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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.

septic system cleaning and pumping

Septic Cleaning and Pumping

SEPTIC CLEANING & PUMPING

Part of any good Preventative Maintenance Program is to ensure that your septic system is properly cleaned and is pumped on a regular basis. It is important to know the facts about septic cleaning and pumping to avoid making costly mistakes.

SEPTIC CLEANING

Getting your tanks cleaned on a regular basis will help to improve the efficiency of your septic system and keep it running smooth. It is important to select your service provider carefully to ensure that you get quality work.  Be sure that when comparing prices that you compare apples to apples.  Some differences that may effect cost are the size of the tank, how deep the covers are buried, and if there is a filter to clean.

Septic Preservation takes pride in the work that we do, utilizing specialized equipment to locate specific areas of your system, such as a sewer camera that is used to investigate the inside of your sewer lines, and jetting equipment to clean the pipes within the leach field.

SEPTIC PUMPING

pumpingSome pumping services will tell you that you need to get your septic system pumped every 6 months or on an annual basis. The truth is that a properly maintained septic system should only be pumped based on the accumulation of sludge and scum, which is typically every 2-5 years.  Pumping too frequently is costly and is usually not necessary.

If you would like a system evaluation and to know how often you should be pumping, give Septic Preservation a call for an evaluation and to set up quick and easy pumping arrangements.

OUR GOAL: CLEANER AND MORE EFFICIENT SEPTIC SYSTEMS

Septic Preservation can get you started on the road to a healthier septic system for your residential or commercial property through our Preventative Maintenance Program. We are so confident in the services offered through this program that we offer a unique “Pass or It’s FREE Guarantee” on Title 5 Inspections to all of our customers that are in the Preventative Maintenance Program and have followed up with all of our recommendations. We also provide a 50% discount off of all Title 5 Inspections for our up-to-date Preventative Maintenance Program customers. Call us today at 877-378-4279 to get more information about our programs and services.

Visit www.septicpreservation.com for everything you need to know about your septic system.

rain

Rainy Weather and Your Septic System

rainRain, Rain Go Away!

Heavy rains can cause septic issues.   Significant rainfall can quickly flood the ground around the leach field or drainfield leaving it saturated and making it impossible for water to flow out of your septic system. When the water has nowhere to go, it can eventually travels backward through the plumbing system and back into drains and toilets and into your home.   When the  drainfield becomes flooded, it  can also lead to untreated sewage flowing into the groundwater and local streams.   This can lead to environmental contamination.

There are things you can do to help minimize any damage to the way your septic system functions and keep everything functioning smoothly.

Before it starts to rain:

  • Prevention is always the best bet.  Make sure your septic system is properly maintained, and is regularly pumped.  Septic problems can be worse if your tank needs to be pumped or the system has not been properly maintained.
  • Keeping water away from the home and the drain field is key.   Rain gutters are important. Make sure all gutters drain away from the drainfield area so as not to saturate the area, and make sure you clean the gutters in the fall and spring to help the water drain properly.
  • Maintenance of your drain field is essential.  Do not drive any heavy equipment or other vehicles that could compact the soil over the drainfield. This can compromise the soil absorption field’s ability to treat wastewater. Also, plant only grass above the drainfield or groundcover with shallow roots.  Do not plant any trees or vegetation with deep roots which could harm the leach field.

During the rainstorm:

  • If  you begin to notice that your drainfield is flooded, be alert to drains that are not draining quickly, toilets that flush slower or make strange sounds, or water that is backing up into your basement.   To take pressure off your system and allow it to recoup, use it less.  If possible, reduce or eliminate water going down the drains until the drainfield dries out.  Hold off on laundry until the water recedes.  Try to cut back on showers, and dishwashing and flush the toilet only when necessary.  It should only be a day or two until the rain stops and the sun dries up some of the excess water.

After the Storm

  • If the water does not recede and you suspect that your septic system is still not working properly, it’s time to call in a professional.  Septic Preservation is able to quickly come out and check your system and offer a solution.  It may include pumping the system or repairs may be needed.   Do not wait to have your system checked.  This could greatly increase your chances of major septic repairs or septic system failure.
  • Septic Preservation also has a great septic maintenance program.  Take the worry out of your septic system and call Septic Preservation at 877-378-4279 and let them put you on their maintenance program.  This can help you extend the life of your system.  Visit www.septicpreservation.com for more information.
wet weather

Keep a Watch on Septic During Wet Weather

wt weatherWhile you can’t control the weather, it’s always a good idea to keep an eye on your septic system during extremely rainy weather.  Drainfields are designed to handle your wastewater but during extremely wet weather, excess water can puddle over the the septic tank and keep water from flowing out into the soil.  A boggy drainfield is natural after heavy rains, but keep an eye for water receding and drying out after the rain is over.  Consistent bogginess and odor may mean septic problems. This is especially true for older systems.

What can you do?  Divert the rainwater away from your septic tank and drainfield through your gutters and drainspouts.   Checking your home for leaky toilets and faucets can keep less water out of your septic system.  Also reducing your water usage inside the home can help.  Shorten your showers and space out your laundry loads or try to put off doing laundry during the extremely wet weather.

Septic maintenance can also help.  Regularly maintaining your septic system and pumping on your tank on a regular basis can be the key to keeping your system healthy and running properly through any weather.  Septic Preservation Services offers a great maintenance program.  Call them with any questions or to get on a maintenance schedule 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.

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