Preventing a septic tank from freezing and becoming dysfunctional is widely recommended during the frigid winters. Temperature fall can factor in decreased water flow that mixes with the septic tank and the nitrification process that removes pathogens. Consequently, the sewage system may take longer to break down viruses and bacteria.
Other issues may also arise, such as:
Frozen Septic Tank Lid
The onset of winter may also freeze tank components, including the septic tank lid. In this case, it would become necessary to insulate the entire septic system ensuring the maintenance of internal temperatures at a certain level for continual microbial activity.
Drain Line Freezing
In a normal septic system, freezing can occur if there’s any slow running water from taps or other home piping fixtures or the emptying of furnace condensation into the sewage system. The slow running water may quickly cause ice to form in the drain lines, eventually transforming into a complete blockage.
Drain Field Freezing in Pressure Distribution Systems
In the drain field piping network, ice will form if the extremities are not taken care of. This will lead to the entire drain field getting clogged, eventually blocking any water from being dispersed. Ultimately, the whole septic system may malfunction, causing a high water alarm in the tank. If the homeowner does not take precautions, the sewage might even back up into the home.
Methods for Insulating Your Septic Tanks
Use a Frost Blanket
Frost blankets are designed to cover and insulate your entire septic system or its various individual components. The blankets can be used to cover the tank, sewer lines, drain field, and other parts. Instead of waiting for freezing temperatures to arrive, it’s smarter to install the frost blankets ahead of time. This will allow the blanket to absorb the ground heat and protect the soil from freezing solid.
Use Insulation Boards
Insulation boards can be placed on the top and along the sides of the tank before backfilling. While selecting an insulation board, keep in mind that the higher the R-value, the better the overall thermal performance of the insulation. A minimum of R10 should be used to cover the septic tank.
Spray-on insulation is a relatively new technique that provides additional sealant for seams coated in the insulation. For this option to be effective, there can’t be broken inspection pipes, unsealed conduits, and any loose-fitting manholes that allow cold air to be drawn into the tank.
Keep insulation in mind while installing a new septic tank. The frigid temperatures of winter don’t act kindly to septic tanks. Beyond repair and replacement, septic insulation is a smart way to enhance the life of your septic tank and prevent septic system failure.