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 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 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.

BBB Solutions: Halloween Edition

Halloween can be a scary time of year for septic systems, what with all the candy wrappers,
pumpkin guts, and seasonal decor winding its way through pipes, causing clogs and creating
backups. Save the scares for the trick-or-treaters and check out our list of top three things to not
flush this Halloween season.

Candy Wrappers

As you ready your household for trick or treating, make sure you talk to your kiddos about
proper candy wrapper disposal. Since candy wrappers don’t dissolve or break down easily, they
are better off in the trash than they would be clogging up your drain or polluting your water
treatment center.


Pumpkin Pulp

Garbage disposal making scary sounds? Pumpkin pulp may be your culprit. Slimy, stringy, and
sticky, this gunk might as well be made to clog up pipes and wreak havoc on garbage disposals.
Instead of sending your pumpkin carving leftovers down the drain, try adding it to your compost
or just dispose of it with the rest of your trash.

Costume Pieces / Decorations

That mummy costume is pretty spooky, but don’t go trying to flush all of that TP or you’ll be in for
a worse fright – the dreaded backed up toilet. This goes for abandoned costume pieces and
leftover Halloween decor, too, ghouls and gals.

For septic solutions or to join our maintenance program, contact us here.

The Down Low On The BBB Septic Maintenance Program

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!

Preferred service member benefits include:

  • Regularly scheduled maintenance checks and services.
  • Emergency service priority with no overtime charges!
  • Hassle free repairs with a 10% discount on any necessary parts and labor charges that aren’t included in our covered repairs.

Ready to join the BBB Septic maintenance program or need more information? Contact us here.

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.

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. 

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!