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water

Water is Key to Protecting Your Investment

All Clear SepticWater is one of the most important things to us here on Planet Earth. Not only does it support life in many forms, but it is also instrumental to our environment in a number of distinct ways. However, when it comes to the proper care of your septic system, water can quickly become the enemy if you don’t understand the role it plays in proper sewage treatment. Excessive water can cause your septic system to fail.

How It Works

A typical septic system has three primary parts, which include the septic tank, the drainfield and the soil. The purpose of the tank is to separate the solid waste from the wastewater, store that waste and then partially decompose it as much as possible. The liquid wastewater, which comes from your laundry, kitchen, bath and toilet, flows into the tank and can stay there for as long as 24-hours before passing on into the drainfield.

This 24-hour time period, which is known as “retention” time, is necessary to allow the solids to properly separate from the liquids in a “sludge” layer and allow lighter particles to float to the top in a “scum” layer. This process works to prevent the drainfield from becoming clogged.

However, if too much water flows into the system from excessive use, the soil under the septic system will not be able absorb all of the water that is used in the home and the rush of wastewater won’t provide enough retention time for the sludge and scum layers to separate. Water conservation is key to prevent the risk of this type of system failure.

Septic System Water Conservation

Getting your family to reduce the amount of water used might sound like a daunting task, but with a little bit of education, preventative maintenance, the installation of a few basic tools and determination on your part, it will all soon become second nature.

Step One – Fix ALL leaks in your home immediately: a slow-dripping faucet can waste as much as 70 gallons of water per year.

Tip: Check for a toilet leak by adding a few drops of food coloring to the tank. Watch to see if the color appears in the bowl. Leaky toilets can waste over 50 gallons of water a day!

Step Two – Install water-saving shower heads, taps and toilets, which can save as much as 12 gallons, 5 gallons and up to 25 gallons respectively, per person each day.

Tip: If you can’t afford to replace your toilets, add a displacement device to your tank, which can save you between 3-25 gallons per person each day.

Step Three – Change the way you do laundry: only do a full load, which will save 20 gallons of water per load, and never use your washing machine and dishwasher at the same time.

Tip: Instead of washing 4 loads of laundry on a Saturday, try spreading out your laundry over a 2-3 day period, only doing 1 or 2 loads each day.

Step Four – Plan ahead: if you are having a party or expecting guests, reduce your water usage a few days before they arrive for adequate septic system water conservation.

Tip: Keep a pitcher of drinking water in the refrigerator to save water wasted by letting the tap run while waiting for the water to get cold.

Step Five – Divert other waste water from your septic system, such as roof drains, as well as water from hot tubs and water softeners.

Tip: Speak to your All-Clear technician about creating a drywell for your water softener system, which is required by Massachusetts law.

When Should I Call a Professional?

Odors, wet spots, standing liquid and even sewage could surface or appear in the area of your drainfield. Fixtures will drain slowly, you might hear gurgling sounds in your pipes and your plumbing could backup. If any of these conditions occur, you should call a professional septic service to address these issues before they worsen.

Professional Consultations

Call All-Clear Septic & Wastewater for a professional consultation and evaluation of your current septic system. Additional features and upgrades can be added, such as effluent filters and drywells, which can enhance the performance of your septic system and keep it running effectively and efficiently. Contact us at 508-763-4431 and make sure to ask about our Preventative Maintenance Program, which is available for all types of septic systems.We are also available 24/7 in the event of emergency septic system services.

Visit www.allclearseptic.com for more information.

realtor loyalty program, all clear septic

Septic Preservation Services Realtor Loyalty Program

Join our REALTOR® Loyalty Program today!!!

Did you know 50% of all septic system inspections fail??

What does this mean for you and your seller?

Turn to us, your septic experts, for all of the answers Septic Preservation and All Clear Septic Services joined forces to become your foremost resource providing comprehensive and quality septic services from start to finish.

Providing Residential and Commercial:

•    MA Title 5  Inspection,  Rhode Island  and Maine functional inspections
•    Small and large repairs
•    Full system replacement
•    Engineering soil evaluation, perc testing
•    Preservation and remediation

We acknowledge and appreciate the referrals we get from out REALTOR® professionals!  Nurturing a strong relationship between REALTORS ® and the septic professionals creates a winning combination for all sellers.

To thank you for your referrals, we have created the REALTOR® Loyalty Program. 

You will receive periodic educational information by email, video and mailers.  This information is designed to help you not only learn more about our services, but help yourclients more!

We will also thank your with a $25 prepaid Visa card for each referral that results in new business for All-Clear Septic and Septic Preservation Services!

realtor loyalty program, all clear septic

Call Septic Preservation Services at 877-678-4279 or visit www.septicpreservation.com

clean

Antibacterial Soaps and Cleaners and Your Septic System


antibacterialHow do antibacterial soaps affect your septic system?

Check out this article by Sara Heger in the Onsite Installer:

Antibacterial soaps and wipes are now used by 75 percent of American households, according to a recent report. Products designed to kill microorganisms have become increasingly common in today’s homes. But how do these products affect septic tanks and septic systems, where microorganisms are essential?

To achieve proper treatment, a septic system is very dependent on millions of naturally occurring bacteria throughout the system. Daily, beneficial bacteria are added to septic systems, bacteria typically found in wastewater, our bodies, and other waste materials we dispose of via our septic system.

The use of antibacterial or disinfectant products in the home can and does destroy good and bad bacteria in the treatment system. Normal-use amounts of these products will destroy some beneficial bacteria but the population will remain sufficient and recover quickly enough to not cause significant treatment problems.

 

Excessive use of these products in the home can cause significant and even total destruction of the bacteria population in a septic system. Often the use of a single product or single application will not cause major problems, but the cumulative effect of many products and many uses throughout the home may add up to an excessive total and cause problems. In addition, with many of the products a greater amount is used when they are in a liquid form. More research is needed to determine what is “excessive” and which products are more or less harmful to systems.

What products are we talking about?
There are over 1,000 products that are concerning in relation to having a good bacteria community, including: ‘antibacterial’ hand soaps; tub, tile and shower cleaners; drain cleaners; toilet bowl cleaners; laundry bleach products; and others. Also included are ‘antibiotics’ that may be prescribed for medical treatment. These are products that are found in nearly all homes. “Antimicrobial” is the general term for any product or ingredient that kills or inhibits bacteria, viruses or molds. Disinfectant and chlorine bleach are common antimicrobials. Antibacterials, on the other hand, are only effective against bacteria. Lots of cleaning products and liquids now claim to be “antibacterial.”

There’s a growing consensus that antimicrobial household cleaners won’t keep them any safer from infectious illnesses than regular types. In 2000, the American Medical Association issued the statement that antibacterial soaps were no more effective against germs than common soap. Although they initially kill more germs than soap, within an hour or so there is no difference in the numbers of germs that have repopulated the area. In fact, experts say, it’s not the type of cleaner that matters in combating germs, but the frequency and thoroughness of cleaning; plain soap, hot water and elbow grease are generally enough to do the job. As with antibiotics, prudent use of these products is urged. Their designated purpose is to protect vulnerable patients.

 

About the Author
Sara Heger, Ph.D., is an engineer, researcher and instructor in the Onsite Sewage Treatment Program in the Water Resources Center at the University of Minnesota. She presents at many local and national training events regarding the design, installation and management of septic systems and related research. Heger is education chair of the Minnesota Onsite Wastewater Association (MOWA) and the National Onsite Wastewater Recycling Association (NOWRA), and serves on the NSF International Committee on Wastewater Treatment Systems.

Call Septic Preservation Services at  877-378-4279 for all your septic questions or visit www.septicpreservation.com

All Clear Septic

Buying and Selling a Home in Massachusetts

All Clear Septic

If you are buying or selling a home that has a septic system in the State of Massachusetts, there are a few things you need to know. A brand new septic system can cost you as much as $30,000 or more to replace, however with proper septic system maintenance, it can continue to work effectively and efficiently for approximately 25 years.

The standard home inspection that is required when you buy or sell your home in Massachusetts does not include an inspection of the septic system. There is a separate inspection required in the State of Massachusetts that homeowners need to be aware of, which is called the Title 5 Inspection.

What is a Title 5 Inspection?

A Title 5 Inspection is a complete and thorough inspection of your septic system. This inspection must be performed by a person who has been certified by the State of Massachusetts through the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection.

A Title 5 Inspection is a part of the Environmental Code for the State of Massachusetts, which regulates all septic systems and works to provide these inspections for the health and safety of the public, as well as the protection of the environment.

The inspection checks to ensure that the septic system has been properly constructed and checks to ensure that any upgrades were done according to code and state regulations. The inspector also checks to ensure that proper septic maintenance has been performed throughout the lifetime of the system.

For the Buyer

In the State of Massachusetts, it is the responsibility of the buyer to ask the seller about the septic systems. You should ask when the system was last pumped and how many people are currently living in the home. A typical system should be pumped about every 2-3 years, more often if there are more than 5 residents in the home. Increased demand, particularly in a situation where more people are living in the home than it was designed to hold, can lead to many damaging problems.

The number of bedrooms in a home dictates the design and capacity of the septic system that gets installed. However, in some cases, a home may have more bedrooms than the original design due to remodeling or by poor quality design by the installer. A home that has more bedrooms than the system was designed for will very likely experience system failure much earlier than the typical longevity for a residential system.

Once you get the information from the seller, make sure to consult with a septic system inspection and maintenance service that is certified in the State of Massachusetts, such as All-Clear Septic out of Acushnet, Massachusetts. All-Clear is certified to inspect septic systems all over Southeastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island, and can give you the information you need about the health and condition of the septic system in a home you are thinking about buying.

For the Seller

If you are thinking about selling your home you should make sure that you get proper septic system maintenance and consider calling out a local service to do a review of your system. All-Clear Septic offers a service known as a Confidential Voluntary Assessment, which will go through your entire system, just like a Title 5 Inspection. This assessment is completely confidential, giving you the opportunity to repair or maintain your system without having to go through the state like you would with an official Title 5.

Proper septic system maintenance should be taken care of year round from the day you purchase your home, and should not be thought of as a last minute fix before selling your home. The tank should be pumped on a regular schedule, the drain field should be kept free of vegetation that could clog the drain lines and your entire family needs to be aware of excessive water use hazards. An annual inspection of your system will help monitor it for any minor problems that can be fixed before they result in major, costly repairs.

Once you are sure that your system is working effectively and efficiently, you can get a Title 5 Inspection. This is an excellent selling point because once your system is certified in the State of Massachusetts, you can list it as “Title 5 Certified” with your real estate agent. If your system fails the inspection and you are unable to get it fixed, you would need to list it as “Failed Title 5” with the agency. While this can be a problem for some buyers, it is better to let them know up front what to expect when they purchase your home.

The More You Know…

Before you buy or sell your home in Massachusetts, it is important to know everything you can about proper septic system maintenance and care, as well as requirements of Title 5 Inspection by the State of Massachusetts. Call All-Clear Septic for a consultation if you unsure of how to proceed. We service residential and commercial customers all over Southeastern Massachusetts, including New Bedford, Fall River, Middleboro, Dartmouth and out on the Cape, as well as all throughout Rhode Island. Give us a call at 508-763-4431 for more information about our septic and wastewater services or visit www.allclearseptic.com

you are buying or selling a home that has a septic system in the State of Massachusetts, there are a few things you need to know. A brand new septic system can cost you as much as $30,000 or more to replace, however with proper septic system maintenance, it can continue to work effectively and efficiently for approximately 25 years.

The standard home inspection that is required when you buy or sell your home in Massachusetts does not include an inspection of the septic system. There is a separate inspection required in the State of Massachusetts that homeowners need to be aware of, which is called the Title 5 Inspection.

What is a Title 5 Inspection?

A Title 5 Inspection is a complete and thorough inspection of your septic system. This inspection must be performed by a person who has been certified by the State of Massachusetts through the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection.

A Title 5 Inspection is a part of the Environmental Code for the State of Massachusetts, which regulates all septic systems and works to provide these inspections for the health and safety of the public, as well as the protection of the environment.

The inspection checks to ensure that the septic system has been properly constructed and checks to ensure that any upgrades were done according to code and state regulations. The inspector also checks to ensure that proper septic maintenance has been performed throughout the lifetime of the system.

For the Buyer

In the State of Massachusetts, it is the responsibility of the buyer to ask the seller about the septic systems. You should ask when the system was last pumped and how many people are currently living in the home. A typical system should be pumped about every 2-3 years, more often if there are more than 5 residents in the home. Increased demand, particularly in a situation where more people are living in the home than it was designed to hold, can lead to many damaging problems.

The number of bedrooms in a home dictates the design and capacity of the septic system that gets installed. However, in some cases, a home may have more bedrooms than the original design due to remodeling or by poor quality design by the installer. A home that has more bedrooms than the system was designed for will very likely experience system failure much earlier than the typical longevity for a residential system.

Once you get the information from the seller, make sure to consult with a septic system inspection and maintenance service that is certified in the State of Massachusetts, such as All-Clear Septic out of Acushnet, Massachusetts. All-Clear is certified to inspect septic systems all over Southeastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island, and can give you the information you need about the health and condition of the septic system in a home you are thinking about buying.

For the Seller

If you are thinking about selling your home you should make sure that you get proper septic system maintenance and consider calling out a local service to do a review of your system. All-Clear Septic offers a service known as a Confidential Voluntary Assessment, which will go through your entire system, just like a Title 5 Inspection. This assessment is completely confidential, giving you the opportunity to repair or maintain your system without having to go through the state like you would with an official Title 5.

Proper septic system maintenance should be taken care of year round from the day you purchase your home, and should not be thought of as a last minute fix before selling your home. The tank should be pumped on a regular schedule, the drain field should be kept free of vegetation that could clog the drain lines and your entire family needs to be aware of excessive water use hazards. An annual inspection of your system will help monitor it for any minor problems that can be fixed before they result in major, costly repairs.

Once you are sure that your system is working effectively and efficiently, you can get a Title 5 Inspection. This is an excellent selling point because once your system is certified in the State of Massachusetts, you can list it as “Title 5 Certified” with your real estate agent. If your system fails the inspection and you are unable to get it fixed, you would need to list it as “Failed Title 5” with the agency. While this can be a problem for some buyers, it is better to let them know up front what to expect when they purchase your home.

The More You Know…

Before you buy or sell your home in Massachusetts, it is important to know everything you can about proper septic system maintenance and care, as well as requirements of Title 5 Inspection by the State of Massachusetts. Call All-Clear Septic for a consultation if you unsure of how to proceed. We service residential and commercial customers all over Southeastern Massachusetts, including New Bedford, Fall River, Middleboro, Dartmouth and out on the Cape, as well as all throughout Rhode Island. Give us a call at 508-763-4431 for more information about our septic and wastewater services or visit www.allclearseptic.com

pipes

Gurgling Pipes? What Can It Mean?

pipesIf you are a homeowner with a septic system, you know how to use your senses to stay alert about potential issues that might occur. While preventative maintenance is the best way to stop a backed up septic system before it even starts, it is also important to know how to use your ears, eyes and nose to spot a problem before it gets out of hand.

Some of the most common signs of problems with a septic system include sounds, sights and smells. If you have gurgling septic pipes, it could be indicative of a much bigger problem. Your best bet is to contact a professional service provider who can conduct some septic system troubleshooting tests and help it to work properly.

How to Use Your Senses
We all know the normal sounds of water and waste moving through the drains of our home. That being said, any unusual sounds will generally alert us to the idea that something isn’t right. Gurgling septic pipes are usually a sign of a backed up septic system that is clogged. The pipes that are connected to the system will make a very distinct gurgling sound. If you have ever heard this before, you know exactly what this sounds like.

Once you use your ears to hear that you have gurgling septic pipes, it is important to confirm the extent of the problem. The next thing to check is your drain or leach field. If there is flooding or puddles of water above your septic system, chances are good that you have a backed up septic system. This flooding is also sometimes accompanied by a distinct “sewage” odor in the area surrounding your drain or leach field.

Another thing to check for is the operation of other plumbing within the home. For example, part of septic system troubleshooting is to identify whether or not drains and toilets are operating more slowly than usual. In the case of a severely backed up septic system, some drains will back up completely, causing standing water and possible sewage to come up in shower drains or sinks. If you see, hear or smell any of the symptoms of a backed up septic system above, contact your septic system repair or maintenance service right away.

What Causes Gurgling Pipes?
While gurgling pipes are usually a sign of a backed up septic system, there are different situations that can cause your pipes to gurgle. This is why it is important to contact a professional septic system troubleshooting company right away. While some problems can be small and easy to fix, others could be more complex and might cause more damage if left unchecked for too long.

The gurgling sound in the pipes can be caused by a blockage between the pipes that connect the plumbing in your house to your septic system. Gurgling septic pipes can also be caused by a plugged house sewer vent or blockage within the pipes between the drain or leach field and the septic tank itself. Other more serious issues, such as septic drain field failure, can also cause your plumbing to make those distinctive gurgling noises.

Other Types of Gurgling
Another area of the home to keep any eye on is the toilet, as this is where the most waste will be flushed out of your home. A toilet can make gurgling noises if the water and air inside the pipes isn’t flowing normally. Septic system owners need to be aware that a gurgling toilet, much like gurgling pipes, can be indicative of a potentially backed up septic system. This early warning can give you enough time to contact a professional service to conduct septic system troubleshooting and repair issues before they get out of hand.

A gurgling toilet can also be a sign of a partial clog. In some cases, you can simply use a plunger to apply pressure to the drain line to dislodge the clog. This will allow it to go down into the pipe and will eliminate the gurgling noises. Larger clogs may require the use of a toilet snake tool to dislodge the clog. If the gurgling noises continue in your toilet after using a plunger or toilet snake tool, chances are you have a bigger problem with a backed up septic system.

Prevention is Key
When it comes to problems associated with owning a home that has a septic system, it is important to remember that good septic maintenance and prevention is very important. Signing up for a preventative maintenance program, such as the one offered by All-Clear Septic & Wastewater, is a great way to stay on top of your system with regular check-ups. Never add chemical additives or “septic clean up” products to your system, as many of these can actually hurt your septic system.

Reading all of the tips about septic system ownership can help you to keep your system running clean and healthy.   Contact All Clear Septic and Wastewater Services with any questions at 508-763-4311  or visit www.allclearseptic.com

drain cleaners

Drain Cleaners Can Hurt Your Septic System

drain cleanersDrain cleaners can be an easy choice when your kitchen or bathroom drain becomes clogged, but they are not a great choice for the health of your septic system.  Septic systems rely on natural bacteria  to treat wastewater.   The harsh chemicals found in drain cleaners can kill the beneficial bacteria needed by your septic system to process wastewater.

Chemical drain cleaners are one of the most dangerous of all the cleaning products on the market to human health.  Most contain very corrosive ingredients such as sulfuric acid, lye, and bleach that can burn your eyes and skin.  They can be fatal if ingested and these cleaning products are required by law to carry a warning label listing their harsh ingredients.   Care must be taken to keep these out of the reach of children.

Even very low amounts of a drain cleaner used in a septic system results in significant decreases in concentrations of Coliform bacteria and a decrease in PH when higher concentrations are used.  It could take up to 48 hours for bacteria population to recover to original levels.

What is a solution to your clogged drains?  The best remedy is to prevent drains from being clogged by having good catch basins in all the drains of the home.  Purchasing inexpensive plastic or metal screens for the drains can keep many wastes from going down the drain including hair and food products.   Food scraps as well as oils  and grease should never be allowed down the drain.

Most clogs occur about 6 inches below the drain opening in the trap.   Taking apart and cleaning this area can remove the clog.  Plungers can also be helpful in removing a clogged drain.   If that doesn’t work, a snake or auger can be put down the drain to remove the blockage.   Clean-out ports can be removes to help access the clog.  If no luck, it’s always best to call a professional who has the equipment and expertise to get the job done.

If you feel you must use a chemical drain cleaner, look for an enzyme-based cleaner.  They are less harsh on your system.  You can also try a homemade recipe:  Pour 1/2 cup salt and 1/2 cup baking soda down the clogged drain.  Then pour 6 cups of boiling water after it.   Let it sit overnight and then flush with hot water.

Septic Preservation Services can help you with any of your septic system questions.  Call 877-378-4279 or visit www.septicpreservation.com

septic emergencies

Preventing Septic Emergencies

summer-still-life-783347_640Summertime is here and many times means summer guests, especially if you live along the shores of Southcoast Massachusetts and Rhode Island.  Whether you a planning on hosting a party, having guests stay over or if you are just having a quiet evening at home, a septic system emergency can ruin your summer plans. The best thing you can do is prepare now and work to prevent septic emergencies before they even happen. If you have a septic system you are already aware of the do’s and don’ts of on-site wastewater responsibilities. This list of eight preventative measures will help you to take your maintenance and care knowledge to the next level, ensuring that you won’t have to pay for expensive septic emergencies in the coming winter months.

#1 – Get an Inspection Before It Gets Cold
One of the most important things you can do is to contact your septic system service and request an annual inspection before the ground freezes and cold weather sets in for the season. Septic repairs in Massachusetts and Rhode Island will be much more expensive if your technician has to dig down under the snow and into solid ground. However, if you do have a septic emergency, All-Clear Septic & Wastewater works all year-round in any type of weather – rain, snow or freezing cold. You can count on All-Clear to keep your septic system working effectively and efficiently all year long.

#2 – Sign Up for Routine Pumping
As part of a good preventative maintenance program, routine pumping should also be scheduled to ensure that your septic system is properly maintained throughout the year. By scheduling your routine pumping just prior to the late fall and winter season, before it gets so cold that the ground freezes, you can ensure that your septic system will be running at its best throughout the holiday and winter seasons. Ask your All-Clear Septic & Wastewater representative about signing up for a preventative maintenance program that includes regular inspections, check-ups and routine pumping.

#3 – Reduce Your Water Usage
When you know you are expecting a lot of guests, make sure to reduce your water usage in advance of their arrival. Take showers the day before and bathe your children before they arrive. Taking shorter showers helps, but make sure to talk with your guests about limiting water use. Do laundry and dishes a few days ahead of time to reduce the amount of water usage that will occur when the guests are at your home. Better planning will reduce the amount of problems you will have with your septic system during the summer months.

#4 – Talk About Flushing
It may be difficult, but it is important to speak with your guests about the things that they flush down your toilets and drains. Routine pumping can make sure that your system is ready to handle accidents or a single-instance flushing, but the more you can educate your guests about the importance of using the trash can instead of the toilet for diapers, feminine hygiene products, cigarette butts and other potentially hazardous items. This will help prevent those items from getting into your tank and it will also prevent a blockage and potential backup from occurring.

#5 – Prepare Your Food Ahead of Time
If there is any prep work that you need to do for a big summertime meal or party, try to do it ahead of time as well. Cut veggies up that need to be washed ahead of time and store them in your refrigerator drawers in plastic zip bags. Wash and marinate the chicken and get it ready to go on the grill.   Not only will this space out your water usage before your guests get there, but it will also give you more time to spend with them when they arrive. Believe it or not, it’s the little things you do that add up to making a big difference in preventing costly  septic repairs in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

#6 – Don’t Use the Garbage Disposal
Even if your house came with a garbage disposal already installed, you should avoid using it at all costs. All that extra waste into your septic system can wreck havoc, especially during the busy days with your summer guests.  Consider blocking the switch for the garbage disposal so you – and especially your guests – won’t be tempted to use it. Keep a small composting can on your counter – they have some very nice-looking decorative options at home improvement stores. You can put all of your vegetable peelings, coffee grounds and other items that should not go down your drain into the bin. Your guests will see you doing this and will follow suit.

#7 – Consider Using Disposable Dishes and Silverware
If you are having a lot of guests over for a dinner party or even just for cocktails and appetizers, consider using disposable dishes and silverware to reduce the amount of rinsing and washing you’ll have to do later. It’s better to have an over-loaded trash can for one week of garbage collection than to pay a lot of money for septic repairs in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

#8 – Sign Up for a Preventative Maintenance Program
The best way to avoid costly septic repairs as a result of failure due to neglect or misuse is to sign up for a preventative maintenance program. Working with a licensed, certified professional septic system repair and inspection company can help you with routine pumping and help you to be prepared for an onslaught of guests during the hot summer months. Aside from being much more cost-effective, a preventative maintenance program gives you the peace of mind that your septic system is being properly taken care of and that a professional is on top of the situation.

Summer is already here.   Contact All-Clear Septic & Wastewater to sign up for a routine pumping and ask about their preventative maintenance program. The better prepared you are during the summer, the less money you’ll have to pay for septic repairs in Massachusetts during the winter months when the ground is frozen and your yard is piled high with snow. All-Clear is available for septic inspection, maintenance and repair during every season and can help you keep your septic system running effectively and efficiently all year long.

You can reach us at 508-763-4431 or visit www.allclearseptic.com for more information.

cleaning products

Cleaning Products Safe for Septic Systems

cleaning productsOne of the most important ingredients in your septic tank system is the microorganisms that live in the tank. These naturally-occurring microorganisms work to break down waste solids and process the sludge and wastewater in your system. Unfortunately, many of the chemicals and cleaning agents used in our everyday lives are harmful to the microorganisms. Homeowners that have a septic system, should refrain from using dangerous products that could potentially make their way into the septic tank and kill off these helpful microorganisms. Here are some tips that will help you to choose the best possible products for your home that are also safe for septic systems.

Chemical Cleaners 101
Part of septic tank care is knowing what you can put down the drain, and what you can’t. Septic systems in Massachusetts and Rhode Island are vulnerable to failure caused by user error. The best way to stay on top of your septic system and ensure that it is working effectively and efficiently to process and remove waste is to get a preventative maintenance program from your local septic system service provider. A professional, experience technician can help to keep your system running in tip top shape and give you advice on proper septic tank care.

To determine whether or not a cleaning product is dangerous to your septic system, read the label. Many cleaning products are required to use the words “dangerous” or “poisonous” on their labeling to advise consumers of the danger associated with using or misusing the product. The word “warning” on a label indicates a moderate level of hazard associated with the product and the word “caution” is dangerous to an even lesser degree.

Your best bet is to choose cleaning products that say “septic friendly,” but they can be hard to find. Choose products that contain active ingredients that are bio-based or natural, as opposed to chemical-based cleaners. For example, citrus, vegetable, pine oils and seed-based cleaners are a better choice than chemical options. Don’t trust advertising claims that call products “green” or even “environmentally certified,” as many of those claims are exaggerated and have nothing to do with being safe for septic use.

Disinfectants 101
Another product that people who have septic systems in Massachusetts and Rhode Island need to be aware of is disinfectant. While these products are extremely helpful in reducing exposure to germs, bacteria, viruses and other potentially hazardous and infectious microorganisms, they will also kill the helpful microorganisms inside your septic tank.

Limit the use of disinfectants to surfaces, such as counter tops, trash cans and tables, rather than in sinks or toilets, areas that could cause these products to make their way into your septic system. Natural fruit or vegetable based all-purpose cleaners should be used in these vulnerable areas.

Homemade Solutions
There are a lot of homemade solutions that can be used to clean your home instead of chemical-based products. In addition to being beneficial to septic tank care and being safe for septic systems, these homemade solutions go a long way toward reducing the amount of chemical exposure to your family. Even families without septic systems are turning to these tried and true homemade solutions and are moving away from chemical-based cleaners.

  • Vinegar is a very effective cleaner for most household surfaces. It can be used to remove stains from tile or porcelain, eliminate hard water stains from shower doors and is an excellent choice for cleaning a smelly dishwasher or washing machine. It is the best choice for cleaning a toilet bowl. Just pour two cups of vinegar into the bowl and allow it to sit overnight. Scrub with a brush and flush.
  • Lemon juice is a natural wonder, due to its acidic qualities. It is also a natural disinfectant and will leave your home smelling fresh and clean. It can be used to clean counter tops, toilet bowls, sinks and kitchen appliances. Add two cups of lemon juice to a bucket of hot water and scrub. It can also be used in the toilet similar to the vinegar solution for an alternative cleaning option.
  • Baking soda works to both clean and deodorize your home naturally. It is safe for septic systems and is one of the best cleaners to use for those who are concerned about septic tank care. Just sprinkle baking soda onto counter tops, in sinks, onto the toilet bowl or anywhere else that needs cleaning. Scrub with a sponge or brush and wipe or rinse away with water.

Preventative Maintenance Program
Once you learn how to read the labels and how to avoid using potentially damaging chemicals in your home, the best thing to do for septic systems in Massachusetts and Rhode Island is to join a preventative maintenance program with a trusted, professional septic system service company. All Clear Septic & Wastewater has been serving customers throughout the Southcoast region since 1995 and is licensed and insured to provide residential and commercial services in both Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

In addition to a comprehensive preventative maintenance program, All Clear Septic & Wastewater also offers Massachusetts Title V inspections, Rhode Island town inspections, confidential septic evaluations, trouble shooting services, remedial repairs and septic rejuvenation. Homeowners with septic systems in Massachusetts and Rhode Island can trust the knowledge and experience of the technicians at All Clear Septic & Wastewater. Call All Clear at 508-763-4431 for pricing, information or to set up an appointment for an inspection of your residential or commercial property.  Visit www.allclearseptic.com for more information.

septic system pumping and cleaning

How Often to Pump Out Your Septic System in Southcoast MA

Septic Pumping TruckMost homeowners don’t think about their septic systems each and every day. Plumbing and sewage are those types of things that tend to be out of sight and out of mind for most people. The only time we really think about them is when there’s a problem: a drain that won’t go down, a toilet that won’t flush, a septic system that suddenly smells.

When a septic system emergency occurs, most homeowners think that they need to simply get the tank pumped so they call out the local septic system pumping company. In reality, septic system maintenance should be something that happens on a regular basis, not just as a band-aid or a quick fix when something goes wrong. Another thing that many homeowners don’t realize is that there are some services that will be more than happy to charge a couple hundred dollars or so to pump your system – even if you don’t need it.

How Often Should Your Septic System Get Pumped?

Your system should be checked by a licensed septic and wastewater technician who can help you to overcome any small issues and concerns before they become big, costly problems. Local services, such as All-Clear Septic and Wastewater in the Southcoast Massachusetts area, offer year-round maintenance programs designed to save you money and help you protect your investment.

Depending on the size of your tank, the “health” of your system and the number of people living in your home, required septic tank pumping should be approximately every two to three years. This may surprise homeowners who are paying for pumping services on a more frequent basis or, for that matter, for homeowners who just ignore their system completely until they have a septic system emergency on their hands.

According to data from the EPA, your tank should be pumped when the bottom of the floating layer of scum gets to within six inches of the outlet or if the sunken sludge layer is within twelve inches of the outlet. Getting regular check-ups by an experienced, professional septic system repair company – not just a pumping service – can help you know when you need to get your tank pumped or if your system needs a different type of service. At bare minimum, annual inspections by a qualified septic system service provider will help you keep tabs on your system.

Making a Small Problem Worse

Some homeowners may tell you that you can use commercial products to increase the amount of time between required septic tank pumping. The products they are talking about contain chemicals that are designed to aid in the break down of the sludge within the tank. Your septic system already has tons of naturally-occurring microbes working within your drain field and in your tank to help break down solid wastes and purify wastewater.

Unfortunately, some of these products can throw off the delicate ecosystem that has developed within your tank and disrupt the ability of the enzymes to break waste down. The EPA even strongly recommends that homeowners do not substitute these chemical products for regular maintenance through a preventative maintenance program, inspections and pumping, when required.

Why is Pumping Necessary?

You might be thinking that if all those enzymes are doing such a great job, why should an efficiently-running septic system ever need to be pumped in the first place? While the natural process of the system is the best way to break down sewage waste from your home, eventually the tank will need to be pumped to remove excess solids. Again, depending on your usage and size of the system itself, this needs to happen approximately once every two to three years, as needed.

If your tank needs to be pumped and isn’t, the entire septic system can overflow. Septic overflow of wastewater can often lead back to the source, pumping sewage back up through toilets and drains throughout the home. A failed septic system can also lead to a flooding of your drain field, which doesn’t just mean a stinky. flooded yard, but could also mean wastewater seeping into nearby creeks and rivers, tainting the local groundwater.

Once this happens, the waste from your failed septic system can contaminate the local drinking water that is used by your family and your neighbors. Once this waste enters the local water supply, harmful bacteria and other diseases are likely to spread, such as E.Coli or even hepatitis. This is why it is so important to contract a professional service company for a preventative maintenance program and inspections, and why you will ultimately need to plan on having your septic system pumped every two to three years.

Sign Up for Septic System Preventative Maintenance Program Today

For homeowners living in the Southcoast region such as Barnstable, Brockton, Monponsett, Attleboro, Nonquitt, Rochester and even customers located in Rhode Island, All-Clear Septic and Wastewater is your best bet for professional septic system maintenance services and inspections. Certified to conduct Title V Inspections in Massachusetts and Rhode Island Town Inspections in the State of Rhode Island, All-Clear can help you stay on top of your septic system and ensure that it continues to work effectively and efficiently for years to come. Call All-Clear at 508-763-4431 or visit www.allclearseptic.com for more information about our Preventative Maintenance Program, septic repair, rejuvenation, inspections, assessments and other available services.