Information on Your Waushara County

Winter care of your septic


It’s that time of year! Time to button things up around the house and get ready for winter.  And after last winter, it is likely all of us are looking to be as prepared as possible for old man winter’s arrival in the next few months.

If you live in a rural area, one more item to consider winterizing at this time of year is your septic system or POWTS (Private Onsite Wastewater Treatment System). A combination of cold weather and lack of snow can cause home septic systems to freeze during the winter. 

Other factors that can contribute to freezing problems include irregular or sporadic use, such as with a seasonal or weekend home, leaking plumbing fixtures, piping with inadequate pitch, or a damaged POWTS component. 

If the soil over any part of your system has become compacted, it can cause the piping or a component underground to shift and thus affect the flow of wastewater in your system.  Any wastewater left standing in a pipe or other component can easily freeze, even under the best conditions. 

So what is a rural homeowner to do? Following is a list of things you can do to prevent your system from freezing this year and in years to come. Keep in mind that depending on the type of system you have, its particular location in the landscape, your household water use, and the weather conditions that come our way, you may never have a freezing problem. 

It is not necessary to do all of these, but you should pick and choose what is right for you and your POWTS based on your own situation.

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