While having a full septic tank in the winter isn’t ideal, it’s possible to schedule a septic pumping during the season. The guide below includes everything you need to know about problems your tank may face during the colder months, as well as how you can help preserve it.

Winter Septic System Issues

What Are Common Winter Septic Tank Issues?

septic-pumpingIn areas with extreme winters, the biggest threat to a septic system is freezing. A frozen tank can occur when snow gets compacted over the top of the drain field area, when frost gets inside tank components, when pipes freeze, or if the system isn’t used enough. 

To keep the tank from freezing, space out hot water tasks, such as laundry, throughout the week, so that warm wastewater is continually flowing into the tank. Avoid parking, driving, or even walking over a snow-filled drain field.

What If My Tank Freezes?

If the tank does freeze, the bacteria responsible for breaking down effluent won’t be able to function properly, and raw sewage may later leak into the drain field when thawing occurs. If the tank is almost full, sewage may back up into the pipes, which can freeze and burst. Do not drip or run water continuously, add anti-freeze or other additives, or attempt septic pumping yourself. Call a septic service as soon as possible.

Can I Schedule a Septic Pumping in Winter?

Yes—unless there is a blizzard, extremely low temperatures, or the septic tank isn’t accessible because of extra snow. Repairs or installing a new system may need to wait until spring, depending on the ground temperatures.  



For septic pumping in New York’s Westchester, Putnam, and Southern Dutchess counties, choose Great Bear Septic Service. With over six years of experience, this reliable team can assist with winter septic issues and tank pumping. They offer emergency service and quick turnaround times. Call (845) 621-0250 for assistance or visit their website to see a full range of services.