Where Does Your Garbage Go?

Dangers Of Not Having Your Septic Tank Pumped This Winter

One of the biggest concerns of having a full septic tank is raw sewage spilling into your home or on your property. Just because there may be ice and snow outside doesn't mean that you should neglect your home's sanitation system. If you live in the country and don't have city sewer access, you're responsible for having your septic tank pumped frequently to prevent an overflow. Here are some concerns and dangers that could occur if you let your septic tank flow freely during the winter months.

Interior Overflow

The Massachusetts Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs states that you should have your septic tank cleaned at least every three years to prevent overflow from taking place. Just because you haven't had any problems with overflow in the past, doesn't mean that it won't happen, and most tank overflow issues tend to happen unexpectedly. When the tank backs up underground, your interior drains will demonstrate the first signs of a problem. This includes:

  • Your toilet overflowing or not flushing properly.
  • A slow shower drainage or backup.
  • Sewage appearing in your sinks or bathtubs.

If you notice any of these signs, you should call a professional plumber or sanitation company right away for a complete and thorough inspection.

Broken Water Pipes

In the winter, the ground can freeze quickly—and so can your water and sewer pipes. If you have waste backing up into your home, it could easily reach your water pipes and cause them to burst. While your main sewage drain is separate from household water pipes, backup can still occur. The result can be destructive because cold temperatures can cause the sewage to freeze and lines to break underground. This will cut water access to your home and cause hundreds of dollars in repairs and damages.

Ice Accumulation

When your septic tank is full, the sewage begins to spill into an emergency holding tank. As it rises, what's not absorbed into the nearby soil will begin to rise into the leachfield or drainfield. This is where a large amount of sludge and sewage can begin to ice up and create a thick and destructive patch of ice. This can invade your yard, sidewalk, and driveway. The result is a deep, embedded piece of ice that can be slippery and dangerous.

Foundation Damage

When temperatures begin to plummet, any water or sewage exposed to these freezing temps turns to ice. This ice can do more than cause you to slip and fall; it can invade into your home's foundation and cause cracks and buckling. This can lead to a destructive path that will require costly repairs to your home. In addition to your foundation, you may find that your walls, doors, and overall framing to your home may be affected.

If you're unsure about the status of your septic tank, call a septic pro from a company like Zeb Watts Septic & Underground, Inc. to come out and inspect and pump your tank. This will save you money on future repairs and damage to your home and property.