Posts

septic system

Bacteria and Enzymes in Your Septic System

septic systemWhat makes a septic system work properly? Billions of naturally occurring microscopic bacteria and enzymes are responsible for a major part of the three-stage treatment that processes wastewater in a septic system.

The wastewater in the septic tank begins the process of decomposition by separating into layers.  Bacteria, which is naturally present in all septic systems, will begin to digest the solids which have settled to the bottom of the tank.  These naturally occurring bacteria will change up to 50% of these solids into liquids and gases.

There are all kinds of additives on the market advertised to improve the biological environment of your septic system, but most experts agree that they are not needed.  The best plan is to keep high doses of cleaners and bleaches out of your septic system which can kill off the beneficial bacteria.

Another important part of the process occurs in the drainfield.  The effluent, or wastewater from the septic tank enters the drain or leachfield and comes into contact with the biomat.  There are organisms living in the biomat which further digest the organic matter in the effluent and from there it reaches the soil where the last part of the process occurs.  Bacteria in the soil further treat the waste. It is important that the drainfield not be flooded.  Many of these bacteria found in the soil and biomat are aerobic or oxygen dependent.  If water floods a drainfield, they may die off and will not be replenished until the flooding is relieved.

Septic Preservation Services can answer all your septic system questions.  Call them at 877-378-4279  or visit www.septicpreservation.com  Ask them about their maintenance program and emergency services.  They have all the answers to your septic needs.

septic system odors

Septic System Odors

 

septic system

Septic system odors can have many causes.  Some can be minor, others more serious.  In cold weather, the causes can vary.  Pinpointing the source of the smell is usually the first step.  Downdrafts from the vent pipe on the roof may cause odor, but would vary with weather conditions and wind and subside as the day warms.

There could be a problem with a frozen drainfield, blocked tank inlet or outlet, or other blocked pipes.   Backup may occur in the home if this is the case.  Check the lowest drain in the system first.  Call a professional right away if you suspect this is the problem.

Long, persistent odors and wet spots over the tank and drainfield could mean septic system failure.  Check for effluent outside and wet spots where the grass may be particularly lush.

Does it smell right near the house?   Broken pipes or leaky pipes could account for this.  Effluent could be leaking out of the pipe and running along the pipe trench rather than through the pipe itself.  Blocked pipes could also be the problem forcing the sewage back toward the home.

The best course of action is to call a professional right away.  Septic Preservation Services have 24 hour emergency services as well as trained septic professionals to evaluate the problem and make any necessary repairs, which could save money down the road and prevent septic failure.

Call them at 877-378-4279 or visit www.septicpreservation.com

 

 

winter

Protecting Your Septic System During the Winter Months

winter septic systemHow can you protect your septic system during the winter months?  Freezing can become an issue when the temperatures start to drop. The most vulnerable components are the pipes leading from the house into the septic tank.  Leaky fixtures such as faucets and toilets can keep a steady drip through the pipes which could freeze, blocking the pipes.  Other components which can potentially freeze are the tank, pipes leading to the drainfield and the drainfield itself.

Snow itself is a great insulator over your septic tank and leachfield.  Make sure you do not drive over your tank and leachfield.  Compacted snow can drive down the frost and increase your chances of freezing.  Driving over your leachfield and septic system is never a good idea in any season.  It can lead to damage to your system.    Grass is always a good choice for over your septic system or mulch if grass is not available.  It is a great insulator without deep roots to interfere with or damage your system.

Systems which are in use have a lesser possibility of freezing since liquid is always flowing through the system.  Homes which are used seasonally or sporadically have  a greater risk for freezing since the system is dormant much of the time.

Fixing leaky faucets and toilets before winter sets in can greatly lessen your chances of freezing occurring and also conserve water.  This can save you from costly repairs down the road.

If you suspect you have a problem, call a professional right away.  Septic Preservation Services has 24 emergency services for help with any septic emergency.  They can evaluate your system and make repairs if needed.   They also offer a great maintenance program to keep your septic system running smoothly year round.  Call them with all your questions at 877-378-4279 or visit www.septicpreservation.com

Christmas

All Natural Christmas Gifts

ChristmasToxic cleaners and harsh chemicals are all around us.  They can cause havoc with your septic system.  Your septic system relies on natural microorganisms to break down the effluent which flows into your septic tank.  Harsh chemicals found in many cleaners such as bleach can kill some of these naturally occurring organisms.  What’s a better solution?  You can make your own household cleaners out of natural ingredients you can find in your home.

You can make your own drain cleaners, toilet bowl cleaners, counter spray, etc. out of natural and gentle ingredients which are better for your environment as well as family  and child friendly.   At this time of year, they also make great Christmas gifts, especially when decorative bottles and containers are used.

Here are some great recipes to try:

All Purpose Cleaner

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups white distilled vinegar
  • 2 cups water
  • 20-30 or more drops of essential oil (optional)

Suggested uses: hard surfaces like countertops and kitchen floors, windows and mirrors.

Tip: Warming in microwave until barely hot will boost cleaning power for tough jobs. Only microwave in a glass container.

Creamy Soft Scrub

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups baking soda
  • ½ cup to 2/3 cup liquid castile soap*
  • 4 teaspoons vegetable glycerin (acts as a preservative)
  • 5 drops antibacterial essential oil such as lavender, tea tree, rosemary or any scent you prefer (optional)

Mix together and store in a sealed glass jar, shelf life of 2 years. Dry soft scrubs can be made with baking soda or salt (or combination of both) with 10-15 drops essential oil to scent.

Suggested uses: Use this creamy soft scrub on kitchen counters, stoves, bathroom sinks, etc.

Laundry Detergent

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup soap flakes
  • 1/2 cup washing soda
  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 1-2 tbsp. oxygen bleach (optional for extra whitening power)

Soap flakes can be made by grating your favorite pure vegetable soap with a cheese grater. Mix ingredients together and store in a glass container. Use 1 tablespoon per load (2 for heavily soiled laundry), wash in warm or cold water

For soft water: use 1 cup soap flakes, 1/4 cup washing soda and 1/2 cup baking soda. For hard water: use 1 cup soap flakes, 1 cup washing soda, and 1 cup baking soda.

Note: This recipe can be safely used in HE washers..

Tips: Add 1/2 cup white distilled vinegar to rinse as a fabric softener. For a whitener, use hydrogen peroxide rather than bleach. Soak your dingy white clothes for 30 minutes in the washer with 1/2 cup 3% peroxide. Launder as usual.

Furniture Polish

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup white distilled vinegar
  • 20-30 drops lemon essential oil

Shake well before using (2 teaspoons lemon juice may be substituted for lemon oil but then must be stored in refrigerator).

Dip a clean, dry cloth into the polish and rub wood in the direction of the grain. Use a soft brush to work the polish into corners or tight places.

Tips: To remove water spots rub well with toothpaste. To remove scratches use 1 part lemon juice and 1 part oil, rub with soft cloth.

Toilet Bowl Cleaner

Ingredients:

Sprinkle toilet bowl with baking soda, drizzle with vinegar, let soak for at least 30 minutes and scrub with toilet brush.

Tip: Let ingredients soak for a while to make for easy scrubbing, especially on persistent stains like toilet bowl rings.

Drain Cleaner

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup baking soda
  • ½ cup vinegar
  • 1/2cup salt

Pour baking soda down the drain and follow with vinegar. Cover and let sit for at least 30 minutes. Flush with boiling water.

Tip: Prevent your shower from clogging by using a drain trap to catch hairs.

These recipes can be found on womensvoices.org

All Clear Septic and Wastewater Services is available to answer all your questions on your septic system and what you should or should not put in it.  Call them at 508-763-4431 or visit www.allclearseptic.com

Christmas

Christmas and Your Septic System

Christmas

Christmas can be tough on your septic system.  There are the Christmas guests who come to stay.   Guests bring extra water usage. Laundry increases as well as showers and bathing.   The dishwasher is always running with all the extra dishes from the great, festive meals and goodies that Christmas brings.

Here are some tips to keep your septic system running smoothly and avoid overuse and costly repairs.

  • Be extra careful with water use during the winter months, shorter showers, smaller baths, etc.  Ask your guests to conserve water and keep showers to a minimum.
  • Fix any dripping taps and leaking toilet valves before winter.
  • Check  that no roof water or surface water (manhole covers should be higher than any puddles) enters the system.
  • Buy a set of draining rods before the holidays or put them on your Christmas ‘wish list’. They are invaluable to anyone with a private drainage system and can save you a fortune when drains are blocked.
  • Fill a plastic bottle with water and put it in the toilet tank.  Make sure it doesn’t interfere with the flushing mechanism.   This will reduce the volume of water per flush.
  • Have your septic tank pumped just before the visitors arrive. This gives the soakaway a breathing space to drain away completely.
  • Spread the washing out, using FULL loads, over a period of days.  Saving all the laundry for washing day is not a good plan.
  • Look at the labels. Only choose eco-friendly cleaning products. Avoid antibacterial soap and detergents.  It can kill the good bacteria in your system.
  • Try  hand washing  the greasy items  in a bowl and throwing the water on the garden. It won’t harm your plants.
  • Use air fresheners in the bathroom.
  • If you do get a fat blockage in the drains, DO NOT use harsh drain cleaning products as they are harmful to your septic tank.   Or better yet, use homemade recipes made from natural ingredients.   Try using draining rods instead or call in the professionals at All Clear Septic and Wastewater Services.
  • Prevention is the key to having a great holiday season.  Be prepared and you can spend the holidays enjoying your family and friends and the magic of the season.  Let Septic Preservation Services take the worry out of your holidays.
  • You can reach us at 877-378-4279 or visit www.septicpreservation.com
emergency services

All Clear Septic Consulting and Emergency Services

CONSULTING & EMERGENCY SERVICES

In addition to Title 5 Inspections, septic repairs and cleaning services, All-Clear also provides professional consultations to property owners, both residential and commercial.

We understand that most septic problems don’t occur between 9am and 5pm Monday through Friday, so we also offer 24/7 emergency services to our customers. We’ll be there when you need us anytime of day or night.

CONSULTING SERVICES

Do you have a difficult septic problem? Have you called other services that were unable to solve your issues? All-Clear can help to answer all of your septic related questions and help you find solutions that will get your septic system back on track and running properly. We utilize state-of-the-art equipment that can help us to quickly identify and accurately pinpoint the problems that are plaguing your system. At All-Clear, questions are always FREE. Give us a call at 508-763-4431 to ask a question, call us out for a consultation or set up an appointment for an evaluation or inspection.

EMERGENCY SERVICES

Our professional team of licensed and certified technicians are on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Just call our Emergency Service Center day or night at 508-763-4431 and we will send someone out to take care of your emergency septic problems right away.

All-Clear also offers a Preventative Maintenance Program that can help you stay on top of your septic system to prevent emergency situations in the future. Ask one of our team members about the various programs available for our customers.

Visit www.allclearseptic.com to answer any of your septic needs.

Thanksgiving

Holiday Tips for Your Septic System

Thanksgiving Fall weather is in the air and Thanksgiving is almost here, you’re probably already making your own plans for this year’s holiday gatherings. When the holidays roll around and family comes into town – you’ll want to make sure that you pay special attention to guests in your home and how they could impact your septic system. Here are some septic maintenance reminders for the holidays.

Have your tank pumped out before company arrives.

If you’re having family in town or having a large event, you may want to consider having your tank pumped out before they get into town. Your tank is used to operating at a certain level based on its size and the size of your home. If you’re expecting out of town guests for an extended stay you’ll want to make sure that your septic system is operating optimally to avoid embarrassing backups or drainfield failures.

Remind them about septic system “rules”.

Although it might be a sensitive subject, try to educate your guests about the rules with septic systems, such as not flushing feminine products or other items down the toilet and putting food solids and grease into the garbage rather than dumping them down the drain. These things will help you to avoid backups and malfunctions and keep your system running optimally, no matter how many guests you have.  Limiting the use of your garbage disposal or not using it at all is a good idea with so many different foods at the holidays.

When you have guests in the town, the last thing you want to worry about is a septic system malfunction.  A regular maintenance check before your guests arrive could save you lots of money compared to a septic repair and also help make their stay more enjoyable.

Also, it might be a good time to review your water usage and consider changing over to High Efficiency toilets, sinks, and Energy Star appliances.  Efficient use of water can improve your septic system’s operation and reduce the risk of failure.

Everyone always looks forward to the holidays and getting together with family and friends.  Do your self a favor and call All Clear Septic and Wastewater Services for a maintenance check to make sure your septic system is ready for the holidays and you can relax and enjoy the holiday season.

Call them at 877-378-4279 or visit www.septicpreservation.com

 

 

drain cleaner

Drain Cleaner and Onsite Systems Are a Bad Combination

drain cleanerPublished in Onsite Installer Magazine

www.onsiteinstaller.com

Written by Sarah Heger

Chemicals used in many drain cleaners kill the essential bacteria needed by septic systems.


Septic systems rely on natural bacteria to treat wastewater. Harsh chemicals used in many drain cleaners kill the essential bacteria needed by septic systems.

Chemical drain cleaners are among the most dangerous of all cleaning products to human health. Most contain corrosive ingredients such as sulfuric acid, sodium hydroxide (lye) and sodium hypochlorite (bleach) that can permanently burn eyes and skin. Some can be fatal if ingested. Cleaning products are required by law to include label warnings if harmful ingredients are included which are:

Signal word Toxicity if swallowed, inhaled or absorbed through the skin
Caution One ounce to one pint may be harmful
Warning One teaspoon to one ounce may be harmful or fatal
Danger One taste to one teaspoon is fatal
Ideally, the products used on all our homes either have no warning or only a “Caution.”

In a study by Gross (1987), a lab study found significant decreases in concentrations of coliform bacteria at very low Drano concentrations. Just 0.1 mg of Drano per liter of septic tank effluent reduced the concentration of coliforms tenfold; 1.3 mg is enough to kill most bacteria, and at 3 mg/L they are destroyed. Three mg/L corresponds to 11.3 grams in a 1,000-gallon septic tank. Also, there was as a slight decrease in pH at higher concentrations of Drano. This amount could possibly be used by a homeowner in a short time period when unclogging a drain. The bacteria population recovers to its original concentration within 48 hours following the addition of the Drano.

Alternatives for customers
Prevent drains from becoming blocked in the first place by having really good catch basins in all drains from sinks, showers, tubs, laundry, etc. This is easily done with inexpensive metal or plastic drain screens. Large food scraps, along with fat, oils and grease should be collected and disposed of with the solid waste or composted when possible, and not dumped down the drain.

The most likely spot for a sink drain to clog is about 6 inches below the drain opening in the trap. If a clog occurs, many times the plumbing under a sink can be removed and manually cleaned. In other instances a plunger may also help to clear the obstruction or a drain auger or snake is used to manually remove the material causing the slow or blocked drain. If the blockage isn’t near enough to the sink to reach with a snake, look for other places to gain entry to the pipe. There should be clean-out ports that can be unscrewed to gain access to pipes for auguring. If it’s a tough hair or scale-type clog, it may be worth it to call in a professional with better equipment to handle those types of blockages.

As a last resort, chemical drain cleaners may be used, but they must be enzyme-based rather than caustic cleaners. Earth Friendly or Naturally Yours are two brands of enzyme-based drain cleaners. Homeowners can  make their own: Put 1/2 cup salt,  1/2 cup baking soda, 6 cups of vinegar down the drain.  Let stand for an hour or so & then pour kettle of boiling water down your  drain. This can be done every 6 months to a year.  It does no damage and can help to keep drains clear.

All Clear Septic and Wastewater Services can answer all your septic questions.  Call them at 508-763-4431 or visit www.allclearseptic.com

good septic owner

Top 10 Ways to Be a Good Septic Owner

septic system tipsAccording to the EPA , here are the top 10 ways to be a good septic owner.

Have your system inspected every three years by a qualified professional or according to your state/ local health department’s recommendations.

Have your septic tank pumped, when necessary, generally every three to five years.

Avoid pouring harsh products (e.g., oils, grease, chemicals, paint, medications) down the drain.

Discard non-degradable products in the trash (e.g., floss, disposable wipes, cat litter) instead of flushing them.

Keep cars and heavy vehicles parked away from the drainfield and tank.

Repair leaks and use water efficient fixtures to avoid overloading the system.

Space out water usage throughout the week.  e.g. spread loads of laundry throughout the week  and avoid excessive washing on one particular day.

Maintain plants and vegetation near the system to ensure roots do not block drains.

Use soaps and detergents that are low-suds, biodegradable, and low- or phosphate-free.

Prevent system freezing during cold weather by inspecting and insulating vulnerable system parts (e.g., the inspection pipe and soil treatment area).

Another great idea,  call All Clear Septic and Wastewater Services and enroll in their maintenance program.  They can keep you on schedule with regular maintenance to keep your system functioning properly and avoid costly repairs.     You can reach them at 508-763-4431 or visit www.allclearseptic.com.

RASEM Red Expo

All Clear Septic and Wastewater at RASEM Red Expo

RASEM Red ExpoAll Clear Septic and Wastewater Services was at the RASEM Red Expo in Raynham last week.  Al Rivet and Liz Alves of All Clear were on hand to answer any questions on septic services.  Al participated in the RED Talks and spoke of all the services All Clear Septic and Septic Preservation had to offer to consumers.  These include Title 5 Septic Inspections, septic functional inspections, septic repairs, septic system assessments, septic maintenance, cleaning and pumping to name a few.  He also talked about the Realtor loyalty program All Clear and Septic Preservation offer to local realtors when they refer a client.  He was able to provide many tips for keeping a healthy septic system and avoiding  a septic system failure.  The talk was very interesting and informative and he and Liz were on hand to any clients or realtors with more information on all the services they provide.  Call Septic Preservation with any of your septic system questions at 877-378-4279 or visit www.septicpreservation.com
RASEM Red Expo