BBB Solutions: Septic Care Tips To Remember This Summer

Summer is a busy time of year between the grilling parties, get-togethers, and seasonal home projects – and not just for you, but your septic system too. Whether your septic system is for your residence or your business, you know it requires proper care and maintenance to keep it running smoothly, and with summer being such a lively season this is doubly true. In addition to
its regular care, here are three things to keep in mind to ensure optimal septic performance:

As Always, Be Wary What You’re Putting Down Your Pipes

While you might already know what your septic system can and can’t handle, your house guests might be a little less in the know. Before your guests start flushing harsh chemicals or other materials, make sure you give them a rundown of what can and can’t go into the septic tank.

Consider A Pre-Party Septic Pump

Planning a summer get-together? That’s great! Just be wary: more guests = more flushing. To get ahead of any issues, go ahead and plan out a pre-party pump for your septic system.

Be Mindful When Landscaping

It’s the perfect time of year for landscaping, but make sure you’re being mindful of your septic tank’s location and proximity to what’s being planted as well as to any heavy equipment. After all, you don’t want roots getting into your system or for that heavy equipment to end up parked on your tank!

Ready to start your septic system design and installation process? Have questions? Give us a call at 479-225-9800 or contact us here.

BBB Solutions: Septic System Design and Installation

Designing and Installing Your Septic System: An Introduction 

When we start to design a septic design, our team begins the process by meeting with you to develop a full understanding of your septic system design needs. This includes asking questions like: “What do you intend to build on the property?” and “How many bedrooms will there be in the home?”. 

From there, our team will conduct a soil test, commonly referred to as a “perc test”. The soil test will determine if the area is able to support a septic system absorption field (otherwise known as a lateral field or as leach lines). 

With these results, the BBB Septic team can design a proper system built to suit your property’s unique needs. This design is then submitted to the health department, which then issues a permit that allows us to move forward with the installation and maintenance of your system.

Onsite Wastewater FAQ

For your convenience, we also gathered a couple of commonly asked questions regarding onsite wastewater. To read the full FAQ, check out this post from the Arkansas Department of Health!

Q: What is the minimum lot size for a septic system? 

A: There is no minimum lot size. The space required for a sewage system is determined by the suitability of the soils at the site, the number of bedrooms in the home, and the 100 foot set back from the water wells.

Q: Why soil pit tests? 

A: The soil pits determine the depths to any rock, any impervious soil layers, and the anticipated level of ground water in the wet periods of the year. This information results in sewage system design that overcomes the soil’s limitations.

Ready to start your septic system design and installation process? Have questions? Give us a call at 479-225-9800 or contact us here.

Extending The Life Of Your Septic System

Replacing a septic system can be quite costly, but with proper care and maintenance your system can last anywhere from fifteen to forty years. Here are a few tips to extend the life of your septic system and save you money in the long run:

1. Regular Maintenance

Once a septic system is installed, it requires regular care and maintenance to keep it working to its best potential. Regular pumping, cleaning lateral lines, and removing debris are all part of keeping your septic system functioning at top efficiency. A poorly maintained septic system will quickly turn into a big, messy, and costly problem.

Learn about our septic maintenance program here

2. Conserve Water 

Overuse of water in your home can lead to an overloaded drain field or septic tank. This overuse can occur when running too many appliances at the same time or when you have a lot of visitors and your septic system doesn’t get any rest. For tips on how to better conserve water, check out our blog post on water efficiency

3. Know What Not To Flush 

Harsh chemicals, like bleach, can kill the healthy bacteria hard at work in your septic tank, so be sure to use septic-safe cleaners on your toilets and drains. When in doubt – don’t flush it – throw it in the trash or read the label to follow proper disposal procedures. 

Experiencing septic issues or have questions? Give us a call at 479-225-9800 or email us at info@bbbseptic.com

Signs Your Septic Tank Is Damaged Or Failing

A failing septic system is many a homeowners worst nightmare. In addition to costly repairs and replacements, septic system failures can cause serious and unpleasant damages. 

To avoid septic failure, we advise regular maintenance, as well as a general understanding of both the signs and causes of damage. 

Common Signs of Septic Damages or Failure 

Water Or Sewage Backing Up Into Your Home 

Water or sewage backing up from kitchen or bathroom drains are a sure indicator that there is a problem with your septic system, and can negatively impact both your home and health. 

Slow Bathroom Or Kitchen Drains 

When dealing with slow drains it may be tempting to turn to drain cleaners, but these harsh chemicals can further damage your septic system, particularly if there is an underlying issue. 

Bad Odors Inside Your Home Or Near Your Septic System

Smelling rotten eggs? It’s likely that you’re smelling septic gasses, and while this is not always a sign of failure it is certainly a sign that something is amiss with your system. 

Pooling Or Standing Water In Your Yard

Where there’s a smell there’s a source, and if you’re smelling septic odors a pool of water in your yard may be the culprit. Be sure to check near your septic drainfield for standing water and call a professional to find the source of the damage. 

BBB Septic Maintenance Program 

As with most systems, maintenance is key in avoiding future problems and damages. These preventative measures prolong the life of your system, protect your home, guard your health, and help to prevent septic failure. 

With the BBB Septic Maintenance Program, your septic care is automated and your system protected. As a preferred service member, you also receive a variety of perks that include regular maintenance checks and services, priority service, a 10% discount on repairs, regular septic pumping, and more. 

Learn more about our program here and please feel free to contact us at info@bbbseptic.com to request membership or additional details. 

BBB Septic It’s Cold Outside! Protecting Your Outdoor Fixtures & More

Whether you’re traveling for the holidays or staying close to home, you’ll want to make sure your outdoor fixtures are prepared for cold weather and freezing temps to avoid costly damages. 

In fact, statistics show that cold weather related damage claims are actually pretty common. One in fifteen homes make a winter weather damage claim each year, and one in fifty five report plumbing related water damage from the same cause. 

Water damage from freezing or leaky pipes is not only rather common, it can get quite expensive! Why? Well, these sorts of issues can cause a lot of damage. When cold weather hits, broken pipes can break and freeze, and while you may not notice the damage right away you certainly will when warmer weather hits and your home starts spouting water in unwanted areas. 
As always, the prevention is better than the cure. Here are a few easy steps you can take as a home or business owner to ensure your outdoor fixtures and septic system are well taken care of during the colder months.

Outdoor Spigots 

  1. Close the shut off valve for your faucet. 
  2. Disconnect any attached hoses. 
  3. Open your faucet and let any remaining water drain. 

Hoses 

  1. Disconnect all outdoor hoses from outdoor faucets. 
  2. Disconnect hoses from each other (as applicable). 
  3. Drain all hoses. 
  4. Coil and store in a dry area. Ensure there are no pinches or kinks. 

Pro tip: If you accidentally left your hose outside in freezing temps, bring it to an indoor area such as a garage or shed, and let it thaw a bit before coiling and storing. This will help prevent any breaks or damages to your water hose. 

Septic System 

  1. Add a layer of insulation, such as mulch, over septic pipes, tank, and soil treatment area.
  2. Don’t leave water running to prevent freezing. 
  3. Fix any leaky plumbing to avoid freezing in pipes.

Septic Tank Additives: Yes or No?

You asked, we answered.

Over 60 million people across the country rely on septic tanks to treat wastewater. After all, they’re a great solution for property owners in suburban and rural areas that lack access to conventional sewer systems. 

If you’re one of those homeowners, we know you’ve wondered about septic tank additives – it’s one of our most frequently asked questions! 

The short answer is this: Yes, our team recommends responsible use of approved additives, but let’s break that down a bit more.

Why use additives?

While septic tanks were designed to work without additives, the items we use every day often harm its natural processes.

Septic tanks use good, living bacteria to break down solids that have gone down your drains, but products like hand soap, laundry detergent, fabric softener, bleach, and other household cleaners with antibacterial properties kill off that bacteria, making them good for your household but bad for your septic tank. 

The BBB Solution: Just Flush. 

There are many choices when it comes to additives, but don’t feel overwhelmed. Our team has conducted extensive testing over the years and we highly recommend Just Flush, an easy-to-use, super concentrated, all natural septic sludge and odor eliminator. This no chemical, non-toxic product works best when used monthly as a sort of booster shot for your system, and is available for purchase on our website or at no cost as part of our Septic Maintenance Program. 

Remember, nothing beats a regular maintenance schedule.

Additives are a great way to support your tank, but the best way to ensure your septic system runs smoothly is proper, regularly scheduled maintenance. 

Questions? Give us a call at (479) 225-9800 or fill out our contact form

BBB Solutions: How To Avoid Costly Damages From Cleaning Wipes

Are your COVID-19 cleaning habits damaging your household?

Whether it’s in an effort to decrease possible COVID-19 exposure or a result of more Arkansans staying home, everyone has certainly been cleaning quite a bit more than usual. Disinfectants are flying off the shelves, going into homes, and then… into your septic system??

That’s right! Anything you flush or wash down the drain goes into your septic system, making proper usage and disposal of cleaning products a vital part of caring for your household. 

Consequences of improper disposal. 

According to one recent study, while 44% of Americans are using disinfectants more frequently at home due to COVID-19, only 58% are following the usage instructions on the label

via GIPHY

It’s important to read the labels on your cleaning products, because while some products are safe to go down the drain, disinfectant wipes (and even baby wipes!) are among the few that are not safe to flush – even if the label claims that they are flushable! After all, flushable doesn’t mean they are pumpable. 

Our team has seen quite an increase in septic issues as of late, with wipes being the main culprits. Check out this story from just the other day: 

“We went to pump out the septic tank at a farmhouse and couldn’t even complete the job because of all the wipes in the tank. What should have been a routine service has turned into quite an ordeal. Now we have to bring in an excavator, dig up the tank, pull off the concrete, attempt to dig out the wipes with equipment, and survey for permanent damages. I think most people don’t know wipes aren’t intended for flushing, and that fixes like this can get pretty pricey… upwards of $1,200 to start!” – Jon, BBB Septic Owner 

Here’s what to remember when it comes to cleaning wipes. 

Unfortunately for us all, “flushable” or “biodegradable” doesn’t mean cleaning wipes are septic safe, as these terms are generally not strictly regulated. Wipes are too thick to move through your septic system, and if your cleaning habits have increased they can clump together, causing clogging and other costly damages. 

All that said, the safest method of disposal? A good old reliable trash can. 

Experiencing septic issues? Give us a call at 479-225-9800 or email us at info@bbbseptic.com.

For CDC COVID-19 cleaning guidance, click here

Lou & Swirly’s Bathroom Cleaning Checklist

Did you know that the average person spends nearly thirteen hours cleaning and tidying their home each week (American Cleaning Institute, 2018)? Now, we can’t tell you if that’s too much or too little – we’ll leave that up to you to decide – but with so much cleaning to do we figured we’d make it a little easier with this Lou & Swirly checklist! 

Septic Safe Bathroom Cleaning Products  

If there’s one room where chemical cleaners are really put to work, it’s the bathroom, but beware homeowners! Overuse of harsh chemical products can be pretty rough on your septic system. In fact, just two gallons of chlorine bleach can kill off all necessary bacteria in a 1,000 gallon septic tank, so make sure you’re using your cleaning products responsibly or consider using septic safe alternatives. 

For natural, septic safe alternatives our team recommends:

  • Apple Cider Vinegar or White Vinegar – Good on hard stains and odors, this non-toxic, multipurpose product works best when you let it sit for a few hours and then scrub. 
  • Baking Soda – Effective and affordable! Let baking soda sit overnight in the toilet bowl and then in the morning, just flush and scrub. 
  • Amway L.O.C. Bathroom Cleaner – This L.O.C. or, liquid organic cleaner, is naturally derived and dissolves soap scum with ease. It’s also great for water spots, film, and more, making it a great all-purpose cleaner. 

Need help with your septic system? Give us a call at 479-225-9800 or email us at info@bbbseptic.com. 

Keeping Your Septic System From Freezing: BBB Solutions

Fall is the ideal time to start thinking about how you’ll be caring for your septic system during the colder months, especially if you live in a more rural area. As always, maintenance is key. Before winter, it’s a good idea to have your septic tank cleaned and pumped. Tanks with accumulated sludge can possibly cause problems in the winter – and fixing a failed septic system in the cold weather can prove difficult and expensive!

For your convenience, we’ve gathered a few helpful tips for keeping your septic system from freezing. Have questions or need help? Give us a call!

Tips to Keep Your Septic System From Freezing

  1. Add a layer of mulch over the pipes, tank, and soil treatment area to act as insulation. 
  1. Don’t leave your water running to prevent freezing. 
  1. If you’re a homeowner planning a holiday vacation, have someone visit and use hot water regularly.
  1. Fix any leaky plumbing. Small amounts of water going into the system can freeze as thin ice layers within pipes, and eventually close them.
  1. Keep all vehicles off the septic system.

Having issues with your septic? Give us a Call (479) 271-0058. Or chat with us live during business hours (Chat Box Bottom Right Corner)

Drainfield Red Flags

can't see drain field issues

Your septic system is rarely thought of, but it plays a vital role in your everyday life! From laundry to dishwashing, your septic system is in play.

An important part of your septic system is the drainfield. The drainfield is largely responsible for hosting and holding water from the septic tank that will eventually be absorbed into the surrounding soil. When you overload your system, or if your system isn’t working properly, the drainfield can become negatively affected. 

As a homeowner, it’s important to know and recognize the signs of drainfield problems.

Don’t Turn a Blind Eye to Drainfield Red Flags 

  1. Sewage Odors: Whether it’s indoors or outdoors, sewage odors are a big, smelly, red flag.  
  1. Standing Water or Wet Spots: Keep an eye out for anything slimy, standing water, or recurring wet spots in your yard. 
  1. Slow Flushing Toilets: Annoying AND problematic. Slow flushing toilets are definitely a sign that something isn’t working properly. 
  1. Slow Drainage In Sink or Tubs: This is another red flag that something in your septic system isn’t working properly, whether it be a drainfield issue or a clogged pipe. 

Common Causes and Culprits  

The most common cause of drainfield problems is improper maintenance, but other culprits include soil compaction from parked vehicles, tree roots damaging or breaching your drainfield, and excessive grease in your septic system. 

So, What’s The Big Deal?

Drainfield problems, if not treated in a timely manner, can result in both indoor and outdoor water damage. If any of that toxic sewage enters your home, you’ll also be dealing with potential health hazards, mold, and mildew.  

Get Ahead of Drainfield Problems 

A regularly and properly maintained septic system means you can rest easy! Not sure how to care for your home’s septic system? Contact the pro’s here at BBB!