With the winter arriving in full force, you can expect to experience some chilly temperatures here in Modesto. While our winters are not anywhere near as intense with regard to temperature and weather as they are in other parts of the country, especially the Midwest and Northeast, the mercury will still dip below freezing, which means it’s important you prepare your property in the appropriate manner.
Your septic system, for example, could be affected by the colder weather. In most cases, septic systems are protected against the formation of ice thanks to the thermal protection that comes with a system buried underground, as well as the flushing and warming effects of routine use. But if the system is not used regularly or does not have that type of thermal protection, it could freeze up, necessitating some expensive repairs and to your septic tank in Modesto, CA.
Here are just a few examples of some of the biggest risk factors that could result in a frozen septic system:
- Installation: If the septic line is installed too close to the frost level (or even above the frost level), there is a much greater potential for the septic system to freeze up. In addition, if the line has been improperly pitched or if there are low spots in the way the line travels, the water may not completely exit the septic line, which could make it more likely that it will freeze.
- Below compacted soil: A septic line that runs underneath an area that has compacted, such as a driveway or walking path, is going to be subject to more thorough freezes. Compacted soils tend to freeze deeper.
- Lack of cover: Vegetation makes for a great natural insulator, as does snow. A lack of vegetation or grass cover or a lack of adequate snow cover in an area could result in the septic line freezing.
- Insufficient heat: The system needs to be heated properly for it to remain in good working condition. If the system is not used frequently, or simply isn’t set to be heated to the correct levels, there’s a decent chance it will freeze up. Use of the system flushes pipes and brings heat into the system.
- Low water source: A continuous low-volume water source (such as furnace condensation drainage or a leaking faucet) provides the water that could lead to ice buildup without the benefit of flushing the system.
If you experience a frozen septic system, you’ll need to thaw out the ice that has created a blockage in the system. This is not a step you’re going to want to take yourself—you should only allow a trained professional who has experience in thawing out and repairing septic systems to handle this job. Otherwise, you run the risk of exacerbating the problem or creating entirely new issues.
For more information about the steps you can take to care for your septic tank in Modesto, CA in the winter, contact the team at Alvarado Pumping Septic Service today with any questions you have.