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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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VILAS COUNTY - Vilas County prides itself on its miles of trails. Whether it's cross country skiing, walking or biking, there are plenty of options. But one of the longest is the Heart of Vilas County bike system.

"We have 47 miles of paved bike trails. I don't think that any place in the state can match that, it's awesome," said Mary Vangrinsven.

Those nearly 50 miles make up the Heart of Vilas County Bike Trail.

"It's like being on vacation every day of my life," said Vangrinsven.

When the trail started nearly 20 years ago, bikers, walkers and runners were very excited.
"I was pretty amazed by how much use it was getting. I wondered if this was just a fad or whether it was something real," said Vangrinsven.

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"It's been a great addition to what you can do in Vilas County," said Ken Wiesner.

Bikers can go from St. Germain to Manitowish Waters and hit up Sayner and Boulder Junction along the way.

"In my opinion, it's really changed the local economy for the better," said Wiesner.

Every Wednesday, a group of nearly 50 people bike along a part of the Heart of Vilas County Bike trail.

"I think we're really finding, especially in the areas up here, that we have very active adults," said Vangrinsven.

Wiesner and his wife Barb joined the group because they have a cabin in Vilas County.

"We've made a lot of new friends over the past 10 years, primarily in the biking," said Wiesner.

Whether you do it with a group of friends, or by yourself, there's also something to enjoy along the trail.

There are shops along the trail to rent bikes if you don't have one. If you would like more information on the trail, click on the link below.

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