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Posted on 05-Feb-2019

GroundStone Wastewater Services

How Cold Temperatures Affect an Onsite Septic System

Temperature can influence the rate of flow and mixing within the septic tank, as well as the nitrification process, which together with pathogen removal, will be slower in colder climates. Consequently, sewage can take longer to break down and bacteria and viruses are likely to survive for long periods in cold soils, due to the microbial activity being inhibited when temperatures drop.

If you have a septic system, experiencing frozen lines or having a septic tank that is now rock solid with ice, is certainly not one of those situations that you plan for.

There are possible answers as to why freezing has occurred in your system, this can stem from a shallow piping network to uninsulated septic tanks…but let’s not forget how Mother Nature can factor in.

Snow acts as a fantastic insulator, in fact up to an R1 rating per every 1 inch of snow cover so whenever the temperatures drop prior to snowfall, then we can often see problems arise in the sewage system. It is important not to compact the snow around the septic system components, this will keep the insulating factors of snow working in your system’s favour.

Check out our article for some Pro tips: https://groundstone.ca/2019/02/03/winterizing-septic-systems-pro-tips-solutions-prevention/
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