I thought they were not
In the early days, people were able to bury septic systems deeper in the ground.
With today's rules they are installed very shallow. This is to help limit
the amount of bad stuff getting into the water supply.
During cold winter months, frost penetrates several feet into the ground. This
makes septic systems very vulnerable to freezing. Systems that are not
used daily are especially
susceptible to freezing. High-efficiency furnaces that release small amounts of
water into the septic system also add to the problem.
Freezing can occur anywhere
within a septic system.
If there is a sag in the pipe, it is often the culprit because the standing water
freezes and then builds as water trickles past until the pipe is totally blocked. Then
raw sewage begins to back up toward the house.
Another common area of freeze-up is where the sewage enters the drainfield
area, at which point the pipe connects to a drop box.
The drop box is usually less than 3 feet underground and always has water in it.
This will freeze when surrounded by frozen ground. When
the drop box water freezes, ice builds up as water trickles from the septic tank,
eventually blocking the pipe.
In mound systems or systems with lift stations, freezing can occur between
the house and the tank, within the tank or lift station itself, after the
lift station, and/or in the mound. The most common area is the lift
station and the pipe that goes to the mound. If the pipe that goes to
the mound freezes, it is often because the weep hole has frozen shut,
not allowing the residual water drain back into the lift station.
If your septic system freezes...
There were two ways to deal with a frozen septic system, both of which, costly, time
consuming, and inconvenient:
- Call your plumber and have
them jet or steam the pipes, usually a few times during the cold spell. This is an effective way to unclog the pipes, but
there are risks of overstressing the pipe and joints.
The amount of pressure and heat used can exceed 2000
psi and 500º F. Sewer pipe
is not made to handle such extremes. This solution usually requires
multiple service calls because the pipe refreezes because nothing is done
to prevent future freezing.
Several people have reported that their pipes actually collapsed from
repeat steaming, causing several thousands of dollars of damage.
- Have your tank pumped
regularly while your pipes are clogged and allow mother nature to thaw at her own pace.
Use your water sparingly!
NOW there is a EASY,
SAFE, and EFFECTIVE way to prevent the headache and hassle. Place your