How To Prevent a Frozen Septic Tank

Some areas experience colder and more extreme weather conditions during the wintertime. It isn’t uncommon for rivers, lakes, and other expanses of water to freeze solid during this time — even water underground may freeze. The frost line is a term used to describe the depth at which water will start to freeze underground. 

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) states that the average frost line for most states in America lies between 20 and 50 inches into the ground. This is important information as it is used to determine how deep sewer lines and water lines should be laid down to prevent them from freezing during the cold winter months. 

From time to time, a cold spell may last longer than expected. These cold spells could lower the frost level and cause the underlying water pipes, sewer pipes, and septic tanks to freeze. Therefore, if you live in an area that experiences extreme cold, it is very important to know the signs of a frozen septic tank. 

Frozen Septic Tank FAQ

What are the signs of a frozen septic tank?

Though this may not happen often, it is still wise to be familiar with the signs that your septic tank may be frozen:

  • Sinks won’t drain
  • Bathtubs won’t drain
  • Washing machines do not drain
  • The toilets do not flush properly or at all
  • Backed up sewage 

How do I fix this problem?

The good news is that if you live in an area that experiences extreme colds where this may be a common occurrence, then chances are that local plumbing services may be experienced at how to thaw out septic lines and drain lines. Speaking to a professional and asking for advice or assistance may be the best approach when the situation has already escalated to this point. 

How to prevent septic tanks from freezing?

Prevention is better than cure. If you know that the area is known for colder winters and there may be a chance of your septic tank freezing, then there are some preventative steps that you can take to ensure that this does not happen to you:

  • Check for any plumbing leaks in the system. Check the fixtures and address any leaks immediately. In addition, if the property is only being used for a certain time of the year, make sure to turn off all water when you are not living on the property and drain the toilets, septic tank, and any other faucets.
  • Adding insulation around the area where the septic tank is located is a great way to prevent it from freezing during winter. Simply add mulch, hay, or even leaves, about a minimum of eight inches deep. This will help to insulate the septic tank and prevent winter freezing.
  • If you are busy building a new property, check the frost line and ensure that all water and sewer lines sit well below the frost line. 

Speak to the professionals at Gullett Sanitation Services, Inc. at (513) 734-2227 today about any questions related to frozen septic tanks and how to address the problem.