5/5/16 Septic Preservation Services is conducting septic services and title 5 inspections in the following areas this week; Halifax, Hingham, Westford, Acton, Shirley, Rochester, Norton, and Cape Cod. If you would like a free site visit and consultation please speak to one of our title 5 inspectors or call our office. Please call 877-378-4279 or visit www.septicpreservation.com
What is most often to blame for Septic System Failure?
Why do septic systems fail? Failure is when the system is not operating as it’s designed to; sewage is backing up or surfacing, or effluent is going away, but not being treated properly.
There is usually always more than one thing wrong with the system. Here are some reasons.
The homeowner is routinely using more water than the system can handle. Systems are designed to handle a finite amount of water, and it is usually expressed in terms of an average per person or a value based on the number of bedrooms in the house. The overuse may just be that the people living in the house use more water than the average 60-70 gallons per person per day. But overuse can also result from leaky and unmaintained fixtures or from other extraneous water sources such as surface runoff or clean water drainlines around foundations that are being routed through the system. The homeowner, after the fact, may increase the load by enlarging the house to accommodate more people or add water-using devices the system was not designed to handle, such as garbage disposals and large showers or tubs.
The system has not been properly maintained. The septic tank should be regularly checked and the solids and scum removed before they accumulate to levels that can be detrimental to the soil treatment part of the system. Advanced technologies, such as ATUs and media filters, require increased levels of care. These are often covered in maintenance contracts written upon completion of the system, but not renewed because there have not been problems or when new owners move in. Systems with advanced technologies that are not cared for can represent more of a health and environmental risk than a failed conventional septic drainfield system.
All Clear Septic and Wastewater Services has trained personnel in every aspect of the Septic process. We have a maintenance program to keep your septic system operating smoothly to help avoid costly repairs or septic failure. Call 877-378-4279 for all your questions or visit www.septicpreservation.com
5/4/16 Septic Preservation Services is looking for a new team member to join our team of septic repair specialists, title 5 inspectors, and waste treatment plant operators. This individual will be part of a comprehensive team of septic inspectors, engineers, septic installers, septic repair specialists, microbiologists, and title 5 septic inspectors. Ideally this individual will live in or around the area of Taunton, Raynham, Mansfield, Norton, Lakeville, Freetown, or Dighton. The service area will include all of Massachusetts and Rhode Island with occasional trips to Maine and New Hampshire. However most work will be performed in the region including Wellfleet, Dennis, Marion, Plymouth, Halifax, Pembroke, West Bridgewater, Norton, Franklin, Attleboro, Seekonk, Swansea, Fall River, Dartmouth, and Acushnet.
Call 877-378-4279 or visit www.septicpreservation.com
5/3/16 Septic Preservation Services is performing routine services and septic inspections in Farmington, ME. Freeport, ME. Topsham, ME. Wales, ME. Wells, ME and West Paris, ME. If you see our septic inspectors or service technicians please feel free to ask them any questions you may have concerning your septic system, leachfield, or septic inspection. Call 877-378-4279 or visit www.septicpreservation.com
Septic Preservation Services is working with several condominium complexes and homeowner associations to repair large septic systems. In most cases large shared septic systems can be saved with a process called biological remediation. The process is fully approved and title 5 compliant. Visit our website or call our office for a free site evaluation and details at 877-378-4279 or visit www.septicpreservation.com
Most fabric softeners can have a negative effect on a septic system, but there are better alternatives.
Fabric softeners coat our clothes with a subtle layer of slimy chemicals, which is what makes them feel a little softer. Fabric softeners coat the surface of a fabric with chemical compounds that are electrically charged, causing threads to “stand up” from the surface and thereby causing the fabric to feel softer. The electrically conductive fabric softener chemicals may also prevent buildup of static charge that can occur in clothes dryers. The most common softening chemicals are called “quats” (short for quaternary ammonium compounds). Ammonia compounds contain NH4. N is for Nitrogen, which is a fertilizer and is the leading cause of algae blooms in salt water marshes and rivers. Nitrogen is also attributed to many contaminated wells and is a contributing factor in many illnesses.
In addition to fabric softening chemicals, fabric softeners may include acids or bases, petroleum products, silicone-based anti-foaming agents, emulsion stabilizers, fragrances and colors. The fragrances in most fabric softeners are a mixture of hundreds of untested chemicals, including toxic ingredients and fragrances which are among the world’s top five allergens.
Hazards for the septic system
- Most fabric softeners contain quats, which have antibacterial qualities. While it might sound useful to keep clothes germ-free, freshly washed clothes are already clean, and overuse of quats may lead to development of antibiotic-resistant superbugs. Quats, in sufficient levels, can kill off beneficial bacteria in the septic tank, advanced treatment unit and soil dispersal system.
- Emulsion stabilizers can disrupt the natural settling processes in septic systems.
- Petroleum products can potentially be toxic to the positive natural microbes in septic systems.
A safer alternative for softer clothes, is using half a cup of white vinegar (make sure it’s labeled grain versus petroleum-derived) per load during the rinse cycle as a natural fabric softener. It is also a great natural sanitizer. Others recipes include combining vinegar with baking soda and essential oil.
Septic Preservation Services will be posting on line educational films. Our goal is to continuously improve and toward that end we have produced a number of educational videos to assist homeowners as well as employees. We have been blessed with being able to take advantage of local inspections and projects in Rochester, Lakeville, Marion, and Raynham to film recent segments. Please view our videos on title 5 inspections, the engineering of new septic systems, how to clean an effluent filter, as well as many other videos. Call 877-378-4279 for more information or visit www.septicpreservation.com to view the latest videos.
4/22/16 Septic Preservation Services will be servicing systems in the following towns in Maine this week. Please feel free to call our office or speak to one of our trained septic inspectors or service technicians. Towns include Acton, Bar Mills, Buxton, West Paris, Gorham, Hebron, Kittery, and Wells. If you have any questions call 877-378-4279 or visit www.septicpreservation.com
4/21/16 Septic Preservation Services will be servicing on site advanced treatment systems including Fast, Advantex, Jet, and Singulair systems in Rochester, Acushnet, Freetown, and Lakeville. We will also be conducting title 5 septic inspections throughout the day.
Call 877-378-4279 for more information or visit www.septicpreservation.com
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.
This article will focus on the care and maintenance of septic systems for commercial business owners.
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. The most common business using this system would be a hair salon.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. All-Clear Septic & Wastewater has over 15 years of experience servicing, inspecting, repairing and cleaning septic systems for commercial and residential customers all over Southeastern Massachusetts. Call us today at 877-378-4279 for a professional consultation and evaluation of your septic system and help you stay on top of it all with our Preventative Maintenance Program or visit www.septicpreservation.com