When A Normal Septic System Won’t Do, Here’s Our Solution

Our Solution

At BBB Septic, we sometimes run into situations where a homeowner wants a septic system installed on their property, but the property presents tough challenges. 

Tough challenges means a few things: the property is undersized, it has serious obstructions that would get in the system’s way, or sometimes, the homeowner really wants an eco-friendly and low-impact system. 

One of our solutions is to install a system with Quick4® Equalizer 24 Chambers, or EQ24 Chambers for short. This innovative technology can tackle all the problems we stated above. 

Keep reading to learn more! 

Drain Fields 

In a traditional septic system, liquid waste leaves the home and goes to its final destination, a drain field. Drain fields are constructed by digging deep trenches, filling them with lots of gravel, running lots of PVC pipes through them, then covering all that up with more gravel and earth. 

By the way, the PVC pipes buried in a drain field intentionally allow liquid waste to seep out and return to nature. 

With the EQ24 Chamber system, just a few relatively short PVC pipes are used, and there’s no need for gravel. Not to mention, the EQ24 Chambers are made from recycled materials. 

Advantages 

The EQ24 Chamber system has quite a few advantages. Let’s say your property is too small for a traditional drain field. In some places, local health departments allow the size of the drain field to be reduced by 25 to 50 percent so you can have your system.

Another advantage of the EQ24 Chambers is flexibility. They can be rotated 10 to 15 degrees, right or left, to avoid obstacles like trees or buildings on your property. 

For as light as the EQ24 Chambers are, they’re very durable. In low-traffic areas of your property, we can sometimes cover them with just 6 inches of earth. And with just 1 foot of earth covering them, they can support up to 16,000 lbs of “wheel loads”. 

Also, since they only need 1 foot of earth coverage, they’re a good solution if your property has inadequate soil. By inadequate soil, we mean 1) it’s too shallow and/or has broken bedrock underneath it, 2) it has bad permeability, or (3) your ground water is too high. 

A Success Story 

Brad, a resident of Northwest Florida and owner of the Piney Grove Homestead is currently building a “dream homestead/mini farm to be filled with animals and joy”. He wanted a septic system installed on his property; however, he was worried that the space between his house and workshop wouldn’t be wide enough for a drain field. 

But official plans were drawn up to install a septic system with EQ24 Chambers. Again, he had some doubt it would work. He watched as the install crew put in the drain field and was pleasantly surprised by how well things fit in the small space. Whether you need maintenance or repair or installation of a new septic system, there’s no wiser choice than BBB Septic and Portable Toilets. Truly! Contact us by clicking here.

2 Overlooked Ways To Lower Your Bills In 2023

2 Overlooked Ways To Lower Your Bills In 2023

One of the most overlooked ways of saving cash is reducing water usage. If you’re wondering, “Does that mean I should shower less in 2023? Or take super quick showers?” No, no, no, that’s not what we’re saying! There are better ways. Better smelling ways. One of the best ways to reduce water usage and lower utility bills is to install low-flow fixtures.

To learn more, we invite you to keep reading!

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8 Things You MUST Do For Your Septic System This Holiday

One of the best holiday traditions is packing up your car or boarding a flight to visit your family to celebrate. Or, if you’re the host, having your loved ones descend on your home in droves! It’s a lot of fun. However, it also means you must be extra careful with your septic system. 

Since it’s designed to be used by a set amount of people, having all those extra folks in your home can cause it to become overworked, leading to a breakdown. 

So below, we’ve put together a list of recommendations to help you avoid septic problems this Holiday! And you’ll notice a common theme with all our tips: it’s crucial you avoid overloading your septic system with water all at once

We recommend this to avoid backups and effluent clogging your drain field, among other issues. 

1. Avoid your garbage disposal. For now! 

With the holidays comes lots of cooking, which comes with tons of food scraps. To prevent clogs in your pipes from this excess, we recommend you put ALL scraps in the garbage. You can resume your normal routine once your loved ones head home! 

2. Fill up your dishwasher before you run it. 

It is inevitable: You’re going to deal with a mountain of dishes! So instead of running your dishwasher back to back, we recommend filling it all the way up before you press “wash”. We also recommend running it when no one’s in the shower. 

3. Say what can and cannot go in the toilet. 

There are a host of things that should never be flushed into a septic tank: tissues, disposable wipes, paper towels, tampons, floss, etc. Since you own a septic system, you about these things; however, your guests may not! 

If you don’t feel comfortable conversing with them about how to use the bathroom, which is totally understandable, you can place a sign with rules on it in your bathroom. Humorous and/or cheerful signs are great for communicating this awkward message!

4. Do your laundry on a schedule. 

While you’re hosting loved ones, we recommend doing your laundry at these times: 1. days before your guests arrive, 2. when no one’s showering or using your dishwasher, or 3. avoid running any loads until after everyone heads home! 

5. Shower on a schedule. 

We suggest having everyone choose a time they prefer to shower: A good rule of thumb is to have some folks shower in the morning and others at night! 

6. Rope off your drain field. 

We suggest roping off or telling your guests not to park on your drain field. Parking in this area can result in serious damage to your system and decrease the effectiveness of your drain field. 

7. Watch for bad signs. 

Before your guests arrive and while they’re with you, watch for shower or bathtub drains that are draining slowly. Watch for water that drains from one appliance into another. See if your drain field fills with stagnant or unmoving water. Listen for gurgling noises in your pipes. Watch for toilets and sinks that backup. And see if your yard begins to smell like sewage. 

If you observe any of the things above, have a septic technician come and repair your system! 

8. Schedule maintenance! 

If your system is older or hasn’t been looked at in a while, putting extra stress on it can aggravate some of its hidden problems. In other words, you could have a disaster waiting to happen and not know it. If you can, schedule your septic maintenance before Christmas; technicians tend to be very busy when it’s time for trees and lights to go up! Need maintenance or repair before all your guests arrive for joyous festivities? Then contact the company that NorthWest Arkansas relies on, BBB Septic and Portable Toilets! You get in touch with us by clicking here.

6 Crazy and Interesting Facts About Septic Systems

You probably don’t think much about your septic system because it’s underground and out of sight. These systems, however, are more than just a tank in the ground, so for your reading pleasure, we’ve compiled a list of facts about septic systems that we think you’ll find surprising and informative. Enjoy!

They Can Blow Up… Yep.

Methane forms when the waste in your septic tank gets broken down by bacteria. This gas is VERY flammable. If enough of it builds up in your septic tank (due to bad ventilation) and it gets exposed to some sort of flame: KABOOM. Your septic system could explode under these conditions, so it’s always a good idea to keep them properly maintained.

The Average Family In The U.S. Uses 300+ Gallons of Water A Day

The average family uses more than 300 gallons of water daily. Just flushing the toilet can use up to 7 gallons of water per flush, and that’s not even taking into account showers, dishes, and laundry. Here’s a little breakdown of how this water is used:

  • Flushing the toilet: 18 – 24 gallons 
  • Showering: 20 gallons 
  • Washing machine: 15 gallons
  • Dishwasher: 4 – 10 gallons
  • Hygiene: 2.5 gallons

The Size of A Tank Isn’t Based on The Size of A House

Instead, the size is based on the number of bedrooms you have. Check out the numbers below to get an idea of what size home should have what size tank.

  • 1 – 3 bedroom house: 1,000-gallon tank 
  • 4 bedroom house: 1,200-gallon tank
  • 5 bedroom home: 1,500-gallon tank
  • 6 bedroom home: 1,750-gallon tank

Septic Tanks Can Affect Groundwater 

145 million Americans drink groundwater via wells and pumps. Groundwater also leads into the water, where people swim, fish, etc. Sometimes, septic tanks are installed above places with groundwater. 
If a septic tank ever cracks or the drain field (where your liquids are dispersed) becomes overloaded, waste can leak into groundwater and contaminate it. 

The Stuff Inside Your Tank Can Give You Clues About Your Lifestyle

It’s strange to think about someone pumping out the contents in your septic tank and then knowing something about you. But, your technician can tell what kind of pet you have, the sort of toilet paper you favor, and even what you eat and drink. Like we said: strange. 

The Gas In Your Tank Is Deadly

Besides methane, the breakdown of waste in your tank also forms hydrogen sulfide (a colorless poisonous gas that smells like rotten eggs). It would cause asphyxiation (loss of oxygen) if someone breathed it in. This could lead to them becoming unconscious in minutes or dying instantly. So always call a pro if you think your tank needs looking at. 

With some of these facts, we hope you see that installing, maintaining, and repairing a septic system requires special knowledge and training. So if you notice signs that make you think you need professionals to come out and look over your system, contact BBB Septic and Portable Toilets. Get in touch with us by clicking here

The Septic Tank That Ruined A Dream

sceptic tank being installed

Inspired by True Events 

It was around 2008. Inspired and encouraged by an in-law, a couple and their 3 children dreamed of moving from their dying city to rural Iowa. They badly wanted a quiet, simple life. The in-law, who already lived in the country, constantly told them, “If you’re going to buy a house out here, do it now! With how the economy is going, it’s going to become too hard or impossible for ya’ll to do it later.” The couple felt a sense of urgency. 

For about 20 years, the in-law lived a mile or so down a dirt road from some friends, an old farmer, and his wife. It just so happened that the old farmer and his wife put up their home for sale; a beautiful white house on five acres with fruit trees, a large garden, a chicken coup, and a stream running through the back. A house perfect for a family with children. The in-law told the couple they should hurry, hurry, hurry and buy the old farmers’ place. 

So they did. 

The farmhouse needed some renovations. One of the first things the couple decided to do was install a septic tank before they moved in. They hired a local company, and the technicians started the work and desperately hoped to finish before the cold and snow arrived to stop them. They finished the project right before the start of winter. The first snow fell the day before the couple, and their children were going to arrive with their moving truck. 

While the family finished packing in the city (excited to move the next day), the cold was forcing their buried septic tank out of the ground. The long series of pipes that ran from their dream home to their tank were cracking and popping off their connections. 

That same day, the in-law came over and assessed the damage. He covered his mouth when he saw it. He explained what had gone wrong: the people they hired had forgotten to fill the tank with water, which would’ve kept it from popping out of the ground. They soon realized that all the work would have to be redone. But the winter had come. They would have to wait some months to have operating sinks, toilets, and washing machines. 

Their dream had turned into an anxious reality. 

We tell you this story to make a point: when you hire a company to do a major home improvement project, like installing a septic tank, make sure they have a good record of satisfied customers. Make sure they’re known for quality craftsmanship and are willing to fix any mistakes they might make because you don’t want a septic tank ruining your dreams!

Why Septic Systems Are Great For Rural and Off-Grid Living 

Why Septic Systems Are Great For Rural and Off-Grid Living

If you hang out on Homestead Twitter or browse YouTube for off-grid living videos, then you’ve noticed a trend… 

People are moving to beautiful rural properties and renovating or building homes for themselves and their families. Many of these folks are starting homesteads, preparing or “prepping” for emergencies, or just love rural living. 

A good amount of these folks live in areas that are very rural. Which means that it’s too expensive and impractical for them to get their homes connected to a public sewage system. This leaves them with 3 options to deal with sewerage: septic systems, composting toilets, and even outhouses (they’re adventurous people). 

Outhouses 

Outhouses are little buildings with a toilet seat covering a pit or bucket. No plumbing. Wow, right? One good thing about outhouses is that they’re very affordable; however, we get the sense that most people find this option to be smelly, unhygienic, and inconvenient. We think it’s better to leave this technology in the 1800s, where it belongs. 

Composting Toilets 

Composting toilets are similar and different from outhouses. Similar because one of the most common types of composting toilets is just a toilet seat with a container underneath. They’re different because they’re located inside a house versus outside. Also, unlike outhouses, you can find composting toilets that are pricey and technologically advanced. 

To get rid of bad smells, many people will cover their waste with sawdust directly after using the bathroom. However, some people complain that it continues to smell even after this treatment. Another thing people don’t like is that when your waste container gets full, you have to empty it… No calling in a professional waste-bucket-emptier. What’s more, you’ll need to find a spot on your land to dump all that waste. 

Septic Tanks

From a homeowner’s perspective, toilets attached to septic systems look, feel, and function exactly like your average toilet system. From a plumbing perspective, they’re very different: instead of your sewage going into your municipalities sewerage pipes, it goes into a large underground tank. According to the EPA, these tanks need to be pumped out or emptied every 3 – 5 years. As for their lifespan, they typically last 15 – 40 years. All those numbers are great because it means once you install a septic systems, you don’t have to constantly worry about it. 

We think If you’re part of the homesteading movement, prepper community, or you just love rural living, we recommend that you install a septic tank. It’s an affordable and hassle-free solution for your waste management needs! 

BBB Septic 

BBB Septic has been in business for 25 years! During this time we’ve strived to provide excellent customer service, great septic design, professional installation, maintenance and repair services to Northwest Arkansas. If you’re ready to get started, call us at 479-225-9800 or click here.

Septic Tank Design; Best Practices From The Experts At BBB Septic

Concrete Septic holding tanks being buried

If you’re looking to replace or install a septic tank system on your property, you need to be sure you work with an experienced company that can handle all of your needs and answer all of your questions from designing the system and discussing permit applications, to installing your new system and maintaining it. A poorly designed or installed system can result in health hazards, environmental pollution, property damage, costly replacement, and legal risks. At BBB Septic and Portable Toilets, we can provide the necessary guidance, based on your needs, and can answer every question you have concerning septic system design, installation, and maintenance. 

How Does an Onsite Wastewater System Work? 

The industry term for septic systems is Onsite Wastewater System. “Septic System” is the common term, but because all system types aren’t septic (some are aerobic), the official term is Onsite Wastewater. Onsite means the wastewater system is treated on the site or on the property that it is serving instead of being piped to a big, central treatment facility. Approximately 40% of Arkansans are served by onsite wastewater systems. Nationally, approximately 25% of people utilize an onsite wastewater system. Since the wastewater of a home, restaurant, or office is being dispersed and treated mere feet from the building, it is very important for a “septic system” to be designed and installed correctly. 

Whether you live in Bella Vista, Cave Springs, or Centerton, you need to work with a reliable and experienced septic system company that can ensure your system is properly designed, installed, and maintained. 

Properly maintaining your system is of the utmost importance in order to keep it functioning properly for as long as possible. Failure to do so can result in the need to replace your entire system. 

BBB Septic and Portable Toilets can provide all of those services and more here in Northwest Arkansas.

Licensed Septic System Designer 

The first step in getting a “septic system” is to hire an Arkansas licensed Septic System Designer in Benton & Washington Counties, or the surrounding area. Your local health department can provide you with a list for your area. The Septic System Designer will meet you at your property and discuss your building plans. Or, if your current septic system is having problems, they will work with you to design a repair solution. The designer will bring an excavator or backhoe to dig soil test pits. These test pits will be about 4 ft deep, 3 ft wide and 6 ft long. The designer will climb down into the pit and evaluate the soil. In evaluating the soil, the designer looks for signs of water saturation, clay percentage, depth to bedrock, compaction, and more. These observations and the number of bedrooms in a home (depends on the project), will determine the type and size of onsite wastewater system that will be needed. In some cases, the soil test reveals that the soil will not support any type of wastewater system and the land may be unbuildable.

Working with a knowledgeable septic system designer in Bentonvillve can ensure you choose the right size and type of wastewater system for your home. To learn more about how a septic system designer can help, contact the team at BBB Septic and Portable Toilets. 

Field Design 

The second step is the field design. The designer will bring equipment to the site to take specific measurements and mark the locations of the house, septic tank, distribution device and absorption lines. There must be a certain amount of elevation change between the house and the tank, the tank and the distribution device and the distribution device and the absorption lines. The absorption lines must be no more than 100 feet long each and must follow the contour of the land. There are many rules and regulations overseeing the design of a septic system. For example, no part of a septic system can be within 100 feet of a drinking water well (to prevent groundwater contamination). Our septic system designers have extensive field design experience and know the importance of getting the job done right, the first time. 

Permit Application Packet

The third step will be to prepare the permit application packet. Included in this packet are officially required forms with information about the property owner, the location, system type and soil test results. In addition, the elevation measurements for the different components, product specification sheets and a detailed drawing of the septic system is required. This packet is then submitted to the Arkansas Department of Health (with a review fee) for consideration.

The Arkanasa Department of Health has offices for each fo the 75 counties in Arkansas, our team will submit the application to the county office in which the design request is located. 

Application Evaluation 

The fourth step is for the health department to evaluate the application. This involves the inspector making a site visit to ensure that the inspector and the designer agree on the soil test. The inspector will double check all the field markings of the components to see if the layout meets code. They will evaluate the paper application and then issue a Permit for Construction for an Onsite Wastewater System. This permit is valid for installation for up to 1 year.

Hiring the Right Arkansas Licensed Septic System Installer 

The fifth step is to hire an Arkansas licensed Septic System Installer. The Installer will install the system according to the design and using proper installation techniques, such as not digging in the soil when it is too wet or using gravel to make a level bed for the septic tank. The Installer makes careful measurements throughout the installation process to ensure the system is installed correctly. Some systems may be installed in a day, some may take a week or more depending on their complexity. The health department will inspect the system’s construction. The inspector inspects the construction of the system and issues the Permit for Operation. The Installer will educate the owner about their system and instruct them on any necessary maintenance. If you need a knowledgeable and experienced licensed septic system installer in Rogers or the surrounding area, contact BBB Septic and Portable Toilets today to schedule an appointment. 

The Importance of System Maintenance 

After the system is in use, it is the owner’s responsibility to have regular maintenance performed. The type of maintenance required depends on the type of system that is installed. However, all septic tanks must be cleaned out regularly (aka pumped). How often depends on a variety of factors, but every 5 years is a good rule of thumb. It is a myth that you should only pump out your septic tank when you have a problem. By the time you have a problem, you have most likely already destroyed the system beyond repair and an expensive replacement will be required. A septic tank’s purpose is to catch solids that flow out of the building. So every time a toilet is flushed or the dishwasher finishes a cycle, all of that waste goes into the septic tank. Things that float will go to the top forming the Scum layer. Things that sink will go to the bottom forming the sludge layer. That leaves a more clear layer in the middle. This clear layer flows out of the septic tank and into the absorption field for treatment. Those captured solids don’t entirely break down and build up in the tank. So the scum layer and sludge layer get thicker and thicker over time. If the tank isn’t cleaned out every so often, then those solids can be forced out of the tank and will clog the absorption field. If this happens, then the wastewater will no longer be able to absorb into the soil and will pool on the surface of the ground. This is a health and environmental hazard that will need to be fixed quickly. Unfortunately, it may require a new permit and a new septic system installation.  Hiring an Arkansas-licensed septic tank cleaner to pump out your septic tank is similar to changing the oil in your car. It keeps everything working smoothly and is vital to protecting a major investment in your property.

While the work is inspected by the health department, they only see the finished product, not the entire process. It is very important to hire licensed, experienced, credible professionals for all of your septic system needs. BBB Septic and Portable Toilets is your one-stop shop for all things onsite wastewater.

Contact the Septic System Experts at BBB Septic and Portable Toilets 

At BBB Septic and Portable Toilets, It’s our goal to educate Arkansans on the proper septic system and wastewater design, installation, and maintenance process and the best practices to follow to protect your individual wastewater systems and the environment. 

We work hard to provide excellent customer service to our clients and identify their septic tank issues, whatever they may be, and go above and beyond to resolve them. Plain and simple. If you’re having issues with your septic system, or you need an experienced crew to design, install, or maintain your system, contact the team at BBB Septic and Portable Toilets today to schedule an appointment.

Septic Safe Resolutions

septic safe solutions

Every new year, millions of people around the world set their sights towards the future with the intention to spark positive change. Though these resolutions are generally personal and pertain to a person’s well being or professional development, there are actually new year’s resolutions that are good for you and your septic system!

And boy, we’ve got a little something for everyone:

For The Conservationist

How much water your home uses varies depending on any number of things, including how many people live in your household, your daily water usage, and appliance efficiency, but, essentially, the typical single-family home averages nearly 8,000 gallons of water usage each month.

If you’re looking to be more mindful of your water usage in the new year we recommend starting small.

● Use the proper load size settings on your washing machine to avoid wasting water and energy.

● Avoid doing all household laundry in one day. Though it seems like a time saver, it doesn’t allow your septic system to enough time to treat waste.

● Only run your dishwasher when it’s full.

● Collect rain water to use for watering your plants.

For The Eco Friendly

Over 60 million people across the country rely on septic tanks to treat wastewater, and as one of those homeowners, we know you’ve wondered about septic tank additives.

As your resident septic safe experts, we highly recommend Just Flush. It’s an easy-to-use, super concentrated, all natural and non-toxic septic sludge and odor eliminator. This chemical free product works best when used monthly as a sort of booster shot for your system, and is available for purchase on our website or as part of our Septic Maintenance Program.

Another eco + septic system friendly practice? Composting. While your garbage disposal can handle a lot, there are various foods and food waste that require a different method of discard, lest you invite clogging, drainage issues, and unpleasant sink odor. Avoid the mess and stress by feeding your garden instead of your garbage disposal!

For The Prepared

Regular upkeep and maintenance not only protects your property, but your health and your wallet as well! By scheduling regular maintenance for your home or business septic system, you don’t have to worry about your septic system turning into a big, messy – and likely costly – mess.

Regular pumping, cleaning lateral lines when needed, adjusting flow equalization and removing debris are all part of keeping your septic system functioning at top efficiency, and with our Septic Maintenance Program, you get all of this and more!

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 out of 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 plan 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.