3 Steps to help manage your septic tank in cold weather

Managing your Septic Tank in cold weather

Over the festive period and through-out the winter months it is easy to forget that your sewage treatment system is working harder than usual. The system works on the principle of live healthy bacteria breaking down raw sewage leaving a sludge that needs to be emptied from the tank every 3 to 5 years and an effluent which is discharged to your percolation area.

The system starts to fail when increased amounts of detergents (bleaches, anti-bacterial sprays, dishwasher tablets etc) are discharged into the system, killing the bacteria you rely on. The first indication of an unhealthy system is smell. If you find your system smelling then cutting back on detergents or using non-biological substitutes will be the answer especially when you have guests staying.

The system may need to be topped up with healthy live bacteria – often purchased online – and poured down the toilet NOT thrown into your tank.

Avoid Exposed pipework

If you have exposed pipework from unfinished groundworks, the systems fault alarms can be triggered due to frozen pipework. This is very costly as the pump is running to try to empty your tank but can’t pump the water to the percolation area. The pump will eventually fail leading to an unnecessary expense. Avoid this by lagging or bury any exposed pipework.

All domestic BAF systems should be serviced once per year. Commercial systems should be serviced either quarterly or every six months depending on their size and we offer a range of service contract options to suit individual requirements and budget.

Filters on components should be changed every year and effluent should be monitored so that corrective action can be taken quickly, avoiding breaches of local discharge regulations and possible fines.

3 steps you can take

If you do have an emergency – there are some simple steps that can be taken to reduce the bill:

  1. Note the level of wastewater in your tank by lifting one of the lids in your garden. If it is above the inlet of tank, organise for the tank to be emptied as quickly as possible. Depending on how many use the system you may have 2 or 3 days grace before you flood the internal components.
  2. If it is an electrical fault ie electrical circuit breakers have tripped. Check that the system is on it’s own circuit, if it is not then another appliance like a washing machine, outside lights or electric gates may be the problem.
  3. Check the system fault panel regularly – as soon as you get a warning alarm call our office during normal hours on 046 9431389 . Do not wait to see if it goes away. We will be able to give you advice over the phone and if needed, schedule a timely service call to prevent further damage to the system and cost to yourself.

Minimise the risk of cold weather problems

Finally, less than 1% of our customers will have an issue with an O’Reilly Oakstown BAF Waste Treatment system over the holiday period. Which is why planning ahead and investing in a reliable sewage treatment system is an excellent investment.

We would all like to thank you for choosing O’Reilly Oakstown and we wish you all the very best for 2023.

If you have any queries please contact our office on 046 9431389 or email sales@oreillyoakstown.com to have a chat with one of our team.