The Polar Vortex & Septic Systems

Nothing can put fear into your belly like watching the contents of your toilet rise versus circling down and out to your septic system. Screaming “NOOOO!” will not stop it and you can’t push it back. Will you run away or stand there and watch the overflow in disbelief? If you could only turn back time.
Frozen creek in Wisconsin woods
Let it flow!
The plunging temperatures (pun intended) of the Polar Vortex were something most of us have never seen in our lives. We’re only starting to realize the impact it had on different aspects of our lives. Frozen septic systems have been one of the casualties. The combination of our relative lack of snow, to protect and insulate the ground, along with the plummeting temperatures left many septic lines frozen. If the pipe that leads from your toilet to your septic tank is frozen solid, no amount of pressing the flush lever will cause things to – flush.
Woodpecker pecking at tree in woods
You can’t peck away at the problem.
As a result, the poo pumping experts in our area are working as fast as they can to help those in need. They’re pulling out their bag of tricks to thaw the lines and get things moving again. They’re also suggesting to those who have vulnerable systems or shallow septic lines to protect and insulate them in the Fall with straw, leaves or something that would provide a buffer from the chilling reach of Mother Nature. Life Up North requires that you always be prepared and the whole situation has people considering their Plan B – an outhouse, or privy as they call it in sophisticated circles. Having an outhouse on site means you’ll never have to be caught with your pants down! You do need to get a permit to have one, because it’s actually considered a legitimate kind of septic system. But once you have the go-ahead, you can let your creativity and your sense of humor run wild! We love a good outhouse and have collected a healthy batch of photos of our favorites over the years. Check out our Pinterest Board for some inspiration for your Plan B. One day you might be very happy to be freezing your tail off! ~ Wanda Boldon
Metal outhouse sign on wood outhouse
Outhouse interior with two toilet seats

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