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Maintain a Healthy Septic System During the Winter Months


This winter, with the number of adults working from home and kids learning remotely, the stress on your home’s septic system has never been higher.  It is estimated that COVID Precautions have resulted in 54% more Americans with increased meals they are cooking at home and over 75% of Americans planning to continue that for the foreseeable future according to the NYTimes Opinion Poll from April of 2020.


The increased stress on sinks, toilets, washing machines, and more has also led to our customers’ septic systems struggling with more solids and less efficiency in handling the additional usage. After a stressful year like this, the last thing you want to deal with is an overflowing toilet, a clogged sink, or a flooded drainfield. At first, these sound like unavoidable accidents, but in many cases, they are totally preventable. 


Preventative maintenance not only protects your septic system and prevents problems before they happen, but it can also save you money on costly repairs. Here are some ways in which your septic system can cause issues this winter and how you can prevent them.


Septic Issues to Look Out For


According to Techrepublic.com, the Pandemic caused home water usage has increased 21% throughout the U.S.  This is not just water, but also cooking and waste solids as well.  When the usage of the bathroom in your home increases 300% with impact from all of the stay at home orders, so does the stress on your septic system. This means that preventative maintenance and following the septic do’s and don’ts are more important now than ever. Learning about how your system works and what causes issues are perfect places to start in order to avoid trouble. COVID has made it incredibly tough to stay somewhere else while waiting for repairs, so being prepared is the best option.


Did you know your garbage disposal is one of the biggest problems for your septic system? Many homes on septic don’t have garbage disposals, but if yours does, it’s best to avoid using it. Make sure your sink is clear of any large pieces of food or else you risk filling up your septic tank quicker than you intend to. 


You should pump your septic tank every year or two to avoid issues, but in this exact situation, it could be time to consider a mid-cycle pumping. You won’t notice at first, but all of those extra solids entering your tank build up over time and require even more frequent pumping. A full septic tank leads to foul odors and backup through your sink, toilet, or bathtub. 


Another obvious area of increased usage is your toilet. No matter what time of year it is, this is one area of the house you can’t afford to have problems in. Whether it’s because of the general volume or family members flushing things like antibacterial wipes, it’s important to make sure you prepare your system for the increase in use. Schedule a pumping as soon as possible if you haven’t had your tank pumped in a year or two.

How to Avoid Septic Problems this Winter


In general, the best way to avoid these problems is preventative maintenance. This includes pumping your tank, using bacterial additives to help break down solids, and cleaning your septic filter, if you have one. Doing this before winter begins is optimal, as it allows you to stay safe at home with peace of mind that you’ve taken care of your septic system.


There are also other septic services that help in case of an emergency. Imagine having a full house and your toilet or bathroom drain clogs. This could be disastrous, especially if your home only has one bathroom. Drain cleaning services are the quickest and most reliable way to fix this problem, especially if the issue is more than a simple clog. Septic experts are able to use video cameras to examine whether the issue is more severe including, for example, a crack or break in the pipes.


For any septic emergency this winter, Wind River Environmental offers emergency septic services, 24 hours a day. Whether there’s a leak, an overflowing toilet, or slow drainage, count on the experts at Wind River Environmental to identify the problem, fix the issue, and get you back to enjoying time with family.


Avoid septic related problems this winter by contacting your local septic service provider! If you have any questions about septic maintenance during the winter season, contact us today.