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4 Tips to Extend The Life of Your Septic System

- Wednesday, September 30, 2020
Morse Engineering and Construction - Sepic System

Most homeowners over-stress about owning a septic system. But, there's no reason to stress at all.

By and large maintenance is easy. You just need the correct information. So here's a quick breakdown of rules for avoiding being that over-stressed homeowner.

If your home features a septic tank, follow these 4 tips to ensure its longest life.

1. Know the specifics about your septic system

Know where it is, how many gallons the tank holds and when the last time it was pumped. If you have the original plans, permits, and maintenance records you get extra credit, but if you don't, don't fear, it’s not too hard to get you up to speed. A quick call to the local health district or agency’s septic system permit office will usually get you the original permits, as long as it was permitted, and those will provide answers for the first two things.

When was the last time it was pumped? Either you know that or you don't. If you don't, you really want to get the tank opened up so we can measure the scum mat and determine how close it may be to being ready for pumping.

2. Follow the time table

Your septic system’s individual pumping schedule is based upon factors that are not identical from system to system. There are handy tables available that tell you - based on the number of people who live in your home and the size of the tank - how often you're due for pumping.

Set a reminder for the next time your due in your personal calendar. Then be sure to schedule out your pumping when you get your reminder and don't be lax about it. Note that using the garbage disposal regularly will add solids to your septic tank and will increase how frequently you need to pump by up to 50 percent. So, if you are a heavy garbage disposal user, stop being one or set your schedule for twice as often.

3. Make it accessible

This is by far one of the most confusing things to understand about your septic system. The septic tank that gets pumped out is buried on your property. Following the installation of the septic tank, it usually stays out of sight and out of mind.

But one of the best things you can do is install risers to bring your septic system’s lids to the surface. The most obvious and critical reason to do so is that the pumper truck needs them exposed so they can clean the tank out for maintenance. If you've ever had to dig them up or pay for it, you don't ever want to do that again. It costs money to install risers and it sure beats the price of locating and digging them up every few years.

4. Check with your health district or agency before landscaping or adding new features

Most health districts or agencies have regulations about how close landscaping or other features can be installed to the septic system. They might sound like bureaucratic nonsense, but those rules are really in place to preserve the structural integrity and life span of your septic tank and leach field.

As a rule of thumb, bushes and grass have short roots and are about the only landscaping acceptable in a ten foot radius of your system. Roots will always find the closest source of water even if they have to bind up your leach field and break open your tank to get it.

Pools close to your system require a barrier to avoid chlorine getting in and killing the septic system. Driveways should never be over any part of your system, as the weight will crush the tank and pipes over time.

Landscape and other companies usually don't take septic systems into consideration when putting together proposals, so it’s up to you to ensure that there's nothing they are doing that's going to affect your septic system.

Contact Morse Engineering and Construction for more information.


Don't Make These Septic System Mistakes?

- Friday, September 18, 2020
Morse Engineering and Construction Industries, LLC - Septic System in Sturbridge, Fiskdale, MA

Believe it or not, your septic system needs maintenance on a regular schedule. "Out of sight, out of mind" definitely does not apply to your septic system. Just because you can't see it doesn't mean you can forget about it. Without proper maintenance, your septic system can have a breakdown — usually at the most inconvenient time.

Avoid these common mistakes and your septic system should have a long and efficient life:

1. Paper

Sure, toilet paper is made to flush down the toilet. But to protect your system, be prudent with the quantity of paper used. Toilet paper does NOT include tampons, sanitary napkins, disposable diapers or baby wipes. These items do not break down sufficiently in the septic tank and can cause clogs, resulting in possible damage.

3. Grease

Do not pour grease down the sink or any pipes leading to the septic system. Grease congeals and over time clogs pipes, builds up in the septic tank and eventually blocks drain field lines. Dispose of grease in your garbage.

4. Garbage disposal

For the sake of your septic system, forget you have one (if you do). It is too convenient to scrape all kinds of things down the disposal that absolutely should NOT end up in your septic tank — fruit and vegetable peelings and scraps, bits and pieces of bone and meat, as well as grease. These items do not break down in the natural atmosphere of the septic tank. Instead they build up and cause eventual clogging and blocking of plumbing pipes and possibly drain field lines.

5. Maintenance

Please don't wait until your septic tank is backing up to decide it is time to pump it. Just as your car requires regular maintenance to keep it running at peak performance, your septic system needs maintenance on a regular schedule as well. We recommend pumping your septic tank every 5 to 7 years, depending on how many people live in your house and how much water is used.

6. Save your money

Additives do not extend the life of your septic system. They just give a feeling of false security. Your septic system requires no additional additives to function properly.

7. Laundry

One of the wonders of modern life is the washing machine. No more going down to the river to scrub our dirty clothes with a rock. However, consider your septic system — as well as the environment — when doing your laundry. The washing machine puts out a tremendous amount of water, so try and wash full loads. Spreading your loads of laundry over several days is a good idea as well. Multiple loads on the same day may put a strain on your drain field lines.

8. Cat litter

Even though the box of cat litter says it's flushable — DON'T. Not if you have a septic tank system. Cat litter does not break down totally and will clog and build up in the septic tank and lines. The convenience is not worth the expense of a repair.

Being mindful of what goes down your plumbing lines and out into your septic system will go a long way to ensuring the efficiency and lifespan of your system.

For more information on septic systems and septic system inspections, contact Morse Engineering and Construction

Hiring a Septic System Installer

- Friday, September 18, 2020
Morse Engineering and Construction - Septic System Installer

If you hire a company to install a septic system, these steps would likely be taken:

Obtain permits: Before septic installation begins, the necessary permits required in your area need to be secured. The contractor you hire should do this task. If the contractor fails to do this, you could find yourself having to tear out the tanks and pay hefty fines.

Survey the field to be used: The plumber or septic contractor will perform topography surveys of the area and complete a blueprint and project plan to ensure that your new septic tank will be positioned properly. Local zoning ordinances may require the septic tank be placed a set distance from structures and/or the property line.

Excavation and site preparation: This includes bringing in sand and gravel for the leach field. Accurate site prep is essential for the system to work properly since the force of gravity provides the necessary flow.

Stub out the plumbing: The term "stubbing out" refers to having a building's plumbing in place, but capped at various points awaiting installation of fixtures. So at this stage the plumber installs the drain from the house to the septic tank, ready for connection. The pipe needs to have the correct "fall," or degree of decline over distance to use gravity. If a toilet or sink is installed in the home's basement, a sewage sump pump must be installed and piped into the main drain.

Install the septic tank: When the plumbing field is ready the septic tank is installed.

Connect the tank to the plumbing: The piping that runs from the interior plumbing system of the home out to the septic tank will be connected and sealed to prevent leaks. Any drainage pipes that are necessary to connect to a secondary drainage area to prevent excessive pooling of water will also be connected at this point. The system will be tested to ensure that it operates properly. Once all connections are completed, the septic field will be filled in to hold the tank in place and provide proper operation of the septic system.

Contact Morse Engineering and Construction for more information


Get a Septic Tank Inspection, Avoid Winter Disasters

- Thursday, September 03, 2020

If you have a septic tank , then you know bad things can happen if it doesn’t get cared for properly. The EPA recommends that you have your septic system professionally inspected at least every three years. You may also need to get your tank pumped. The frequency depends on your household size and how much waste you produce. Pumping needs can range from every year to every five years. It can also be influenced by climate – the further north you are, the more often your tank needs to be pumped.

You should get your tank inspected and any preventive maintenance done in the fall. The last thing you want to experience in the middle of the winter when your tank is buried under 2-3 feet of snow and the ground is frozen is a septic tank emergency. By having you septic inspected in the fall, you reduce the risk of winter septic disasters.

A professional should do the septic tank inspection. What you should do yourself is keep an eye (or nose) on your tank. Water backups and any kind of odor are an indication something is going on with your septic tank. A professional will do a full inspection, including going into the septic tank to do an internal inspection.

The inspector will check your tank for leaks, make sure it is not waterlogged, and check the condition of the tank after it has been pumped. A full professional septic inspection is necessary to make sure your septic tank is functioning at full capacity.

Contact Morse Engineering and Construction for more information about how we can help you avoid winter septic disasters and extend the life of your septic system.