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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.
clean

How to Clean Your Home with Products Safe for Septic Systems

One 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 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 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 is to join a preventative maintenance program with a trusted, professional septic system service company. Septic Preservation Services has been serving customers throughout the Southcoast region since 1995.

In addition to a comprehensive preventative maintenance program,  Septic Preservation Services also offers Massachusetts Title 5 inspections, Rhode Island town inspections, confidential septic evaluations, trouble shooting services, remedial repairs and septic design and installation.  Homeowners with septic systems in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Maine, and New Hampshire can trust the knowledge and experience of the technicians at Septic Preservation Services. Call SPS at 877-378-4279 or visit www.septicpreservation.com for pricing, information or to set up an appointment for an inspection of your residential or commercial property.

septic system

Tips for Septic System Maintenance

Tips  for Your Septic System

It’s important to keep your septic system running smoothly.  There are many things you can change in your household habits to prolong the life of your septic system and keep repairs at bay.

Conserve water whenever possible as a means of reducing the volume of wastewater that will need to be treated and disposed.  Take shorter showers and turn off the faucet while brushing your teeth and doing dishes.  Turn it back on to rinse.

Make repairs to any faucets or toilets that are leaking.  That is simply wasting water and putting extra water into the septic tank and leachfield.

Make sure that you are only discharging biodegradable wastes into your system.  Avoid using cleaners with bleach and harsh chemicals.  Choose natural ingredients or make your own homemade cleaners with household ingredients.

Use 1 ply toilet paper and avoid using too much.  Do not flush, diapers, feminine hygiene products, tissues, wipes or paper towels.

Restrict or avoid use of your garbage disposal.  They can wreak havoc with septic systems.

Avoid putting grease, oils, fats, paint or excess food down your drains. Throw them away or wash outside.

Take the time to ensure that any down spouts or other surface water is diverted away from your drainfield.

It’s a good idea to keep the cover to your septic tank accessible by installing covers and risers for easier inspections and pumping.

Get your septic tank pumped regularly and have it checked for any cracks or leaks.

You can also have an effluent filter installed to prevent debris from entering your drainfield.

You can also add a laundry filter to your washing machine.  Space out your loads of laundry and dishwashing loads to keep your leachfield from getting flooded.

Call  Septic Preservation Services for  a Voluntary Assessment of your septic system.  You can also inquire about becoming part of a preventative maintenance service plan to take all the guess work out of maintaining your septic system and can help you prevent problems before they even occur!

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

Septic Preservation Services

Full Service Septic Design and Installation

SOIL EVALUATIONS, PERC TESTING AND ENGINEERING SERVICES

Our trained experts at Septic Preservation services can assist with all your septic engineering needs! We can assist with services to improve or repair your property such as soil evaluations, septic design, land use planning, and

Septic Preservation Services preparing a new System for Installation!construction layouts for large or small commercial developments!  We can provide these services in Massachusetts, Maine, Rhode Island and Hawaii.
 Septic Preservation Services understands the details of septic requirements for Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Maine and Hawaii.  We will work with you and local code enforcement to ensure the design of your new or upgraded septic system will meet all required local laws and codes.

Septic Preservation Services offers a variety of septic system problem evaluation, installation, repair and maintenance services. Our trained staff of certified field technicians are available to provide a free, on-site septic system diagnosis and valuable advice based on thousands of successfully rehabilitated systems.

A little bit more about our company… Septic Preservation Services is a licensed, full-service provider who has been in business for over 25 years. We currently service several thousand treatment systems, working in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont, but our clientele also extends to New York, Florida and Hawaii. Specific to your area, we have been a service provider specializing in I/A Technologies and have customers who own Singulair, FAST, White Knight and JET systems.

Call today for a Free Estimate at 877-378-4279 or visit www.septicpreservation.com

septic system

Septic System 101

septic systemHow does your septic system actually work?  If you live in a rural area which does not have a centralized sewer system, you most likely have a private septic system.  Basically nature and technology combines to treat the wastewater from your household plumbing system including bathroom, kitchen, laundry and any other drains your home possesses.

A typical septic system includes a septic tank and a drainfield which can also be referred to as a leach field or soil absorption field.

The wastewater from your home is sent to the septic tank through one main drainage pipe.   The septic tank is a buried water-tight container usually made of concrete, fiberglass or polyethylene.   It holds the wastewater  and allows the solids to settle to the bottom, forming sludge, and the oils and grease float to the top and form scum. Natural organisms in the septic tank will digest the organic matter. The idea is not to let the sludge and scum leave the tank and enter the leachfield.  Compartments and a t-shaped outlet help make that happen.

The liquid wastewater, called effluent, leaves the septic tank and enters the leachfield.  The leachfield is a shallow, covered excavation created in unsaturated soil.  Engineering plans are required for the best placement of the septic tank and leachfield on the property.  The pretreated effluent is discharged through piping onto the porous surface of the leachfield and filtered through the soil.  The soil treats the wastewater  as it percolates through the soil and eventually joins the groundwater.  If the drainfield is overloaded with too much wastewater, it could flood, causing the sewage to flow to the surface or backup into the house.  The wastewater percolates into the soil, naturally removing coliform bacteria, viruses and nutrients.

Maintenance is a key component to keeping your septic system functioning properly.  Pumping your septic tank, generally every 3 years, depending on your household size and habits, is essential.

Call Septic Preservation Services to schedule a pumping or join their septic maintenance program.  They can answer all your questions.  You can reach them at 877-378-4279 or visit www.septicpreservation.com

 

 

septic system odors

Septic System Odors

 

septic system

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

winter

Protecting Your Septic System During the Winter Months

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

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

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

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

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

hair stylist making new haircut to brunette woman in salon

Tips for Commercial Septic System Property Owners

Commercial septic system

Most of the customer care information that you will find online with regard to septic systems is geared toward residential consumers.

Commercial septic system users have a completely unique set of guidelines, care tips and maintenance schedules that they need to adhere to in order to keep their systems in healthy running order. There are many commercial businesses that use septic systems including restaurants, schools, hospitals, beauty shops and laundry facilities.

Wastewater and Water Usage

One of the biggest concerns for both residential and commercial clients is water usage and the amount of wastewater it adds to the system. Commercial systems that discharge less than 10,000 gallons of sanitary wastewater each day fall under the Massachusetts Title 5 regulation and all of the associated requirements. This includes Title 5 Inspections and rules regarding cleaning, usage and pumping, as well as repairs or upgrades of failed systems.

However, commercial systems that discharge industrial wastewater or anything other than sanitary wastewater must first store the non-sanitary wastewater in an industrial wastewater holding tank. These businesses must apply for a permit to use the industrial wastewater holding tank. Any sanitary wastewater from these same commercial businesses can continue to be discharged into an on-site system. The point is just to separate the non-sanitary wastewater from the on-site system for proper processing.

Industry-Specific Issues

Certain types of commercial businesses must address specific issues that are related to their unique industry. For example, according to Massachusetts State Law, printers, photo processors and dry cleaners must be certified under the Environmental Results Program (ERP), which is a program for streamlined permitting and compliance, due to the types of chemicals and industrial waste produced by their facilities. Other types of businesses will have other types of requirements under the law.

Beauty Shops

Under Massachusetts law, these facilities are able to utilize a septic system for toilet waste and regular shampoo water as long as they are using less than the 10,000 gallons per day limit. Wastewater that comes from chemical treatments, such as hair color, perms, straighteners, etc., must be store in an industrial wastewater holding tank with a permit from MassDEP. To faciliate this, beauty shop owners can choose to direct all sinks to the holding tank or use a special sink that has been separately plumbed for use with chemical treatments to ensure that the wastewater goes to the holding tank.

Hospitals

As long as it remains under the 10,000 gallon per day threshold, hospitals can send all sanitary wastewater from sinks, showers, toilets and laundry to a septic system. In most cases, however, hospitals will use much more than 10,000 gallons per day. Lab waste is considered to be industrial wastewater and must be stored in a MassDEP permitted holding tank.

Laundry Facilities

Again, as long as sink and toilet waste are sanitary and under the 10,000 gallons per day maximum, this type of business can send their wastewater to an on-site septic system. However, any wastewater from the laundry itself must be stored in a permitted MassDEP industrial wastewater holding tank. Businesses that offer both laundry and drycleaning services must fall under the regulation of a Dry Cleaner and are required to be certified under the ERP.

Office Buildings

As long as no chemicals or otherwise considered industrial wastewater is being produced, most office buildings are eligible to use an on-site septic system for sanitary wastewater that results from toilet waste, sinks and showers as long as it is under the 10,000 gallons per day limit. In this case, no other permitting or certification would be required.

Restaurants

Sanitary wastewater under 10,000 gallons per day can be discharged into a septic system if it comes from sink or toilet waste. Due to the food preparation and cooking that goes on in this type of business, all restaurants are required by Massachusetts State Law to install grease traps that can handle the wastewater that comes from the food preparation stations in the kitchen. All restaurant grease traps should be inspected on a monthly basis and must be cleaned once the grease level hits 25% of capacity or every three months.

Grocery Stores

As long as they use less than 10,000 gallons of water per day, grocery stores can discharge the wastewater from sinks and toilets to a septic system. Food preparation areas must have grease traps installed and, as with restaurants, should be inspected monthly and cleaned every three months or when the grease level reaches 25% of capacity.

Call a Professional Service

If you run a commercial business in the State of Massachusetts, you should contact a professional septic system service to ensure that you are working within the parameters of local law. Septic Preservation Services has over 15 years of experience servicing, inspecting, repairing and cleaning septic systems for commercial and residential customers all over Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire and Maine.  Call us today at 877-378-4279 or visit www.septicpreservation.com  for a professional consultation and evaluation of your septic system and help you stay on top of it all with our Preventative Maintenance Program.

Septic Maintenance

Properly Maintaining Your Septic System

septic maintenanceA septic system that has been designed, built and maintained properly will effectively and efficiently reduce or eliminate most of the waste, health and environmental threats that can come as a result of household wastewater. However, despite a good design and quality workmanship, septic system care should include participation in a preventative maintenance program.

Regular maintenance is important to prevent septic system failure, which can be dangerous and costly to repair. Your septic system needs to be monitored by a professional inspector and service company to ensure that it is performing adequately for the number of persons living in your home and the amount of daily use.

Make sure to speak with a trusted septic service professional before making any changes to your system or usage patterns to ensure that you are working within the parameters of your system’s design and capabilities.
Proper septic system care will save you money in the long run.  A septic system that has failed will be very expensive to repair or replace and unfortunately, poor maintenance and care is usually the reason why most systems fail.

Signing up for a preventative maintenance program, such as the one offered by Septic Preservation Services is worth the cost associated with the service when you think about how much it would cost to replace the entire system after a failure. Your septic service professional will inspect and monitor your residential septic system to ensure that is in good working order.

Pumping should occur approximately every three to five years.   Your preventative maintenance program serviceman will let you know when your system needs to be pumped and will give you tips on how to properly maintain your septic system in the mean time.

Pumping will depend on the quality of your septic system, the number of people living in your home and the size of your tank and drainfield. A system that has failed can considerably lower your property value and could become a health and legal liability.
The health and welfare of you, your family, your guests, your neighbors and everyone in your community depends on your ability to maintain septic system care.  Because your septic system does the dirty job of processing and eliminating human waste from your home, improper maintenance can cause a lot of unhealthy problems.

A well-running septic system will work to prevent the spread of disease and infection. Regular septic system maintenance will ensure that the dangerous pathogens from your wastewater doesn’t reach the local groundwater supply. Other dangerous things that can be found in household wastewater include phosphorus, nitrogen and disease-causing bacteria.

Studies show that 25% of all homes in the United States use a septic system. Approximately 4 billion gallons of wastewater is dispersed below the surface each and every day. Septic systems that aren’t effectively treating the sewage in the drainfield can become a health hazard and a threat to drinking water, contaminating wells and surface waters. This can pose a threat of infection and disease not just to humans, but also to animals living in the area.

Surface waters, such as rivers, lakes and ponds, that become contaminated by improperly treated sewage can cause a variety of infectious diseases. Eye and ear infections are common, as are acute gastrointestinal illnesses. Diseases like hepatitis can also be spread throughout communities and to recreational water users and swimmers in this manner.
Now that we know why you should maintain your septic system, it’s time to talk about how to get the job done. We have already talked about getting in touch with your septic service provider to find out about a preventative maintenance program. Remember, Septic Preservation Services services customers all throughout  Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, and Maine.  Their highly trained and experienced staff can help you with septic system care  all over the South Coast region.

You should also take the time to learn all you can about proper use of your septic system, how much water you should be using, ways to reduce the amount of water you put into your septic tank each day, things you should never flush down the toilet and other helpful tips. Your septic system service provider can help get you started with a clean and functional system and can help you develop good habits that will keep your system running effectively and efficiently.

Please call Septic Preservation Services at 877-378-4279 with all your septic questions and to set up a maintenance program.  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