Septic Tanks…as any homeowner knows, there are a number of different areas within your house that you need to take note of and this happens to be one such area. Your septic tank is your own individual cleaner and sanitiser. Your septic tank isolates the raw waste that’s produced from your home and ensures your household remains safe and healthy. Aside from being responsible for collecting your waste, your septic tank is also responsible for treating and purifying said waste. With the help of a fully functional septic tank system, you’ll live in a clean and safe environment, free from filth, sickness and contaminated drinking water. The creation of septic tanks was most definitely a milestone for mankind however that’s not to say it’s totally free from problems which is why we must still do our best to keep on top of it, especially during the winter months. While the majority of people believe the issues in winter surround heavy rain and it’s ability to overflow rather quickly, we’re actually here to tell you about the more common freezing issues associated with your septic tank systems.
Common Winter Issues With Septic Tanks
If you’ve had it happen to you, you’ll know there’s nothing worse than when septic tanks freeze over during a harsh winter. While we may be seeing the mildest December in 70 years, chances are January will remind us just what British winters are usually like so hopefully this blog should come in plenty of time to allow you to prepare fully.
Protective covers – just like you’d wear a coat in the colder months, your septic tank needs an insulating cover too. The tank, the drain field, the mound or trench should all have a cover to help keep the heat trapped inside the system. Without this heat, the bacteria within the tank that breaks down the solid waste and treats the wastewater loses its ability to do this job. It’s the heat that helps maintain a high metabolism amongst the bacteria. Without the heat from the cover, eventually the entire system will freeze over.
Soil and snow compaction – soil compaction happens when heavy vehicles and structures are placed over the septic tank. When this happens, the tank can easily freeze more easily eventually resulting in a failed system. Snow compaction occurs when you drive over the septic tank after a heavy snowfall. This pushes the snow even deeper into the septic tank. Once again causing your system to freeze over and eventually fail.
Long periods of no use – this usually happens to cabins or holiday homes that perhaps don’t get used during the week. It can also happen in households where there are only one or two occupants and it’s all down to the fact that wastewater simply doesn’t enter the system often enough to prevent freezing.
Leaks in the plumbing or poor drainage – even small leaks will allow water to enter the system and freeze over. The water that’s discharged by humidifiers and furnaces will also add moisture due to the discharge they release in small amounts. Poor drainage will lead to back-filled soil allowing, once again, water to enter the system which will eventually freeze over.
Waterlogged system – when your septic tank becomes water logged, due to heavy rain in most instances, it’s failing hydraulically. The water will tend to go to the side and freeze, preventing the next batch of waste from being treated.
This list of common problems isn’t exhaustive, there are a great number of other issues that can and do occur during the colder months. For further information on what to expect during this season, contact us at euroloo today. Otherwise, keep your eyes peeled for our next installment that focuses on keeping your septic tank functional with annual septic tank empties and much more.