Because it’s buried several feet underground, you usually don’t have to worry about your septic system freezing in the winter. However, the season does put additional strain on your water treatment system and makes some maintenance tasks more difficult, potentially resulting in serious issues. Below are a few tips for preparing your septic system for the cold weather ahead.

3 Tips for Preparing Your Septic System for Winter

1. Schedule a Cleaning

While your septic system treats liquid waste on its own, solids will have to be pumped out every three to five years. If your system is due for a cleaning, scheduling it before winter begins will ensure your plumbing is able to handle the additional pressure of holiday guests and visitors. It’s also easier to clean in late fall, before the soil over the tank freezes.

2. Keep Vehicles Off the Leach Field

septic systemThe leach field consists of a series of underground pipes, which slowly drain liquid waste into the soil. In the winter, freezing soil causes the soil to expand, putting additional pressure on the pipes and other components. Keeping vehicles and lawnmowers off the leach field minimizes the risk of damage to this critical part of your septic system.

3. Check the Septic Tank Lid

A broken septic tank lid can buckle under a blanket of snow, allowing precipitation to leak into the system. The extra water can disrupt the bacteria responsible for breaking down solid waste, so inspect the lid carefully before winter arrives. If you notice cracks or missing pieces, your local septic service can make or order you a replacement.


With over 30 years of experience, Great Bear Septic Service delivers award-winning service to customers throughout New York’s Putnam County. Thanks to the exceptional service they provide, they’ve earned the title of Best of HomeAdvisor® for 2015 and 2016, along with the respect of their clients. Visit their website for more on their septic system services or call (845) 621-0250 to schedule a cleaning.