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Preventing Septic Systems From FreezingSubmitted: 01/16/2013
Story By Lex Gray

Preventing Septic Systems From Freezing
RHINELANDER - Bare ground, no snowmobiling, and freezing fingers and toes might seem like the worst of this winter's no-snow problems.

But there's one more - this weather might make your septic system freeze.

By the time temperatures drop this low, there's usually enough snow to insulate the ground.

That's not the case this week.

But you can still prevent problems before you have to call a service company.

"I personally am going to put hay over my septic system," said A-1 Septic Service owner Tom Arts. "A lot of people don't know exactly where their drain field is, or they don't know exactly where the pipe is that goes to the drain field. In a case like that, they're better off to spend a few extra dollars get a little bit more straw and put more straw down."

Putting down four to six inches of straw could save you thousands of dollars.

Another easy fix - reduce foot traffic.

Arts says a lot of people feed deer, let their dogs out, and run vehicles over their drain field.

"That's one of the worst things, because that foot traffic of deer or dogs or even people, for that matter, drives the frost down," he said. "It can create problems."

You'll know when your system freezes when the alarm goes off or when waste water backs up into your lowest point of plumbing.

That's usually a floor drain in your basement.

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 IN OTHER NEWS

PHILLIPS - The Price County Sheriff's Office released the names of two snowmobilers killed in a crash over the weekend.

Garrett Peterson, 37, of Wausau and Adam Wolf, 33, of Spencer died when their snowmobile apparently crashed into the shoreline.  Their bodies were found on the southern end of Long Lake in the township of Elk.

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LAKE TOMAHAWK - A fire in Lake Tomahawk's Dolhun Field Monday night left a storage hangar destroyed. About eight different fire departments worked for hours to put out the flames.

Lake Tomahawk Fire Chief Doug Rehm says the department was called to the fire just before 8 p.m.

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PRESQUE ISLE - The Town of Presque Isle dubs itself "Wisconsin's Last Wilderness."

One of the best places to enjoy the outdoors is at the Catherine Wolter Wilderness Area owned by the Nature Conservancy. 

Thanks to the town, it's now more accessible to people who enjoy silent sports in the winter.

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WISCONSIN - On Tuesday, the State Assembly passed legislation that aims to change how violent sex offenders are placed on supervised release in the state.

Sen. Patrick Testin (R-Stevens Point) cosponsored the bill and says the changes are meant to help protect rural areas of the state.

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MERRILL - Lincoln County Sheriff Jeff Jaeger will retire.

Jaeger announced Thursday morning he will not run for re-election, and will step down at the end of this year.

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MINOCQUA - Monday night at a Minocqua town board meeting around two dozen people gathered to discuss wake boat operations on area lakes.

Minocqua resident Jerry Mader had asked the topic to be put on the agenda out of concern for the impact wake boat waves have on shorelines.

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ONEIDA COUNTY - Oneida County loggers saw a spike in sales this past year.

Local loggers say that record came as a surprise.

Enterprise Forest Products owner Dennis Schoeneck has been logging for more than 40 years.

"I've been through a lot of ups and downs," said Schoeneck.

One of those downs happened to be last year.
"It rained. It rained so much. [There was] so much rain we couldn't get a break," said Schoeneck.

But to Dennis's surprise, Oneida County broke a two-year-old timber sales record in 2017.

"We're just trying to do the best we can," said Schoeneck.

Oneida County Forestry Director John Bilogan says the record was half a million dollars more than their average annual sales.

"We brought in $1,925,000 worth of timber revenue," said Bilogan.

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