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Expert Alert

Keeping your septic-system from freezing this winter

January 15, 2009

Last months near record snowfall provided help to the nearly 600,000 Minnesotans who rely on septic systems to treat their household sewage. Snow provides insulation for septic systems during subfreezing temperatures, but system owners still must be careful to protect their system from winter ills including lack of plant cover, irregular use, compacted snow -- even the drip from a furnace -- which can cause a system to experience problems associated with freezing. A University of Minnesota expert who can offer septic system advice is:
Nick Haig, University of Minnesota Water Resources Center program coordinator

Haig, a septic system expert, says like any infrastructure, septic systems require regular maintenance and a little more attention in the winter. In addition to performing regular inspections for leaky plumbing, broken seals or caps, Haig suggests homeowners leave the lawn longer in late fall to catch snow and provide insulation, keep all vehicles off the system to avoid driving frost deeper into the ground and use hot and warm water regularly throughout the winter. 

To interview this expert, contact the University News Service, (612) 624-5551.

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