Septic System Dangers: Grease and Fat

Two of the worst things that you could put down your drains and into your septic system are grease and fat. A residential septic system is designed to handle typical sewage and household waste. The amount of that waste that can be handled effectively and efficiently depends upon the number of people living in your home, the amount of water usage and, of course, the items and substances that get put down the drains.

Grease and fat are extremely dangerous substances to a residential septic system. Homeowners should monitor the amount of grease that builds up within the system through a comprehensive preventative maintenance program. However, good practices and habits will go a long way toward reducing the amount of grease and fat that enters your septic system in the first place.

How Grease and Fat Build Up in Your Septic System
There are three separate layers within a residential septic system. The bottom layer is known as the “sludge,” and is made up of sewage waste that hasn’t been broken down in the system yet. The middle layer is made up of a combination of liquids, which includes broken down solids that have moved up from the sludge layer and wastewater.

The top layer is know as the “scum” layer. This is where things like grease and fat end up when they enter your residential septic system. All solids and materials that are lighter in weight than water end up here. If this layer becomes too thick, the wastewater won’t be able to drain from the septic tank and move on to the leach field for the final stage in processing.

Grease and fat can become very thick over time, which can cause this scum layer to push down into the liquid layer and reach the exit pipes of the septic system. Once grease and fat make their way through these pipes, they will enter the leach field, plugging up the drain holes and pipes to the leach field along the way.

How to Remove Grease from a Septic System
If grease and fat have accumulated within your residential septic system, you need to have it removed. Ideally, it should be removed before it gets too thick and reaches the leach field. This can be accomplished by regular pumping and disposal. Hiring a professional septic system service company to take care of this for you is highly recommended.

If you do not remove the grease from your residential septic system and the grease and fat reach the leach field, you may need to have the pipes dug up and replaced. Do not ever use chemical additives in your septic system that promise to break down or eliminate grease. Most of these products will kill off the helpful bacteria that naturally occurs in the system to breakdown sewage and other solids.

Preventing grease and fat from entering your system in the first place is your best bet for keeping your residential septic system running clean and clear. Dump all cooking oil and grease from your kitchen into empty food cans and dispose of it with your regular household trash. Hiring a professional service provider and signing up for a preventative maintenace program, will also go a long way toward preventing grease and fat build up from ever happening in the first place.

The Destructive Path of Grease and Fat
Residential septic systems are designed to handle a normal amount of grease and fat within the tank. However, due to natural occurrences, such as the average temperature of septic tanks and the design of the tank itself, can prevent grease and fat from naturally breaking down within the system. In addition to problems caused by grease and fat reaching the leach field, here are some other issues and damage that can occur:

  • Clogged Pipes – Similar to healthcare concerns regarding grease and fat within the human body, grease can harden inside of your home’s pipes, creating a clog before it even reaches the septic system. Very much like a clogged artery in your heart, the grease makes it harder for the water to exit the pipes from the home and into the residential septic system. While clogging in this area won’t damage the septic tank at this point, it will cause the pipes to backup frequently. If you use a lot of grease and oil in your home, consider having a grease trap installed to catch some of the grease before it enters your pipes or septic system.
  • Improper Breakdown – The primary function of the septic system is to breakdown solids and eliminate them from the tank out into the leach field. A small amount of grease, oil or fat won’t harm the natural breakdown process within the residential septic system, however too much can cause a lot of problems. Other solids within the tank, such as common household waste and toilet paper, can actually bond with the grease and fat, making it harder to breakdown and biodegrade. A hard shell of grease can form and block wastewater and other materials within the tank from being able to properly exit the system.

Take Care of Your Residential Septic System
The best way to prevent issues with grease and fat, as well as other issues that can lead to septic system failure, is to have your system regularly checked. A preventative maintenance program through a reputable septic system repair and inspection service is key to a properly running system. All-Clear Septic & Wastewater serves customers throughout Southeastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island, providing Massachusetts Title V inspections, Rhode Island Town inspections, preventative maintenance program services, repairs, evaluations and more. Contact All-Clear today for information on how to give your residential septic system all the care and maintenance required to keep it running efficiently for many years to come.

The More You Know: The Ins and Outs of Septic System Care

Most people don’t want to know a lot about septic systems – what they are, what they do or how they work. Once its put in a sink, tub or toilet, most people generally prefer not to think about it at all. Unfortunately, if you have a residential or commercial septic system, the more you know about the ins and outs of septic system care, the better. In this case, knowledge really is empowering and it can help you save thousands of dollars in emergency repairs or replacements.

The 3 Layers
There are three layers within your septic tank that you need to know about to better understand how it all works. The first layer is known as the “scum” layer. This is the waste within your septic system that has a lighter density than water. The scum layer that forms is made primarily of waste that consists of oil and grease. Unfortunately, this type of waste cannot and will not decompose within the system. It must be emptied and removed by a professional septic service company.

The second layer is made up of wastewater. You will hear a lot about wastewater as you learn more about your septic system and how it works. The wastewater comes from the water in your home that goes down the drain when you take a shower, wash dishes, clean clothes or flush the toilet. The wastewater exits through the drainfield, minus any solid waste, and then soaks back into the flow of groundwater.

The third layer is known as the “sludge” layer. The sludge sinks to the bottom of the septic tank and is decomposed or “eaten” by the good bacteria that is in the tank. When your septic system fails, the first layer of scum and the third layer of sludge are typically what is seen coming up through drains in the home or overflows from the drainfield in your yard.

Proper Septic System Care
Residential and commercial septic system owners learn rather quickly all the rules about what is okay to put down the drain – and what isn’t. The basic “not okay” list includes fat or oils, which we now know create the “scum” layer, which is unable to breakdown and be removed from the system without professional septic service. These items clog the outlet pipe, which will eventually further damage the drainfield and entire septic system.

It is important to be aware of how much water you use. Your septic system is designed to accommodate one person for each room of your home plus one additional person, assuming a couple resides in the master bedroom. Each additional person living in your home beyond this rule of thumb, adds excess wastewater to the system, which can cause problems down the road.

Additional means of controling the amount of water used include checking for leaks on sinks and pipes, limiting the number of washloads per week and only running the dishwasher when it’s full. Try alternating days that you wash laundry versus washing dishes to prevent an overload of wastewater on the same day.

Refrain from using chemical cleaners that will make their way into your septic system. Anti-bacterial cleaners, for example, will also kill the good bacteria that gets rid of the sludge layer at the bottom of your septic tank. Diapers, feminine hygiene products, pesticides, paint and other harmful products should also be discarded elsewhere.

Making a Septic Plan
For residential and commercial owners who already have a septic system installed, it is important to work with a professional septic service provider to create a plan that will help ensure a long life for your on-site waste processing. For septic system servicing in Greenville, Rhode Island or anywhere in eastern Rhode Island, Southeastern Massachusetts or Cape Cod, contact All-Clear Septic & Wastewater Services for professional advice. They can help you set up a preventative septic system care program that includes regular inspections and check-ups, pumping and more to keep your system in tip top shape.

For residential and commercial owners who are replacing an old septic system or are putting in a brand new structure, it also pays to make a professional septic service plan. Choosing the right location for your septic tank and drainfield can make a huge difference in performance. By working with septic system servicing in Greenville, Rhode Island to create a unique set-up that addresses your specific needs, you could eliminate future costs for septic system care and repair.

Tips for a Healthy Septic System
Location is extremely important for a septic system. Check around your property to ensure that your current or future set-up will consider the following key points:

Keep all septic system components within a minimum of 20 feet from trees to prevent roots from puncturing or cracking the equipment. A professional septic service can help you find the best location for a new system and help you remove trees and other hazards from your current set-up.

Never place concrete or asphalt over top of your tank or drainfield. The weight could cause the tank to crack and nothing should ever be placed over your drainfield – even temporarily. The only thing that should grow over your drainfield is grass, which is recommended to prevent erosion of the soil, or other short-rooted vegetation. To make sure you choose plants that are drainfield approved, check with your professional septic service for advice.

Make sure that the hatch for your septic system is easy to access. This will aid in inspections, check-ups and occasions when the tank needs to be pumped and emptied. This is why it is important to consult with a professional at all stages of repair, installation and service. Never try to service your septic system on your own.

Getting Started
For more information about professional septic service, preventative maintenance programs and other septic related services, contact All-Clear Septic & Wastewater Services. Located in Acushnet, Massachusetts, All-Clear services customers in eastern Rhode Island, Southeastern Massachusetts and on out to the Cape. All-Clear is licensed to perform inspections, including the Rhode Island town inspection and Massachusetts Title V inspection.

septic system

The History of the Septic System

Homeowners who have septic systems in Sagamore or anywhere else in the United States, owe a debt of gratitude to John Mouras. Mouras is believed to be the inventor of the modern septic tank system.

The history of the septic system begins on or around the year 1860 in France. Mouras designed a basic septic tank and created a prototype that was made out of concrete. He created piping that was made out of clay, which he then used to remove water waste from his home out to the septic tank that he placed in his yard.

Mouras then dismantled the unit some ten years later and was amazed to discover that the tank he had created was virtually empty of any solid waste and only contained a layer of liquid effluent scum. He was so impressed with the results that he submitted an application to patent his invention. He was granted a patent in the year 1881. By 1883, the septic tank began to appear throughout the United States.

Simple, Genius Construction
The standard septic tank typically holds anywhere between 1,000 to 2,000 gallons of waste and waste water. There are usually two openings available for inspection, one inlet opening that comes from the house or building, and an outlet that goes to the distribution box.

Not all septic systems have distribution boxes, however the ones that do use it as a junction between the septic tank and the drainfield. Distribution boxes help to evenly distribute the effluent material to the drainfield for the final stage of processing.

Inside the septic system there are three layers of waste: the top scum layer, the bottom sludge layer and the liquid layer that lies in between. The liquid layer is also known as the effluent layer. Systems that are not properly maintained will be impacted by the effluent layer, which is what seeps through the top of the drainfield or back into the home or building during failure.

The Drainfield
The modern drainfield is based on Mouras’ original design and is made up of three-and-a-half to seven inch perforated piping that runs anywhere between 60 and 140 feet in length from the distribution box or septic tank. This perforated pipe is buried underneath the soil anywhere between two and six feet beneath the surface.

The pipe is layered in gravel that is typically made of 2B and 1B gauge stone. The waste water travels through the perforated pipe and is then absorbed into the drainfield for a final filtering process.

Septic System Maintenance in Massachusetts
It is important for homeowners and business owners that rely upon a septic system to know about proper septic system maintenance in Massachusetts, or wherever you happen to live. The amount of maintenance required for your particular set-up will depend greatly upon your usage of the system and the condition of the equipment itself.

A septic tank system is designed to effectively accommodate the number of people that live in the home or regularly work in a commercial or industrial building. Tanks that are properly designed, installed and maintained should have enough space for anywhere between three and five years worth of safe usage. However, proper preventative maintenance, which includes annual check-ups by a certified technician, should also be done to prevent problems or issues that can arise.

Homeowners with septic systems in Sagamore or anywhere else in Southeastern Massachusetts, Eastern Rhode Island or anywhere in the United States who neglect proper system maintenance could experience dangerous levels of sludge which prevent proper separation of solids, liquid and scum. When this occurs, overflow can migrate into the drainfield and cause thousands of dollars in damage and repairs.

Professional septic system maintenance in Massachusetts involves regular check-ups to ensure the proper break down of solids through the septic tank system to ensure a safe and healthy process. The volume of waste water flow in your system is determined by the type of household activities, such as washing dishes, doing laundry and taking showers, as well as the frequency of those activities. Good water usage is also one of the ways to limit the strain and help keep septic systems in Sagamore and all across the country in good working condition.

Get Started Today
Homeowners and commercial customers can get started on preventative septic system maintenance in Massachusetts, eastern Rhode Island or out on the Cape, just by calling All-Clear Septic & Wastewater Services. Located in Acushnet, Massachusetts, All-Clear services customers all over the South Coast region. Contact them today for information on preventative services, repairs, inspections and other septic system related services.

Why You Should Upgrade Your Septic System in Freetown, MA

A septic system is a septic system, right? Wrong. There are now a couple of different things that can be done to upgrade your current septic system that will help to improve it, by making it easier for professional technicians to access your septic tank when you are in need of service or repair. The cost to upgrade your septic system in Freetown, MA is generally offset after the first two or three pumpings.

Who Should Upgrade Their Septic System?
Septic tank risers should be considered by homeowners who live in areas of the country where the temperatures fall below the freezing level. Septic systems are generally buried below the frost line to protect them from freezing temperatures, which makes them difficult for professional technicians to access during routine inspections or repairs. A septic upgrade in New England is definitely recommended because of the local seasonal temperatures.

When Should You Upgrade Your Septic System?
Ideally, we would all upgrade our septic system in Freetown, MA at the time of installation. Unfortunately, that isn’t always possible, particularly if you purchase a home that already has a septic system installed and operational. A septic upgrade in New England can be upgraded immediately when the home is built during new construction or you can upgrade your septic system when you replace your septic tank. Whenever you do it, it is worth the investment.

What Are Septic Tank Risers?
New septic systems that are installed today often incorporate septic tank risers into the original design. Septic tank risers are made of either a plastic polymer or concrete in order to withstand the harsh conditions that the average septic system in Freetown, MA will be exposed to during its lifetime. Septic tank risers range between ten and twenty-four inches in diameter to one to ten feet in height, depending on the size needed.

How Do Septic Tank Risers Work?
When you do a septic upgrade in New England and add septic tank risers, you are essentially adding a pipe that stands upright over the septic tank pump out opening or access port. The riser works to give professional septic system technicians access to the port for easier maintenance and pumpings. Many companies will charge an “access fee” if they have to locate, dig up and uncover the septic tank lid before they can pump out the system. Risers help to avoid these “access fee” charges, reducing your cost for regular maintenance over the life of your septic system.

How Are Septic Tank Risers Installed?
The existing soil around the septic tank lid is usually removed to expose the top of the septic tank and the access port. Then the lid of the septic tank is removed by the installer and the septic tank risers are placed over the exposed opening. They are permanently affixed to the opening of the tank, which brings the top of the riser to grade level. Then, the ground around the septic tank and the new riser is back-filled and the septic tank riser cover is placed over the tank. The riser is typically covered with a thin layer of soil where grass can be planted to cover the exposed surface.

What Are the Benefits of Septic Upgrade in New England?
Aside from the obvious benefits of easy access, there are other benefits associated with adding a septic upgrade in New England. Because the septic tank is buried below the freezing line, the ground above the septic tank is generally frozen in the winter. If the system were to experience a failure in the late fall to early spring months, it would be very difficult to dig up for access and might cost the homeowner even more in “access fee” charges.

How to Upgrade a Septic System in Freetown, MA
If you are looking to upgrade a septic system in Freetown, MA or anywhere in Southeastern Massachusetts, eastern Rhode Island or on the Cape, call All-Clear Septic & Wastewater Services. They offer a variety of ways to do a septic upgrade in New England, including septic tank risers, covers and effluent filters. All-Clear also features a preventative maintenance program, which can help to extend the life of your septic system by helping it to work more efficiently. Call All-Clear today for more information about these and other septic services.

septic system

9 Steps to a Healthy Septic System

Preventative septic maintenance is key to maintaining a healthy septic system. With proper care, the average septic system should last anywhere between 20 and 30 years. Unfortunately, many homeowners neglect septic system maintenance in Rochester and other towns throughout Southeastern Massachusetts, resulting in an early deterioration of the septic and drainfield system, which leads to costly repairs and replacements before they should ever be needed.

With regular preventative septic maintenance and inspections by licensed, certified technicians, you could avoid costly septic system repair in Massachusetts. Most problems, if caught in the early stage of development, can be fixed quickly and easily. Ongoing problems that are not addressed can lead to a complete system failure, which can cost thousands of dollars to get back on track.

This article features 9 steps that you can take as a homeowner to have a healthy septic system that will serve you and your family for many years to come. Quality septic system maintenance in Rochester is available through All-Clear Septic & Wastewater, a reputable septic and wastewater services provider with nearly 20 years of experience working for customers in Southeastern Massachusetts, Eastern Rhode Island and Cape Cod.

Step One – Get Inspected
Regular septic system inspections are key to a solid preventative maintenance program. Inspections should be performed annually or more frequently if your system is getting a lot of use or has been deemed at-risk in the past. Regular inspections of your healthy septic system can help spot potential problems before they occur or catch small problems before they get bigger and more costly to repair. Most preventative septic maintenance programs offer regular inspections as part of their annual service programs. Speak with your All-Clear representative for information about preventative maintenance services.

Step Two – Get Pumped
Statistics show that the average septic system maintenance in Rochester will require the tank to be pumped every three to five years. However, each tank and client is different, which is why the inspections suggested in Step One are essential to a healthy septic system. While some homeowners will require more frequent septic tank pumping than others, it is important that you hire a trusted septic system inspection and service provider to ensure you don’t pump too often. Over-pumping can also be harmful to the natural bacteria and process of your septic system.

Step Three – Control Water
Water control is a big part of preventative septic maintenance. If too much water gets into your drainfield, it can prevent the wastewater filtering process from working effectively. Ineffective filtering can lead to hazardous wastes making their way into local groundwater and drinking wells, which can cause sickness, disease and other health risks to you, your family and your neighbors. Make sure all drainpipes and gutters are directed away from your tank and drainfield to prevent a water overload of the system.

Step Four – Keep It Sealed
Make sure that all access lids and ports to your septic system are sealed tight. If water is able to penetrate your system through lids and ports that are improperly sealed, or through other cracks and crevices in the system itself, it can overload the system and saturate the drainfield. Once again, this prevents the wastewater filtering process from working effectively, which can lead to a whole host of health risks and problems. Contact septic system repair in Massachusetts if you see any problems with lids, ports and other potential cracks in the system.

Step Five – Be Prepared
Another important part of proper preventative septic maintenance includes being prepared for an emergency. The best way to do this is to have all of the proper sitemaps and drawings readily available for your system. Keeping this information handy can help you and/or a repairman locate your pump tanks, septic tank, transport lines and drainfield quickly and easily without wasting time on guesswork. You should be able to get one from your local Health Department, which keeps track of septic system repair in Rochester, such as Title V Inspection results and records.

Step Six – Stay Alert
Knowing where the various components of your septic system is key to preventative septic maintenance. When you know where your tank, lines and drainfield are located, it is easier to ensure that they are never obstructed or covered in any way that might cause damage or reduce the effectiveness of the process. Don’t park vehicles on top of your drainfield, plant anything other than grass or septic-approved short root plants over top of your drainfield and make sure that there is access to all components at all times for septic system repair in Massachusetts.

Step Seven – Get Informed
Know what you can flush – and what you can’t. The more you know about how to keep a healthy septic system, the better. If you aren’t sure or don’t have a lot of experience working with a septic system, speak with your an All-Clear representative or your technician for professional advice and guidelines.

Step Eight – Don’t Help
A lot of homeowners think they need to “help” their septic system to run more smoothly by adding tank additives or other rejuvenators to the system. These products all claim to break up sludge or scum, unclog drainfields and aid in the health of your system, but what they actually do is cause damage to your system. Excessive frothing and the killing off of important septic tank bacteria are just some of the side effects associated with using these additives.

Step Nine – Be Smart
Some of the biggest problems that result in costs associated with septic system maintenance in Rochester are caused by the homeowners themselves. Never dump greases, oils or other similar substances into your sinks or toilets – even in the kitchen. These substances float on top of the wastewater and can clog the inlet pipes in the septic tank. Never dump pesticides, paints or other chemicals into your sinks or toilets. These substances can damage the effectiveness of the septic system and eventually end up damaging local drinking and ground water supplies.

For more information about preventative septic maintenance or to sign up for annual septic system maintenance in Rochester, contact All-Clear Septic & Wastewater. With proper maintenance and regular inspections, you can potentially increase the life of your healthy septic system by several years.

Rhode Island

Septic System Failure: What It Is, Why It Happens and How to Prevent It

If you own a Massachusetts residential septic system, chances are you have heard warnings about septic system failure. Every homeowner needs to know what it is and learn how to prevent septic system failure from happening in the first place.

What Causes Septic System Failure?
The answer to this question is simple: if the amount of wastewater that enters your system is more than the system is able to handle, the wastewater will back up either into the yard or into your home. This can create a health hazard for you and your family.

If you see any partially treated wastewater flowing up to the ground near your drainfield, or if you smell a foul odor inside your home or outside near the drainfield, chances are you have a septic system failure. Unfortunately, by the time you see or smell these signs, the damage very likely has already been done. At that point, it’s too late. The best way to deal with failure is to learn how to prevent septic system failure in the first place.

Water is one of the chief reasons for failure, outside of regular maintenance and septic system inspections in Somerset homes and all over Southeastern Massachusetts. Limiting the amount of water that you use will help reduce the amount of wastewater that gets into your system. Regular inspections, maintenance and pumping, when required, will also help to reduce your chance for septic system failure.

Signs of Failure in Your Massachusetts Residential Septic System
In addition to a foul smell and water pooling all over the surface of your drainfield, there are a few other obvious symptoms of septic system failure that you can easily watch for and identify.

  • muddy soil around the septic system
  • pooling water in your basement
  • toilets or sinks that back up when you are doing laundry
  • lush grass or other foliage on top of the drainfield

If you notice any one or more of these symptoms, you should call a professional septic system service company right away. Get regular inspections every couple of years and consider signing up for a preventative maintenance program that will help you learn how to prevent septic system failure from happening to your home.

Other Causes of Septic System Failure
In addition to neglect, improper maintenance, too much water and structural deficiencies, there are other things that can contribute to septic system failure. Once you learn what to avoid, you can learn how to prevent septic system failure once and for all.

#1 – Toxic Chemicals
Even something as simple as rinsing out paint rollers in a utility sink can send your septic system into a tailspin. Any solvents, oil-based paints and toxic cleaners should never enter your septic system – not ever. Any type of cleanup that involves chemicals should be minimized or eliminated entirely. If you have any leftover chemicals or products that could be harmful to your Massachusetts residential septic system, take them to your local hazardous waste collection center.

#2 – Household Cleaning Supplies
If a small amount of household cleaning supplies gets down into the drain and into your septic system, chances are your system’s bacteria will recover quickly and get back on track. However, there are some products that are more toxic than others. Check the labels and look for words such as “poison” or “danger” as an indicator that the product is hazardous in some way. Know what words on labels mean, for example the word “warning” says that the product is considered moderately hazardous. The word “caution” signals that the product is just slightly hazardous and the words “non toxic” or “septic safe” means that the product is okay to use in moderation.

#3 – Hot Tubs
While it might seem ridiculous, adding a hot tub to your property can be a cause for septic system failure. Your septic system was not designed to handle the large amount of water that comes from your new hot tub. When the water from the hot tub is emptied into the septic system, all of the solids get stirred up and can get pushed out into the drainfield. This can actually overload your system, resulting in septic system failure. If you must have a hot tub, make sure to drain the water after it has been cooled onto a landscaped area that is far away from your drainfield. Make sure to follow any local laws or ordinances regarding hot tubs.

#4 – Garbage Disposals
While some systems are designed to accommodate the extra waste and water associated with using a garbage disposal, many aren’t. You should never use a garbage disposal if you own a home that has a Massachusetts residential septic system. When you get professional septic system inspections in Somerset, your inspector should tell you whether or not you can use the garbage disposal if you aren’t sure. Avoid the whole potential for disaster and start composting your kitchen scraps outdoors to create beautiful soil for your garden and landscaping.

The 4 Primary Components of a Septic System

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 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 clean and clear.

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

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 an 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 keeping any solids from reaching 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 three to five years or as-needed. Speak with your septic system maintenance service 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 becomes discharged into the drainfield. Once it arrives in the drainfield, which is also known as the leachfield, for further treatment. This will happen every time new wastewater enters the septic tank.

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 in this manner. 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, a monthly preventative maintenance program is recommended to prevent failure and costly repairs.

Component #3 – The Soil
Believe it or not, the soil that is in your drainfield is an essential component of your New Bedford 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.

Component #4 – The Pipe
A pipe is the final 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 service about proper maintenance for your entire septic system and all of its unique components.

A Word About Alternative Systems
If you live in an area where the soil is not suitable for a traditional septic system, 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 in New Bedford, 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 land record holder in your city, town or county. 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 isn’t built on risers, your inspector or maintenance serviceman can help you locate your septic tank underground.

Why You Should Properly Maintain Your Septic System

A 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 in Wareham and all throughout Massachusetts 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.

This article will focus on the two biggest reasons why you should properly maintain your septic system. It will also include tips for Wareham septic system maintenance that can be applied to residential systems throughout Southeastern Massachusetts, Rhode Island and all throughout the New England area. 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.

Reason #1 – Money
The number one reason why homeowners should get proper septic system care in Wareham is to save money. 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 All Clear Septic & Wastewater in Acushnet, MA 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.

Reason #2 – Health
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 in Wareham. 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 Wareham 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.

How to Maintain Your Septic System
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, All Clear Septic services customers all throughout Southeastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Their highly trained and experienced staff can help you with septic system care in Wareham and 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.

septic system failure

10 Things You Need to Know About Your Septic System

While most people who live in an area where septic systems are used are familiar with how they work and the type of care and maintenance required, those who are new to this type of on-site sewage processing have a lot to learn. This article features the top ten things that you need to know about septic systems in Rhode Island or anywhere in New England in order to keep your system running properly.

#1 – What Kind of Septic System Do You Have?

While there are standard systems that consist of a basic septic tank that empties out into a leachfield, there are several variations on that standard set-up that can make a difference in how your septic system operates and the type of maintenance required. If you aren’t sure what kind of septic system you have, set up an appointment with a licensed and certified septic system inspection and maintenance service, such as All Clear Septic & Wastewater, to find out for sure.

#2 – Where Is Your Septic System Located?

The only way you can protect your septic system from accidental damage is to know where it is located. The septic tank is buried underground and your leachfield should be somewhere near the tank. There are a couple of important rules regarding leachfield care and damage prevention that will be discussed later, so knowing where yours is located should be at the top of your list. Following your septic system inspection, speak with the technician to find out where everything is on your property.

#3 – Are You Required to Get Professional Inspections?

Whenever you buy or sell a home that has a septic system, you are required by law to get a professional inspection by a licensed inspector. That being said, you may also be required to get a Rhode Island town inspection, depending on where you live. Many towns throughout the state require these inspections as part of the local ordinance, which includes both residential and commercial property owners alike. Towns such as North Kingstown, South Kingstown, Jamestown and Charlestown. All Clear Septic & Wastewater is licensed to perform Rhode Island town inspections and Massachusetts Title V inspections.

#4 – Is Your Septic System Working Properly?

Again, a visit from a licensed septic system inspection company will help you determine a lot about your system. You should consider getting a preventative septic system maintenance in Barrington or anywhere in the state that will help you stay on top of your system to make sure it is running effectively. Regular check-ups can help you avoid major costs associated with repairs or replacement of septic systems in Rhode Island.

#5 – What Are Some Signs of Septic System Failure?

If your septic system fails it can quickly become a health hazard. Signs that your system is failing or has failed include sewage or untreated wastewater pooling over the leachfield, backups happening in the bathroom, kitchen or other plumbing areas inside your home, and a horrible odor wafting up from your drains or in your backyard. If this happens, make sure to contact a licensed septic system technician out to your property right away.

#6 – What Maintenance Has Been Done on My System Before?

Before you purchase a home, it is important to speak with the seller about the septic system. Questions to ask include the age of the system, the last date that the system was pumped, the frequency of pumping, if there have been any signs of potential failure and whether or not any additions have been made to the house since the septic system was installed. Septic systems are designed based upon the number of bedrooms, which indicate the possible number of persons living in the home. It is important to ensure that the system has been properly maintained and that it can accommodate the usage of the home.

#7 – What Type of Care is Required for a Septic System?

Septic maintenance in Barrington is the same as it is anywhere else. The first rule of thumb is to watch your water use so you don’t flood the leachfield. Daily water use per person should be around 50 gallons. A leachfield is designed for each home based upon a maximum use of 120 gallons per bedroom. This figure includes laundry, showers, toilet flushes – anything that puts water into the septic tank. Don’t put items into your system such as tissues, cigarettes, cotton swabs, kitty litter, coffee grounds or sanitary napkins. Do not use a garbage disposal and never put cooking oil or grease down the drain. Chemicals and cleaning products should not go down the drain either, including pesticides, paints, thinners, poisons an even disinfectants. These chemicals will kill the good bacteria in your system that helps to purify the sewage.

#8 – What Type of Care is Required for a Leachfield?

It is important that to keep an eye on your leachfield to make sure it is safe from damage. The soil over your leachfield should be covered with grass or another safe type of vegetation that won’t create deep roots and damage the system. Grass works to prevent the soil from eroding over time. Never drive or park a vehicle over top your leachfield or septic tank. Avoid doing any type of construction over or near the area and never ever cover your tank or leachfield with concrete or asphalt.

#9 – Are There Any Preventative Maintenance That Can Be Done?

Septic systems in Rhode Island will run better if you keep an eye on a few simple things. Check your home regularly for leaks or dripping faucets to cut down on wastewater in the septic tank. If you have any trees near your system or leachfield, cut them own or move them to another area of your property. Make sure to treat any remaining stumps to prevent continued root growth and spread underground. Make sure none of your gutters are pointing toward your leachfield or your system will quickly become flooded when it rains. When you hire a licensed septic system inspection technician to review your system, ask about preventative maintenance programs that are designed to help you stay on top of your system to keep it running effectively and efficiently.

#10 – Can I Do Repairs Myself?

Even if you are completely familiar with your septic tank system setup and have experience working with septic systems in the past, it is in your best interest to hire professional septic maintenance in Barrington or anywhere else in New England to repair your septic system. The same ordinances an local laws that require Rhode Island town inspections also require that repairs and other professional services be conducted by professional technicians that are licensed and certified to do the work at hand. Septic systems can be very dangerous and it is in your best interest and safety to hire a professional to get the job done.

Get Started on the Right Track

Whether you need a septic system inspection or maintenance for your septic systems in Rhode Island, contact All Clear Septic & Wastewater to evaluate, maintain and repair your system. All Clear offers a preventative maintenance program that is designed to help you save money over the lifetime of your septic system by making sure that everything is in proper working order on a regular basis.

If you need Rhode Island town inspections, All Clear is licensed to conduct these septic system inspections and file the necessary reports according to your town ordinance. For more information on All Clear Septic & Wastewater, use the contact information above to speak with a representative about any service questions you might have.

Title 5 Inspection

The Complete Guide to Massachusetts Title 5 Inspection

If you live in the State of Massachusetts and own a home that has an on-site sewage system, otherwise known as a septic system, chances are you have at least heard of a Title 5 Inspection. This guide will cover absolutely everything you need to know about getting a Massachusetts Title 5 Inspection, what you can expect when you get one and what to do about the results.

What is a Title 5 Inspection?

The State Environmental Code is in charge of inspecting every stage of the process with regard to Massachusetts residential septic systems, including the design, construction, expansion, inspection and placement. Throughout the State of Massachusetts, the Title 5 code is administered locally by the Board of Health in each city. Which means that if you live in the city of Middleboro, you would deal with the Middleboro Board of Health.

What is the Purpose of a Title 5 Inspection?

A Title 5 Inspection is designed to ensure that your septic system is running efficiently, that it has been properly pumped and maintained and that there are no issues with regard to the construction or use of it. A Title 5 Inspection is required for residential septic systems each and every time you sell your home. A Title 5 Inspection is also required for specific types of renovations or remodeling projects.

How Do I Get a Title 5 Inspection?

You need to hire a licensed, certified septic system inspector, such as All-Clear Septic & Wastewater in Acushnet, Massachusetts. They service customers all over Southeastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island and are certified to do an official Massachusetts Title 5 Inspection. After the inspection, the technician will submit a copy of the report to the Middleboro Board of Health. Depending on the findings of the inspection, the Board of Health will either accept the inspection, reject it due to findings or send out an enforcement order compelling the home owner to comply.

What Can I Expect During a Title 5 Inspection?

If you need a Middleboro Title 5 Inspection and you’ve never personally experienced one before, it can be a little nerve-wracking to worry about what the inspector will find. Every part of your septic system will be inspected, including the septic tank, distribution box and cesspool. Your drain field will also be checked during this process. The inspector will try to locate all of the components for your system and check for signs of hydraulic failure. Construction will be checked, determining where the high groundwater elevation is located and the overall design flow of your system. In some cases, the inspector will request that the homeowner get the “as-built” plans that are held on file at the Middleboro Board of Health, or to see pumping and/or maintenance records for the last two years in order to complete the report. Make sure you have everything available or can get the required information if it is requested by the inspector.

What Do the Results Mean?

There are three results provided from a Massachusetts Title 5 Inspection: pass, conditional pass or fail. What happens next depends upon your results and what the inspector suggests in his report.

PASS – A passed Middleboro Title 5 Inspection of residential septic systems is good for two to three years, depending on your pumping schedule. The Board of Health will not need to do anything if your system is passed. Inspection information must be shared with the buyer – whether it is passed or failed – if you are in the process of selling your home.

CONDITIONAL PASS – A conditionally passed Massachusetts Title 5 Inspection is an indication that some component of your septic system has broken down or failed and needs to be replaced. Examples of this would be a crushed pipe, a septic tank that is leaking, a distribution box that has failed or a broken baffle, among other things. The good news is that the repairs that are required for a conditionally passed system to become Title 5 compliant are usually substantially less expensive than what it would cost to completely replace the system under a failed inspection. Under a conditional pass, once the repair has been made it becomes Title 5 compliant and achieves a passing result. A new report is submitted to the Massachusetts Board of Health to show that the system has now passed the Title 5 inspection.

FAIL – A failed Middleboro Title 5 Inspection of residential septic systems can go one of two ways. If it is determined that your system poses a threat to public health, you will need to replace or repair your system within a specific allotted amount of time. However, if your system failed, but is not considered a threat to public health, the inspector will give you two years to complete all of the work necessary to get it to pass. The work can only be done by a septic system repair technician that is licensed and certified in the State of Massachusetts. Soil testing will need to be completed and a new septic system that will work better with your home and usage will need to be designed and installed.

Can I Get a Private Inspection to Check My System?

Yes. The State of Massachusetts allows certified Title 5 Inspectors to do what is known as a Confidential Voluntary Assessment. This evaluation will not be reported to the Middleboro Board of Health or any other government office. This gives the homeowner the opportunity to make repairs or upgrade their system in advance of having their system inspected for the sale of the home or any other reason.

Who Should I Call to Check and Maintain My System?

All-Clear Septic & Wastewater in Acushnet, Massachusetts is a very good choice for any homeowner or business owner in Southeastern Massachusetts or Rhode Island. All-Clear is licensed and certified to perform Massachusetts Title 5 Inspection and Confidential Voluntary Assessments of your septic system. All-Clear has a wide range of Preventative Maintenance programs that can help you keep your septic system under control to avoid costly repairs or replacements as a result of neglect or improper septic use. Call All-Clear Septic today for information about the services they provide or to set up an appointment.