Is it Time to Pump Your Septic Tank in Boise, ID?
Being a homeowner on a septic system offers a sense of independence and control over your own water and waste management! A lot of Idahoans relish this feeling; unlike relying on municipal water and sewer services--and the monthly costs associated with these services--homeowners with a septic system have the advantage of avoiding water restrictions and fluctuating water bills. Septic systems are environmentally friendly as they treat and naturally filter wastewater on-site and help cleaned water re-enter the water cycle much more quickly. Like anything, septic systems must be properly maintained, and one of the most important aspects of keeping your septic system healthy and happy is getting it pumped regularly. By investing the small amount of energy to maintain a schedule and monitor for signs of potential issues, you can increase the longevity and proper functioning of your septic system, which can increase the lifespan of your system and therefore keep costs down.
But how do you know when your septic tank needs to be pumped? Our experts at ASAP Septic are always eager to share our expertise, and today, we will be discussing the signs of when a septic system needs to be pumped.
Sign #1: Slow Drains
When drains begin to take longer for the water to filter through, you definitely want to troubleshoot this issue. It could be a clog of normal debris like hair, but it may be a sign that your septic system is reaching its capacity and needs to be pumped in the near future. Septic tanks collect the solid wastes--sludge and scum--and allow graywater to seep into the ground. If your sinks, showers, or toilets are draining more slowly than they did before, it may mean that the holding capacity of your tank may be met or exceeded.
Sign #2: Foul Odors
Similarly, full tanks may not have as much space or leeway for waste or debris, and can lead to reduced flow and buildup inside your pipes. If you identify foul or musty odors coming from drains, toilets, or the leach field--the area where your tank drains into the ground--it could be a sign that the tank is full and ready to be emptied by a professional.
Sign #3: Backup and Overflow
Sewage that backs up in sinks, showers, or toilets, or wastewater pooling in the yard near the septic tank are a sign that you have waited too long and must get your tank pumped immediately. Because septic tanks hold biological wastes, it is crucial that you take care of this issue as soon as possible.
Sign #4: Unusually Green Grass
Have your friends and neighbors been complimenting that nice, green patch of grass that’s around the drain field? Although the ego boost can be nice, greener grass that appears healthier than the rest of the yard may be an indicator that the leach field is saturated because your tank is full. We all love a good, green lawn, but if there’s a part that’s very obviously thriving compared to the rest of your lawn, and it happens to be near or around your septic tank, it may be time to pump your septic tank.
Sign #5: Maintenance Schedule
In general, septic tanks must be pumped every three to five years, depending on the size of your household, water usage, and tank size. If you know for a fact that your septic tank has not been pumped for a few years, it is likely due for pumping. Doing so preemptively can save you a lot of headache and stress down the road!
Whether you need septic services for your home or commercial property, ASAP Septic is here to help! From providing general information to helping out with more complex procedures, we are the local experts on all things sewer and septic. We love serving our clients in Boise, Meridian, Kuna, Caldwell, Garden Valley, Middleton, Lowman, Payette, Mountain Home, Middleton, ID, and all surrounding areas here in Idaho. We have spent years specializing and honing our craft, and are eager to put our expertise to good use on behalf of our friends and neighbors. Fill out our online contact form or give us a call at (208) 991-7184 for a consultation or for more information today!
7 Tips for Water Conservation for a Septic System in Boise, ID
As we approach summer here in Boise, Idaho, more and more of our friends and neighbors are enjoying summertime activities using water, such as irrigating their properties, water balloon fights, water tables, filling up the kiddie pool, and more. We are excited to take kids to splash pads or play in outdoor pools or in ponds and the river--once the excess runoff settles down, of course. As with anything related to water, our team of experts at ASAP Septic is eager to share some summertime tips for property owners who manage a septic system.
Considering water when you have a septic system is an important part of the regular maintenance to keep your system at optimal functionality, and to avoid costly issues that may need expensive repairs in the future. Prevention is key, and water conservation and wise usage can make a world of difference. Today, we’ll be sharing seven tips for water conservation:
Tip #1: Fix Leaks Properly
Check for and repair any leaks in your faucets, toilets, and pipes. Small leaks waste a significant amount of water over time, which puts a lot of unnecessary strain on your septic system. Simply being proactive about your water lines can help conserve a lot of water.
Tip #2: Install Water-Efficient Fixtures
Low-flow showerheads, faucets, and toilets can be a quick way to conserve water without investing too much thought into it. These fixtures are designed to use less water without affecting water pressure, so you can simply install them and conserve water without significantly changing your habits.
Tip #3: Practice Water-Saving Habits
Small habits can add up over time! Consider holding off on running your laundry until you have a full load, or waiting to run your dishwasher until it’s completely full. Although it may only make a small difference in your day-to-day, it will certainly make a difference as the weeks, months, and years stack up.
Tip #4: Space Out Water Use
Because septic systems rely on allowing water to seep into the ground, using too much water all at once can overwhelm your system. Consider doing loads of laundry spaced out throughout the week instead of doing them all on the same day, and run your dishwasher at optimal times. A tiny bit of forethought in your weekly routine can help you fall into a habit of naturally spacing out your water usage.
Tip #5: Limit Outdoor Water Usage
If you’re thinking about installing an irrigation system, consider conservation-friendly systems like drip irrigation for your flowerbeds. You can also install rain barrels for gardening to catch rainfall to use for your plants, or choose to water your lawn or plants early in the morning or late at night to reduce water lost through evaporation.
Tip #6: Minimize Water Waste
Perhaps it’s a tip you’ve heard once or dozens of times, but it’s good advice: turn off the water while you’re brushing your teeth. Small moments of leaving your tap running can quickly add up, so turning the tap off for two minutes in the morning and two minutes at night can save quite a bit of water. Other ways you can avoid wasting water are taking shorter showers, turning the water off while you scrub multiple dishes, or reducing water usage while cleaning.
Tip #7: Conduct Regular Maintenance
Having your septic system regularly inspected and *pumped by a professional can help maintain the efficiency of your septic system. Regular maintenance is crucial to prevent major problems down the line, and can extend the lifespan of your septic systems. Well-maintained septic systems can last anywhere from 25 to 50 years, so a little bit of routine maintenance can push the expensive process of replacing a septic system down the road for quite a few years.
Practicing water conservation can reduce your water consumption and thus benefit the ecosystem, but it can also preserve the health of your septic system and save you money not only through water conservation but also through preventing costly repairs!
At ASAP Septic, we love serving our clients through the expertise we have gained through years of serving our friends and neighbors here in southeastern Idaho. We serve Boise, Meridian, Garden Valley, Kuna, Caldwell, Middleton, Payette, Lowman, Mountain Home, Middleton, ID, and all surrounding areas. Whether you are looking for a septic inspection or an installation, fill out our online contact form or give us a call at (208) 991-7184 for a consultation or for more information today!
Septic Tank Additives: What You Need To Know in Boise, IDIf you’re a homeowner who is new to owning a septic system, you may find yourself overwhelmed with everything you need to know about how it works, the how to keep from overloading your system, how often it needs to be pumped, what regular maintenance looks like, how to identify when it needs repairs, et cetera. There’s definitely a lot of information out there, and we recognize that there may be a learning curve for individuals who are unfamiliar with the system. At ASAP Septic, we are here for you! We hope to provide information to help reassure and educate people using our expertise from years working in the septic industry. Today, we will be discussing septic tank additives, and everything you need to know about them.
But first, what are septic tank additives?
There is a market for everything these days, and septic tank additives are products that are marketed as treatments to improve the performance and maintenance of septic systems. Most homeowners are horrified by the idea of something going wrong with their septic system--rightly so, as there is definitely potential for major issues if left unchecked--and these homeowners may be easily convinced to do anything in their power to reduce the possibility of such a disaster. Septic tank additives com in the form of powers, liquids, or pills, which can either be added directly to the septic tank or flushed down a drain or toilet.
The theory behind septic tank additives is that they enhance bacterial activity in the septic tank, which breaks down solid waste in the tank. This is a fundamental process to how septic tanks work. Some septic tank additives are supposed to help break down waste more quickly, and others are supposed to improve odor control or prevent the system from backing up.
The controversy around septic tank additives
There is a debate around whether or not septic tank additives are effective; some experts say that they are wholly unnecessary and can cause more harm than good, as overuse or misuse of these products can disrupt the natural ecosystem of the septic tank and can even damage parts of the system. Additionally, regular maintenance and septic tank pumping are the two components needed to keep a septic system operating smoothly, so these supposed advantages of septic tank additives truly are not necessary.
Can septic tank additives cause more harm than good?
The way that septic tanks work involves the natural microbiome of bacteria and other microbes breaking down solid wastes. This balance of microbes is fairly delicate, and are sensitive to oxygen and other changes in their environment. If septic tank additives are used improperly, they can damage this delicate balance. Some additives contain harsh chemicals that are detrimental to the natural bacteria and enzymes that live in the tank. If this ecosystem is balanced, septic tank additives can actually slow down the rate of solid waste breakdown in the tank, which is the opposite of the intended effect. In turn, slowing down the decomposition of waste can lead to wastewater backing up through the pipes or causing a blockage in the system--issues that no one wants to deal with!
Additionally, septic tank additives can cause damage to pipes, tanks, and even the drain field if they are used excessively, or if they contain harmful chemicals. Over time, this damage can lead to costly repairs or even a full system replacement, which is a heavy price to pay for a product that you really don’t need in the first place.
Lastly, septic tank additives can introduce bacteria and chemicals into the groundwater. Septic tanks are designed to allow wastewater to filter through the ground to achieve a purified state by the time it reaches the water table, but additives can increase the load of bacteria and chemicals in the water, which can become a health and environmental hazard. At ASAP Septic, we highly, highly recommend avoiding the use of septic tank additives because of the minimal benefits and the large potential for detrimental effects.
At ASAP Septic, our number one priority is serving our clients, friends, and neighbors through our earned experience here in Idaho. We serve Boise, Payette, Meridian, Lowman, Garden Valley, Mountain Home, Kuna, Caldwell, Middleton, ID, and everywhere in between. Whether you are looking to install a septic system on a new construction or are seeking an inspection on an existing system, give us a call at (208) 991-7184 or fill out our online contact form for a consultation or for more information today!
Three Common Myths About Septic Systems in Boise, ID
There are many people who don’t know too much about septic systems. That’s okay! In fact, it’s perfectly normal. That’s why our team of experts at ASAP Septic are eager and ready to share our expertise. Although septic systems keep things running smoothly in our society, they’re not exactly a hot topic of conversation, and there is some misinformation out there that can leave a homeowner new to septic systems scratching their head. Today, we’ll be discussing--and dispelling--three common myths about septic systems. We hope that as we debunk these myths together, that we’ll be able to educate the public and serve our friends and neighbors in southeast Idaho through the expertise we have gained through decades in business.
Myth One: Septic Systems Need Additives
For some reason, there is a circulating myth that homeowners need to add products like enzymes or bacteria to their septic tank to help it function properly. Let’s face it, septic tanks are unpleasant to think about, and the last thing anyone wants is to have anything septic related go awry. This is exactly why these products exist on the market: they take advantage of the fact that fearful homeowners will latch on to the idea that they can prevent issues through the use of these products.
The truth is, septic systems are truly masterpieces of design. Bacteria and enzymes that break down waste don’t need to be added because they are naturally occurring in the ecosystem of a septic tank. Bacteria that break down waste are a natural, normal part of the human gut microbiota, and they happily continue their work once they’ve made it to the septic tank. In fact, adding certain types of additives can actually harm the delicate bacterial balance in the septic tank and lead to actual problems!
Myth Two: Septic Systems Don’t Need Maintenance
This one is a little more understandable; because septic systems don’t need frequent maintenance, some people who haven’t been around a home with a septic system for long may mistakenly believe that once a septic system has been installed, it will continue to function indefinitely without any kind of maintenance. It’s an out-of-sight, out-of-mind mentality, and unfortunately, it’s wrong. It would certainly be convenient if a septic system could simply be forgotten about with no ill effects to its functionality, but we do, regrettably, live in a fallen world, and routine maintenance--most notably pumping out the septic tank--is required to keep a septic system running smoothly.
Failure to maintain your septic system properly can lead to a number of issues, including broken or clogged parts, costly repairs that could have been avoided with some simple maintenance, and even system failure, which introduces the risk of biohazardous contamination due to the nature of the septic tank. None of these are fun scenarios! Please educate your friends and neighbors with septic systems on the septic pumping and inspection.
Myth Three: Septic Systems are Always Environmentally Friendly
Never say never, as the saying goes, but it’s also true that you should never say always. Generally speaking, septic systems are actually more environmentally friendly than municipal sewer systems for the following reasons:
Less energy used to transport wastewater
Natural treatment of wastewater; less chemicals used
Reduced risk of sewer backups
However, it’s important to bear in mind that these advantages are contingent on the septic system being properly maintained and cared for. Septic systems have the potential to cause a lot of damage; because of the biohazardous materials contained in a septic tank, poorly maintained or malfunctioning septic systems can contaminate groundwater, which is harmful both to people--especially as many homes that rely on septic systems also rely on groundwater as a water source--and to the local wildlife. Properly maintaining your septic system and resolving any issues as they arise is a must when it comes to minimizing the risk of environmental harm.
At ASAP Septic, we love serving our clients and sharing our earned expertise. Whether it’s dispelling myths or offering 24-hour emergency septic services, we are always glad to be doing our part. We serve Boise, Mountain Home, Payette, Kuna, Meridian, Caldwell, Lowman, Middleton, Garden Valley, ID, and all surrounding areas. Fill out our online contact form or give us a call at (208) 991-7184 for more information or to schedule a consultation today.
Summer with a Septic System in Boise, ID
Now that the weather is finally warming up here in Boise, ID, it’s time to start turning our thoughts to summer! With the way that the housing market has been here in Idaho, we know that many of our clients are navigating a lot of new things they’ve never experienced before, including living in a home with a septic system. As septic experts, at ASAP Septic, we are passionate about helping our clients keep things running smoothly in their homes. Today, we’ll be discussing some tips and tricks to keep your septic system running smoothly all summer long.
Higher temperatures and increased water usage during the hottest time of year can increase the amount of strain on your septic system; therefore, it’s important to keep in mind how your summer activities might affect your septic system. A few things you can do to give your system a break are:
Water conservation: With the droughts we experience here in Idaho from time to time, it’s important to be mindful of your water usage anyway, but more so in the summers, and especially if you are on a septic system. Avoid overly long showers, and don’t run the dishwasher or washing machine every day if you don’t have to. Bear in mind that high-water use activities can be spaced out, which will help prevent septic issues. On the flip side, washing your car with the hose in the front yard where the water runs into the street gutters will not affect your septic system. A ton of extra water can overwhelm your septic system, which can cause emergency septic issues, which are never fun to deal with.
Garbage disposal usage: Summer is a popular time for backyard barbeques and entertaining guests, which we love! If you are cooking more or cooking with more fresh produce that you are tempted to put in the garbage disposal--well, don’t! Garbage disposals add organic materials to the septic tank and can lead to pipes becoming clogged or the tank filling too quickly. Instead, opt to throw food scraps in the trash or, better yet, the compost.
Household cleaners: Septic systems work in large part because of the microbial ecosystem that lives in the tank. Water is siphoned off of the tank, and waste is left behind, which is further broken down by bacteria. Many household cleaners have harsh chemicals in them. Harsh chemicals or anti-bacterial materials can disrupt the good bacteria in your septic tank, which can lead to sub-optimal performance from your septic system.
Maintenance: Whether you need to have your septic tank pumped or are due for an inspection, don’t let the busyness of summer distract you from keeping up with the regular maintenance your septic system needs. Summer often comes with vacations, camps and extra activities for the kids, and visits from friends and family, and the last thing you need is a septic emergency on your hands.
Landscaping and water use: Septic systems rely on a drain field where gray water is allowed to seep back into the ground. Especially as the heat kicks up, it’s common for people to water lawns and gardens more frequently. Overwater can saturate the ground, which means less availability for gray water to drain into the ground, which can then lead to a septic system failure.
Decomposition: higher temperatures mean that decomposition occurs more quickly. It’s unpleasant, but if the organic matter in your septic tank is decomposing rapidly, your tank may fill up more quickly than you expected. This same phenomenon may also cause odor issues around your septic system. If you notice any foul odors coming from your septic system, it’s vey important to get it inspected by a professional as soon as possible.
We are excited to serve as many clients as possible in whatever capacity we can! We hope that, as spring and summer unfold for our friends here in Idaho, we will be able to share our knowledge and expertise and make your septic experience an overwhelmingly positive one. We serve Boise, Payette, Meridian, Caldwell, Garden Valley, Kuna, Lowman, Middleton, Mountain Home, ID, and all surrounding areas. Fill out our online contact form or give us a call at (208) 991-7184 for more information or to schedule a consultation today.
Ten Tips For Dumping An RV Septic Tank in Boise, IDWith the weather slowly beginning to warm up, our friends and neighbors here in Idaho are beginning to break out the sleeping bags and bear spray and making sure their camping and adventuring gear is in check. We love the great outdoors just as much as anyone, and we are especially excited to enter the spring and summer seasons and all the opportunities those seasons bring here in Idaho, and, along with it, RV season.
At ASAP Septic, we value serving our friends and neighbors, and our sewer and septic knowledge includes RV septic care. These systems do come with the potential for health hazards because of the biohazardous waste involved, so it’s a subject that we take very seriously to maintain the health and safety of our clients. Today, we’ll be sharing ten tips for dumping an RV septic tank:
If you are dumping both your gray and black water, dumping the black water first allows you to use the gray water to flush any residual debris from the hose. Gray water includes water used in your sink and shower, while black water includes sewage from your toilet system. By getting rid of black water first, you can effectively rinse out your hose with water that isn’t a hazard.
When you’re hooked up at a campsite, make sure to leave the black-water tank valve closed. Otherwise, liquids will drain and leave solid waste to dry and harden on the bottom of your tank, which makes it significantly more difficult to clean. This seemingly simple step can save you from dealing with an unpleasant situation!
Always dump your black water tank when it’s two thirds to three quarters full. Reaching the fill line of a black water tank is not a line you want to flirt with; always dump your tank before you are approaching the tank’s capacity. Overfilling your tank can lead to a septic disaster, and the last thing you want is raw sewage in your RV!
Your freshwater hose should never get anywhere near your tanks, sewer hoses, or the dump station. Even a slight splash or careless contact could lead to contamination, and bacteria often thrives in moist conditions. Your freshwater hose should always be kept far from any contaminated equipment.
Dump stations don’t always have a hose for rinsing, so be sure to carry a second hose. Rinsing your equipment will keep it from getting gunked up, and dump stations may not have a hose for rinsing, so having one on hand will allow you to rinse out your equipment at every opportunity.
Your camper’s septic hoses should be stored in a place that is very separate from your drinking water hose. There is potential for contamination if they are in proximity to each other, and getting hoses mixed up could have disastrous consequences.
Latex gloves are an excellent tool to use, as they can be thrown out immediately after use. Be cautious when removing them to avoid touching the outer surface, as they harbor biohazardous materials. Keeping a box of gloves in your RV is generally a good idea, and many people find them usefu in many situations!
If other patrons are waiting to use the dump station, skip the hose rinsing and tank flushing, as these are not strictly necessary. Additionally, pull away from the station before adding water and chemicals to your holding tanks as a courtesy to others. Dump stations can get busy in popular areas, so being courteous to other campers can keep things running smoothly and cut down on long lines.
Only dump holding tank contents at the dump station. Dump stations are not equipped to handle any other garbage or debris, and dumping anything else may cause issues.
Ensure that the dump station is at least as clean as it was when you arrived. If possible, leave it cleaner.
At ASAP Septic, we are eager to serve our clients in whatever way we can, and we are excited to share our earned expertise with as many people as possible. We recognize that sewer and septic experts can be difficult to come by, and we love to share our knowledge with anyone who needs it, especially our friends and neighborhoods here in southern Idaho. We serve Boise, Middleton, Mountain Home, Lowman, Kuna, Garden Valley, Caldwell, Meridian, Payette, ID, and all surrounding areas.