Restaurant Management 101 – Preventing Drain Backups
If you own or manage a restaurant, the last thing you want to do is shut down your business because your store is flooded. A clog in a drain line can not only cause down time for your restaurant, but also safety issues for employees and potential repercussions from the board of health. There are a number of reasons why commercial kitchen drains continue to back up. It’s essential that you understand how it can happen and implement best practices to prevent clogs from happening.
Why Commercial Kitchen Drains Clog
Fats, oils, and grease can quickly build up in drains. As these substances cool, they begin to harden and stick to the drain pipes. This can lead to major sanitation problems as the end result is clogged pipes or even an entirely clogged septic system. Food scraps can also be a culprit of clogged drain lines. A good way to prevent this is to place a strainer in your sinks and to train employees to clean plates with leftovers into the trash, not down the drain.
Most commercial kitchens have a grease trap in their kitchen to catch fats, oils and grease before they enter the drain lines. Keep in mind that while a commercial grade grease trap is effective, it will be ineffective if the drains aren’t professionally maintained. A grease trap cleaning service will determine how often a cleaning is needed by calculating the daily use of the grease trap.
Toilets and drains in restaurants can also become clogged from neglected septic systems. All of the wastewater from a restaurants flows into the septic tank, and it should be pumped by a professional on a regular basis to prevent backups and major, costly repairs to the system.
Professional Drain Cleaning and Septic Pumping
Today, professional companies use tiny video cameras to diagnose grease problems in the system lines. This helps determine where there is a root issue, break or crack in the line. Depending on the clog, our trained professionals utilize different equipment. Snaking or water jetting may be used to break through the clog and pull out any debris.
We also offer preventative maintenance plans to avoid breakages, overflows, clogs and backups. Customers can choose a plan that best meets their needs, including jetting the lines once a quarter, pumping the non-hazardous waste systems and complete inspections. Preventative maintenance is the best defense against clogged lines and septic tank problems!
How Baking Soda Can Help Prevent Septic Emergencies
If you own a residence or business that has a septic system you know that there is no getting around septic pumping service. It’s recommended that you have your septic tank pumped and inspected every 3 years, so if it’s been a while, you should really schedule septic service today. But if you end up having issues with the pipes, drains, or the septic system itself, you may have to schedule septic pumping service and inspections much more often.
This can end up costing you hundreds of extra dollars, not to mention putting too much wear and tear on your septic system. If your septic tank or leach field ends up having to be replaced it can cost you thousands of dollars! There are many ways to help take care of your septic system and one super easy and affordable way is to simply start using baking soda.
How does Baking Soda help you avoid septic system emergencies?
Simple, using baking soda mixed with other all natural ingredients can be used as an environmentally safe and natural cleaner for your toilet, sinks, tub, and drains. Using baking soda instead of harsh chemical cleaners such as bleach will keep all that important bacteria from being killed off. The good bacteria in your septic system is necessary because it breaks down all the waste that comes through the pipes.
Without the good bacteria you will end up with clogs, back-ups and odors that wear away at your septic tank and eventually cause a septic system emergency. Using baking soda is very easy.
You can mix about a 1/4 cup of baking soda with 1/2 cup of vinegar and 2 tablespoons lemon to make your own natural cleaning agent. The baking soda will fizz up to help get the dirt and grime in your tub and drains. It’s a great cleaner and your septic system will thank you!
Septic Covers and Safety
Regular pumping of the septic tank is important to maintain a healthy septic system. All septic tanks have between 2-3 covers to allow for service and inspection. Typically, a septic cover is round in shape and about the size of a man hole cover. A damaged or unsecured cover could lead to tragedy should someone fall through into the tank. EarthCare offers septic system cover replacement services, as well as other septic system repairs.
Septic Cover Replacement and Safety at EarthCare
Last year, tragedy struck in Jacksonville, FL when 3-year old Amari Harley fell into a septic tank due to an unsecured septic cover. The town of Jacksonville spent close to $1 million to install new locking covers to approximately 200 homes.
EarthCare takes septic cover safety seriously. At each service, our technicians inspect the condition of each septic cover. Once the covers to the system are exposed they are inspected for integrity and safety.
If our technician discovers a cover which is unsafe, his first action will be to secure and block off the area. He then reports the cover to his manager and customer service and remains onsite until the customer has been notified.
Septic System Cover Types
Septic covers are available in a variety sizes and types to fit the system. Our professional technician will always be on hand to consult with you about the best onsite options for your replacement covers. For example, green plastic covers can be used to blend naturally with the yard. If the cover is in an area where it would be weight-bearing, such as a parking lot or driveway, special load-bearing covers are used to ensure safety.
Contact EarthCare Today!
EarthCare offers the full range of septic and plumbing service for residential and commercial customers, so don’t hesitate to contact us!
Septic 101: Septic System Design and Installation at EarthCare
New Septic System Installation
At EarthCare our septic system technicians are experts at repairing and maintaining existing septic systems, but there are situations when only a completely new septic system can resolve troublesome septic problems. To determine the needs of your system, contact us today!
Additions to the home or adding a new swimming pool to the property can be situations requiring a code compliant septic system, and EarthCare has the engineering design and installation expertise to guide you through every step of the new septic system installation process. We’re thoroughly familiar with town building codes and can handle the red tape involved with permits and soil testing to ensure that your septic system design is 100% compliant with local codes and regulations.
All septic systems have certain elements in common including the septic tank, distribution boxes, and the leach field for absorption of wastewater in the surrounding soil. The conditions for installing these components though vary for each property. Varying levels between the house and the leach field location, the surrounding soil’s ability to absorb liquid, and the number of people residing in the household will all affect the septic system design.
If there are already many existing septic systems in close operation, or existing systems are too close to groundwater or surface water, the new installation septic system design will have to accommodate these conditions.
Alternative Septic Systems
Alternative septic systems are the solution for many areas which don’t have suitable soil conditions required for a standard septic system. If soil testing reveals that your existing soil can’t adequately handle the wastewater treatment demands of safe absorption and natural filtering, alternative septic systems are the answer. They use peat, sand, or plastic media for wastewater treatment. Some systems incorporate lagoons, aerators, or disinfection devices to promote treatment.
Alternative septic systems use technology requiring pumps, float switches, and other mechanical and electrical components. After installation, they’ll require extra maintenance and should be inspected yearly. At EarthCare we can provide regularly scheduled preventative maintenance to keep your alternate septic system optimized and prevent potential problems before they occur. Learn more about our installation services!
Septic Pumping and Maintenance Of Your New Septic System
Once your new system is up and running the best maintenance is preventative maintenance. Earthcare can provide regularly scheduled septic pumping to remove solid waste buildup captured by the septic tank, a crucial step to keeping solid waste from blocking flow throughout the rest of the system. Our 3-step septic maintenance program is a simple and effective way to avoid costly backups and septic repairs.
EarthCare offers the full range of septic and plumbing services for residential and commercial customers alike, including septic pumping, septic system rejuvenation, pipelining, drain cleaning, and grease trap maintenance. Don’t hesitate to contact us for all of your septic system and wastewater treatment needs.
Septic Pumping Services by EarthCare: Town Spotlight on Morristown, NJ
The Rich History of Morristown, NJ
Morristown was founded way back in 1710, first as West Hanover, established as a foundry to take advantage of the local iron-ore resources nearby. In 1740 the industrious town was renamed after Lewis Morris who was the governor of the colony at the time.
Today the Morristown National Historic Park, just southwest of town, preserves the campsite where 10,000 American troops camped through the winter of 1779-1780. The infamous traitor Benedict Arnold was court-martialed in Morristown’s Dickerson Tavern in 1779.
Later on, Morristown continued to make its mark on American history when Samuel Morse worked at the Speedwell Iron Works to refine his telegraph equipment and develop his famous Morse Code, according to this article at Encyclopedia Britannica.
Today Morristown is largely residential, but still has an impressive commercial presence in the chemical, cosmetic, pharmaceutical, and machinery industries, as well as research facilities. Our EarthCare team is proud to be a part of the Morristown community, and we offer the full range of residential and commercial services.
EarthCare’s Septic Pumping Services in Morristown
The most frequent and best advice we can offer to our customers to avoid septic system trouble is to have the septic tank pumped regularly. Sludge is the heavy solid layer captured by the septic tank to prevent it from flowing out and clogging the distribution of liquids to your septic system’s leach field. Unchecked sludge can lead to costly repairs and hazardous health conditions when it causes backflow to a home or business. This is why septic pumping is always the first step in our septic maintenance program.
We have a handy Septic Pumping Frequency Calculator to help you determine how often your septic tank should be pumped based on the needs of your individual household at the link above.
Residential and Commercial Septic Services at EarthCare
Our team of environmental professionals at EarthCare provides the full range of commercial and residential services to the Morristown community as well as the surrounding areas. Beyond our septic pumping services, we offer septic installation and repair, pipelining, drain cleaning, preventive maintenance, and certified septic inspections to meet local requirements. Don’t hesitate to contact us today to keep your septic system up and running.
Garbage Disposals and Septic Tanks: A Costly Combination
Garbage disposals may seem like a convenient way to get rid of waste in the kitchen, but if you are working on a septic system, garbage disposals and septic tanks don’t mix. While the important septic tank filter will glean out many larger particles that are moving from the septic tank into the leaching fields, garbage disposals only crush food particles to a certain point and they don’t break down fast enough in the system. This results in a clog, which can be time-consuming and expensive to repair.
If you already have a garbage disposal…
It’s best to simply not use it; compost or discard food items that you would have otherwise used the garbage disposal to remove from your kitchen. There are simple lifestyle choices that can help to keep your septic system healthy. These include taking good care of the system by only allowing inputs that it is equipped to handle, even if in the past you’ve had a home with a garbage disposal that you relied upon.
If you think, “I can’t live without my garbage disposal!”
There are a very small group of garbage disposals that claim to be septic safe, like this one, but in general, they will cause you more trouble than they save you time. An important change of mindset when living with a septic system is the fact that it isn’t a system that handles your garbage. That means that not only garbage disposals and septic tanks are a bad combination; toilets also should not be disposal devices for anything but liquid and solid human waste. It’s a change in mindset, but by getting behind a larger change in attitude, you’ll see how your system benefits the environment, which makes the change in habits worth it.
To learn more about what to avoid when using a septic system, contact us.
Your Septic Tank and Sludge Hauling
If you have a septic tank you probably already know that you must have a professional septic tank service pump your tank out on a regular basis. You probably also know that’s it’s a critical service that keeps your septic tank system operating normally. But do you know the main reason why?
You might guess that it’s to keep the tank fluid levels lower. It’s not.
What is Sludge?
To understand what sludge is and why tank pumping and sludge hauling are important, you need to also understand a bit more about how your tank functions. You probably don’t think much about it. More than likely you flush your toilet, drain your dishwasher and take a shower and don’t much think about where the sewage and water goes. Hopefully you don’t have a garbage disposal or if you do, you know to use it sparingly. Garbage disposals are bad for septic tank systems, and in a moment the reason for that will be discussed.
The inside of your septic tank has three basic layers: the top, or scum, layer, which is mostly floating soap and detergent particles and also some grease. The middle layer is the liquid, or effluent, which will eventually flow out to the drainfield. If you were to peer into your tank, it’s these two layers that you would see. The bottom layer is the sludge layer. This consists of solid particles which have fallen to the bottom of the tank because they are heavier than water. It’s a biomass, a byproduct of a healthy, functioning septic tank system. But this sludge contains bacteria, some of which may cause disease. It may also contain viruses, fungi and parasites. If this sludge layer isn’t removed by regular pumping, it may rise too high, edging out the fluid layer and allowing sludge particles to be transported to the drainfield, where they don’t belong. Municipal sludge is produced during the processing of sewage and industrial wastes in a public wastewater treatment plant. That sludge must also be pumped out and transported to safe disposal areas by sludge hauling professionals.
Garbage Disposals, Grease and Oils
Garbage disposal materials such as raw vegetables, egg shells, coffee grounds and bones cannot be broken down by the bacterial environment in the septic tank. This causes the sludge layer to build up even faster. That’s why garbage disposals and septic tank systems don’t mix. It’s really best to use your trash for garbage if you have a septic tank system.
You also want to minimize the amount of oils and grease you allow down your drains. Because these items are lighter than water, they float on top of it, forming the scum layer already described. But you don’t want this layer to get too thick, because then it too can flow out of the tank to the drainfield. It’s just one more reason why annual tank inspections are necessary. Sludge and scum levels will both be measured and any necessary pumping done before any damage happens.
Never neglect to pump your tank on a regular schedule as recommended by your septic tank service professional.
Let an Expert Judge Your Sludge
Only an expert in septic tank maintenance can tell you if your sludge levels are too high. Only professionals experienced in sludge hauling can safely remove and sludge and dispose of it in environmentally sound ways. https://www.earthcare.
At EarthCare, we are septic tank care system experts. It’s all we do. Contact us for prompt, professional service for all your septic tank needs.
Septic Tank Troubleshooting Tips
Few things in the home are as disconcerting as a toilet that becomes more and more difficult to flush or perhaps stops flushing altogether. In most cases, the homeowner or renter simply needs to use a plunger or toilet auger to resolve the issue. However those who have used these devices without success, might need outside help as the problem could stem from a clogged plumbing line or a backed up septic tank. In this post, we will discuss some septic tank troubleshooting tips that can help individuals determine if they have a simple toilet clog or if it’s time to contact a professional.
Location, Location, Location
Where the flushing issue is occurring can help determine the actual cause of the problem. In a two-story home, if the toilet on the second floor backs up but the first floor toilet flushes normally, the most likely culprit is a clog in the plumbing line somewhere between the first and second floors. For one-story homes, if there are multiple toilets on the first floor and the toilet farthest away from the septic tank backs up but the toilet closest to the septic tank flushes normally, the problem is most likely in an interior plumbing line as well.
Is it the Septic Tank?
If all the toilets in the home, whether there is one or more, are either backed up or slow to flush then it is possible the problem could stem from an issue with the septic tank. If you suspect you have a tank issue, the next step in septic troubleshooting is to go outside the home and check to see if there is ponding near the leaching field for the septic tank. If you don’t know the location of the leaching field, simply check the entire yard to see if there any standing water.
We Can Help
Regardless of whether you have a clog in one of your plumbing lines or if you need help getting your septic tank to work again, we can help. Our staff has special drain cleaners to remove stubborn clogs and we also offer a full range of solutions for septic tank issues. If these septic tank troubleshooting tips didn’t work for you clink on this link to schedule service: https://www.earthcare.us/
Restaurant Grease: What Should You Expect?
Do you know just how much grease is produced by your average restaurant? It is probably more than you think! In fact, a restaurant can produce anywhere from 150 to 250 pounds of grease a week. With over 160,000 restaurants in the United States, that works out to either 128,000,000 pounds of grease used per month or 1,664,000,000 pounds of grease produced by restaurants in a year. That is a shockingly large number!
With such a large amount of restaurant grease being produced, otherwise known as yellow grease, there are important and unique problems to consider. The most important consideration is to keep the sewer system clean by helping to keep the water clean. One way to keep the water clean and mitigate problems caused by grease is to recycle and reuse grease when possible. Minimizing the amount of grease entering the sewer system as well as reducing the amount of grease you use are important ways to keep your system and water clean.
However, no matter how much you might reuse and recycle the restaurant grease, you will require a well-built filtration system to properly deal with the large amount of grease that will be entering your drainage system. The restaurant will need a grease trap (properly known as a grease interceptor) to remove and help process the grease correctly.
Without an appropriate grease trap that can properly handle the large amount of yellow grease produced by a restaurant many problems can and will eventually arise. Not only do many cities require the use of a grease trap, but without one you risk major problems with your drainage system. Such problems include sewage blockages, and backups which can lead to fine, having to close the business until the problem is fixed, and of course costly repairs. Thus, having an appropriately fitted grease trap for your unique needs is incredibly important.
Do feel free to contact us to learn more about grease traps and figure out what specific needs your restaurant might need.
5 Septic System Myths You Should Stop Believing
A properly functioning septic system is as essential to a household as a good roof and an efficient heating system, yet many homeowners don’t give much thought to maintaining it to ensure that it performs its job without a hitch. Even worse, too many homeowners buy into septic system myths that are not only — for lack of a better phrase — a bunch of “hooey”, but believing them can lead to serious problems that can end up costing an uninformed homeowner thousands of dollars to repair or correct! Here are 5 of the most common septic system myths. Are you guilty of believing any of them?
1. As long as my septic system is working just fine, there’s no need to worry about it.
That’s akin to thinking “As long as I’m healthy today, there’s no need to take care of myself so I stay that way”! Just as you need to take care of yourself by eating a healthy diet, getting regular exercise, and seeing your doctor for regular checkups, your septic system also needs regular maintenance to stay “healthy”. If you don’t maintain it with regular cleanings and inspections, dump chemicals down your drains, etc., it’s not going be working fine for long!
2. I opened my septic tank’s cover, and discovered that it’s “full”, so it must be time to have it pumped out.
Not true. Even after it’s been pumped, your septic system will return to its proper working level (aka “full) within 2 weeks. What should concern you, though, is backups inside your home or overflow around the cover of the tank.
3. It’s okay to park my car (or boat with trailer, etc.) on top of the septic tank or leech field, as long as I don’t do it all the time.
Think again. Residential septic systems are not designed to be weight-bearing. Ignoring that fact can have serious consequences!
4. Household chemicals won’t harm my septic system.
Wrong again. Your septic system is full of living organisms that help maintain balance within the tank. Introducing chemicals can — and often does — upset this necessary balance!
5. It costs more over time to maintain my septic system than it would to just replace it when it fails.
No, no, no! Preventive maintenance is far more affordable and will extend the life of your septic system. Replacing it can easily cost you tens-of-thousands of dollars!
Don’t buy in to these dangerous septic system myths! Taking care of your septic system through regular maintenance visits is the wise thing to do. In New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, contact us at Earthcare for professional and affordable septic system maintenance.