Water Saving Tips

The average person in the US uses 80–100 gallons of water each day. Here’s how to reduce that number and save big on your water bill as you protect your septic system:

  1. Turn off the faucet while you brush your teeth. This can save 1.6 gallons of water per minute.
  2. Make sure you have a low-volume toilet. A cheap alternative is to put a brick in your toilet reservoir tank to reduce the amount of water used with each flush.
  3. Take a shorter shower. Showers can use between 1.6 and 11.8 gallons per minute. Consider getting an aerated shower head, which combines water and air, or inserting a regulator in your shower, which puts an upper limit on flow rates.
  4. Only wash full loads in your washing machine and dishwasher. This cuts out unnecessary in-between washes.
  5. Fix a dripping faucet. A dripping faucet can waste 4 gallons of water a day—1,430 gallons of water a year.
  6. Fix running toilets. If your toilet is refilling from time to time when no one has used it, the internal flap is leaking. It may not seem like much, but this small leak can saturate a lateral field over time.
  7. Water your garden with a watering can rather than a hose. A hose can use as much as 260 gallons of water in an hour. You can also save water by mulching your plants (with bark, wood shavings, heavy compost, or straw) and watering in the early morning and late afternoon, which reduces evaporation.
  8. Fill a jug with tap water and place this in your fridge. This will mean you don’t have to leave the tap running for the water to run cold before you fill your glass.
  9. Invest in water-efficient goods when you need to replace household products. You can get water-efficient showerheads, taps, toilets, washing machines, dishwashers, and many other water-saving products.

How to Avoid Septic Backup During the Holidays

During the holidays, you may have a large number of guests at your home—and that means a large amount of wastewater. If you want to avoid having your septic tank back up in the middle of Christmas dinner, here is a list of best practices when it comes to having unusually high wastewater volume around the holidays.

The general idea is to space out your water use so that the system has some breathing room and doesn’t get slammed all at once. 

  • Be sure you have low-flush toilets. If you don’t have low-volume toilets or don’t have time to change them out before the holidays, an old trick is to put a few bricks inside the reservoir tanks to reduce the amount of water storage and flushing capacity. Also, check to make sure that none of your toilets are leaking.
  • Do laundry at off-times. Maybe you can do your laundry in the late evening; then the water can be absorbed in the lateral or drain field while your guests arent using any water. Also, make sure you are washing full loads—don’t fill up the washer for a shirt or two.
  • Run the dishwasher at off-times as well. Go ahead and load it after your meals, but wait to run it until a time when there’s not a lot of water usage (perhaps start it on your way to bed). As with your laundry, only run full loads.
  • Take shorter, scheduled showers. At our house, some people take morning showers, others take evening showers, and the kids don’t mind either way. When your guests arrive, you can suggest a shower schedule that will help even out the water flow. Setting a timer on showers also helps, and if you need to remind them and youre feeling a little bit ornery, you can shut off the hot water at the water heater (while cousin Jeffrey is taking a shower, of course).
  • Conserve in small ways. Put a reminder by each sink asking folks to turn off the faucet while brushing their teeth. If you’re doing dishes by hand, turn off the faucet between rinses.
  • Keep cold water on hand. Fill a jug with tap water and place this in your fridge so that you dont have to leave the tap running for the water to run cold before you fill your glass.

Our BBB team wishes you and your family the happiest Christmas and New Year! 

What You Can do Today to Avoid Septic Problems

We all use water on a daily basis—for cooking, washing, flushing, etc. The byproduct of our water use is wastewater. Whether your house or business is connected to city sewer, a septic system, or an advanced treatment system, its wastewater must be treated before the water can be released back into nature.

Most people flush anything and everything down the drain when they are on city sewer. But if you have a septic system, you may not know about a few things that can’t go down there.

In both sewer and septic systems, all of the trash, debris, and solids must be removed and/or treated. City wastewater plants have people and machines to clean and treat everything you flush. When you are on septic, your tank captures your waste and allows space for bacteria to grow and treat the solids in the water before it is released underground.

Here are the best ways to keep your septic system working properly:

  • Avoid flushing as much trash and debris as possible.
  • Don’t use more water than you need to.
  • Make sure you’re introducing more good bacteria than you’re killing off with chemicals.
  • Hire a professional to service your tank periodically.

All of these practices will help your ground accept the effluent water you are sending through your septic system. Remember that, as a general rule, anything that doesn’t deteriorate naturally when lying on top of the ground (e.g., diaper wipes, feminine products, cigarette butts) won’t degrade inside your septic tank. If items like these build up in your tank, they can cause serious problems.

Probiotics for Your Septic

Probiotics have long been a hot topic in the health community, and they are currently taking the media by storm. The idea is that some people need to add enzymes and good bacteria to their digestive system because, for whatever reason, they have a deficiency.

At BBB Septic, we’ve been promoting probiotics for your septic or advanced treatment system for 20+ years! Unless your home’s water source is a spring-fed well, the water coming in has been chlorinated to kill bad bacteria. That’s great, but the problem is that chlorine is not selective. It kills all bacteria—including the kind that is a necessary part of your septic system. Antibacterial hand soaps, laundry detergents, fabric softeners, bleach, and other everyday chemicals also make it difficult for natural bacteria to grow in your septic tank or advanced treatment system.

We recommend boosting your system every month with a rich bacteria source. Some septic bacteria products are sold in yearly doses. While these start strong, we have noticed that they are eventually killed off over time because of the chemical inflow. A monthly introduction of bacteria is the best way to ensure the health of your system.

Other best practices for septic maintenance include pumping your tank out every 3–5 years to keep the solids content down. This allows for the highest possible amount of water for good bacteria to live in and multiply. Finally—think before you flush. Using quilted or lotion-coated toilet paper is asking your septic bacteria to work overtime. Items like diapers and handy wipes (even though they say “flushable” or “septic safe”) as well as feminine products, contraceptive products, and cigarette butts don’t ever degrade. They just take up valuable working room in your system and, if not cleaned out regularly, can cause severe damage.

BBB Septic offers a maintenance program with packages starting at just $12/month. This includes all of the bacteria your system needs as well as a septic tank pumping every five years. Please visit bbbseptic.com or call 479-271-0058 for more details.