effluent to disperse over a vast area to mix with oxygen and the surrounding soil.

See also:  What Cleaners Can I Use With A Septic Tank?

Infiltrator Chambers FAQs

Several installation choices and criteria are controlled by municipal rules that have been established by the health authority in your region. When in doubt, consult with your local health agency for specifics, and then adhere to their code recommendations as best you can. The Technical Services staff at Infiltrator Water Technologies may be reached at 1-800-718-2754, if you have any queries about design or installation that are not addressed here.

In what types of systems can Infiltrator chambers be installed?

It is possible to employ infiltrator chambers in virtually every septic leachfield application. Infiltrator chambers can be utilized in any location where stone and pipe can be put.

This comprises trenching, bed construction, and raised mound construction. Using infiltrator chambers, you may achieve higher treatment capabilities in applications like as pressure dosing, level distribution, serial distribution, evapotranspiration, and sand filtering.

When I install Infiltrator chambers, how much can the size of the leachfield be reduced?

A wide variety of septic leachfield applications can benefit from the use of infiltrator chambers. Infiltrator chambers can be utilized in any location where stone and pipe can be put in place. This comprises trenching, bed construction, and raised mounds. Pressure dosing, level distribution, serial distribution, evapotranspiration, and sand filter applications all benefit from the improved treatment capabilities of infiltrator chambers.

Can chambers be installed under a driveway or paved surface?

According to some health standards, it is not permitted to build a septic leachfield beneath impermeable surfaces such as roads. This is due to the fact that surface pressure can compress the soil, which can have a detrimental impact on the soil’s ability to process effluent and water (wastewater). Consult your local health department for information on the exact codes that apply in your region. If this sort of installation is permitted, contact Infiltrator Water Technologies’ Technical Services department at 1-800-718-2754 for assistance with the design and implementation of the system.

What is Infiltrator Water Technologies’ specification for minimum and maximum system cover?

Infiltrator Water Technologies suggests that a compacted cover be placed over the chambers to a minimum of 12 inches in height. In a trench system, the maximum cover that may be provided over the chambers is 96 inches. The maximum cover available in bed systems is 48 inches. It is possible to lower the minimum cover to six inches if the drainfield is located in a non-trafficked region. When installing a system at the 6-inch depth, exercise caution when working with the equipment. A series of Shallow Cover (SC) Chambers from Infiltrator Water Technologies allows for six inches of cover with an H-10 comparable loading rate; however, these are only accessible in a few geographic locations.

Can Infiltrator chambers be installed around obstacles?

Yes. For the purpose of accommodating existing obstructions during system installation, the Quick4 Chambers allow for 10 to 15 degree right or left turns.

Can the inspection port opening be used as an inlet?

Yes, there is a knock-out portion on the top of each chamber, which is normally utilized as an inspection port for the chambers. In order to properly intake into the inspection port, a splash plate must be installed beneath the inlet. When backfilling, take care not to displace the input pipe from its position.

What prevents soil from entering the chamber through the sidewall louvers?

The louver design of the infiltrator chambers, which is patented by MicroLeachingTM, is angled to conform to the angle of the soil. This allows effluent to drain out of the sidewall while simultaneously preventing dirt from entering the chamber (Figure 1).

Should filter fabric be used over Infiltrator chamber sidewall louvers?

As a result, no filter fabric is required with Infiltrator MicroLeachingTM sidewall louvers since they are intended to keep soil out. For further information, call 1-800-718-2754, which is the number for Technical Services at Infiltrator Water Technologies.

Do I need to compact the trench base when installing in sandy soils or fill/mound systems?

When building chambers in sandy soils, mounds, or fill systems, the sand foundation should be compacted before the chambers are installed.

This provides a firm foundation for the chambers and has no negative impact on the rate at which the sands are infiltrated.

Do septic systems freeze in extremely cold conditions?

For a long time, onsite wastewater systems (septic systems) have been installed in cold weather regions, and in most cases, the systems have not froze. Factors such as the temperature of the water exiting the home and the proper burial depth of your septic system (septic tank(s) and drainfield) help to ensure adequate system performance. For additional guidance, please contact a licensed septic contractor in your area.

Preventing and resolving frozen septic tank problems in winter

Onsite Wastewater Systems (septic systems) have been installed in cold weather regions for quite some time. If designed and installed properly per code, the systems have typically not frozen.Factors such as the temperature of the water exiting the home and the proper burial depth of your septic system (septic tank(s) and drainfield) help to ensure adequate system performance.For additional guidance, please contact a licensed septic contractor in your area for assistance.

The main causes of frozen septic tank problems in winter

Because of the lack of snow covering the tank, the tank will not be adequately insulated against the cold. The tank and drainfield sections are protected from the elements by a layer of snow. During the chilly winter months, this insulation is critical because it aids in the retention of the geothermal heat of the soil layers as well as the heat from the septic tank. If your septic tank does not have this snow cover, frost will penetrate deeper into the earth, increasing the likelihood of the tank freezing.

Compacted soil/ snow

A healthy soil is normally composed of one part organic matter and mineral particles and one part pore space, with one part organic matter and mineral particles and one part pore space. Pore space is the space that allows water and air to move freely through biological matter and mineral structures. This creates an ideal environment for bacteria to live in and reproduce. When soil is compacted, on the other hand, the particles are packed together so firmly that there is simply no space for air and water to travel freely through.

The compacting of soil or snow during the winter months can lead the frost to sink deeper into the earth, which can result in the formation of a frozen septic tank.

Irregular use

The action of anaerobic bacteria digesting organic waste contributes to the preservation of the septic tank’s temperature. This explains why it is critical to maintain regular usage of the septic system during the winter months. It is possible that your house or cabin may be empty for a lengthy period of time during the winter, resulting in the septic system not receiving wastewater and resulting in septic tank difficulties throughout the winter. Similarly, if there will only be one or two persons in the house throughout the winter, this may be the case.

In the case that you intend to be gone during the winter, you may arrange for a septic tank pumping before you depart in order to assist avoid the septic tank components from freezing and bursting during your absence.

No plant cover

If your septic system has been in place for at least a year, it is likely that you have grown grass over it. For those that built a new septic system late in the fall, there is a strong probability that winter will arrive before your grass has a chance to sprout. In addition to providing insulation during the winter, vegetation cover also aids in the retention of snow, which means that a lack of vegetation cover may result in the septic tank freezing.

Leaking showers and fixtures

In addition to squandering lots of water, a leaking fixture can cause further difficulties with the septic tank over the winter months. It is possible that a shower or one of the fixtures has a leak, causing trickles of water to drain into the septic system. Generally speaking, wastewater from the house contains bacteria, which is beneficial to the septic system. Clean water, on the other hand, does not aid in the replenishment of bacteria in the septic tank. This clean water will produce hydraulic overload and will slow the pace at which microorganisms decompose organic waste, both of which are detrimental.

Additionally, because the trickling water is not moving quickly enough, it has the potential to freeze in the pipes.

Waterlogged systems

A very high probability exists that water that was seeping out of a mound on the side of your septic system will freeze in the cold of winter, effectively preventing any more effluent from passing through. If your septic system appeared waterlogged in the fall, there is a very high probability that the water that was seeping out of the side of your septic system will freeze in the cold of winter, effectively preventing any more effluent from passing through. Make use of biological additives to thoroughly clean out the septic system before winter sets in to avoid this problem.

They digest the organic waste that has accumulated in the tank, which assists in the unclogging of the entire system.

Maintenance tips to avoid frozen septic tank problems in winter

A very high probability exists that water that was seeping out of a mound on the side of your septic system will freeze in the cold of the winter, preventing any more effluent from passing through. If your septic system appeared waterlogged in the fall, there is a very high probability that the water that was seeping out of the side of your septic system will freeze in the cold of the winter. Make use of biological additives to thoroughly clean up your septic system before winter arrives.

There are billions of bacteria and enzymes in the septic system as a result of the use of biological additives. They decompose the organic waste that has accumulated in the tank, which assists in the unclogging of the entire system.

Winterizing plumbing pipes

This procedure involves prepping your plumbing pipes for the intense cold of winter in order to avoid your pipes from bursting when the water freezes in the pipes, expanding and causing them to rupture. The winterization of your home is a critical maintenance step if your home will not be occupied during the winter months. The procedure of winterizing requires draining all water from all pipes and emptying the water heater, among other things. Antifreeze solutions are also commonly used for winterizing plumbing fixtures; however, if you have a septic tank, you should avoid using antifreeze since it will impair the function of the bacteria in your septic tank and cause it to fail.

  1. Close the water valve and then turn off the water heater and the water pump to complete the shutoff. Because it helps to safeguard heating elements when there is no more water in the tank, this is a crucial step to do. Open all of the faucets and drain valves in your home. Make use of a checklist to guarantee that all of them are accessible. It is critical to have all taps open since a closed tap might produce a vacuum, which can cause water to become trapped in the pipes. In order to ensure that all valves and taps stay open during the winter season, To remove any surplus water from the pipes, use an air compressor to blast it out. To empty the hot water tank, open the drain valve and allow the water to run out until the tank is entirely emptied. Because some hot water tanks do not have floor drains, you may need to attach a garden hose to drain the water from the tank. Drain all of the water in the holding tank, paying particular attention to any water that may be trapped in the rubber diaphragm. Flush your toilets and use a sponge to dry off any water that may have accumulated in the toilet tank after flushing

Avoid snow compaction

Winter septic tank difficulties can arise as a result of snow compaction, as we have already demonstrated. Snow covering your septic tank is necessary, but it should not be compacted. Avoid walking, driving, or pushing heavy things or machinery over the septic tank since any external pressure can condense the snow on top of the septic tank and cause it to overflow. It is also not recommended to build any construction over the septic tank for the same reasons as above.

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Inspect the system

Winter septic tank difficulties might arise as a result of snow compaction, as we’ve already observed. Even while it is necessary to have snow covering your septic tank, it should not be compacted. Avoid walking, driving, or pushing heavy things or machinery over the septic tank since any external pressure can condense the snow on top of the septic tank and cause it to back up. For the same reasons, you should not build anything over your septic tank.

Pump the septic system

If your septic tank is nearing the end of its life cycle, arrange a pumping right before winter. If the tank becomes full during the winter, pumping it will be a time-consuming task, and businesses who do tank pumping during the winter will charge you more for the inconvenience. Pumping the septic tank may also be beneficial in preventing the tank from freezing if you will be absent from the house for the entirety of the winter season. Using biological additives, on the other hand, is a good idea before pumping the tank since, in most situations, this will solve the problem.

Add insulation

It is possible to add some extra insulation to the tank and pipes by covering them with a 12-inch layer of straw, leaves, hay, or any other type of mulch material. This is especially important if your septic tank has only recently been placed and there is no vegetation covering the tank. Allowing the grass to grow somewhat taller over the septic tank and leachfield should be adequate to trap snow for insulating purposes during the winter months. You should not use mulch as insulation if your tank is already frozen, since the mulch may interfere with the thawing process when the temperatures rise a few degrees.

Consider consulting with a trained plumber to determine the most effective way to go about this without dislodging pipes or causing damage to your plumbing system. Other major changes that the plumber may offer include the replacement of your pipes with special insulated versions.


It is not an easy effort to recover from septic tank troubles during the winter months. A tank pumping business, for example, would have to worry about driving to your home in the snow and then plowing around to find where the tank is located on your property before they can begin pumping a tank in the winter months. Then there’s the risk of discovering a frozen septic tank, which further complicates the situation. This is why it is important to take the time to prepare your plumbing and septic tank for the winter months ahead.

Step-by-step process to obtain an on-site sewage facility permit

  • Read the instructions for submitting an online application. You can also obtain a permit application package by contacting 512-578-3216 or 800-776-5272, ext. 3216, option 1
  • Or by downloading the application from our website. To apply for a permit or license, you must submit a completed application along with the required price. Applicants submitting their applications in person should pay the OSSF fees in cash, check, or money order at the time of submission. Your application can be paid for online using a credit or debit card if you are submitting it through the website.

a completed application will include the following items: an application form, proof of ownership (such as a warranty deed or tax record), a drawing or survey of the property, soil analysis, a floor plan of the proposed structure, a floodplain compliance letter from the appropriate floodplain administrator, a drawing showing the proposed location of the septic system, wells, structures, etc., a copy of the system design plans (if professionally designed, two sets should be submitted); affidavit of support All illustrations must be drawn to scale.

  • If your property is less than one acre in size, you must additionally present a documented plat of the land, as well as any plat notes that may be linked with it.
  • Inspection planning and preparation You must designate the intended site of a drain field, septic tank, home, well, driveway, and other structures on your land within two working days after filing the application to the city or township.
  • This notification will include the name of the property owner as well as a description of the property.
  • Third, the LCRA personnel will conduct an on-site examination of your property to evaluate whether or not it is eligible for provisional field approval.
  • Following that, LCRA will conduct a full plan evaluation.
  • Unless you specify otherwise, LCRA will send the permit to you unless you indicate that you would want to pick it up.
  • 3.
  • In order to arrange the needed inspections, the owner or installer must do so.
  • If you have any questions regarding the installation procedure, you can phone 512-578-3216 or 800-776-5272, ext.
  • In most cases, inspections of the installation will be completed within two working days after receipt of the inspection request.

Process for obtaining approval for usage of a product. The Permit to Operate at the site will be issued to the owner or the owner’s agent once your system has been finished and authorized. For further information, please check the frequently asked questions about the on-site sewage program.

Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems

For further information, please contact Jackie Littlepage, Director of Environmental Health and Health Inspector, at (719) 427-0179 or OWTS Regulations: (719) 427-0179.

  • 2018 Lake County On-Site Wastewater Treatment System Regulation
  • Colorado Regulation No. 43 – On-Site Wastewater Treatment System Regulation
  • 2018 Lake County OWTS Regulation

OWTS/Septic Permits: BEFORE INSTALLING OR REPAIRING AN OWTS, YOU MUST BE LICENSED TO INSTALL. List of OWTS Contractors that are licensed in Lake County To be valid, all permit applications listed below must be filed electronically using the links provided. What you may anticipate is the following: There is a $10 processing charge for these applications, which are submitted through a website named The costs include the cost of Lake County Government’s usage of the OnlineRME database, paperless forms, and payment gateway fees, which are all included in the rates.

There are two charges: one to Lake County Government and one to OnlineRME for the process.

In addition, you will receive a confirmation email.

  • Major repairs, such as tank replacement, STA repairs alone, or bedroom additions/remodels, cost $600 in addition to the permit price. All Require Engineers design work is included, as are up to three LCPHA inspections
  • And $800 for new construction Engineers are required to design the project, which requires up to three LCPHA inspections.
  • $20.00 permit plus charge – SMALL REPAIR Modest repairs include the installation of risers and/or tank lid replacements, cleanout replacements, and very minor straight sewer pipe replacements of five feet or less in length, for which the contractor will submit a plan of work as well as before and after images to the LCPHA. Permit and charge totaling $300 – MINIMAL REPAIRS Pump replacements, sewage pipe replacements with joints, sewer pipe replacements with parts five feet or longer in length or sections needing encasements, and sewer pipe replacements with joints are examples of small repairs. The contractor will provide a scope of work as well as before and after photographs. LCPHA will conduct one inspection on each of these. It is expected that minor repairs will merely replace existing components and will not alter the way the system was originally meant to work.

Do you have a septic system on your property that you want to sell? You must submit an application for a transfer of title to the property. An inspection of an on-site wastewater treatment system (OWTS) is required by Lake County for any property owner who owns a residence or other building served by an On-Site Wastewater Treatment System (OWTS). The inspection must demonstrate that the septic system is in good working order before the property can be sold or transferred.

  1. Examined by a NAWT-certified inspector, the OWTS should be examined. OWTS pumpers and TOT inspectors can be found here. The owner, transferor, or real estate agent can file a Transfer of Title application by clicking on the link provided below. Transfer of Title (TOT)Application for real estate sales with OWTS=$50 plus a ten-percent (10%) processing charge

Installation and repair of OWTS/Septic Systems require a license. Because of COVID19, all testing must be completed online. The following are the steps to becoming a licensed OWTS installer/repair contractor in Lake County:

  1. Create an account using the email address that you will use to apply for the exam and to perform OWTS business with Lake County, and log in. Submit a test application using the same email address that you used to register for an account (the email address MUST be the same)
  • $55 plus price for both the State Part A and the Lake County Part B Exams
  • $25 plus fee for only the Lake County Part B Exam (you must have passed the State Part A Exam and be listed on the Colorado OWTS Installer Part A Exam.Study Reg. 43 and Lake County Reg

3. Examine Regulation 43 and Lake County Regulations. Allow yourself 4 hours to finish both A(state) and B(state) tasks (Lake County). The State Installer Exam Part A consists of 62 questions, while the Lake County Installer Exam Part B consists of 20 questions. If you do not login to finish the exam, you will receive an email from urging you to do so. Please keep an eye out for emails from in your spam folder. If your application is accepted, you will have 30 days to go into your account and begin working on your test application after receiving the email notification.

  1. This URL can only be used once.
  2. You will only have 4 hours to complete the exam before the link is removed from the website.
  3. You will be unable to take the exam and will be required to reapply for the exam and pay the costs once again.
  4. Because the test is open book, please refer to State Regulation 43 as well as Lake County OWTS rules if necessary.
  5. 6.
  6. Please be patient as the reaction to COVID19 has resulted in delays in the grading and awarding of licenses.
  7. Licensing for Contractors and Installers Individuals involved in the profession of checking, installing, upgrading, constructing and chemically treating as well as remodeling and repairing are considered to be testers.
  8. Employees of a qualified Systems Contractor are not required to hold a separate individual license.
  9. Proper septic system care and maintenance are essential for maintaining the public’s health and conserving the environment’s precious water resources.
  10. Maintenance and servicing of a home’s septic system are important since failure to do so can result in clogged pipes and overflowing sewage, which can result in expensive repairs, contaminated local waterways, and potential dangers to public health and the environment.

By taking a few short, basic measures to care for their home’s septic system, homeowners can contribute to the health of their neighborhood and the health of their local waterways, while also avoiding potentially expensive septic system repairs that can arise if the system is not properly maintained.

Residents may contribute to the cause by following these SepticSmart recommendations:

  • Homeowners should have their system examined by a professional contractor every three years, and they should have their tank pumped as often as required, which is usually every three to five years. Don’t flush fats, grease, and sediments down the toilet, since these substances can clog the pipes and drainfield of a system. Instruct guests to only flush things down the toilet or down the drain that belong there. Disposable diapers and wipes, feminine hygiene products, cigarette butts, and cat litter are all examples of materials that can clog and potentially harm septic systems. Make use of less water and space out your water use. Consider repairing plumbing leaks and installing faucet aerators and water-efficient appliances that have the Environmental Protection Agency’s WaterSense designation, as well as spreading out laundry and dishwashing loads throughout the day to conserve water. If a system hasn’t been pumped in a while, a large amount of water at once might cause it to become overloaded. Inform guests that they should not park or drive on a drainage system’s drainfield, since the weight of the vehicle might damage buried pipes or impede subterranean flow.

The Environmental Protection Agency’s SepticSmart program promotes good septic system care and maintenance throughout the year, assisting in educating homeowners about the importance of periodic septic system repair as well as correct daily system use. Not only does SepticSmart assist in the education of homeowners, but it also acts as an online resource for industry practitioners, local governments, and community groups, giving them with access to resources that can be used to further educate their customers and constituents.

For additional information on where to get WaterSense Products in your region, please visit this page.

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