Skip to main content

Septic Tanks Maintenance: How to Prepare Your Septic Tank for Autumn and Winter

27th September 2023

Around the end of September, we all start to feel the effects of the colder weather easing in, and it is no different for your plumbing systems and septic tank. An ignored septic tank in the winter can soon become a rather messy problem, but it needn’t be with routine inspections and sufficient maintenance.

Pump Your Septic Tanks

Pumping is essential septic tank maintenance that helps ensure the longevity and functionality of your septic system, and just before winter begins is the ideal opportunity. Septic tanks work to segregate waste into solids (sludge) in the bottom layer, wastewater in the middle and oils and grease (scum) on the top. They also have a maximum capacity, so if you don’t regularly pump them clear, the layers will build up and congeal, meaning there will not be a wastewater layer to escape through the outlet to a drainage field.

In the cold winter months, a septic tank has more chance of becoming blocked as water and waste harden and get caught in the pipes, preventing anything from escaping, which can result in odours entering your property. Other causes for septic tanks to become blocked are foreign objects being flushed, such as wet wipes, feminine products and nappies.

Though pumping isn’t an appealing task, it is an important one that can be carried out efficiently by professionals, who will remove the built-up waste and take it away to an appropriate place of disposal. If you would like to have your septic tank pumped ready for winter, contact Cotswold Drainage on 01386 882324 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for a top-notch service.

Ensure All Leaks are Sealed

Leaks can have a variety of negative effects on a septic tank and the entire system, which is why regular inspections should be a priority in your septic tank maintenance. The consequence of the leak will vary depending on whether it is water leaking in, or effluent leaking out, but the results will be detrimental to the efficiency of your system either way.

If the leak allows excess water to enter the tank, it will become overloaded, risking an overflow situation and the excessive water saturation could result in the failure of the drain field. If the leak is allowing water to escape where it shouldn’t, various issues may evolve, depending on where the leak is, including groundwater contamination, drain field failure, system imbalance, soil erosion and health issues. In winter, a leak is at even greater risk due to frost causing water to freeze and expand, turning your leak into a crack or a hole.

Including a leak inspection in your annual septic tank maintenance schedule is important and should be completed by a specialist company like Cotswold Drainage. Call 01386 882324 or use this simple booking form to protect your septic tank against winter.

Insulate Your Septic Tank System

Insulating your system offers great benefits to your septic tank during the winter months, as it helps prevent a range of possible problems. In the colder weather, the liquid and pipes in the septic tank can freeze, causing blockages, damages and potential cracks. The treatment process relies on bacteria to break down the waste, and low temperatures can harm them, but proper insulation helps to maintain a stable, warmer temperature, allowing the bacteria to flourish.

Insulating anything will always offer great benefits in the colder months by reducing the risks of damage by the cold temperatures. In septic tank maintenance, insulation will minimise the risk of water and pipes freezing, cracks and holes appearing and a system failure. If your system is damaged due to lack of insulation, or you would like to have insulation installed, visit the Cotswold Drainage booking system.

Service Your Septic Tank Regularly

Regular servicing is crucial for septic tank maintenance, as it minimises risk to your system's efficiency, functionality and longevity. Over time, sludge can build up and reach the water outlet pipes, overflowing into the drainage field and causing a blockage or contamination. Also, untreated sewage can present health risks and release odious and toxic emissions. Ensuring correct functionality helps prevent exposure to harmful bacteria, viruses and other pathogens. Annual services will also protect your system and extend its lifespan, whilst saving you money on costly septic tank repairs.

An annual service typically includes an inspection of your whole system, addressing and repairing any issues and, every three to five years, a full pumping.

Fix Any Pre-existing Issues Immediately

With regular servicing, you are in a much better position when it comes to preventing problems from occurring later, but if you have any pre-existing issues, it is paramount to have them repaired before winter begins, to prevent any exacerbation. The colder environment winter brings can be detrimental to your septic tank for multiple reasons, and if your system already has any cracks or blockages, these may be worsened through frost or freezing temperatures and could end up costing a substantial amount for emergency septic tank repairs.

Prevent any issue growth by contacting Cotswold Drainage on 01386 882324, or emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., to discuss your problems with our friendly professional team, or arrange a booking to have your septic tank serviced and ready to take on winter.