It is important to be proactive with septic tank maintenance all year round, however, with the night’s drawing in and the temperature dropping, a problem with your septic tank can be particularly unpleasant during the winter months. Be sure to take advantage of the warmer months and prepare your septic tank for winter, as the precautions you take will prevent the system from freezing and ultimately extend its life. Follow our tips below on caring for your septic tank during the winter months.
Get a Septic Tank Survey and Inspection
As most septic tank systems are underground, it is a good idea to let a professional carry out a septic tank survey so that they can assess the condition of your tank and identify any potential signs of damage. By catching potential issues early, you can save yourself a large amount of money as replacing a damaged septic tank system can be costly.
Be Aware of Any Signs of Trouble
It is unlikely that you will spend a large amount of your time in your garden during the winter months, however, keeping an eye on your septic tank, soakaways or drainage fields and catching problems early can prevent further damage. If waste is making its way to the surface, some signs can include boggy patches of grass/soil near or above your system, or unusually lush patches of grass.
Prevent the Septic Tank System From Freezing
Although septic tank maintenance and repair should be left to a professional, there are things homeowners can do to prevent the tank from freezing, such as:
- Frequent use – By flushing regularly, you are ensuring a flow of water through the system that is less likely to freeze.
- Add layers – As the weather becomes colder, cover the area above your septic tank with soil and 12 inches of mulch, straw, hay and leaves.
- Avoid the area – Try to avoid walking around the septic tank area as compacting the ground will drive the cold towards your septic tank system.
In the unfortunate event of your septic tank freezing, be sure to enlist the help of a professional. Many DIY repair remedies don’t always work and can damage your system even more. In the scenario of a breakdown, do not add any additives, such as salt or antifreeze, to the system and do not run continuously run the water. In addition, do not attempt to thaw the system out by starting a fire above your septic tank.
Sewage Treatment Plants
If your septic tank system is damaged and is in need of repair, domestic sewage treatment plants are generally the best option to replace deteriorating septic tank systems. They are favoured by local councils as they are more environmentally friendly, easy to install, and emit virtually clean water once the waste has been sanitised.