Phone

480.351.1725

Fax

480.443.5923

We’re Making a List (Check it Twice): A Checklist of Dos and Don’ts for Your Septic System this Holiday Season

admin

There’s no place like home for the holidays, but as your house fills with love, laughter, and additional food and guests, it’s also an added challenge to your septic system. We’ve made a checklist of dos and don’ts – be sure to check it twice — so you can enjoy the holiday season with family and friends, minus any unforeseen septic tank situations.

 

1. Pump first, party later.

Think of it as “preventive pumping.” If you haven’t had your septic tank serviced or pumped in the last few years, right before the big holiday gatherings commence, it’s a good idea to empty the tank. Pumping before the party can prevent overloading the system and pushing sludge out into your drainfield. When you start fresh (and empty) you and your guests can enjoy the festivities worry-free.

2. Make a “naughty” or “nice” list when it comes to flushing.

Let’s face it: many people today have public water systems and are not aware how septic systems are different. Or, perhaps your college student who’s been away for a few months needs a refresher course on what’s “nice” to flush and what’s on the “naughty” list. Make a “Santa’s Septic Helper” list to hang in your bathrooms to add some humor, while letting everyone know what they can and cannot flush.

Feel free to copy our list!
Nice to Flush:

  • Toilet paper
  • Organic waste

Naughty to Flush:

  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Paper towels
  • Napkins
  • Diapers
  • “Flushable” baby wipes or personal hygiene wipes
  • Dental floss
  • Anything other than the septic-safe toilet paper in this bathroom!

 

Have some fun with it, and in the long run, you’ll be happier knowing your guests are aware of how your septic tank functions best. After all, nobody wants to experience a septic system emergency in the middle of serving dessert. Which brings us to our next item on the checklist.

 

3. Use water like you consume desserts — in moderation.

Another reminder for your houseguests (and returning college students) is to take it easy when it comes to “indulging” during the holidays. Like desserts, water usage is best in moderation. You can leave the desserts to their own discretion, but it’s a good idea to remind friends and family not to take showers at the same time, or run the dishwasher after every meal.

Both run the risk of overloading your septic system, which can lead to a backup. Staggering showers, running the dishwasher only when it’s full, or doing laundry one load at a time — when nobody is in the shower — eases the burden on your tank, even if you did have it pumped before the party.

 

4. Watch for FOG (fats, oils, and grease) during the festivities.

In addition to being aware of all the items that shouldn’t be flushed down the toilet, it’s also a good idea to remind guests about FOG — fats, oils, and grease — from holiday meals that shouldn’t go down the kitchen sink. When preparing the turkey, or cleaning up after dinner, remind your guests not to pour grease, fats, meat scraps, or butter down the drain.

These items can easily clog your drains and disrupt the bacteria in your septic system. And we all know that when the good bacteria in your septic tank are interrupted, they are unable to do their job as well, breaking down waste and allowing your tank to operate as efficiently as possible.

At Paradise Valley Septic, we want you to focus on fun, and the many joys of the holiday season, so we encourage you to call us to schedule a maintenance visit before the yuletide celebrations begin. Yule be glad you did!

 

Is My Septic System Too Old? Here’s When It’s Time To Replace It

admin

If your septic system is too old, you will have problems like frequent backups and standing water. Here’s how to know when you should replace your septic system.

In a perfect world, our household things would last forever. Pillows would stay plump, refrigerators would stay cool, and light bulbs would keep on shining. Yet, when you consider the normal wear and tear of everyday life, replacements are no surprise.

Well, your septic system is no different! Like other parts of your home, a septic system gets older over time. When it stops working properly, it needs to be replaced.

A septic tank also has an average lifespan. Generally, it can last for about 25 years. This depends on factors like routine maintenance, household size, and usage. As a result, your septic system may be considered “old” before (or after) it hits 25.

And unlike fine wine, septic tanks don’t get better with age. An old system will only cause headaches, problems, and more headaches.

Do yourself a favor and learn how to tell if your septic system is too old. By doing so, you’ll know when it’s time for a new one.

5 SIGNS YOU NEED TO REPLACE YOUR SEPTIC TANK

  1. Frequent Backups

Does it feel like slow-flushing toilets and backed-up sinks have become the norm? Don’t ignore this. Consistent problems may be a sign that your septic system needs to be replaced.

The keyword here is “consistent.” In other words, a single backup doesn’t necessarily mean that your system needs to go. (It is, however, a sign that your septic system needs to be pumped.) On the other hand, constant backups may point to a bigger issue.

  1. Persistent Bad Odors

Backups and bad odors go hand in hand. And, like backups, recurring odors are bad news.This happens when a septic tank is so full that gases travel through your drains, toilets, and drainfield. Needless to say, it’s unpleasant and unhealthy.

Again, you’ll need to get your tank pumped. But if the odor keeps coming back, your septic system might be on its way out.

  1. Standing Water

Standing water doesn’t just affect sinks and bathtubs. If your septic system can’t properly get rid of water, you might find puddles around your property.

You should be especially concerned if there is standing water on or around your drainfield. It’s a tell-tale sign that your septic system is unable to do its job. It will need to be inspected and possibly replaced.

  1. Unusually Green Grass

Every homeowner loves to see green grass. But when it comes to your drainfield, extremely lush grass is a problem.

The grass in this area should look like the rest of the lawn. However, if the grass is brighter and greener, your tank might be failing.

When your septic system needs to be replaced, it has a hard time disposing water. As a result, excess wastewater “fertilizes” the grass, making it lush and green.

  1. Constant Pumping

The more often you have these problems, the more your tank needs to be pumped. And if you’ve been scheduling one too many septic pumpings, you might need a replacement.

Remember, frequent pumping isn’t the same as regular pumping. Most septic systems need to be pumped every one to three years, depending on usage and household size. This is normal, routine maintenance.

But if your septic tank needs to be pumped more often, it might be too old.

STILL NOT SURE? TALK TO THE EXPERTS.

Every homeowner should know when it’s time to replace a septic system. Nevertheless, the best way to know is to call a septic service company like Paradise Valley Septic.

Our team can perform an inspection and find the issues. If your septic tank is too old, we’ll explain the next steps for a septic tank replacement.

And when you do get it replaced? Our technicians will help you stay on top of repair and routine maintenance. This way, you won’t have to play any guessing games.

We’re ready to help you out. Contact Paradise Valley Septic today.

Should I Buy a House with a Septic Tank? The Pros and Cons of Septic Systems

admin

Buying a new home is an exciting experience. Whether it’s your first house, a relocation to a new town, or you’re expanding your space to accommodate a growing family, finding a home that meets your needs can also be somewhat of a challenge.

And, if you’re deciding between a septic tank and a sewer system, which is better? Should you consider buying a house with a septic tank?

Before you make this important decision, keep these pros and cons of buying a home with a septic system in mind.

 

Pro: A septic system only services your home.

Unlike a public sewer system that services all the homes in your neighborhood, a house with a septic system provides you with your own private waste and drainage system. You manage your septic tank independently rather than relying on the local town or city government.

 

Pro: You won’t pay expensive municipal sewer fees.

When you share a drainage system with the entire town, you also pay your local government for these services. When you have a septic tank on your property, instead of paying monthly fees that may increase without warning, you service your own septic tank. With proper maintenance, your septic system will last for many years – potentially as long as you live in your new home.

 

Pro: Septic systems are long-lasting.

A properly installed, well-maintained septic system can last 40 years or more, so you rarely have to replace an entire system. Just have it serviced every one to three years, depending on the size of your family, schedule yearly inspections, and keep your drains free from grease to keep your system operable for many years.

 

Con: Take shorter showers and run the dishwasher less to save water.

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, especially for the environment, but if you’re coming from a municipal water system to a septic tank, you may need to adjust some of your family’s water usage habits. If several people in your family take long showers each day, it can put a burden on your drain pipes and septic tank.

Additionally, you should conserve water when you do laundry and run the dishwasher. Instead of running partial loads, wait until the dishwasher or laundry basket is full, so when you run them, you’re making the most of using a high volume water all at once.

 

Con: Be aware of what you flush.

You may have gotten away with flushing a lot of things down the toilet if you were previously on a public sewer system, but with a septic tank, you need to be more aware of what goes down the drains. Cotton balls, kitty litter, paper towels, and household chemicals and oils can be devastating to septic systems and lead to costly repairs, not to mention unpleasant sewage back-ups. It may be an adjustment at first, but these modifications will keep your septic tank functioning optimally in the long run.

Don’t let a new house with a septic system prevent you from making your dreams as a homeowner come true. If you find a home you love, have no fear of the septic tank!

 

Call the experts at Paradise Valley Septic. We’ll come out and inspect the system for you so there won’t be any surprises down the road.

I Have a Large Family, How Often Should We Pump?

admin

If you drive your car without getting the oil changed or performing any other regularly scheduled maintenance, in no time at all, your car will stop working and it could cost you a fortune to repair it. The same is true for your septic system, and if you have a large family, you may need to pump more frequently than you realize.

Regularly scheduled septic tank maintenance can keep your tank functioning optimally for many years and help you avoid a messy overflow or a catastrophic backup. How often you pump depends on how many people live in your home, and how much water your family typically uses.

If you can’t remember the last time you had your tank serviced and pumped, and your family of four (or more) regularly takes showers, washes laundry, runs the dishwasher, and uses the hose to wash the car, watch for signs that your system is slowing down.

Ask yourself these questions to assess how full your tank might be:

  • Are the toilets in your home flushing slowly?
  • Do sinks and tubs take awhile to drain completely?
  • Have you noticed any unpleasant odors in your yard near the septic tank drain field?
  • Do you have sewage backup in any of the drains inside your home?

Even if the only sign of a potentially full septic tank is a slow toilet, it’s better to be safe than sorry, especially as a large family of four or more people.

Septic Tank Service Guidelines

If you can’t remember the last time you had your tank serviced and pumped, schedule a maintenance appointment as soon as possible with the professionals from Paradise Valley Septic, and follow these guidelines for frequency of service in the future:

  • Two-person family: pump your septic tank every three years
  • Three-person family: pump your septic tank every two years
  • Four or more people: pump your septic tank every year

Additionally, if you have a garbage disposal in your kitchen sink, or a water treatment system (a water softener), you definitely need to have your septic tank pumped every year.

It may seem like yearly pumping is a lot, but not when you’re whole family is using water 365 days a year. Just like with your car, wear and tear on your septic system without regular maintenance is a recipe for costly repairs.

Don’t wait until it happens; prevent a sewage backup. Contact Paradise Valley Septic to schedule an inspection and pumping today.

You’re Building a New Home…Where Do You Put Your Septic Tank?

admin

Many DIYers are surprised to learn that several factors need to be considered before deciding on the right spot to install a new septic system. While working with a certified professional is the best way to ensure the installation process is done properly in a safe and sanitary location, here are a few things to consider if you choose to go it alone.

FIRST THINGS FIRST, CHECK YOUR LOCAL REGULATIONS.

Septic system regulations vary depending on where you live. Start by contacting your local regulating agency to review the installation policies for your area and apply for the necessary permit(s). In the state of Arizona, this process begins with filing a Notice of Intent (NOI) to Discharge.

ALWAYS CBYD (CALL BEFORE YOU DIG).

The last thing you want to do is start digging and hit a utility line (e.g. cable, gas, power). Not only can this delay installation, but it can also be extremely dangerous—and potentially very expensive. Because there are no hard and fast rules about how deep different utilities have to be buried, make sure you call and have someone come out to mark the area. In most areas, a simple 811 call can get you started.

TAKE A GOOD LOOK AT THE TERRAIN.

A little common sense goes a long way here. Ideally, you want to place your septic system on level ground (and high ground if possible) to avoid flooding and seeping. Avoid steep slopes and areas of dense tree roots or other obstructions. Also, because you will be bringing in heavy equipment to install your system, take into consideration any surrounding structures (such as utility sheds) or power lines that may impede your progress.

REMEMBER TO TEST THE SOIL QUALITY.

The quality of the surrounding soil is an important factor in determining where to place your septic tank. Consider how a septic system works: wastewater runs from your home to the septic tank, where it separates from solid waste and is released into the surrounding drain field, also called a leach field. Essentially, the drain field acts like a giant soil filter, so it’s important that your soil is highly absorbent. The best type of soil is sandy, undisturbed soil. Try to avoid areas of dense clay or bedrock, which can prevent water flow. Also steer clear of coarse, gravely soils that may drain too quickly. A percolation test (or perc test for short) will help you determine the state of your soil.

WHY GO IT ALONE? THE EXPERTS AT PARADISE VALLEY SEPTIC CAN HELP.

We touched on just a few of the important things to think about before installing your home septic system, but you also need to think about things like materials (what kind and how much will you need?), the overall design (how large of a drain field do you need? how close to your home should it be?), and the list goes on.

Or, you could just leave it to the professionals.

At Paradise Valley Septic our experienced technicians support ALL your septic system needs from installation to repair, including helping you with your initial design and securing the necessary permits. Just give us a call when you’re ready to get started.

How Long Will Your Septic System Last?

admin

It would be nice if septic system owners could just flush waste down the drain and not worry about what happens afterwards, but alas, that is not the case.

If you want to get the most out of your septic system investment—and prevent flushing cash down the drain—you must research how to properly treat and maintain your system before problems arise.

There are many steps to be taken to help your system live up to its full potential and reach its maximum intended lifespan. How long your septic system will last depends on many factors, specifically the type of system you have and the conditions surrounding it.

Sludge buildup - pump septic tank

How Much will it Cost to Have My Septic Tank Pumped?

admin

If you know even a little bit about septic tanks, hopefully it’s that having them pumped at regular intervals is as necessary as having your car’s oil changed or keeping your roof in good repair: ignoring any of them will inevitably result in serious expense and hassle.

In fact, replacing a septic system can run between $5000 and $10,000. The good news is, depending on system type, tank material and soil quality, well-maintained septic systems can last 25, 30 or even 50 years.

6 Ways to Keep Your Drainfield Healthy Paradise Valley Septic

6 Ways to Keep Your Drainfield Healthy

admin

A septic system is a complicated beast. It’s in our best interest to keep that beast happy, healthy and in good working order.

In a septic system’s elimination process, the drainfield serves as the beast’s digestive system. What goes in, must come out. Everything that goes down the drain gets sorted and eventually makes its way to the drainfield, where nature takes over. It’s really an amazing process.

But, in order to keep things working smoothly, we must keep the drainfield healthy. Here are six ways to do just that:

7 Signs You Need to Pump Your Septic Tank

admin

photo credit

When you are taking care of your home, you’ll find that some things have a way of telling you when they need something. Your ceiling leaks if your roof needs a patch, your lawnmower starts chugging if it’s clogged with grass, your hinges squeak when they need oil and your septic tank . . . well, let’s just say it works harder than most when it’s trying desperately to tell you it needs to be pumped.

And that’s a good thing, because the repercussions of a seldom-pumped septic tank can be severe. Septic tanks need to be pumped periodically in order to get rid of solid waste deposits that form on the bottom and top of your tank and put life-shortening stress on your entire septic system.

Many times septic tank additives are marketed to homeowners as a solution or substitute for pumping your septic tank. They are composed of bacteria or enzymes that claim to help soften or break down waste. Unfortunately, sometimes the the bacteria can cause more harm or add to your septic tank problems by delaying or masking problems. Research has shown there is no substitute for getting your septic tank pumped. Septic tank maintenance should become a part of your regular home maintenance.

Septic tanks are often neglected by homeowners because they are underground and out of sight. Just because you haven’t had any septic tank problems, does not mean you should neglect the maintenance schedule.

1 2