Archive for December, 2010

The Rains have returned

Monday, December 13th, 2010

Well, the rains have returned.  Not a all to welcome sight in my industry.  It’s hard enough to perform this job, but when all of your tools are soaked and you have too suit up and heavy rain-gear.  It makes it even more exciting.

Now, I am just stating this, well, because I hear it all the time.  When it rains, my septic runs super slow, or not at all.   Septic systems are to be sealed systems.  If the correct system was installed for your lot, then this should hardly be an issue.  Your tanks should be sealed from all ground water.  That’s just gross if it’s not.

So far this rainy season we have had two nightmare jobs, where groundwater infiltration has caused failure.  Homeowner thought all was lost and my competitor me out for backup.  Homeowner had water coming up out of the tanks, and the pumps just simply, could not keep up.

This is where First Call Septic comes in.  We have chosen to purchase the state-of-the-art tools to help me in diagnosing the problems of groundwater infiltration.  In this case we ran tests for Dissolved Oxygen.  Or DO for short.  See, in order for something to be septic, it has to be void of Oxygen.  So in the tests I run, I should always get a DO reading of zero.  Or no oxygen in the septic tanks water.  But if I ever get DO of 4 or higher in some of the tanks, then great.  We found the source of the leak and time to excavate and reseal.

In this case we had a DO of 7 in the pump chamber and zero in the septic tank.  So I knew we had a leak in the transport line between septic tank and pump tank.  It was about 2 hours of labor excavating the pipe and resealing it.  But once it was done, their little, “when it rains our septic runs slow” nightmare was over.

This is a very important test when diagnosing a septic system.  Especially if it’s “failed.”  PH is another test, but that’s for another time.  I need to goto bed.

Thanks for reading,


Septics and Diaper Wipes

Monday, December 13th, 2010
Diaper Wipes in Septic Tank

Diaper Wipes in Septic Tank

I truly hope this message finds you all well.  I also hope you aren’t eating breakfast or enjoying a nice cup of coffee.  But here it goes.  This is what diaper wipes looks like in a septic tank.  This is about 2 years of build up and is causing a huge problem in our industry.  Companies are putting “septic safe” and “septic approved” on almost all wipes now.

Let me better explain wipes too.  Diaper wipes doesn’t mean someone has kids.  People are now using these more and more to toilet paper for their better “cleaning” abilities.  And let me say this.  It’s okay.  Just put them in the can.  They cannot go into the toilet and into the tank.

Packaging requirements.

I truly think these companies should be held liable for these.  They put terms on the package to make people think they are septic safe.  Like:

Flushable:  This is true.  They will clear all of your plumbing and make it to the tank just fine.

Biodegradable: This is also true.  They Will break down in 99 years or less.  But in this example we were only in year 2 of the 99 years.  So we had another 97 years to go, before the very first diaper wipes that were being added start breaking down.  You can see that this is entirely too long for a septic system.

Septic Approved:  This term should be illegal to use.  There are no people or organizations watching this one.  There is no person named Septic signing off on this stuff.  And it’s costing homeowners 10’s of thousands of dollars.

Final note.  Easy accessible wipes are becoming more and more accessible.  Windex cleaning wipes.  Bleach wipes for countertops and stoves.  And for some reason there is a movement to flush these in the toilet.  I just don’t understand that.  Put it in the garbage.

Also, if you are unfortunate to have fallen for packaging.  Get your tanks pumped out now, before it becomes prohibitively expensive to remove, or in worse case senario replace.  As long as your system is working by the time we pump these out.  You’ll be okay.  But if you wait for it to quit.  Because these wipes are coating your drainfield, then it’s a system replacement.

Thanks a million for reading.