Wintertime septic servicing can be difficult (for us) and more costly (for you). So what are some considerations to think of knowing that winter is on its way?
Know when your tank was last cleaned! If you don’t know call your septic service provider, most companies keep records of last date of service, tank size, etc. If septic maintenance is new to you the formula of seven minus the number of people in your household will give you a good idea when you should be considering a cleaning. Example (7-3 people= 4 years between cleanings). If your family uses extra heavy toilet paper or has been flushing “flushable wipes” you should consider cleaning your tank a bit sooner. While on this subject it is ill advised to flush wipes of any kind down the toilet, they are difficult to pump, hard on the wastewater treatment facilities and they can cause backups.
If your system has an effluent filter fall is the time to clean it. Cleaning the filter is certainly not a fun job, but by cleaning it in the fall you greatly reduce the chance that it will clog up causing problems in the winter months.
Check for and repair any leaking fixtures. Aside from being a waste of water and a stress to your leech field, leaking fixtures under the right conditions can cause an ice jam in the pipe to your tank.
Don’t procrastinate! If your system is due for a tank cleaning this fall be sure to get it done before mid-December (earlier is better). Cleaning the tank removes a lot of heat from the septic system and thus pumping too late in the season can make your septic vulnerable to freezing.
Lastly you want to think about your snow removal practices. Any time it is practical you should leave snow on as much of your septic system as you can. Snow makes excellent insulation and it will help protect your system from freezing issues.