Posts

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.

flushable wipes

Flushable Wipes

flushable wipesFlushable Wipes!  Wipes are everywhere and are the ultimate convenience.  There are baby wipes for changing diapers and general cleanups, kitchen wipes,  make-up wipes, wipes with bleach, floor wipes, pet wipes, bathroom wipes and even flushable wipes.  They make our life easier especially on the go, but should we be flushing any of these down the toilet, even the ones that claim to be flushable?

Studies have been done to test flushable wipes to see how quickly they biodegrade, and while they may break down faster than non flushable wipes, they do not break down as quickly as they should.  Wipes have the potential to plug the sewer line between the house and tank and build up at the inlet of the septic tank.

Wipes can build up in the septic tank and reduce the ability of the solids to breakdown and allow just liquid to discharge to leach field.  This can cause failure of the septic system.  The antibacterial agents on the wipes can also harm the helpful bacteria in your septic tank.

The best advice is to throw all the wipes, even the flushable ones in the garbage.   The only thing that should be put in your toilet is toilet paper.  One-ply is the best and trying to get everyone in the family to conserve the amount of toilet paper being used will keep your septic system running smoothly.

Septic Preservation Services has a great maintenance program and can answer all your septic questions. Call them at 877-378-4279 or visit www.septicpreservation.com

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

Septic Preservation Services

Risers and Your Septic System

What are risers, and why should I have them on my septic system?

Enclosed septic system with risers used by Septic Preservation Services

Enclosed septic system used by Septic Preservation Services

Risers on a septic system are the access points through which a person servicing your septic system can see inside the tank.  In the image below you see the three tubes rising from the top of the system.  Those are the risers.  The top is generally put at ground level for easiest access.  Some systems do not have risers built into them.  When there are no risers present, anyone trying service the system will have to resort to digging holes in the yard to find the access points to the tank. In some cases it is necessary to bring in excavation equipment if the ground proves too difficult to dig by hand.

If you are given the option to add risers to your system, it would be beneficial to anyone servicing the system in the future if you made sure they are put into place before the system is covered over.  Your servicemen will thank you, especially if you call Septic Preservation Services to inspect or service your tank!

If you need an inspection, have questions or need septic services, please call Septic Preservation Services at 877-378-4279 or visit www.septic preservation.com

winter

Winter and Your Septic System

winterWinter is here to stay.  Winter can cause some strain on your septic system.  With winter, comes snow.  Snow is actually a good insulator to keep  your system from freezing.  Make sure you don’t drive over your septic system.  This is especially true in winter.  Driving over your septic system can compact the snow and drive it deeper into the ground.

Normal use keeps your septic system from freezing.  Beware if you own a vacation or summer house.  With sporadic use or no use throughout the winter, there is a possibility of freezing.  Sporadic use can help keep this from happening.

Regular use and common sense can keep your septic system running smoothly throughout the winter.  Check for leaks in the plumbing so unnecessary water is not saturating the system.  Be careful of food products going down the drain as well as bleach and toxic cleaners.  Use single ply toilet paper and try not to overload the paper products in  the toilets.

When spring thaw hits. try to limit your water usage not to overload the system.  Space out your loads of wash and dishwasher cycles.  Cut back on showers and long, hot tubs. This will help the melting snow not overload your system.

Septic Preservation Services has a great maintenance program to keep your septic system running smoothly.  Call them with all your septic questions.  They can find a solution to any of your problems and answer all your questions.

You can reach them at 877-378-4279 or visit www.septicpreservation.com

Happy New Year

After New Year Septic Maintenance

Happy New YearThe New Year is here and the holidays are over.  How did your septic system survive?  Holidays can put a strain on your septic system with extra guests and water usage.  Things may accidentally get flushed which shouldn’t, or food products are put down the sink such as fats and grease.  You may need to catch up on laundry or cleaning.  Now may be a good time to pump out your system if it’s been awhile since you last had it pumped.  Three to five years is a general rule of thumb but usage may dictate whether you pump more frequently.

The New Year is also a good time to think about a maintenance program.  Septic Preservation Services offers a great maintenance program.  They can answer all your questions and make sure your septic system is running properly for years to come.  Regular maintenance on your septic system can extend the life of the system and avoid costly repairs.

Call Septic Preservation Services at 877-378-4279 and find out how you can benefit from their maintenance program and their team of experts or visit www.septicpreservation.com for more information.

 

septic systems- preventative maintenance

Don’t Leave Your Septic System to Chance

collage-preventive-maintenanceMany homeowners may feel that septic systems basically take care of themselves if left alone.   You may be one of the lucky few that breezes through home ownership with a problem free septic system but this is generally not the “norm”.

Septic Systems need basic maintenance to keep them working properly as well as good household habits.

For the septic tank, maintenance means the periodic removal of accumulated sludge and scum, cleaning the effluent screen and inspecting the system to see that the baffles are sound and in place.  Septic systems need to be pumped every 3-5 years depending on the use.

For systems that utilize pumps, the homeowner should be reminded that pumps are mechanical, so the pump tank and pump should be regularly inspected to ensure solids are not entering the tank. Make sure the pump, electrical connections and floats are in good working order.  Pump tank should be pumped out and cleaned every 5 years to keep solids out of mechanical pump. It will last longer.

Distribution Box should be checked and pumped out when the septic tank is pumped.  This distribution box gives a good indication of the health of the leach field.  Leach fields are also part of the septic system and should be monitored.  They can become overly saturated and fail also.

Household use can have a big impact on your system.  Garbage disposals are not a good fit with a septic system and are better off being removed or used sparingly.  Water usage is important.  Spacing out washings, and dishwasher loads, fixing leaky faucets, and timed showers can all help prevent saturation in your leach field.

Being careful what goes down your drains and toilet and into the septic system can also preserve the life of your system.  Keep wipes, feminine products, and thick toilet paper out of your toilets and fats, grease, harsh chemical cleaners and bleach out of your drains and your septic system will thank you.

Septic Preservation Services has a great maintenance program to keep your septic system running smoothly.  They are the experts and can answer all your questions on household use and extending the life of your system.  Give them a call 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