Rarely do we ever consider the possibility of our septic system freezing until it actually happens, or your hear of it happening to someone else. If your septic system has been functioning properly, has had regular inspections and septic tank pumping, and winter presents with a heavy blanket of insulating snow with moderate temperatures, then chances are good that your system should be fine. However, caught unaware by a cold, snowless winter without having placed insulating mulch over your system, cracked or missing pipe covers, leaky faucets and running toilets, you just may discover that your septic system is frozen.
If you are experiencing a backup of wastewater into your drains, you will want to shut off all running water in your home. Frankly, the next best course of action that you can take is to call your local septic service professional right away. Dealing with a frozen septic system is not a job that you want to do yourself; this is one of the jobs that is truly best left to the professionals. To attempt to remedy this situation without a professional could cause further costly damage to either your septic system or your home.
You can rest assured that your local septic tank professional has the experience and equipment to tackle the problem. Sometimes they will try to unfreeze the tank or piping with steamers, hot water from high-pressure jets, applying heat tape to the pipes or a heater to the tank itself. Above all, do not add any anti-freeze or other chemicals to reverse the freezing, as they will harm the natural bacteria in your tank needed for the breakdown of waste.