Can the Septic System In My House Freeze This Winter?The answer is, “absolutely, yes.” Anyone who deals with harsh winters and has a septic tank should know that when temperatures dip, conditions can lead to a frozen septic tank. According to data from the NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), the frost line can be up to 100 inches deep in the northern parts of Minnesota. Depending on the depth of septic pipes and depth of frost, your septic pipes, tank, or soil treatment system can freeze. Although most septic systems are buried deep enough underground to avoid freezing, there are elements of a septic system that can freeze.

What Causes A Septic System To Freeze If It’s Underground?

Freezing can occur if there is slow-running water from fixtures, water softeners or the emptying of furnace condensation into the system. This slow-running water can quickly cause ice to accumulate in the drain lines, eventually causing a complete blockage from slow ice formation. On the flip side, if you live in the home full time, regular household use, frequent warm water use, soaps and detergents can raise the level of the wastewater’s freezing point and help maintain biological activity in your septic tank to prevent freezing.

What Can I Do To Keep The Septic System From Freezing?

Although no method creates a 100% guarantee that your system will not freeze in the harshest winter conditions, there are a few steps homeowners can take to help ensure the septic system does not freeze:

Cover the tank with mulch: Also, when it snows, do not shovel it away from the drain field or the tank. These layers provide extra insulation and keep harsh elements from reaching too far into the ground and hitting the pipes.
Keep the grass long on top of the tank and drain field: Stop mowing the grass in this area in October. Longer grass will help retain winter snow, providing an insulated layer above your septic system.
Watch out for leaks: Drippy faucets, toilets, pipes, etc. running from the house to the tank can eventually freeze in cold weather, causing backups and pipe explosions. Catching them early can save you a headache and a lot of money.
Shut off the water supply: If your home is going to be closed over the winter months, be sure to shut off the water supply to the house and drain the water line completely. Open all the taps and leave them open and drain the septic system’s pressure tank completely. It is also recommended that the septic tank be pumped out beforehand.

What To Do If Your Septic System Freezes

At Custom Septic, we are here to help you should your septic system ever freeze. In any septic emergency, call us right away. The professionals at Custom Septic will be happy to evaluate the issue and determine if a repair needs to be done. For all your septic needs in Minnesota, call (763) 218-4769 or email today!