Archive for the ‘Septic Systems’ Category

Is Your Septic System Ready for Spring Showers?

Posted on: April 23rd, 2018 by megan No Comments

Spring is finally here! And while we know that you’re surely ready for the change of seasons, is your septic system ready for spring? Spring tends to bring a lot of precipitation in most areas. If you’re not careful, this additional precipitation can put additional stress on your septic system. So, what can you do to get your septic tank ready for spring? Be sure to keep the following tips in mind.

  • Repair the downspouts: Winter weather can often damage the downspouts on house gutters. As the weather starts to warm up, it is important to inspect your downspouts and repair any damage, always ensuring that the downspouts are adjusted so that they divert water away from the septic tank. Broken or poorly adjusted downspouts can result in greater water buildup in the soil around your septic tank, increasing the risk of a flooded drain field. 
  • Inspect your tank filter and drain field: Winter debris can sometimes end up in your septic tank, which can cause clogs. A clog in your septic tank – whether it is in the tank filter or the drain field – can cause serious problems. Before the spring rains pick up, it is best to inspect the filter and drain fields for any issues. If you notice any standing water or built-up debris, it might be indicative of a clog, in which case you probably will want to call in a professional.
  • Get your tank pumped: Last but not least, keep in mind that as the snow melts and the ground starts to thaw out, you might want to look into getting your tank pumped. Ideally, this should be done every few years or so to keep your tank in tip-top shape and prevent any problems.

The bottom line is that taking some time now to get your septic tank ready for spring precipitation can mitigate the risk of an emergency down the line. And remember, when in doubt, it is best to call in a professional for septic tank maintenance.

4 Red Flags That Mean Your Septic Systems Needs Servicing ASAP

Posted on: March 16th, 2018 by megan No Comments

Getting your septic system serviced can be expensive. Many people worry about the cost and decide to put off calling in a professional, even if they think there could be a problem with the system. But sometimes, you simply can’t afford to put off septic tank care and maintenance. Here are the four septic systems red flags that you should never ignore.

1. Your septic system hasn’t been inspected or pumped in over two years.

Septic systems need routine care and maintenance to keep in good working condition. Even if you don’t suspect any issues, you should have an inspection done at least once a year to ensure everything is in good order. As a rule of thumb, if you haven’t had your septic system serviced for two years in a row, it’s probably time to get a professional in to look at it.

2. The grass around the leach field is consistently wet and soggy.

If the area around your leach field seems saturated, it is a big warning sign – particularly if the rest of your yard is dry and you haven’t had unusually high levels of precipitation. This can indicate a clog, meaning that waste isn’t moving through the system as it should be. This isn’t just a hassle. If left unaddressed, it can be a significant environmental and health hazard.

3. Your toilets are running slowly or are constantly backed up.

Toilet troubles can actually be a warning sign of septic system troubles. It could mean a clogged drain, an overflowing tank, or even that the leach field isn’t leaching probably. It’s best to get things checked out so a professional can identify the root of the problem.

4. You can’t get rid of an unpleasant odor in your home.

If there is a persistent smell of rotten eggs or raw sewage in your home, your septic tank is probably the culprit. Unpleasant odors are a sign that something isn’t in good working order and that things need to be checked out.

The bottom line? If you notice one of these red flags, you need to get a professional out to look at your septic tank as soon as possible! The longer you ignore the problem, the worse it will become – and the costlier it will be to fix.

5 Easy Ways to Avoid Problems with Your Septic Tank

Posted on: February 22nd, 2018 by megan No Comments

It is no secret that septic tank repairs can be a major hassle. Serious septic tank problems take time – and not to mention often significant funds – to repair and rectify. That is why it is good to avoid problems with your septic tank in the first place. Believe it or not, the majority of septic tank difficulties are actually avoidable with some common sense care and routine maintenance. What can you do to avoid getting caught up in the saga of septic tank woes? Be sure to keep the following points in mind.

1. Get your septic tank inspected annually.

You can detect problems with your septic tank at an early stage simply by getting your tank inspected routinely. For the majority of septic tanks, a routine inspection is recommended every year. However, for some makes and models, inspections may be recommended more or less frequently. Figure out how often your septic tank should be inspected, and make sure you stick to a rigorous inspection schedule so you can catch and rectify any issues sooner rather than later.

2. Make sure you get your septic tank pumped regularly. 

One of the absolute keys to avoiding serious septic tank damage is making sure you get the tank pumped. Septic tank pumping is an absolutely critical part of septic tank maintenance. You will need to do some research to figure out how frequently your septic tank needs to be pumped, as this depends on how big the tank is, the number of people in your household, and whether or not you use a garbage disposal unit. Generally, septic tanks need to be pumped somewhere between every five to 10 years.

3. Hire a professional for repairs. 

Your septic tank isn’t the best place to experiment with DIY repairs. Septic tanks are quite complex. Therefore, it is best to get a professional in for repairs, even minor ones.

4. Don’t throw harmful substances into your septic tank.

Be careful about what you put into your septic tank. Substances like grease, oils, paper towels, paints, chemicals, and other harsh substances can do quite a bit of damage to your tank, so it is best to keep them out of it.

5. Cover your septic tank with grass. 

Last but not least, one of the easy things you can to do protect your septic tank and avoid problems is to cover it with grass. Planting the ground above the tank with grass helps to aid oxygen flow into the surrounding soil, which can aid with sewage breakdown and keep things operating smoothly. Conversely, covering the area above the tank with concrete or other dense substances can constrict oxygen flow, impeding optimum operation.

The bottom line is that septic tank repairs can be costly and time consuming. Therefore, it is best to take easy action now to ensure your septic tank stays in great shape in the long run.

4 Ways to Conserve Water and Ease the Burden on Your Septic Tank

Posted on: January 16th, 2018 by megan No Comments

If your household runs on a septic tank, it is generally a good idea to try to reduce the amount of water you use. Septic tanks are designed to hold wastewater long enough that solids to settle to the bottom and oil and grease to rise up to the top, processes known as settling and separating. When too much water flows into the septic tank, it essentially disrupts these processes, which can, in turn, disrupt the functioning of the system and cause clogged pipes. So, how can you conserve water to keep your septic tank in prime working condition? Be sure to check out the following tips and tricks.1

1. Don’t leave the tap running.

When you just leave the tap on, it uses up about six liters of water per minute. Whether you’re brushing your teeth or scrubbing a pan, if you don’t need the water running, then turn it off.

2. Make sure none of your taps or pipes are leaking.

If you have a leaky tap or a leaky pipe, you are unnecessarily wasting water and putting more stress on your septic tank than needed. Believe it or not, a dripping tap alone can waste 15 liters of water per a day, which adds up to a staggering 5,500 liters of water in one year! That’s a lot of extra water needlessly going into your septic tank.

3. Cut down on your shower times.

Showers can use anywhere from six liters of water to 45 liters of water per a minute depending on factors like water pressure and the type of showerhead you have. That’s a pretty extraordinary amount of water. If you have a family of four and you all cut one minute off of your shower times, you could save upward of 100 liters of water per day. 

4. Purchase water-efficient household products.

These days, it is possible to get water-efficient toilets, showerheads, washing machines, taps, and dishwashers, along with an array of other water-saving products that will help you to cut down on your water use. These are well worth the investment, as not only are they good for the environment, but they will also help you reduce stress on your septic tank, helping it to stay in good condition for longer. And of course, when you’re running appliances like washing machines and dishwashers, always make sure you do so on a full load to maximize efficiency.

In conclusion, water conservation is good for the health of your septic system in the long run. If you encounter any issues with your tank, be sure to get in touch with a professional.

Pumping Your Septic Tank: What You Need to Know

Posted on: December 28th, 2017 by megan No Comments

Septic tank pumping is essential to keep your system is proper working order. Basically, when wastewater enters your septic tank, it naturally separates into three different layers. Liquids settle in the middle of the tank and form a watery layer, while oils and fats rise to the top to create a layer of scum and solids sink to the bottom to form a sludge layer. The sludge at the bottom of your tank must be pumped out regularly – otherwise, it could impede the functioning of your tank, which can necessitate costly repairs.

How often should my septic tank be pumped?

As a general rule, septic tanks should be pumped every two or three years. The problem is that when you go too long without cleaning your septic tank, the sludge will start to build up. In an ideal world, the middle liquid layer should comprise roughly 90 percent of the space in your septic tank, with scum and sludge comprising the additional 10 percent. But if you go too long without getting your septic tank cleaned, the proportion of the tank taken up by sludge will grow and grow. This can strain a tank’s capacity, which can lead to waste backing up into the leach field or even into your home’s pipes. In a worst-case scenario, it could even cause tank failures.

How much will it cost?

In theory, you can clean your septic tank out yourself for free. However, you will need to store the sludge for transport and ensure you dispose of it safely, which can be a hassle. You can also get a professional to come and clean out the tank, which is advisable. Professional septic tank cleaners come with a tank truck that connects to septic systems and sucks out the contents. The truck will then safely transport the sludge off your property.

Getting your tank cleaned professionally doesn’t necessarily have to break the bank. The good news is that if you get your septic tank cleaned at timely intervals, it shouldn’t be too expensive – typically, you can expect to pay around a couple hundred dollars. If left for too long, however, the cost can quickly balloon. That’s because the longer you go without cleaning your septic tank, the bigger the job becomes. It isn’t unheard of for a septic tank cleaning to cost several thousand dollars if the tank is not cleaned for a decade.

In conclusion, don’t wait to get your septic tank cleaned! If it is time for a regular cleaning, get in touch with a professional today.

Why You Should Get Your Septic Tank Serviced When Selling Your Home

Posted on: October 19th, 2017 by megan No Comments

When selling your home, it always seems that there is much to do and that your to-do list is never-ending. But if there is one thing you should make time for, it is getting your septic tank serviced. It is always a good idea to get your septic tank inspected and certified before putting your home on the market. In many cases, it is actually a legal requirement that a homeowner gets his or her septic tank inspected, pumped, and serviced before selling the property. While the specifications vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, there are requirements that sellers should be aware of.

  • Inspection: A number of counties in the US require all property sellers with on-site septic systems to have these systems fully inspected by a licensed On-Site System Maintainer (OSM). The specifications of this inspection do tend to vary between jurisdictions. In some cases, county law may mandate that the inspector document how the system is functioning at the time of sale. It also may be a requirement that the tank is fully pumped during the inspection. Depending on the requirements of the county, it is a possibility that the seller will also need to fill out and submit a form verifying this inspection prior to sale.
  • Notification: In addition, it may also be mandatory for the seller to record a notice of the system’s operation and maintenance requirements with his or her local record-keeping office. The purpose of such a notice is to provide notification to the appropriate local authorities that the property is serviced by a septic system and to clearly detail that the homeowner’s responsibility is maintaining the system. This ensures relevant local records are kept updated.
  • Transfer of Information: Lastly, it is important to note that some counties require the seller to transfer all records of septic tank maintenance and service to the buyer upon the sale.

The bottom line is that if you are selling your home, you need to make sure that you have fulfilled all requirements related to your septic tank. For more information, be sure to get in touch with a professional.

The Three Different Types of Septic Systems

Posted on: September 20th, 2017 by megan No Comments

All septic systems aren’t created equally. While the basics of every system tend to be pretty similar, there are different types of systems out there that can affect the way wastewater is processed and effluent is distributed. So, what are the major types of septic systems? Let’s take a look. 

1. Standard septic tank systems:

Standard septic tank systems, also known as gravity flow systems, are the simplest type of septic system available. They rely on gravity to separate out materials from wastewater based on their density. In a standard septic tank system, wastewater exits your home and then enters into the first compartment of the septic tank. Heavier waste falls to the bottom, forming a thick sludge, while grease and lighter materials rise to the top and form a scum layer. The fluid between, known as the effluent, then flows into a second compartment and moves through a distribution box situated right at the beginning of the leach field and is then distributed throughout the soil via a piping system.

2. Low pressure dose system:

A low pressure dose system typically tends to be more complicated than a standard septic system. Like in a standard septic tank system, once wastewater exits the home, heavier materials in the water fall to the bottom and form a sludge while lighter materials rise to the top and form scum. The effluent similarly flows into a second compartment but it isn’t distributed out directly into the soil. Instead, it enters into a pump tank where it is stored, and it is then pumped into the leach field. Only from there is it distributed into the soil via a network of many small diameter pipes operating under very low pressure (this is why this type of system is known as a low pressure dose system). The effect is that the effluent is distributed much more slowly and evenly throughout the soil, making it easier to absorb.

3. An engineered or supplemental treatment system:

An engineered septic tank treatment system, sometimes also called a supplement treatment system, is by far the most complex type of septic system. It essentially functions the same way as a low pressure dose system functions. However, there is one major difference: the effluent is pre-treated after leaving the pump tank before it is distributed. Because these types of systems are more complex, they require more maintenance, and an annual check-up is recommended.

So, how can you decide which type of septic system is most appropriate for your home? Well, ultimately it boils down to the quality of your soil, groundwater levels and overall percolation rates (how quickly water flows through the soil). If the soil quality is poor, groundwater levels are high or percolation rates are very high, and absorption will be slower. This means that you will likely need a low pressure dose system or an engineered treatment system to ensure effluent isn’t being put into the soil at a faster rate than it can be absorbed, which can generate problems. When it doubt, your best bet is to consult with a professional to figure out what type of septic system is most appropriate for your home.

Why You Should Maintain Your Septic Tank

Posted on: May 10th, 2017 by mike No Comments

Let’s face it: Maintaining your septic system is a pain. It’s a hassle and isn’t the most pleasant job. Although maintaining your septic system isn’t fun, it’s most definitely necessary. You’ve probably heard before that you need to maintain your septic system. Beyond the obvious reason of preventing repairs, there are a number of good reasons why you should maintain your septic tank. Let’s take a look.

Septic Tank Maintenance Will Save You Money

Probably the best reason to take good care of your septic system is to save money. When your septic system fails, it’s expensive to repair or replace. In fact, doing so can set you back a couple of thousand dollars. Many repairs actually can be prevented with routine maintenance, so routine maintenance is a worthwhile investment in the long run.

Septic Tank Maintenance Protects Health and the Environment

Secondly, one of the most important reasons to maintain your septic tank is to protect health and the environment. If your septic tank fails and leaks, it can leak out sewage. This can lead to the spread of infectious diseases, as sewage contains viruses and bacteria that are harmful to human health. For example, if the sewage leaks into the groundwater and gets into local lakes and rivers, it can cause health problems to those swimming in these water sources.

Moreover, a leaking septic tank can do considerable damage to the environment, polluting local water sources and the soil. For example, many of the household products used every day contain a whole range of pollutants, including phosphorus and nitrogen. If these chemicals get into drinking water, it can seriously contaminate it. In a worst-case scenario, this environmental pollution could also cause health problems.

The bottom line is that it is crucial to maintain your septic tank properly. Doing so is well worth the time and effort, as it will not only protect your wallet but also protect your health, the health of those in your community, and the environment. If you’re struggling with septic system maintenance, your best bet is to call on the expertise of a professional.

How Your Septic System Works: 5 Things Every Homeowner Should Know

Posted on: April 11th, 2017 by mike No Comments

As a homeowner, you are responsible for maintaining your septic system. Regular maintenance not only prevents costly plumbing disasters but also can help ensure that your septic tank lives a long life, protecting your investment. As part of your maintenance responsibilities, you should be checking your system on a regular basis and pumping it out. For some homeowners, however, that can be a challenge. Without any plumbing knowledge, it’s difficult to figure out how, exactly, these systems work. Luckily, we’re here to explain the basics of how your septic system works.

  1. Every septic system has four main parts. While septic systems come in a range of sizes and design specifications, all septic tanks have four main parts: a pipe from the house, a drain field, a septic tank, and the soil.
  1. All wastewater exits your home from a pipe. The pipe running from your house to your septic tank carries all of the wastewater that exits your home, whether that is wastewater from the toilet, the dishwasher, the shower, or the laundry machine. All of the wastewater leaves from the same pipe.
  1. The septic tank holds the wastewater. Once wastewater is transported via a pipe from the house, it is moved into the septic tank. The septic tank is buried below ground and typically sits in a watertight container of some kind, which is usually made from fiberglass or polyurethane. The water is held in the tank until the solids settle out into sludge and all of the oils and gasses rise to the surface as scum.
  1. Wastewater is discharged into the drain field from the septic tank. After a while, the wastewater leaves the septic tank via the drain field and is discharged gradually into the soil. Every time new wastewater enters the tank, wastewater in the drain field is pushed a bit farther along. If the drain field is overloaded for whatever reason, it will flood, causing sewage to seep back up through the soil. 
  1. Wastewater ends up in the soil. Once the wastewater leaves the drain field, it ends up in the soil. The soil is responsible for the final phase of treatment, removing all of the bacteria and nutrients.

Hopefully, with a better understanding of how your septic system works, you are better able to do any required maintenance and be aware of any potential problems. But remember, if you need help resolving any kind of problem or issue with your septic system, your best bet is to call in a professional.

Snowmelt and Your Septic System: What You Should Know

Posted on: March 21st, 2017 by mike No Comments

As the days get longer and the weather starts to warm, the snow that’s been sitting on the ground will thankfully start to melt away. While that may be good news for those who hate the winter and are eager to enjoy spring, it is important to keep in mind that snowmelt can cause problems for your septic system if it leads to saturated soil conditions.

Septic systems work by absorption and evaporation. Subsequently, when the ground is completely saturated with water — whether that is from melted snow or excessive rain — the effluent has nowhere to go. With heavy use of the tank, this will only make the situation worse. In extreme cases, the excess water may even enter your septic tank if the snowmelt causes groundwater to rise to such an extent that your septic tank becomes immersed. In this case, wastewater can be pushed back through your pipes and up into your toilets, showers, and sinks. This backup of wastewater is a health concern. If it causes anything to overflow, it can actually damage your walls, floors, and furnishings.

If you do notice that snowmelt is placing stress on your septic system, there are several things to do. First and foremost, try to reduce your use of the septic system by limiting the number of times you flush your toilet, run the dishwasher, and do laundry. Once the snowmelt has stopped and the water table levels have fallen, you may also want to consider getting the system professionally pumped. This is because, with excess water in the tank, the floating scum layer is often raised to the top of the tank, adhering to the sides even after the water level has receded. This can plug up inlets, outlets, and vents, which can cause problems in the long term.

In conclusion, it is important to pay extra attention to your septic tank as the snow starts to melt. In most cases, melting snow shouldn’t cause any substantial issues. However, in some cases, particularly if a large amount snow melts at a fast rate, it can mean trouble. Your best bet is to monitor the situation and call a professional for help if you think that snowmelt may be placing stress on your system.