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garbage disposals

Garbage Disposals and Your Septic System

garbage disposals

 

Garbage Disposals are used in many households, but are they safe to use with your septic system.  Good Question!

While many companies that sell garbage disposals will tell you they are fine to use with a septic system, the truth is they really aren’t.

You really shouldn’t be using a garbage disposal with your septic system.  The way that the septic system is set up involves a large tank filled with water and the waste from your home.  The solid waste settles to the bottom where bacteria go to work breaking it down.  Then, there is the water waste layer that has the excess liquid going out to the drain field.  Finally, at the top, there is a layer of scum that has built up.

In order to keep your septic system running smoothly, there are many items that should not be flushed or sent down the drains.  This includes, diapers, wipes, bleach, harsh chemicals and sanitary products to name a few.    The same is true with your garbage disposal.  All the fats, grease, and other waste from the disposal are being added to the septic tank which can can cause problems and clogs and prevent it from working correctly.

Basically, you are overloading the waste that is being put into your septic tank and the naturally occurring bacteria will not be able to keep up with breaking it down.  If you use a garbage disposal, you should have your tank pumped every year, rather than the normal 3-5 year range.  It can wreak havoc with your septic system.

A better idea? Compost.  Composting your kitchen waste is much better for your system and environmentally friendly.  You can buy a cheap plastic composter or even make your own.  Depending on the size, you can add all your kitchen waste as well as leaves and grass and have a great fertilizer ready for your garden or landscaping.

It’s a win win situation for your yard as well as your septic system.  

Visit www.septicpreservation.com for all your septic system questions.  They have a qualified staff ready to help you with all your septic needs from pumping and cleaning to design and installation.  Give them a call at 877-378-4279.

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.

Rhode Island

Septic System Maintenance Tips in Rhode Island

Rhode IslandSeptic systems are very common throughout Rhode Island. If you are a homeowner and have one of these on-site sewage systems, you are probably very aware of the maintenance and diligence that is required to properly maintain a septic system. If you are new to septic systems, it can be a bit overwhelming to get a handle on all the dos and don’ts.

This article will attempt to give you an overall understanding on how septic systems work in Rhode Island, what you can do to help keep your system running efficiently and when it’s time to call a professional to help you service your system. Whether you have a septic system in Cumberland, Woonsocket, Providence or somewhere in between, these tips will help you to increase the longevity and efficiency for many years to come.

How Septic Systems Work

Most of the septic systems found throughout Rhode Island consist of a specific set of equipment, which includes a septic tank, a leaching field and a distribution box. The wastewater that comes from your home is held temporarily within the septic tank, which is where the waste solids become separated from the water. Bacteria decomposes the solids, which are later pumped out by a professional septic system company.

The partially treated water leaves the tank and then moves on into the distribution box. Once inside the box, the water is distributed evenly into the leaching field. The water drains into trenches that are filled with gravel through holds in the distribution box, which are then used to help further treat the wastewater. The wastewater then seeps slowly into the soil of your leach field for a secondary purifying treatment.

Today there are some alternative systems that use different substrates than soil or gravel. One option is to use sand instead of soil. Another is to use peat. Whichever type of system you are currently using, you need to ensure that you properly maintain a septic system so that it does not pollute the groundwater. Don’t just change from soil to sand, peat or any other type of substrate unless you consult with a septic system professional to make sure that the change will work well with your current system.

How to Properly Maintain a Septic System

The best thing you can do for your septic system is to provide proper care and maintenance. There is a lot of responsibility on the part of the homeowner to ensure that the system is not being abused so that it will run properly. Regular visits from your septic system professional to inspect your equipment, check your levels and pump your system if necessary, will help keep things in proper working order.

Water conservation is the number one way to protect your system. Take some simple steps to ensure that you are limiting your use of water. The more you save, the less will end up in your system. Water-saving devices, such as low-flow toilets and shower heads are extremely helpful. Check for leaks in faucets and toilets on a regular basis and refrain from running a load of dishes and clothing unless you have a full load.

Chemicals can be extremely dangerous to a septic system. Don’t ever put any chemicals or paint thinners down your drains. These chemicals will kill off the microbes that naturally occur within your system and prevent it from functioning properly. Other things, such as food waste, fat and grease are also damaging to your system and should not be put down the drain. Unless your system has been designed to accommodate a garbage disposal, you should not use one with a septic system.

Maintain your leach field as well by ensuring that nothing is planted or growing over the area except for grass. It goes without saying that you should never pour concrete or asphalt over a leach field. Parking or driving vehicles over the leach field can ultimately compact the soil and crush the piping, rendering it useless to the treatment process.

When to Call a Professional

If you notice any problems within your septic system, such as drains that drain slower than usual, gurgling sounds or a foul odor around the house, you need to call a septic system service professional. Another sign is a very lush and green patch of grass within the drainage field, signaling that the grass is receiving more liquid and nutrients than usual. The technician will inspect your equipment, test the drain field and check to ensure that it is all draining properly and will check inside your home to make sure your plumbing is functioning well.

In the State of Rhode Island, some locations  require what are known as Rhode Island Town Inspections. These locations include South Kingstown, North Kingstown, Jamestown and Charlestown. The local town ordinances require both residential and commercial property owners to submit inspections of their septic systems on a regular basis.

Septic Preservation Services provides all of these services and more. They are fully licensed to provide Rhode Island Town Inspections and Massachusetts Title 5 Inspections.  SPS utilizes state-of-the-art tools and fully trained and certified professionals to provide the best possible services to their customers at a very affordable and competitive rate. So whether you are in Rhode Island or Southeastern Massachusetts, call  Septic Preservation Services for pricing, information or to set up an appointment at 877-378-4279 or visit www.septicpreservation.com

hurricane

Hurricanes and Your Septic System

hurricane

Hurricane season is upon us and severe weather could be just around the corner.  How does this affect your septic system?

Flooding and high winds can adversely affect your system.  Here are some tips to guard your system against damage.

Secure your system.

  • Check your risers or septic tank covers if they are exposed to make sure they are secure to ensure that storm water cannot get into your septic system.
  • Check  your electrical pump connections and make sure the water cannot penetrate to avoid damage during a flood
  •  It is never a good idea to park anything over your drainfield, but be  sure not to park automobiles, trailers, or other objects on the drainfield during wet weather, as this can cause damage to the drainfield pipes.

Conserve water and use it sparingly in an emergency.

  • When there is severe flooding in your area, your well water may be at risk from the sewage in standing water. Be aware of any boil-water warnings in your area and make sure you follow.
  • Have a supply of bottled water on hand to ensure you have ample supply of fresh drinking water during and after the storm.
  • Limit your water use during the storm to only essential water use. Put off laundry, dishwashing and showering as long as possible.  Fill your tub with water beforehand for use in flushing the toilet if you lose power and your well pump is not working.

It May Be Wise to have your system inspected after a flood.

  • Hurricanes can mean major flooding in your area.   You might want to have your septic system inspected for for any damage from standing water or fallen objects on the pipes.
  • Check  electrical components  to ensure there has not been any damage to your unit.

Loss of power is always an issue during the hurricane and days following depending on the severity of the storm.  This could affect your sump pump in your basement and cause flooding.  A backup generator is always a great idea to handle and pump out excess water and keep the essential systems working in your home, such as refrigeration and a well  pump to access water.

Septic Preservation Services are experts at storm damage recovery and prevention.  Call them at 877-378-4279 for all your storm related questions and anything concerning your septic system.  Visit www.septicpreservation.com

Septic Preservation Services

Meet Holly Walker of Septic Preservation Services

Septic Preservation Services

Septic Preservation Services

Holly has been a member of the Septic Preservation Team for almost 18 months.  She was brought on initially to help with product descriptions with the online store but is now involved with packaging, pricing and postage, as well as increasing their presence online.

Holly also has taken over  writing the daily blogs  and updating the online calendars to free up time for Bob Silva, head of SPS, and allow him more time for his daily administrative duties.

She has a degree in Medieval History and has worked for 8 years in  Human Resource and recruitment for engineering companies, involving Automotive, Aerospace and Oil and Gas.  While Holly does not possess an engineering degree, she feels her past experiences help her in writing the blogs and she feels she can present the technical matters in  a way that everyone can understand.  She is able to take a colleague’s repair story and research about the fix and the reason for i,t and present it in her daily blogs.

Holly is British and moved to the United States in 2009.  She initially lived in Missouri, Colorado, and then Massachusetts.   She is now living in California, slightly north of San Diego, with her two elementary aged children. She is able to work remotely and stay involved in SPS.   She has enjoyed spending time exploring her new town and state and discovering the best beaches with her children.

Being British sometimes creates problems with the “language barrier”.   According to Holly, ” Although we all speak English, I still find I’m sometimes speaking a foreign language.  For example, I was corresponding with a supplier of ours about their pumps and also the spares kits that they provide to carryout maintenance and repairs on their pumps.  After placing the spares kit onto the website, Bob pointed out to me that in the USA a “spares kit” is not something that would ever be referred to and a “rebuild kit” is the correct term.  It turned out that my contact with our supplier was also British, which I hadn’t realized, and we were both using the wrong term and confusing everyone else!

Holly enjoys being a valued member of the SPS team and helping to spread the word on their great reputation.

Visit www.septicpreservation.com and read Holly’s daily blogs and find out how Septic Preservation Services can help you with all your septic system maintenance, repair, design and installation.

Septic Preservation Services

Meet Jamie Graffam from Septic Preservation Services

Septic Preservation ServicesMeet Jamie Graffam of Septic Preservation Services.  He is a service tech at SPS and has been a member of the team for 3+ years.  He has completed the U.R.I. course for septic inspections as well as several other courses to help him with his service tech responsibilities.

Jamie served 4 years in the Marine Corps after high school and then searched from big business to big business looking for the right fit in a company.  He found that fit with Septic Preservation Services.  He loves being part of the SPS team and particularly likes working outside.

Personally Jamie is engaged to his fiancee Jen, and has two daughters, Keeghan and Kilee.  He is happy to announce that Keeghan will be making him a grandfather early next year.

You never know what you’ll come across in the septic business, and Jamie shared this humorous story with us.

In the course of his duties, Jamie had opened an air box on a septic system, only to find a Momma and a baby snake “I’m not afraid of snakes, but when they catch me off guard, they do startle me a bit”. He removed Mom and took her to the nearby woods to release her, and then returned to remove the baby snake, but as he is kneeling down and catching the snake, his phone vibrates, (fellow SPS team member, Jim Boucher), and really gave him a good scare, (thinking Momma snake had returned to get her baby).  He then realized, to his relief,  it was only his phone.  He answered his phone, laughing,  and had a good story to share with Jim.

Jamie is another member of the skilled and caring team at Septic Preservation Services.  Let them help you make sense of your septic system and answer any questions or concerns you may have.  You can reach them at 877-378-4279 or visit www.septicpreservation.com

Septic Preservation Services

Meet John Orlando of Septic Preservation Services

Septic Preservation ServicesMeet John Orlando of Down to Earth Construction Services and  Septic Preservation Services.  John has built a reputation for quality building, new homes, excavating, and septic systems  since 1964.    John has been  full time  at  Down to Earth Construction Services and SPS since 1986.  He is a septic inspector and septic installer.

John’s favorite part of his work is septic system installation.  He likes the process start to finish.

John has worn many hats.  He was a Board of Health Member for 5 years in the Norfolk Area and a Chairman for 1 year.

John attended Walpole High School, Newman Prep School and Mass College of Art.

Personally, John is married with 3 grown children.  He enjoys spending time in Maine with his family kayaking. He also enjoys creating artwork with his wife.

Let John help you with your septic system installation and inspection.  Call Septic Preservation Services at 877-378-4279 or visit www.septicpreservation.com

Septic Preservation Services

Meet John Figuerido of Septic Preservation Services

Septic Preservation ServicesMeet John Figuerido of Septic Preservation Services.  John is a fairly new member of the SPS team.  He has been working at SPS for 10 months and is a service technician.  He is happy to be a member of the SPS family.  His favorite part of the job is the variety of jobs he handles every day.  Every day is different and brings with it new challenges to remedy and new people to meet.

John attended Bristol Community College for two years, studying computer science, which is helpful on the job.  He just finished his Wastewater Licensing class and will be taking the test shortly for his Wastewater Operators License.

Personally, John has been married for 30 years and has two sons, Alec and Adam.  He is also happy to be able to work with his son, Alec, who is also a member of the Septic Preservation Team.   Outside of work, John enjoys working on this truck and riding his motorcycle.

John is available to help with all your septic needs.  You can reach SPS at 877-378-4279 or visit www.septicpreservation.com

drain field

Soil and Your Septic System

drain fieldDrainfield Soil

 Soil plays a major part in the proper functioning of a septic system. Many people do not realize what an important role the type of soil can make in your drainfield. Soil failure can be  a major cause of septic system failure.

 Soil works as a fine filter, and is the home to trillions of microscopic organisms that feed on organic matter in the effluent from the drainfield.

Soil Types

The texture of the soil  determines how quickly wastewater will be absorbed in the drainfield.  Soil percolation is the ability of the soil to absorb water.  The best types of soil for drainage or percolation contain a balance of coarse and fine particles. 

Gravel, or soil with a coarse texture, or coarse sand may not be adequate.  They allow wastewater to pass too quickly to provide adequate treatment. These types of soils work only if they are deep. Soil may be brought in for septic systems and drainfields when the current soil is inadequate.

Clay Soil

Some soil mixtures may contain some particles of clay. Clay soil can be used in drainfields, but water moves through it much slower than in gravel or coarse textured soil. The problem with clay particles is that they can swell and block soil passages.  This slows the movement of wastewater even more.  If clay particles  electronically bond to sodium molecules contained in wastewater, hardpan can occur.  The passage of wastewater is totally blocked and this can lead to septic failure. Hardpan conditions in clay soil can be chemically treated.  There are some products on the market to treat this condition.

Since soil plays such a critical part in the life of your septic system, it’s best to leave it up to the experts.  Call Septic Preservation Services at 877-378-4279 for all your septic needs and questions.  Ask them about their septic system maintenance program.  Or visit  www.septicpreservation.com

 

summer gatherings

Summer Gatherings and Your Septic System

When planning for summer gatherings this summer, prevention can go a long way toward averting disasters with your septic system.  Parties, weddings, and any summer gathering can exert heavy use on your septic system.  Careful planning can help you prepare your septic system for the extra guests and extra load.

Here are some tips:

Arrange for a septic tank pumping prior to the event. Heavy volume of wastewater over a short period of time can over saturate the drain field and cause a mess in your yard or backup in to your home. Performing septic tank maintenance right before the event will create added capacity which will be able to handle more volume.

Check  your septic system and make sure it is functioning properly before the event.  Septic Preservation Services have technicians available for a maintenance check.   A problem may not be obvious during regular or modest use, but when you add an additional volume of wastewater over a short period of time, this can cause an already impaired system to fail.

The technician can also check your drain lines and make sure they are clear as well as the flow of water from your home to the tank.  Partially clogged drain lines can fail with excessive effluent running through them in a short amount of time.

School  your guests on what not to flush down the toilet.  A nearby garbage can  and properly placed signs on dos and don’ts may be all you  need.

Better yet, for large gatherings with many guests, such as weddings, graduation parties or family reunions, consider renting portable toilets and sinks.  This will take the load off your septic system and avoid costly and odorous disasters.  Units today are more attractive and reasonable and can take the worry out of your day.

Proper preventative maintenance  is all that is needed to keep a septic system functioning properly for many years to come. When the day is done,  the cost of a little preventive maintenance is well worth  the investment to avoid the potential for backups and septic system repairs or replacement.

Call Septic Preservation Services before your summer gathering.   They have all the equipment and professionals available to maintain and check your septic system and get it ready for your big day.  You can reach them at 877-378-4279 or visit www.septicpreservation.com for more information.

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