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.
Your Septic Tank: Flushing out the Best Maintenance Methods
A prototype of the modern septic tank was first designed in France, in 1860. Later, especially around the 1930’s to the 1940’s, people in the United States began to briskly build homes and farmhouses. Since these rural people often lived many miles apart, a shared or public sewer system wasn’t practical. So residents installed septic tanks on their properties and highly prized indoor bathrooms in their homes. They were certainly a major improvement over trudging through deep snow to visit a dark, frigid privy on a cold winter’s night!
Pointers: Septic System Savvy
Today, many people still have these private sewer systems commonly known as septic tanks. If you have one, it’s wise to care for it properly. Here are some tips: http://www.nesc.wvu.edu/pdf/ww/septic/pl_fall04.pdf
- Never drive or park a car over the location of the tank. Never place a heavy item such as a shed over the tank location, either. It could damage it.
- The root systems of trees, bushes and shrubs can become entangled in and around the pipes of the septic system, damaging and blocking them. Make sure these areas are kept clear of roots.
- Never dump chemicals down your toilets or drains. They can alter or destroy the balance of bacteria in your septic tank. These bacteria are crucial for the breakdown of solid waste products.
- Dispose of kitchen grease and similar items in the trash, not down the drain. Use an old coffee can to store old cooking oil and grease. When full, securely tape down the lid and place in trash.
- Your system can only absorb so much graywater, which is water from sources other than the toilet bowl, at a time. Be mindful of how much dishwasher water and washing machine water you are draining at a time. Do only full loads, and space out showers for larger families.
- Use your garbage disposal sparingly. Consider stopping its use altogether. Use the trash instead. Garbage disposals place a great strain on the septic system.
- Pump your system regularly as recommended by your service provider. This is one of the best ways to prevent problems.
- Flush nothing but septic tank-safe toilet paper. Remember, you have a closed system. Flushed solid items such as cigarette butts and tampons have nowhere to go and can cause blockages.
- Make sure the septic system filter is kept clean. Replace when necessary.
Use only those cleaners approved for your septic tank system. Never flush drugs down the toilet. Antibiotics, in particular, could destroy necessary system bacteria. Never use chemical tank cleaners containing corrosives such as sulfuric acid. These will damage your system. Learn about some septic do’s and don’ts to prevent toilet troubles!
There are biological products containing bacteria and enzymes that are inexpensive and easy to use. These products give a boost to the bacterial environment in the tank. In any case, there is NO product that will replace the need for regular, professional tank pumping. Remember to have your whole system inspected once a year. The inspector will measure scum and sludge levels, inspect the grease trap and perform other important tasks to prevent future problems. https://www.epa.gov/septic/how-care-your-septic-system.
We are EarthCare, and we are experts in the repair and maintenance of septic tank systems. You can reach us here: contact us. A trained, professional associate will be pleased to assist you. We look forward to serving you.
Avoid Clogs: Never Put These Items Down Your Drain!
Clogged drains are an annoying problem to deal with, especially if you have a septic system. However, if you’re careful of what you wash down your sink, tub or toilet, you can avoid clogs in the future.
The following are items that you should never put down your drain to avoid clogs:
- Hygiene products: Even if they say that they are “flushable”. Things like baby wipes, feminine care products, and similar items don’t disintegrate as fast as toilet paper does. Because these items don’t disintegrate quickly, they will fill up a septic tank faster, and can create blockages. Always throw these items in the trash instead.
- Chemicals and medicines: Harmful chemicals and medicines can potentially leach into groundwater, affecting plants and wildlife. In addition they can cause harm to septic systems, as septic systems rely on a delicate balance of bacteria to break down waste. Medicines and chemicals can harm or kill these good bacteria, leading to waste building up and clogging your drains instead of breaking down.
- Grease and other food waste: Oils and fats are not easily broken down. They can stick to pipes and become solid at certain temperatures. Dish soaps break down grease only temporarily, so washing a greasy pan in your kitchen sink can lead to unforeseen problems. It is never a good idea to wash grease or other food waste, like vegetable peels, down the drain.
If you have a clogged drain or septic system, or want more information on how to keep your septic system healthy all year round and avoid clogs, contact us.
What Potential New Home Owners Should Know About Septic Systems
New home owners and potential buyers need to know about septic systems on-site before they move forward with a purchase. The issue with septic tanks is that if there is some fault in the system you could potentially buy a home and then be stuck with a big repair bill that you weren’t even expecting. That is why it is important for new home owners and buyers alike to really look at the septic system before buying the property. Here’s what you should know.
What you need to know up-front is that no septic system inspection or test can give you a one hundred percent guarantee that there are no flaws or defects in the septic system. However, the right tests and a proper inspection can reduce your risk of having a very costly septic surprise, and give you confidence moving forward and completely a home purchase.
When visually inspecting a property with a septic system look for areas that are wet, smelly or odorous, rocky, or recently excavated. Determine where the septic system is and where the leaching field, where the run-off is distributed is. A simple thing to know is that if the leaching field is completely saturated and soaked and you smell a strong, heavy odor the septic system is not working properly.
Potential new home owners should know to avoid the septic dye test. While it was once a reliable testing method when septic systems weren’t as deep or on as big of a grade, now these tests are flawed and barely detect any of the issues a septic system might have.
Please feel free to contact us to learn more about septic systems and what potential new home owners should look for.