drain field

How to Extend the Life of Your Septic Drain Field

drain fieldOne of the most important components of a septic system is the drain field. Also known as a “leach” field, sometimes just looking at the drain field can help you to determine the health of the septic system as a whole. It is important to take care of your drain field and ensure that it is properly protected from things that can hinder its effectiveness, as it is a vital part of the septic process.

What a Drain Field is and How It Works
The drain field is the part of your septic system where the waste water emerges after passing through your septic tank for the final phase in the cleansing and filtration process. Contaminants and other impurities are removed from the waste water by the drain field, making it safe to enter the local ground water.

The septic drain field removes any organic materials that might yet remain after the waste water has made its way through the septic tank. It utilizes a very basic, yet highly efficient, microbial ecosystem for this part of the process. A drain field consists of a specific layout of trenches that contain a series of perforated pipes that come from the septic tank. The waste water flows over gravel or other porous material, which is covered by a layer of soil to protect it from animals and surface runoff water.

Signs That Your Septic System Needs Help
While there are some fairly obvious signs that a septic system is in need of repair or has failed, such as sewage coming up inside the house through all the drains, showers and toilets, your drain field is also a sort of thermostat that lets you know how effective your septic system is functioning.

Take a look at your septic drain field:

  • If there are boggy or wet areas that just don’t seem to dry up and go away after runoff water from seasonal rain storms is gone, you might have a failed septic system.
  • If there are areas of the grass that is planted on top of your drain field that are particularly green or lush compared to the rest of the surrounding property, you might have a leak or back-up occurring in your drain field.
  • If you notice an unusual smell coming from your drain field, it’s time to call a septic system specialist.
  • If you see bits of organic material or other waste that would typically go down your home’s drains coming up through the drain field, chances are you are experiencing a clog or even a failed septic system.

These are just some of the signs and symptoms that you can look for when checking out your drain field. While some issues might just be indicative that you need to stay on top of drain field maintenance, most will have something directly to do with the health and effectiveness of your overall septic system. It pays to check out your drain field on a regular basis.

Drain Field Maintenance
There are a lot of things that can cause a septic system to malfunction or fail. Most septic system experts and service technicians will tell you that even if your home has been designed for use with a garbage disposal, that you should refrain from using one with a septic system. The reason is simple: just by using a garbage disposal, as opposed to composting organic waste from the kitchen or disposing of it in a trash can, a typical household will increase the amount of sludge and solids in their septic tank by over 50 percent.

Because seemingly small changes in use and habit can have such an impact on the overall health of your septic system, it is important to hire a professional septic service to provide regular check-ups and drain field maintenance. If maintained correctly, the average drain field should last somewhere between 25-30 years and still be functioning efficiently.

In addition to taking care of the landscape that is above your drain field, keeping trees and bushes away from the area to prevent the spreading of roots, there are things you can do inside your home that contribute to your septic drain field’s overall health. Some of these things are simple and even common sense for the most part; while others might be “news” to homeowners who are dealing with a septic system for the first time.

Most of the behaviors and habits that homeowners need to remember with regard to taking care of their septic system and drain field maintenance have more to do with water use and disposal habits than anything else. Be aware of the amount of water that you are using in your home. Avoid doing activities that use a lot of water all at the same time, such as washing dishes and doing several loads of laundry. In fact, it is better to do a load of laundry a day than it is to save it all up for the weekend.

Get Professional Drain Field Maintenance Service
For homeowners living in the Southeastern Massachusetts, Cape Cod or Rhode Island areas, as well as Maine and New Hampshire, contact Septic Preservation Services.   With over 15 years of direct experience working with commercial and residential customers in the Southcoast region, SPS is the clear choice for preventative maintenance, septic system service, drain field maintenance and septic repairs.

Septic Preservation Services is licensed and certified to provide Title 5 Inspections in Massachusetts and required Rhode Island Town Inspections.  In addition,  SPS can do a private assessment of your septic system to help you know the age, effectiveness and efficiency of your current equipment to help determine whether its time to upgrade or set up a new septic drain field. Call Septic Preservation today at 877-378-4279 or visit www.septicpreservation.com to get started!

septic inspections and assessments

SEPTIC SYSTEMS INSPECTIONS & ASSESSMENTS

SEPTIC SYSTEMS INSPECTIONS & ASSESSMENTS

Proper septic system inspection is the best way to prevent property owners from having to face unexpected and costly repairs. An inspector can determine whether you are disposing of sewage and gray wastewater in a safe and legal manner.

MASSACHUSETTS TITLE 5 INSPECTION

Since 1995, the State of Massachusetts has required residential and commercial property owners to pass a Title 5 Inspection of their on-site sewage treatment systems before they can sell the property. Specific guidelines were set to prevent the contamination of local drinking water supplies and groundwater as a result of outdated or ineffective septic systems or cesspools. Septic Preservation offers Massachusetts Title 5 Inspections, using state-of-the-art equipment and techniques, giving you a thorough inspection at a price you can afford.

RHODE ISLAND TOWN INSPECTIONS

In addition to the Massachusetts Title 5 Inspection, Septic Preservation is also licensed to perform Rhode Island Town Inspections. These inspections are required by many towns throughout Rhode Island, including Charlestown, Jamestown, North Kingstown and South Kingstown. Because it is a part of the local town ordinance, residential and commercial property owners living in these areas are required to submit to these regular inspections of their septic systems. SPS uses state-of-the-art tools to provide these services to our customers at an affordable rate.

CONFIDENTIAL VOLUNTARY ASSESSMENTS

Many property owners are unaware that they have the ability to hire a licensed inspector, such as SPS, to perform Confidential Voluntary Assessments of their septic systems. These inspections are completed just as they would be according to the Title 5 Inspections required by the State of Massachusetts, but the findings are NOT reported to any other person, municipality or office outside of the homeowner.

Once the inspection is complete, the homeowner will receive a thorough report from Septic Preservation along with an assessment of the findings and some recommendations on how to properly maintain or repair their septic system. The recommendations provided by SPS are designed to increase longevity and prevent future issues, such as property damage, high cost repairs or system replacement.

Septic Preservation Services : A LEADER IN SEPTIC SYSTEM INSPECTION

Our licensed and certified inspectors and technicians at Septic Preservation Services can help you with all of your Title 5 Inspection and Rhode Island Town Inspections needs. Give us a call at 877-34-78-4279 for pricing, information or to set up an appointment for an inspection of your residential or commercial property.

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

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.

Camouflaging Septic Tank Risers

risersHow do you keep your septic tank risers out of sight?

If you have had your septic system outfitted with the proper septic tank risers, you most likely have a cover sitting in the middle of your garden, lawn or somewhere unsightly. Keeping these covers easily accessible is important, but that doesn’t mean you have to put a sign on them! Hiding these risers is very simple and easy, and can be done without getting in the way of someone servicing your system.

The simplest way is to just put a light fake stone or decorative item on the cover. The key here is to keep it light, you don’t want to damage your system and the service company can pump the system as needed. A lighthouse, light birdbath or other decorative lawn ornament is an easy way to keep that riser out of sight!

Another way is to plant small plants around it. This will effectively camouflage the cover from most people. Keep in mind that should anyone need to access the tank, the plants may get in the way so be sure to leave space somewhere so the septic crew can get to the tank unhindered.

Rock features or stepping stones are another great way to keep the cover out of sight. Placing these around the cover with some light decorative item over the cover itself is a great way to hide the riser. It also may be a way to ad a nice decorative piece to your lawn!

risers

 

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

risers

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 tank

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