Harsh winter conditions can wreak havoc on a home, especially when it comes to the plumbing. As the temperatures drop, septic systems are at risk of freezing, which could result in costly damages to the pipes, tank, or drain field.  As such, it’s important to know what you can do to avoid this problem. The following guide will help you maintain a functioning septic system through the coldest part of the year.

What You Need to Know to Protect Your Septic System in Winter

What Causes Septic Systems to Freeze? 

Septic systems can freeze for a number of reasons. For instance, if there isn’t much snow covering the ground to act as an insulator, frigid temperatures may penetrate the surface and freeze the septic tank. Driving or walking over the system can also cause freezing issues, as it will compact the soil and allow cold air to reach the components underground. Plumbing leaks make the lines susceptible to freezing, as well.

How Can You Prevent It?

septic systemFortunately, there are several preventative measures you can take to keep your septic system from freezing. The first step is making sure it’s adequately insulated. Place a layer of mulch, leaves, or hay over the drain field to trap heat in, and add insulation to the pipes that are exposed to cold air, such as those in the basement, crawlspaces, garage, and outside.

Watch out for any signs of a plumbing leak and have it fixed right away. Additionally, if you plan to leave your home unoccupied for a period of time, have the tank pumped before you go or arrange for someone to come over and run water through the pipes often to prevent them from freezing. 



If you believe your septic system has frozen, reach out to Great Bear Septic Service for help restoring its operation. They offer several years of industry experience and will provide you with the most cost-effective solution for getting your plumbing flowing smoothly again. Serving homeowners throughout New York’s Westchester, Putnam, and Southern Dutchess counties, they’re qualified to handle a wide range of septic maintenance and repair needs. Call (845) 621-0250 to schedule an appointment or visit them online for more information on their services.