Most septic systems should be able to survive the winter without any freezing taking place, even in environments with very low temperatures. However, freezing is something that septic owners need to be aware of and actively work to prevent.
One of the most common reasons behind freezing is a lack of snow cover over the tank itself and the overall soil area. You may think that snow would make the area colder and more susceptible to freezing, but this actually isn’t the case. Once you have a layer of snow on the ground, it actually acts as insulation that can protect your septic tank from the colder temperatures above.
However, snow can cause a problem for your system when it becomes compacted. For example, if you drive a snow blower over the area, or really any other type of heavy equipment, it can cause some snow to compact, which in turn could send frost down to the system itself. This can quickly cause it to freeze.
In general, one of the most common reasons for freezing in the winter is using the system at irregular intervals. If you go on vacation for the holidays, you may return home to find your system has completely frozen. Any time you are planning on being away for a long time, try to have a friend or family member check in and use the water a few times to avoid any problems.
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