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
4/19/16 Septic Preservation Services has been in business for over 30 years servicing on site septic systems, advanced treatment units, and conducting septic inspections. Our professional staff is comprised of engineers, licensed title 5 septic inspectors, licensed septic repair men, and licensed septic installers. On April 19th our staff will be performing services on advanced treatment units and performing title 5 septic inspections in Marshfield, Rowley, Wellfleet, Eastham, Brewster, Sandwich, Dennis, and Yarmouth. If you have any questions please feel free to ask our professional staff or call our office at 877-378-4279 or visit www.septicpreservation.com
4/18/16 Septic Preservation Services will be conducting routine septic system maintenance on advanced treatment units and title 5 septic inspections in Easton, Norton, Attleboro, North Attleboro, and Rehoboth today. If you have any questions or would like a free site evaluation please speak to our professional service provider, title 5 inspector, or call our office at 877-378-4279 or visit www.septicpreservation.com.
In order to properly care for and maintain your residential septic system, it is in your best interest to take a little time to learn about the four primary components of your septic system. The reason why this is so important is that there are things you can do with regard to each of these components to keep your residential septic system running free of problems.
Other common names for a residential septic system include:
- individual sewage disposal system
- on-site system
- on-lot system
- on-site sewage disposal system
- on-site wastewater treatment system
- leach field
- soil absorption system (SAS)
Regardless of what you call it, the four primary components of a septic system are the septic tanks, the drainfield, the soil and a pipe that takes wastewater away from the home and into the system. Consider signing up for an annual preventative maintenance program with your septic system company for worry free services that will help you keep your system running in tip top shape.
Component #1 – The Septic Tank
The tank for your septic system in New Bedford is a watertight container that is made out of either concrete, polyethylene or fiberglass and is buried underground. The primary function of the septic tank is to hold onto the wastewater from your home for a period of time until the solid waste settles out to form a sludge-like substance, with any grease or oils floating to the top as scum.
The sludge and scum are prevented from leaving the tank and entering the drainfield or leachfield area by the design of the septic tank. Compartments and a special T-shape outlet in the tank are used for this purpose. In addition, screens are also recommended for use as a means of reducing the amount of solids getting to the drainfield.
Some newer septic tanks are built with risers that have lids at the surface of the ground. This new design method allows your septic tank to be easily located and inspected by your septic system maintenance company. It also allows for easy pumping of the tank when necessary.
To prevent sludge and scum from building up inside your septic tank, you should have your system pumped every one, three or five years depending on use or as-needed. Speak with your septic system maintenance service provider and inspector to find out how effectively and efficiently your residential system is working. This will help prevent problems or failures from happening and will keep your system running properly.
Component #2 – The Drainfield
After the wastewater leaves the septic tank, it discharges into the drainfield. Once it arrives in the drainfield which is also known as the leachfield, it is treated further by aerobic bacteria in the soil.
If the drainfield of your New Bedford septic system has become overloaded with too much liquid, it can flood and cause sewage to flow up to the surface. This can also result in backups throughout your home in sinks, toilets and other plumbing fixtures. Once this happens, all treatment of wastewater ceases until the system can be serviced or repaired.
Many states require homeowners to create a reserve drainfield on their property that will be suitable to create a new drainfield if the one they are currently using fails. The best way to take care of your drainfield is to make sure that all the components of a septic system are in proper working order and are properly maintained. Once again, an annually preventative maintenance program is recommended to prevent failure and costly repairs.
Component #3 -The Pipe
A pipe is the third component in your residential septic system. The pipe is the go-between from your septic tank to your drainfield. This pipe must also be inspected and checked on a regular basis to make sure it is in proper working order and does not have any cracks or clogs. Ask your septic system maintenance provider about proper maintenance for your entire septic system and all of its unique components.
Component #4 -The Soil
Believe it or not, the soil that is in your drainfield is an essential component of your septic system. Once the wastewater moves from the septic tank into the drainfield, it percolates into the soil. This is a natural method used for many years as a means of removing harmful bacteria, viruses and other pathogens.
Because it is so important to the effectiveness of your septic system, the type of soil used needs to be suitable for the job it needs to do in the drainfield. This should have been addressed when your septic system was designed, built and installed, however its a good idea to ask your maintenance service inspector to take a look at the soil in your drainfield to ensure that it is suitable for the job.
A Word About Alternative Systems
If you live in an area where the soil is not suitable for a traditional septic system, like Lakeville, Cape Cod, or Marshfield, you might need to look into getting an alternative system installed. An alternative system is also used in areas where there are too many traditional residential septic systems in use or if the system has been placed too close to surface water or groundwater.
Know Your System
In addition to knowing the four primary components of your septic system, it is important to know the location of your system on your property. You should have an “as-built” drawing for your home that accurately defines the property line, any buildings on your property and your septic tank, drainfield and reserve drainfield, if available.
If you do not have an “as-built” drawing for your home, you can get a copy from your local Board of Health. You will need this drawing in the event of a formal inspection, particularly if you plan on selling your home, but it is good to have on-hand anyway in the event of an emergency. You should be able to see lids and/or manhole covers for your septic system on the drawing for quick and safe access.
Tanks that are older can be difficult to locate on a property, even for seasoned septic system professionals. This is because there are usually no visible parts, unlike modern systems. If your tank doesn’t have risers, your inspector or maintenance serviceman can help you locate your septic tank underground.
Call Septic Preservation Services at 877-378-4279 for a septic maintenance program and to answer any of your septic questions or visit www.septicpreservation.com
4/11/16 Septic Preservation Services strives to meet our customers needs. Our well trained licensed title 5 inspectors and wastewater operators that service Advanced Treatment Units maintain their skills by participating in continuous training. Recently we had team members participate in training at the Millbury, MA wastewater treatment plant, URI on site septic continuing education program, CPR training in Acushnet, and Advanced Treatment Unit product training in Taunton, MA. These ongoing training programs ensure that our team members provide the best septic services and inspections possible. Call 877-378-4279 or visit www.septicpreservation.com
Septic Preservation Services is expanding our wastewater and title 5 inspection services. To accomplish this we are searching for a licensed title 5 inspector and or wastewater treatment plant operator to join our team of professional service providers. This individual will be serving the area including but not limited to Lakeville, Rochester, Norton, Mansfield, Attleboro, North Attleboro, Rehoboth, Swansea, and Seekonk. If you are interested in joining our team and assisting with title 5 septic inspections and servicing advanced treatment systems please call Septic Preservation Services at 877-378-4279 or visit www.septicpreservation.com
Most property owners that have a septic system understand the three hard and fast rules associated with taking care of a drainfield: don’t plant anything over it, don’t build anything over it and don’t park anything over it.
Beyond knowing what NOT to do, there isn’t a lot of information available on what you SHOULD do with it. This article will focus on how to properly landscape your drainfield while protecting it and keeping it healthy at the same time.
You will hear that you should never add any landscaping to your drainfield other than grass. It’s a good rule of thumb and a great way to prevent property owners from going too far and damaging their system, but the truth is: there are other options besides grass.
Grass is typically recommended and the best choice for a couple of reasons:
- no tilling required – just light raking, which should affect the drainfield
- most varieties of grass don’t need a lot of water, which protects the drainfield from excess water
- grass doesn’t require a lot of topsoil, which can affect the flow of air and water within the drainfield
- grass doesn’t have deep roots, protecting the pipes in the drainfield from root wrap and damage
However, there are other plants that have similar needs and attributes, making them a viable choice for planting in your drainfield area as long as there is still access to monitoring points or clean-outs. There are lots of plants that don’t have deep roots and won’t need a lot of topsoil. You can even find plants that don’t need to be watered, that will grow just find in your area without hosing or sprinkling to provide extra water. There are plenty of plants that don’t need to have the ground tilled under before planting into the ground.
Types of Plants to Consider
If your drainfield gets no sun throughout the day, you need to look for plants or seeds that are labeled as “no sun” or “deep shade” on the package. Ask the salesperson at your garden center to direct you to groundcover that doesn’t have a large root system. Plants or seeds that are labeled as partial shade require approximately 4 hours of sun each day, either in the morning or in the afternoon. Groundcover or short plants with small root systems will fit this bill. Again, your garden center salesperson can help you find native plants that will work best in this type of area.
Plants or seeds that are labeled as “full sun” or “all day sun” need a minimum of 8 hours of sun each day. Ornamental grasses and wildflowers work very well in this type of environment. Most drainfields are established in the middle of a yard without any trees or bushes within a 30 foot radius, which means that full sun will likely be what you are looking for in landscaping.
Regardless of where you live, the type of plants that you should consider planting in your drainfield consist of a mixture of native species. Mixing together annual wildflowers, perennial groundcover that features small root systems and a mixture of native grasses that won’t require a lot of water and care will be your best choice. To get started, you should begin with a perennial grass that will establish quickly in the warmer months, which will give you instant cover to prevent erosion. This will also give you a natural defense against native invasive plants (aka weeds) for anything else you decide to plant next.
Wildflower Growing Tips
- choose seed that is dated for the current year – don’t use old seed
- choose a mix that is well-suited for our region – stores sometimes carry varieties that aren’t appropriate for Southeastern Massachusetts
- select your seeds based upon the amount of sun the area will receive
- pick native seed mixes for best results
- watch out for weeds in your wildflower mix – look for mixes that are labeled as “no noxious weeds” or “no detectable weeds” to be sure
- if you already have grass in your drainfield, remove 6×6 inch squares of grass in small area and sow your wildflower seeds there during germination for faster growth
- sow seeds in late fall for Spring growth or May for late-summer season blooms
Before you begin any landscaping project in your drainfield, check with your trusted septic service technician at Septic Preservation Services. Grass is still the best option to use. If you have any questions or are unsure about what to plant in this area to protect your drainfield from excess water and erosion, just ask. Check into our Preventative Maintenance Program for even more protection for your septic system year-round. Call Septic Preservation Services at877-378-4279 for inspections, service, repairs and advice for customers throughout Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
Visit www.septicpreservation.com for more information.