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 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.
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/
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.
EarthCare Spotlight: The Beacon Team
EarthCare provides a wide range of wastewater management solutions, serving 12 states and operating from more than ten service locations. EarthCare, part of the Wind River Group, covers the largest service territory in the industry. The company’s commitment to service and education allows them to maintain long-lasting, trustworthy relationships with customers.
The EarthCare Beacon Team has a strong commitment to customer education, believing that knowledge helps them maintain systems, avoid emergencies, and save money. EarthCare is also committed to ensuring they provide technicians that are fully qualified, each of them required to graduate from Wind River University, a proprietary program. EarthCare residential services include Septic Inspections, Septic Pumping, and Septic Installation and Repair.
Septic requirements vary from state to state, municipality to municipality, requiring a trained and accredited professional, to perform all septic system inspections. The Beacon Team Inspectors, across the entire service area, are all trained and certified by the Pennsylvania Septage Management Association (PSMA).
Sludge accumulates and builds up in your septic system and, if not addressed, can lead to an unhealthy balance in your septic system and even too costly repairs. To maintain a healthy system, we recommend regular pumping, and that is why it the first step in our 3-Step Maintenance Program. The frequency of service requirements varies due to a range of factors, and the best way to determine your needs is by speaking with an EarthCare Technician.
Septic Installation and Repair
EarthCare can repair and service every aspect of your septic system, repairing or replacing septic covers, installing septic filters, repair or replacement of lines and distribution boxes, or installing a Build Up. EarthCare will inspect each component, checking the entire septic tank and system for cracks, leaks, and holes and can handle any repair your system needs.
To learn more about the Beacon Team, septic maintenance, and the services we offer contact us today.