Tuesday, January 6, 2015
Reduce Chances of Frozen Septic Systems
With colder temperatures upon us and little or no snow cover to insulate septic systems, your system may need some help to keep from freezing. “Place a layer of mulch (8-12 inches) over the pipes, tank and soil treatment system to provide extra insulation. This mulch could be straw, leaves, hay or any other loose material that will not compact and will stay in place.”
These tips on keeping your septic system from freezing, are provided by the Crow Wing County Extension Service. This is the first of three articles on the subject, so check back here over the next two days for more valuable and timely information.
Why Might an Onsite System Freeze?
According to many onsite professionals, a winter of cold temperatures and little snow cover can cause freezing of onsite systems. Even in a normal Minnesota winter, freezing can occasionally be a problem. Identifying and correcting a potential freezing problem is far easier than dealing with a frozen system. Here are a few common causes of onsite system freeze-ups.
Lack of Plant Cover: This often occurs in new systems installed late in the year where a vegetative cover could not be established before winter. The vegetative cover insulates the system and helps hold snow.
Leaking Plumbing Fixtures and Furnace Drips: When a fixture such as a toilet or shower head leaks, it sends a small trickle of water to the system. The slow moving and thin film of water form caused by trickle flow can freeze within the pipe and eventually cause the pipe to freeze solid. Appliances such as high efficiency furnaces and humidifiers can also cause water to freeze in the pipes due to the small amount they discharge.
Water Logged System: If a system was hydraulically failing (e.g. water coming to surface or seeping out the side of a mound) it is a prime candidate to freeze. This effluent will freeze and prevent further effluent from entering the soil.
Posted by Brad Wallace at 9:54 AM