INFORUM.com | WDAZ.com

WDAY: The News Leader

Published January 16, 2012, 10:05 PM

Septic system care urged with cold weather approaching

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - After a warm weekend, temperatures are already becoming much more Fargo-like. With frigid temps expected throughout the week, public health officials have a message for rural homeowners: take care of your septic system.

After a warm weekend, temperatures are already becoming much more Fargo-like. With frigid temps expected throughout the week, public health officials have a message for rural homeowners: take care of your septic system.

Snow actually serves as an insulation blanket over septic tanks and drain-fields. Now with hardly any on the ground and subzero temperatures expected, the likelihood of septic systems freezing this week is very high.

Herman Clark of Clark Excavating and Septic has already fielded plenty of calls from worried customers.

Herman Clark – Clark’s Excavating and Septic: “Most of the people we're telling to use concrete blankets, it's much easier to clean up in the spring, you don't have such a hassle.”

Clark has 5 concrete blankets over his own septic tank - and at a cost of about $70 a piece, he says it’s a wise investment. Most places already have about a 16 inch layer of frost, close to how deep most septic systems are buried. But Clark says it’s not too late to try and do something.

Herman Clark: “We don't get any snow cover in the next 2-3 weeks; it's just going to freeze deeper. By putting the blankets down, you can also stop the frost from going deeper and the heat that is in your system could draw that frost out of the ground.”

Brady Scribner – Fargo-Cass Public Health: “Eliminate any sort of leaks, any slow trickles, like from high efficiency furnaces or your water softeners.”

Public Health officials also recommend using your dishwasher or doing a load of hot laundry once a day in order to keep warm water flowing through the system.

Herman Clark: “Everybody needs a good shot of good luck to make it through the winter the way it is. It's great not to have no snow, but not for all of us.”

Public Health officials recommend you always call a professional if your system freezes. Never try to add antifreeze or salt, or run water continually to try and unfreeze the system.

Tags: