Morse Engineering and Construction Industries

Septic Systems in Massachusetts

- Thursday, February 18, 2021
Morse Engineering and Construction Industries - Septic System Repair

About 30% of all homes in Massachusetts depend on privately owned septic systems to take care of sewage disposal. Various governmental regulations are in place to guide the consumer through every step of the process in owning a septic system.

Regulation of Septic Tank Systems

Local Massachusetts Board of Healths are the authority in charge of regulating the septic tank systems. Title 5 of the State Environmental Code contains guidelines for the positioning, construction, and maintenance of sewage systems. MassDEP is in charge of processing applications, approvals, and is also responsible for implementing Title 5 regulations.

Installing a New Septic System

To install a new septic system or repair an existing one, consumers need to apply for permission to the Board of Health. They have to get the relevant DEP approved application forms from the local Board of Health for the purpose. Applications are necessary for permission to construct, and approval for onsite construction. An onsite soil test and a percolation test have to be conducted by authorized personnel. After construction or repair, a Certificate of Compliance will be issued by the Board of Health.

To schedule an appointment or for more information, contact Morse Engineering and Construction.

Source: septic.com


Maintain Your Septic System: It's a Toilet, Not a Trash Can!

- Friday, February 12, 2021
Morse Engineering and Construction -  Cleaning Sepic System

Even if they're small, even if the package says "flushable," some everyday items can cause messy and expensive problems for your plumbing and to sewer treatment facilities.

Products that might seem safe to flush down the toilet, such as personal care wipes, dental floss and paper towels, don't dissolve quickly – or at all – in water. If a scrap of undissolved material gets caught on a nick, bend or bump within a pipe, it can trigger a growth of buildup that could cause a sewer backup in your home or neighborhood.

Sewer agencies, environmentalists and consumer advocates are working with manufacturers to correct product labeling. In the meantime, please make sure to dispose of personal care products, cleaning supplies and other household waste properly: in the trash can, in the recycling bin or at your local household hazardous waste disposal site.

Cease the Grease

Fats, cooking oils and grease are not water-soluble. They coat household pipes and public sewer mains, causing nasty clogs. To dispose of household fats, oils and grease, carefully pour them into an empty metal can. Let it cool, then throw it in the trash.

A Healthy Environment Starts at Home - Household Hazardous Waste

Some household items shouldn't be flushed because they do break down in water. Dissolved chemicals can travel through the sewer system and pollute Boston Harbor and the marine environment.

Medications and supplements should not be flushed or disposed of down the drain. They should be wrapped and thrown in the trash, or brought to a local drug take-back site.

Unwanted solvents and other chemicals used around the home, like paint, cleaners and nail polish remover, should not be flushed down the toilet or poured down the drain. You should use them up or bring them to your local household hazardous waste disposal site.

mwra.com


Septic System Inspections: How Often Should They Be Done

- Thursday, February 04, 2021
Morse Engineering and Construction - Hiring a Septic System Professional

A septic system inspection is one of those home maintenance tasks that you might put off, and then put off some more. Because septics exist underground in the backyard, they are often out of sight, thus out of mind. But letting it go too many flushes without an inspection can result in some major problems if the system fails.

Plus, septic system inspections are also required if you plan to sell your home. Even if you don't know if you're going to sell, keeping your septic system in good condition will save you thousands of dollars in repairs if anything does go wrong.

Here's everything homeowners need to know about a septic system inspection.

But that means homeowners get an inspection only when issues that may signal big trouble arise, such as when the toilet backs up, water takes too long to drain, or there's an actual septic system leakage. The benefit of doing an inspection every three years is to avoid major problems like these.

The three-year mark is also the maximum amount of time you should let your septic system go without being pumped out.

A problem caught at inspection can save you from having to replace the entire septic system (read: shell out a ton of money). It's especially important to keep your septic system in good shape if you plan on selling. During closing, a certified inspection will be performed and you don't want any last-minute surprises.

Who should perform a septic system inspection?

You're going to want to hire a professional septic contractor for the inspection.

General home inspectors do only a limited, visual-only inspection of the septic system.

A septic contractor will look for cracks in the tank indicated by a low level of liquid, the amount of solids inside the tank using a measuring device called a "sludge judge," and possible ground contamination.

How much does a septic system inspection cost?

Cost depends on how extensive the septic inspection is as well as the size of the tank, which is usually either 1,000 or 1,500 gallons. But a basic septic system inspection typically runs between $300 to $600.

You can also reach out to your local health department to see if it performs inspections for a reduced price. Is the home seller or buyer obligated to get an inspection?

The person who's responsible for carrying out the inspection is determined based on where you live.

In Massachusetts, the standard purchase agreement contract states that it's the home seller's responsibility to get the septic inspected.

Bottom line: Ask your local real estate professional about your obligation regarding the septic system inspection.

Is the seller obligated to fix any septic problems?

The responsibility to pay for septic repairs typically falls to the seller. However, repairs of any kind found at inspection are generally negotiable. Contract terms usually dictate the course of action, but sellers may have such options as doing the repairs themselves, splitting repair costs with the buyer, giving the buyer a closing credit equal to the amount of the repairs, or refusing to do anything. If an agreement on repairs isn't reached, the buyer does have the legal right to walk away from the transaction.

Don't forget about disclosure

In all states, sellers are required to disclose any known problems with a home to potential buyers. If there's a septic issue after closing that the sellers knew about, they will be liable for the entire cost of the repairs.

For that reason, it's good practice for all sellers to perform their own septic system inspection.

That way, the seller is protected from any future septic issues after the closings.

To schedule an appointment or for more information, contact Morse Engineering and Construction.

Source: http://realtor.com/


Required Maintenance to Keep the Septic tank in Selling Condition?

- Thursday, January 28, 2021
Morse Engineering and Construction - Percolation Testing

All the wastewater we use—from the bathroom, laundry, and kitchen—needs to be treated to remove or neutralize pathogens and pollutants like phosphorus and nitrogen, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In a centralized sewer system, sewer mains flow into progressively larger pipes until they reach a wastewater treatment plant; with a private septic system, this treatment occurs on the property.

A typical septic system consists of a main drainage pipe, a septic tank and a drainfield, or soil absorption field. Systems can have additional components such as pumps and electrical float switches.

The septic tank is often a concrete, fiberglass, or polyethylene watertight container buried underground. It separates any solids, organic matter, and floatable material (such as oils and grease) from the liquid wastewater, which exits into the shallow drainfield. From the drainfield, the treated wastewater disperses through the soil, ultimately discharging to groundwater. The separated solids and sludge remain in the tank until they’re removed by a professional septic service.

The National Environmental Services Center (NESC) says that solids take about 24 to 48 hours to settle. A four-bedroom home with a 1,000-gallon tank typically would need about two days for solids to settle—but as more solids accumulate, the settling time decreases. More than one-third of the liquid depth, and the tank should be pumped and cleared.

Problems can occur when the tank is overdue for drainage or when the drainfield becomes overloaded, causing flooding or sewage to flow into the ground or back into the home, these experts say.

The EPA recommends that you have your household septic system inspected at least every 3 years and pumped every 3 to 5 years, depending on the size of your household, the septic tank, and other factors.

(If your system has mechanical components or additional pumps, the EPA suggests an annual inspection.)

To schedule an appointment or for more information, contact Morse Engineering and Construction.


Winter Septic System Tips

- Friday, January 15, 2021

If you have a septic system , it’s important to know what you should and shouldn’t do around that area of the yard and indoors. There is a possibility of a septic system freezing, especially in cold areas with little snowfall.

Follow these tips to reduce the chance of frustrating and costly damage to your septic system this winter.

Repair leaky fixtures. Dripping sinks, showers, and toilets can result in ice forming in the pipeline between your house and septic tank.

Use hot water. Having warm water flow into the tank regularly will help prevent ice buildup. Pamper yourself with a long bath or shower with the knowledge that you’re helping the septic system!

Keep up the lawn. A healthy, thick lawn of grass or other foliage will help insulate the soil that contains the septic system.

Spread mulch. Place an 8-12 inch layer of straw mulch on top of and around the pipes, tanks, and drain field of the septic system. This will further insulate the ground and help prevent the soil from freezing.

Secure the system. Make sure the tank and pipes don’t have any cracks in them and any caps are still securely in place. Any openings can let cold air into the system.

Keep cars away. Never park any vehicles on top of your drain field. Cars will compact the soil above the septic system, which makes it easier to transfer cold below. They will also prevent insulating snow from covering the area.

If you’ve had troubles with your septic system freezing or other issues in the past, you should get the system checked out by a professional. They can help with problems such as:

Sagging pipes. Pipes that have settled into the ground unevenly will cause water to pool and possibly freeze.

Insulation installation. A sewer professional can install more extensive insulation around the tank and pipes.

Draining the system. A septic tank and pipes periodically need to be pumped and cleaned out. You should leave this task to a professional.

Waterlogged drain field. Older septic systems can cause the drain field to become flooded. In this case, consult with a professional to see what can be done in your particular situation.

Keep your septic system in good shape by getting it checked regularly. In the meantime, keep these tips in mind to help prevent freezing and damage. If you want more home maintenance tips for the colder months, check out Complete Protection’s guide to fall maintenance here.

Contact Morse Engineering and Construction for more information.

Source: completehomewarranty.com


Does Cold Weather Affect the Septic System?

- Friday, January 08, 2021
Morse Engineering and Construction Industries - Septic System Guidance

Maintaining a septic system is important, especially in the winter time. Here are helpful tips and instructions to help you keep your septic system healthy through the cold months.

A lot of new homeowners wonder whether or not cold weather can affect their septic systems. The answer is yes, and in a multitude of different ways.

It is important to understand how brutal these conditions can be on your home’s septic system. There are a number of different factors that can affect the many components of your septic system and (in some cases) cause them to freeze. These include soil and snow compaction.

If you want to prevent costly damage to your septic system, the first step is to know what the causes of any potential issues are in order to be able to seek out the proper solutions. Luckily, in this article, we will be exploring how, exactly, cold weather can impact a home’s septic system and how you can take the necessary steps to prevent problems from occurring.

Frozen Septic System Components

When winter hits, and the temperatures outside drop below (approximately) 32 degrees Fahrenheit, many of your septic system’s components can begin to freeze as a result.

Unfortunately, if your septic tank is frozen, waste won’t be able to be broken down quickly enough, which can lead to serious issues for the people living inside the home, condo, or apartment complex that the septic system belongs to.

In these situations, the areas that become the most impacted are typically the pipes that lead into the septic tank from the home, along with the drain field and tank. Preventing your septic tank from freezing entails covering your entire septic system with either a thick insulating blanket or cover to keep it warm throughout the winter season.

Many experts would also recommend using your septic systems as much as possible during the winter, as this will help make them less susceptible to potentially freezing. Continuous usage means water will be continuously flowing.

Soil And Snow Compaction

You should avoid parking your vehicle above the drain field or septic tank, as this can cause any snow on the ground to become compacted in the area. This can lead the soil that is over the septic tank to become heavily compacted; resulting in less effective insulation of your septic tank.

This can lead to a frozen septic system. If you want to take the prevention of this problem one step further, you can aerate your soil before the winter season even begins.

Pipes That Don’t Work Properly

It’s common to have a leak (or two) in your septic system’s pipes. Unfortunately, not only can this result in improper drainage, but it can also allow cold outdoor air to pass through and cause water to freeze over. This can lead to further damage to your septic system.

Another issue you need to watch out for is clogging. Any clogs in your pipes can cause wastewater to become backed up and accumulate where it will eventually freeze as a result of the cold outdoor air.

If you want to prevent these issues from occurring, ensure any clogs or leaks are addressed and fixed before the winter begins.

Overworking Your Septic System

Are you planning on inviting a lot of guests and visitors during the holidays? While this can be an enjoyable time for you and your friends/family, with more people in your home this means the septic tank is going to be used significantly more than it normally would.

With more laundry being done, dishes being washed, and showers being taken, this can overwork your septic system and increase the likelihood of causing damage.

Not Enough Usage

Again, if you’re going a long period of time without using your septic tank, this can cause it to freeze. This is actually a common problem in homes that aren’t used regularly during the winter months — such as summer vacation homes — but can also occur in homes with only one or two residents.

Because wastewater is not being passed through the septic system’s pipes on a continuous basis, you don’t have a continuous flow of water running through your pipes to prevent them from freezing over.

What to do if Your Septic System Freezes

If your home’s septic system does happen to freeze during the winter season, it might be time to call on a professional to help identify and fix the issue. If the problem can’t be fixed quickly, you can use your septic tank as a holding tank until it can thaw out properly.

Keep in mind, though, this is only a short-term, “bandaid”, a solution that can be quite pricey. With that said, it might be deemed necessary while you wait for the right weather conditions or equipment to be able to make the proper repairs.

Contact Morse Engineering and Construction for more information.

Source: homestratosphere.com


Warm Holiday Greetings To You All

- Wednesday, December 23, 2020
Happy Holidays From Morse Engineering and Construction Industries

Warm Holiday greetings to you all. We write this note to you with joyous confidence that 2021 will bring happier, healthy, and more profitable days to us all! That wish is certainly a cause for optimistic celebration this Holiday season.

Our Holiday gift to you is the gift of small business in your community. To be able to buy locally is a true gift to your neighborhood as well as to your family and friends. We hope that everyone reading this takes a measured effort to buy local to the fullest extent possible, not only during this Holiday season but going forward as well.

Buying local is one of the best gifts you can give to your neighbors and your community. Visit a local restaurant, salon, store, or shop for better relationships and better customer service; but more so you can shake the owner’s hand and wish them the best in 2021 and beyond. That will be a gift for you both. Help make this a joyous holiday for everyone: Give the gift of your business to a local business.

We wish you and your entire family happiness, health, and warmth this Holiday season. Our warmest regards to you all.


Septic Service Coming? Here is What you Need to Know

- Thursday, December 17, 2020
Septic Service Coming? Here is What you Need to Know

When you call a septic company, the technician will inspect for leaks and examine the scum and sludge layers in your septic tank.

Keep maintenance records on work performed on your septic system.

Your septic tank includes a T-shaped outlet which prevents sludge and scum from leaving the tank and traveling to the drainfield area. If the bottom of the scum layer is within six inches of the bottom of the outlet, or if the top of the sludge layer is within 12 inches of the outlet, your tank needs to be pumped.

To keep track of when to pump out your tank, write down the sludge and scum levels found by the septic professional.

The service provider should note repairs completed and the tank condition in your system’s service report. If other repairs are recommended, hire a repair person soon.

Contact Morse Engineering and Construction for more information on what to expect when your septic tank needs service.

Source: EPA.gov


Guide to Septic Tank Maintenance

- Friday, December 04, 2020
Guide to Septic Tank Maintenance in Sturbridge, Fiskdale, MA

Did you know that it costs anywhere from $3,000 to $7,000 to replace the septic tank? With this in mind, proper septic system maintenance is absolutely essential to keeping your septic system up-and-running. Routine septic system maintenance will not only save you from spending big bucks on expensive repairs, but it will also help make your living environment a healthy and safe space. Fortunately, septic system maintenance isn’t rocket science. From your toilet and shower to your garbage disposal and washer, whatever goes down your drain ends up in your septic tank. Therefore, it’s important to pay close attention to what items you are putting down the drain, as well as the efficiency of your appliances. For more information on how to maintain your septic system, read our guide below.

Septic System Basics

Your septic system contains a septic tank and a drainfield. The septic tank container is located underground and is responsible for holding solids and scum accumulated from your wastewater. According to the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), “more than one in five households in the United States depend on an individual onsite system or small community cluster system to treat their wastewater.” Households that use a septic tank system are typically located in rural areas without access to public city sewers. While potential home buyers may initially view having a septic tank as a negative, they should know that with proper maintenance, these septic tanks have the ability to last 30 years or more.

What is a drainfield?

Once wastewater exits the septic tank, it passes on to the drainfield. Part of the septic system, the drainfield is a “shallow, covered, excavation” in the soil, according to the EPA. It is sometimes referred to as a “leachfield.” If the drainfield becomes inundated with wastewater and/or outside liquid, it can flood. This can lead to a sewage backup.

Why is septic system maintenance so important?

Given how expensive it is to replace a septic system, proper maintenance is an important step to keeping your septic system (and your finances) healthy. The more proactive you are in caring for and maintaining your septic system, the longer that septic system will last. When maintaining your septic tank, the goal is to prevent the accumulation of solids, as well as any groundwater contamination.

How often should I have my septic system pumped?

The size of your household, total wastewater generated, amount of solids present and tank size will all determine how often your septic system will need to be pumped. The EPA reports that while the average septic system is pumped every three years, those with “electrical float switches, pumps or mechanical components should be inspected more often.” In general, we recommend having your septic system inspected and pumped once a year to be safe. Below is an easy four-step maintenance program, which, if followed carefully, will prevent solid build-up and ensure that your system will operate at peak efficiency for many years to come.

4 Steps to Septic System Maintenance

  • Step 1 – Responsible Pumping – Each household should be on a regular septic service schedule to prevent the accumulation of solids in their system. Servicing frequency varies per household, so be sure to ask your technician their opinion on how often your septic system needs to be pumped.

  • Step 2 – High-Pressure Water Jetting – All septic systems, regardless of responsible pumping, will accumulate solids and other debris in their drain pipes. The presence of these solids clog the pipes that connect the septic tank to the drainfield. Therefore, we recommend high-pressure water jetting every five years to eliminate and clear any debris that could prevent your system from operating efficiently.

  • Step 3 – Use a Bacteria Additive – Septic owners should use a live organic bacteria that breaks down the presence of unnatural substances and solids, like detergents and soaps, that sometimes enter your septic system. If these common household substances penetrate your septic system they kill off the naturally occurring bacteria that allow your system to function properly. Bacteria additives are an inexpensive insurance policy that keeps your pipes clean & clear, odor free, and your system functioning properly.

  • Step 4 – Install an Effluent Filter – Your filter, which prevents solids from entering into your drainfield, needs to be cleaned or replaced whenever you service your system. Some older systems do not have a filter. If your septic system does not have a filter, inform your technician.

Contact Morse Engineering and Construction for more information.


Septic System Guidance for Before and After Winter

- Thursday, November 19, 2020
Morse Engineering and Construction Industries - Septic System Guidance

Before the Winter

Always keep your septic system well maintained; a well-maintained septic system is better able to withstand the stresses of winter weather. Take these steps to protect your septic system.

Know and document all components of your septic system. Take photos of the connections and system components. These photos will be helpful if components are destroyed and you need to replace them or file insurance claims. Make sure your photos and/or documents include:

  • Septic tank location
  • Septic system records or drawings
  • Electrical components

Check for and repair any leaking plumbing fixtures. Small trickles of water can freeze within the pipe and eventually cause the pipe to freeze solid.

Let the grass in your lawn get longer in the late summer/fall over the tank and soil treatment area to provide extra insulation.

Consider wrapping your pipes with heat tape if you have high-efficiency appliances that generate small amounts of water.

Make sure the land around the manhole covers is sloped downwards so that snow melt flows away from the system

Avoid compacting the soil around the system. Compacted soil provides less insulation than uncompacted soil. Never allow vehicle traffic or livestock above the tanks or on the drain field.

Check with a septic system service professional before doing any landscaping to make sure that your system complies with freezing depths for the area.

Consider adding more insulation to the system if your system is new, you have had issues with freezing in the past, or you have a mound system. Options include installing insulated pipes, adding insulation to tanks or manhole covers, or placing a layer of mulch (8-12 inches) over the pipes, tank and drain field. This mulch could be hay, straw, or any other loose material. Contact a septic system service professional for more information.

Check for open, broken or uncapped risers, inspection pipes, or manhole covers that may allow cold air in and cause freezing. Be careful around any openings to the system and contact a septic system service professional for any needed repairs.

Check for any water pooling near the drain field. Effluent released from a failing system may freeze and prevent further effluent from entering the soil. Contact a septic system service professional for any needed repairs.

During the Winter

If you will be gone for more than a week leave the heat on in your home and consider having someone come by and run warm water regularly to prevent pipes from freezing.

Limit all traffic above and near the system during freezing temperatures. Excessive foot traffic, pets, or other impacts can cause snow to compact and the system to freeze.

Avoid removing or compacting snow above the system. Compacted snow provides less insulation than uncompacted snow and cold PVC pipes and plastic risers may crack or break.

If you feel the system starting to freeze use warm water and spread out your laundry and dishwasher schedule to at least one warm load per day. Do not leave water running, as this will hydraulically overload the system.

If you will be gone for several months, follow the steps listed above and check with a septic system service professional about having your septic tank pumped to prevent the effluent from freezing. In certain areas pumping the tank may cause it to pop out of the ground.

If your septic system freezes, call a septic system service professional. Do not add antifreeze, salt, or a septic system additive to the system. Do not run hot water continuously, start a fire over the system, or attempt to pump the sewage. Unless the cause of the freezing is corrected the system will probably refreeze next winter.

If you hear water constantly running into a pump tank or the pump turning on and off your system may be frozen. Shut off your pump and call a septic system service professional.

If your septic system cannot be repaired, contact a septic system service professional about using the septic tank as a holding tank until the system thaws naturally. If this complies with local code the tanks will need to be emptied on a regular basis. This can be costly. Reduce water use by limiting the number of toilet flushes, taking short showers, using the dishwasher at full capacity, and doing laundry at a laundromat.

Contact Morse Engineering and Construction for more information.

neha.org