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.
MINOCQUA - By the time most of us finish breakfast, we already start planning what to eat for lunch.
For some kids all around the world, that next meal sometimes never comes.
The Food for Kidz Minocqua committee will lend a helping hand to change that Saturday morning.
Lakeland Union High School's common area will transform into a full-blown assembly line.
Food for Kidz volunteers will pour and pack ingredients into plastic bags.
The goal is 175,000 packed meals.
Food for Kidz needs more volunteers by tomorrow to meet that goal.
"If you haven't experienced this, come out and try it and you'll go away with just a great feeling," said Food for Kidz co-chair John Breiten.
Kids and adults of all ages are welcome to walk in to volunteer.
The food packages will be shipped off to anywhere from Honduras to Mozambique.
Some special meals will be set aside and sent to local communities in the Northwoods.
"It's just a great, fun community event. I think the kids especially take something away that they are giving beyond themselves," said Food for Kidz sponsor and Lakeland Union High School Spanish teacher Karen Roerich.
Walk-in volunteers are welcome to attend either packing shift tomorrow morning.
The first shift is from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. The second shift is from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
If you can't make it out to Lakeland Union High School Saturday, donations are always welcome.
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