How To Install A Septic Tank In Cold Climates? (Solution)

  • The deepness of the installation of the septic system in the ground is also key. The tanks should ideally be buried at a minimum depth of 500 mm below ground level, outside of the freezing zone and frost line, to ensure efficient operation of the wastewater treatment system in cold climates.

Can cold weather affect your septic system?

During winter, the freezing temperature outside makes the various components of your septic system freeze up. With the septic tank being frozen, the waste does not break down quickly, which causes problems for the residents.

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 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.

How do you protect aerobic septic systems in freezing weather?

If you have a septic system that is used infrequently during the winter, place a layer of insulating material at least a foot deep over the tank and extend the layer at least 5 feet past the edges of the tank. Using a snow fence to trap snow over the tank also will help.

Do septic tanks work in the winter?

In general, pumping septic tanks is not recommended in cold climates during the winter months. Winter’s arrival can vary year to year, but a good rule of thumb in Minnesota, for example, is to avoid pumping from November to April. Below are the most common problems associated with winter pumping.

Can you pump septic tank in 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.

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.

How do you defrost 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.

Can 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.

Why does my septic smell when it’s cold?

If You’re on a Septic Tank As such, the methane gases typically found in the septic tank don’t flow through the vent as they normally would. Instead, they stay low to the ground, causing a foul smell similar to rotten eggs. Cold temperatures can cause downdrafts from plumbing vent stacks.

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!

Insulating a septic system or a domestic wastewater treatment plant for winter in cold climates

Fabian Belin published an article on December 4th, 2018.

Insulating a septic system or a domestic wastewater treatment plant for winter in cold climates

Septic system or residential wastewater treatment plant insulation may be beneficial in cold areas in order to maintain adequate temperatures within the tank while avoiding the freezing of all effluents from entering the system. By retaining the heat within the septic system, it is possible to ensure effective active digestion as well as a successful wastewater treatment process. Indeed, when the temperature outside drops, the bacterial activity responsible for the wastewater treatment process in the septic system decreases: when the temperature within the septic system drops below 4°C, the bacteria fall into dormancy, indicating that the system is not functioning properly.

There are a variety of options available: First and foremost, an insulating board should be installed on top of the septic system as well as along the walls of the septic tank prior to beginning the backfilling procedure.

  1. The lids of the septic system, which are the most vulnerable and exposed portions of the system, must get special attention to avoid failure.
  2. On the other hand, insulation might be installed on-site by the contractor who is responsible for the installation of the tanks.
  3. In order to guarantee that the wastewater treatment system operates well in cold climates, the tanks should be buried at a minimum depth of 500 mm below ground level, outside of the freezing zone and frost line.
  4. It may be necessary to utilize spray-on insulation at seal sites in order to provide extra insulation.
  5. To conclude, here are a few suggestions on the material used: The insulating material chosen should be able to withstand being buried in the ground and should be resistant to the absorption of moisture.

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.

  1. 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.
  2. In addition, the service providers have gone outside of the onsite business for ideas and technology that they may take and modify.
  3. This submersible heater is installed prior to the onset of the winter freeze.
  4. “That’s a significant amount of additional effort that might have been avoided,” he adds.
  5. These heaters provide chances for maintenance and servicing, but they also raise the running expenses for the property owner.
  6. What about the pipes, do you think?
  7. 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.

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.

Tips to Prevent Your Septic System from Freezing

Your septic system may freeze in the same way that water pipes can. Here are some pointers on how to avoid the damage that chilly weather may do. Meet the Professional: Sara Heger is a teacher and researcher at the University of Minnesota’s Onsite Sewage Treatment Program. She has a master’s degree in environmental science. She provided the following recommendations to avoid a frozen septic system:

  • Make use of it. It is prone to freezing if there is no hot water passing through the septic system. This can cause damage to the tank, pipes, the filter, and its housing, as well as a backup of waste into the house, among other things. That will be both expensive and unwelcome
  • Snow cover acts as an excellent insulator over your septic system. Don’t just shovel it away
  • Insulate the system if there isn’t enough snow cover before the temperature dips below freezing. Straw bales or specially designed insulating blankets can be used for this purpose. Several weeks before the conclusion of the growing season, stop mowing the grass above the irrigation system. An additional layer of insulation is provided by more plants. Don’t leave a trickle of water flowing to keep pipes from freezing, as some people do to keep them from freezing. It’s possible that that chilly trickle of water will generate an ice buildup in your septic system. If you aren’t going to be in the house during the winter, keeping it heated between 56 and 58 degrees Fahrenheit is one alternative for freezing avoidance. You should get your tank drained out before freezing temperatures set in if you are only sometimes home during the winter or if you empty your water and winterize your home before freezing temperatures set in. Put the tank as deep as feasible in the ground to help keep it safe from freezing. When it comes to concrete tanks, the maximum depth is eight feet, measured from the tank’s top. Plastic tanks cannot be buried as deeply as concrete tanks
  • They may only be sunk to a maximum depth of 24 inches. Burying a tank deep, on the other hand, might make maintenance more difficult since it makes it impossible to see into the corners where sludge can accumulate.
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Septic tanks can take up to a year to “settle” after being installed. When constructing a tank and drain field, it is recommended that the land above them be “crowned” to reduce settling effects. This is critical because water that collects around the tank might freeze. Using pea gravel around manhole covers is not recommended if you have to add additional fill as a consequence of settling. The water does not flow away from the components of your system as a result of this; rather, it flows toward the tank.

After that, groundwater runs into the tank, decreasing the system’s life expectancy.


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.

The last thing you should do to ensure that your septic system maintenance is successful during winter is to safeguard the drainage field from damage. Ground that has frozen and temperatures that have dropped below freezing can cause serious harm to the septic tank. Fortunately, safeguarding the drainage field is straightforward. Over a two- to three-inch layer of mulch or straw over the drainage field, place any additional insulation that is required. For the tank itself, you might purchase insulating blankets to keep the temperature stable.

Insulating the tank and the surrounding field will help to prevent freezing damage. If you want assistance in preparing your septic tank for the winter, contact the experts at The Pink Plumber now. We’ve got you – and your septic system – taken care of. OUR EXPERT PLUMBERS ARE AVAILABLE TO HELP YOU.

Don’t let your septic system freeze

As winter approaches, it’s possible that Jack Frost may be nibbling at the bottom of your septic system. “Freezing temperatures may cause difficulties for septic systems,” says Dan Olson, a communications expert with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. “Frozen temperatures can cause problems for septic systems.” Every season, it’s vital to think about your septic system and to follow particular guidelines, but maintenance is especially critical during the winter months.” The following suggestions will assist you in keeping your septic system warm and happy this winter, as well as avoiding the expenditures and hassles associated with septic system components that freeze.

  • To offer additional insulation, spread a layer of mulch 8 to 12 inches deep over the pipes, tank, and soil treatment system. This might be straw, leaves, hay, or any other loose material that will remain in place and not compact. When installing new systems late in the year, it is especially vital to ensure there is sufficient vegetative cover to prevent weeds from growing in. However, if the system is currently frozen, do not add mulch at this time
  • Doing so will cause the thawing to be delayed until the following spring. If you’re concerned that your system is starting to freeze, fill a container with water—the warmer the better. Spread up your laundry routine so that you only have to do one warm/hot load each day if possible. Take hot showers and put the dishes in the dishwasher. It is not recommended to leave water flowing all of the time since this will overburden the septic system. Are you going to be away for a lengthy amount of time? Have someone use warm water in the house on a regular basis, or have your tank pumped out before you leave. If you have any leaking plumbing fixtures or appliances in your house, you should fix them right away. This will aid in the prevention of freezing problems and the overall performance of your system throughout the year. Keep all car, animal, and human traffic off the highways and bridges. This is a regulation that should be followed throughout the year since compacted snow and soils cause frost to penetrate deeper and more quickly. Pay particular attention to the space between the home and the tank, and keep a watch on your system’s performance. Immediately call an onsite specialist to assist in determining the source and treatment for any seeping or ponding that may develop. Increase the amount of insulation in your system. There are several options for doing so, including replacing pipes with insulated pipes, installing expanded foam panels over septic tanks, and increasing soil cover.

If your system freezes

If your septic system freezes, you should contact a septic system specialist. The MPCA website contains a search engine that may be used to locate certified professionals in your region. For thawing pipelines, professionals use machines such as steamers and high-pressure jetters, which are referred to as jetters. Other options for resolving a freezing problem include the use of heat tape and tank heaters, among others. It is possible to send cameras down pipes to discover where the freezing is occurring.

The system will not take liquid until the region thaws in the spring.

When the tank starts to fill up, call a pumper to empty it out for you.

For more information

Septic systems can become frozen, and you should contact an expert to help you. In addition to a search engine for identifying certified professionals in your region, the MPCA website also provides a directory. For thawing pipes, professionals use machines known as steamers and high-pressure jetters. Additions such as heat tape and tank heaters are also utilized to resolve a freezing problem. In order to assess where freezing is occurring in pipes, cameras can be deployed down the pipes. Skip thawing the pipes leading to the soil treatment system if the system is completely frozen or there is evidence of leakage.

Once a problem cannot be corrected, the only alternative left is to use the septic tank as a holding tank until the system thaws naturally on its own.

Limiting the amount of toilet flushes, taking shorter showers, and running the dishwasher at full capacity can all help you save water in this case!


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 the storage, supply, waste, vent, and septic systems, must be thoroughly examined and appraised.

The more harsh the conditions, the greater the need of having a system that is correctly constructed. 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

mounded systems, also known as above-ground systems, are commonly used in homes when it is not possible to build a buried septic tank (for example, due to permafrost or shallow bedrock). This consists of a sand mound with a drainfield trench included into it. The effluent from the septic tank runs into a pump chamber, where it is pumped to the mound in the amounts recommended. The treatment of the wastewater happens when the effluent flows into the trench and filters through the sand before dispersing onto the surrounding soil.

Preventing and resolving frozen septic tank problems in winter

The freezing temperatures of winter pose a serious threat to the septic system and plumbing of a residential property. Inadequate preparation for winterization of your septic system might result in freezing. Aside from the cold temperature, there are a number of other elements that contribute to frozen septic tank issues throughout the winter months. In this post, we’ll take a look at some of these variables, as well as what you can do to avoid or recover from a frozen septic tank situation.

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.

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.

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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.

These biological additions infiltrate the septic system and bring billions of bacteria and enzymes into the system. 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

There are a few maintenance techniques that can be used both before and throughout the winter to ensure that your septic system is operating at peak performance and that you do not have to deal with the frequent frozen septic tank problems that occur during the winter. The majority of these maintenance suggestions are do-it-yourself, but some of them, such as tank insulation, may necessitate the assistance of a professional. Let’s take a closer look at each of the suggestions in more depth below.

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.

Inspect the system

It is recommended that you examine the system soon before the winter season begins. The primary goal of this examination is to determine whether or not there are any defects in the system under consideration. Make a visual inspection for cracks or other associated issues, and make sure the septic tank is not overflowing. Make a visual inspection of the drainfield area to ensure that there is no surface effluent or spongy soil present. Detecting a malfunctioning system manually is not always straightforward; thus, a more scientific technique may be necessary at times.

You flush the pills down the toilet, wait a couple of hours, and if the green dye is still visible on the lawn the next day, your septic system has failed or is on the verge of collapsing.

These additions will bring billions of bacteria and enzymes into the system, and they will eventually clean out the system by digesting the organic waste that has accumulated inside.

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 provide some more 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.


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.

Avoid Cold Weather Septic Issues

Unpredictable weather conditions have forced homeowners all throughout Minnesota to scramble to keep their cars on the road, their children occupied, and their toilets flushing efficiently this winter season. In fact, when temperatures drop below freezing, a Septic System may get clogged, allowing wastewater and sewage to back up into the residence. Cold weather septic issues may be avoided in Zimmerman and across the whole Frozen Northland with the assistance of a qualified Minnesota septic professional with years of experience.

Frozen Sewer Pipes | Septic Tank | Pump Lift Station | Soil Treatment Area

Depending on where you live in the state, you may be experiencing anything from a trace amount of snow cover to many inches of snow on the ground at any given time of year. Aside from that, temperature changes vary greatly from one part of Minnesota to another. Both of these variables can have an impact on on-site septic systems. Septic lines, septic tanks, pump stations, and drainfields might potentially freeze and fail if temperatures drop below freezing and there is only a little layer of snow on the ground.

Even residences that are linked to a municipal water and sewer system can suffer from Frozen Pipes, which result in a lack of water.

Biggest Reasons for Frozen Septic Systems

  • Cold temperatures that continue for several days or even weeks
  • Real snow cover, which would have provided natural insulation against the cold, was lacking. The presence of dry soil conditions that are unsuitable for sewage treatment
  • The septic tank and soil drainfield were not properly maintained. Installation of onsite septic system components that is not up to code
  • Using the incorrect septic system design or placement
  • Inside the home, there are leaky fixtures that enable water to seep into septic lines and cause an ice blockage to form.

Don’t Let Your Septic System Freeze

The realization that your septic system has frozen can give even the most resilient Minnesotan a headache. Making sure that your house is prepared for whatever winter weather conditions may come your way is the most effective method to prevent such a disaster altogether. Here are 12 suggestions for preventing your septic system from freezing:

  1. Maintenance techniques for septic systems that are proper
  2. Pump the septic tank as often as necessary
  3. When required, clean or replace the screens or filters in the septic system. Fixing leaking plumbing fixtures is a must. Don’t ever flush grease or chemicals down the toilet. Washing and cleaning products should only be used in the amounts indicated. Inspections of septic systems to determine the overall health of the system
  4. Septic system locations should be insulated by a foot of snow, straw, or mulch. Incorporate foam or other kinds of insulation into your plumbing system by hiring a septic contractor. Avoid walking on the ground covering that covers the septic tank and drainfield. Keep an eye out for road salt runoff in the vicinity of the soil treatment area. Take a shower, run the dishwasher, or turn on the faucet to enable warm water to flow through the pipes to avoid ice buildup.

Experienced Minnesota Septic Professional

CSI Custom Septic, Inc. provides cost-effective, expert services for the design, installation, and maintenance of septic systems to ensure that they operate at peak efficiency. With our years of expertise as a Minnesota Septic Professional Company, we have seen our fair share ofWinter Weather Septic System Issues that may have been prevented with a little forethought and preparation. Proper Care and Maintenancecan be a significant factor in ensuring the longevity of an on-site sewage treatment system.

forAffordable Septic System Solutions andSeptic Inspectionsby calling(763) 218-4769.

provides affordable septic system solutions and septic inspections.

Preventing Septic Issues During the Winter

While you are huddled inside your house, trying to remain warm during the severe winter months, your septic system may be struggling to keep up with the extreme cold. Septic systems are built to withstand extreme temperatures, but if they are not properly maintained and protected, they may be damaged by freezing temperatures. Septic problems can be avoided throughout the cold months if your system is properly protected. Here are some precautions you can take to keep your system protected throughout the winter months, as well as what to do if you experience problems as a result of cold temperatures or freezing temperatures.

How to Protect Your Septic System During the Winter

There is always the potential that your septic system will freeze if the temps drop below the freezing point. The pipes that run from your home to your septic tank, in particular, are particularly vulnerable to freezing. It is also possible for the tank, drainfield, and pipelines leading to the drainfield to freeze.

Winterize Your Plumbing Pipes

If you do not intend to remain in your home during the winter, it is advisable to winterize your pipes in order to prevent them from freezing and break throughout the season. Emptying the water heater and draining all of the water from the pipes constitutes this procedure. It is common practice for some homeowners to add antifreeze to their systems; however, doing so is not suggested for those who have a septic system since it will harm the microorganisms in the tank.

Avoid Compacted Snow

While snow may function as an excellent insulator for the pipes that link your septic system to your home, you must take care to ensure that the snow does not become compacted. It is necessary for the survival of microorganisms in your septic tank that they have access to pore space, which allows water and air to flow freely among the materials in the tank. When the earth around your septic system becomes compacted, there is no area for air and water to travel through.

If the snow becomes compacted on top of the system, it might cause ice to sink deeper into the tank, causing it to become unable to function. Walking, driving, or exerting additional pressure on the septic tank should be avoided in order to avoid this problem.

Add Insulation

In the event that there isn’t enough snow to offer adequate insulation for your system, you may have to add additional insulation yourself. Straw, leaves, mulch, or hay can be used to add additional insulation to your home. The addition of insulation materials to external pipes is possible; nevertheless, it is recommended that a skilled expert perform this task. You might end up with loosened pipes or damage to your plumbing system if you do this yourself. Expert plumbers, like as our team at Peak Sewer, are committed to putting in place preventative measures in order to avoid problems in the first place.

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Fix Leaky Faucetsand Toilets

However, while it is generally advised that you let a trickle stream of water to run from your taps to prevent freezing, allowing leaks to continue in your house can result in problems with your septic system as well. As a result of these leaks, water will be able to enter the septic system, making it difficult for bacteria to replenish themselves in the septic tank. If there aren’t enough bacteria in the tank to break down waste, heat output will reduce, which might result in the tank being frozen.

How to Solve Septic System Problems in the Winter

We’d love to tell you that you can cure septic problems on your own throughout the winter, but the fact is that you should hire a professional to handle these difficulties for you instead. Make sure to avoid making the following blunders if you decide to take care of the situation yourself:

  • Antifreeze and salt should not be used in the cooling system. As previously stated, this has the potential to severely impact the natural microorganisms in your septic tank. Fire should never be used to defrost the system
  • This is just something we want to point out since someone somewhere has attempted it. It is not necessary to run water continuously to defrost the system. The fact is that, while this may be an effective preventative approach in certain circumstances, it will not solve the problem. Please do not flush hot water down the drain. A total blockage may result in the rupture of your pipes
  • However, this is not always the case.

The only DIY that is risk-free is to heat the part of pipe that has been frozen. This only works if you are able to get entry to the place in a safe manner. To thaw out the pipe, use a heat lamp or an electric heater to warm the air and melt any ice that has formed; otherwise, it is advised that you bring in the pros.

Call the Experts!

Technicians that are well-trained and educated have the equipment and abilities necessary to thaw frozen septic pipes and re-open your system. Professionals are the most qualified to assess the symptoms of your septic system and determine the root cause of the problem. They can discover the source of the freezing with the help of specific gear such as cameras, and they can assess what sort of repairs are necessary. Using heat tape and tank heaters, plumbers can assist your system maintain a consistent temperature even if it is not completely frozen.

Whatever the problem, the root cause of the freezing must be identified and corrected in order to avoid refreezing in the future.

Most importantly, you should not leave the health of your septic system to chance during the winter months.

If you’re ready to prepare your septic system for winter, or if you need assistance with a septic system problem, please contact us right now! Get in Touch With Us

Do Septic Tanks Freeze? How To Protect Them in The Winter

Our professionals are well-versed in the equipment and techniques necessary to defrost frozen septic lines and restore proper operation to the system. Septic system symptoms should be evaluated by a professional in order to determine the true cause of your problems. It is possible to detect the cause of the freezing using sophisticated instruments such as cameras, and it is also possible to assess what sort of repairs are necessary. If your system is not frozen, plumbers can use heat tape and tank heaters to assist you in maintaining a consistent temperature in your system.

Whatever the problem, the root cause of the freezing must be identified and corrected in order to prevent refreezing in the future, It’s possible that in the worst-case situation, because the temperatures are too frigid to solve the problem, a septic pumper will be required to empty out the tanks in the spring when they become overflowing.

Besides being accessible to assist you with any difficulties that may emerge inside your septic system, our team of qualified professionals is also available to do inspections and maintenance to prevent any issues from occurring in the first place.

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What to do to Prevent Pipes from Freezing

Covering your pipes with an insulating material such as mulch is an excellent technique to prevent them from being frozen. If you cover your pipes with mulch and then with snow, the two of these materials will function as insulators. They act as a barrier against frost, preventing it from penetrating the ground and making its way into your septic tank system and pipes. The fact that you live in a colder climate with snow can be advantageous because the snow acts as an insulator for the pipes.

  • It is possible for snow to get compacted when there is a high volume of foot movement or even automobiles moving over the snow.
  • Tanks that have cracked or pipes that have moved can be extremely expensive to repair.
  • Get any leaky faucets, toilets, or other issues taken care of as soon as possible before the cold weather arrives.
  • The best course of action in the event that your system freezes is to contact a professional septicsystem service straight soon.
  • If you are unable to locate thefreezingpoint, your tank can still be used as a holding tank until the problem area has thawed out completely.

Take precautions before winter sets in, and keep an eye on your system as the season progresses. If you require assistance, it is best to contact a professional as soon as possible, before a minor problem escalates into a major one.

In case of emergencies, Shanksters Bros has a 24-houremergency septic systemhotline. Call us at(260) 750-2185today!

Septic tanks can become clogged as a result of the harsh winter weather. From frozen ground to frozen pipes, there are a variety of difficulties that may occur and must be addressed. Prepare for winter with these suggestions, which should help you prevent septic tank issues in the long run. When the ground freezes or snow accumulates, it forms an additional barrier that prevents water from reaching the tank. When you have to dig through hard or frozen ground, tank pumping and maintenance quickly become a hassle to do.

A septic tank riser can also be installed as an alternative approach.

Risers are designed to resist the rigors of the winter season, giving a reliable solution.

Compacted snow and soil surrounding your septic system can cause a variety of issues.

Compacted soil and snow:

  • It does not provide as good an insulation barrier for the tank, which might result in a frozen system. It is possible that wastewater will be unable to filter and drain adequately. Creates pressure over the tank and pipes, which can result in damage and, eventually, make it easier for the tank to freeze.

Prevention Tips:

  • Drive vehicles or heavy equipment over your tank or drain field at your own peril. Generally speaking, driving over your gas tank should be avoided at any time of year, but it may be particularly hazardous during the winter months. Remove any snow that has accumulated on the system
  • Before winter, aerate the soil surrounding the septic system.

When snow or ice accumulates around your septic tanks and nearby areas and then freezes, it can cause difficulties to develop. It does this by slowing down or completely prohibiting the good bacteria in your tank from breaking down waste. When wastewater is not adequately broken down, it can generate a system overload, which is dangerous. In addition, if wastewater accumulates in a frozen pipe and subsequently ruptures, it poses a serious health concern to those who are exposed.

Steps to Prepare:

  • Insulate your septic tank and system with a cover, a blanket, straw, leaves, and/or soil, among other things. Consider putting a cover over your leach field as well. Increase the amount of flora in the area around your tank to help protect it from the cold. Every day, fill the tank with water and utilize it. Keep pipes free of leaks and obstructions so that the line stays heated and the drainage system functions correctly

About Miller Septic

Miller Septic is a locally owned firm that provides septic cleaning services for both residential and commercial properties. We have more than 30 years of expertise in serving the requirements of residents and companies in Northeast Ohio and surrounding areas. Pumping septic tanks, identifying septic tanks, giving point of sale inspections, cleaning grease traps and catch basins, trucking municipal sludge, offering leach line rejuvenation, and more are some of the services we provide. We are pleased to service the following counties: Holmes County, Wayne County, Tuscarawas County, Coshocton County, Stark County, Ashland County, Carroll County, and others.

Do Septic Tanks Freeze? How to Fix a Frozen Septic Tank

When the weather turns chilly, septic systems might be put at risk. Heating your home throughout the winter months has little effect on your septic tank, which is hidden from view. Underground sewage lines are particularly vulnerable to freezing, however the tank and drain field can also become iced over if the proper safeguards are not followed. A frozen septic tank can result in fractured pipes and the need for expensive repairs. As a result, following septic tank maintenance ideas may be of assistance in extending the life of your septic tank.

How can You Tell if Your Septic Tank is Frozen?

The inability of your toilet, sink, or shower to work properly is a solid indicator that your septic tank is frozen. A backup occurs when the incoming liquid has nowhere to go as a result of the freezing of the water in the pipes. Flooding and cracking are two of the most severe consequences of this.

It is important to contact a professional as soon as possible if you discover that your water is not draining correctly. If you discover that your septic system has become frozen, it is critical that you move quickly to resolve the situation as soon as possible.

How Can You Prevent a Frozen Septic Tank?

Maintaining adequate ground depth for your pipes is the most crucial thing you can do to protect them from freezing in the winter. To prevent frost from entering and inflicting long-term damage to your septic system, it is recommended that septic pipes be installed 18-24 inches deep in most cases. Of course, if your home has already been constructed, your pipes have already been installed; therefore, this recommendation is only applicable to newly constructed residences. Take into consideration the following suggestions for avoiding your septic tank from freezing, no matter where your pipes are located in your yard.

Protect your tank with mulch.

Covering the position of the septic tank with a layer of mulch will help to keep it from freezing. Please do not shovel snow away from the drainfield or tank if it snows during the winter. Extra insulation is provided by these layers, which prevent harsh elements from penetrating too far into the earth and damaging the pipes. Keep an eye out for leaks. In cold weather, drippy faucets, toilets, pipes, and other plumbing fixtures connecting the home to the tank may ultimately freeze, resulting in backups and pipe bursts.

What Can Be Done to Fix Frozen Septic Tanks?

You’ve already discovered that your septic tank or pipes are frozen? To begin with, you might be tempted to try to defrost the frozen food yourself.


  • Run water through the pipes in the hopes of melting the ice that has formed. This will simply result in additional ice, which will exacerbate the situation. Salt or any other additions should be used in an attempt to melt the ice. Try to dig up or ignite a fire near the septic tank to see how far you can get.

If your septic system has been affected by the cold weather, the best course of action is to contact an expert. In many circumstances, specialized plumbers can assess the problem, defrost your pipes, and remedy the situation with little complications. Enlisting the assistance of a professional who is well-versed in their field may save you time, money, and problems.

who should you call for septic issues?

Septic tank cleaning and septic tank pumping services are provided by Norway Septic Inc., a service-oriented company devoted to delivering outstanding septic tank cleaning and septic tank pumping services to households and business owners throughout the Michiana area. “We take great delight in finishing the task that others have left unfinished.” “They pump, we clean!” says our company’s motto. If you believe that your septic system is having troubles, or if you require septic replacement components such as septic filters, please contact us right once.

Our affiliate connections to these items generate a small profit for us if you decide to purchase them via our links.

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