Items That Can Damage Your Septic System if Flushed Down the Drain

A septic tank system works well when taken care of. But like anything else, not caring for it properly or neglecting it can lead to some pretty inconvenient and pricey problems down the line. Your septic system was designed to work with the help of natural bacteria that help break down solid waste in your tank. Anything that messes with the growth of this bacteria could throw off your entire septic system. Here are some items that you should never flush down your toilet or drain.


Harsh Chemical Cleaners

Some chemical cleaners kill the bacteria in your septic tank or mess with their cycle. Avoid harsh chemical cleaners in your bathrooms and sink areas, like chemical drain cleaners and liquid bleach, and stick to more naturally made products. Look for bottles that say something like “Safe for Septic Systems” on the label.


Feminine Products of Any Kind

Tampons, even ones that claim to be safe to flush, are not safe to flush. They should be thrown away in the garbage instead. If you frequently have guests over, make sure you mention that

at the only thing that is safe to flush down your toilets is toilet paper. This also means baby wipes and “flushable” wipes.


Cooking Grease

Cooking grease should never be poured down any drain for any reason. It will eventually solidify and clog your pipes, causing dangerous backups and even permanent damage.


Medication or Pills

Never flush any sort of medication, pills or drugs of any kind down the toilet or the drain. Chemicals and ingredients in the pills could not only kill the bacteria in your septic tank, but they could also seep into the ground in your drain field, causing damage to plant life or even seeping into groundwater.


Did someone flush something on the list down your toilet? Or are you having issues with your septic tank? Affordable Pumping Services can help. Call for an appointment, emergency services, or to get on a regular pumping schedule.

Landscaping Tips for Homeowners With Septic Systems

If you have a septic tank system, landscaping your yard can get a little tricky. Certain kinds of trees can be dangerous for your tank since their roots seek out moisture and can damage the pipes that feed your tank. Let’s go over some tips for landscaping your yard that will keep your septic system safe.


Plants ARE Beneficial for Your Septic System

Yes, you do need to be aware of trees and plants with aggressive root systems, but that doesn’t mean you should avoid plants altogether. In fact, many different plants are beneficial for your septic tank system. Plants can prevent erosion to your tank by sucking up extra moisture in your drain field.


Choose Long Grasses and Perennial Plants

Tall grasses like Kentucky bluegrass or wild ornamental grasses are perfect for your drain field, and even wildflowers can be beneficial. Look for perennial plants that grow well in your region and require the amount of sun you get over your septic tank area. Animals will still go after plants by a septic tank, so be sure to keep that in mind when designing your landscaping.


Avoid Fruit Plants and Trees

Trees and plants that produce fruit are not safe to eat if grown over a septic tank area, the fruit can contain harmful bacteria, so avoid planting these anywhere near your septic tank area. Even if the people in your household know to avoid them, animals won’t, and you don’t want to get your pets or any cute wild animals that visit your yard sick.


If you do have trees in the area of your septic tank system, be sure to ask the experts at Affordable Pumping Services if they’re safe for your yard. And remember to get on a regular pumping schedule if you’re not already. Call Affordable Pumping Services for all your septic tank needs.

Reducing Your Home Water Use Can Reduce Strain on Your Septic System

The average home uses around 70 gallons of water per person, per day. That’s a lot of water! Did you know that reducing your home water use can reduce strain on your septic system? All the water you flush down your toilet or send down your sinks ends up in your septic system. So the more water you conserve, the less will run through your septic system. Here are some easy ways to reduce your home’s water use.


Fix Leaks Right Away

One leaky faucet or running toilet can waste more than 200 gallons of water a day. So as soon as you notice a problem in any of your sinks or bathrooms, call a plumber right away. The longer you wait, the more water is wasted, and the more stress is put on your septic system.


Invest in High-Efficiency Toilets

Toilets use about 30 percent of your household water, so reducing the amount of water used by them can significantly reduce your overall water use. Older model toilets have larger 5-gallon tanks while newer, high-efficient toilets use almost 2 gallons less per flush. Replacing your current toilets could not only help preserve your septic tank but cut down on your energy costs as well.


Be More Aware of Laundry Use

Washing small loads of laundry can waste a lot more water than you probably realize. It’s best only to run the washer when you have a full load. It’s also better for your septic system to spread out your laundry use throughout the week instead of doing it all in one day. A dramatic increase in water use at one time can cause problems in your system.


Follow these easy tips to conserve water and take some strain off your septic tank system. Remember to pump your system regularly and call Affordable Pumping Services for all your septic tank needs.

When an Emergency Happens, Call Us!

Having a flooded bathroom in the middle of the night is one of the most panic-inducing incidents that can happen to a homeowner. If you find yourself in the middle of a septic or plumbing emergency, stay calm and let us handle it.


Have Affordable Pumping Services on Call

Before the unexpected happens, there are a few things you can do to prepare yourself so that when an emergency does occur, you can get the right kind of help as quickly as possible. Make sure you have 732-505-1004, the number of Affordable Pumping Services, saved in your cell phone or written in a place you can find it, like on your refrigerator, so you don’t have to go searching for it when you need it most. Our team is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, so no matter what time of day you walk in to find a horrible mess waiting for you, (even if it’s midnight on Thanksgiving!), we’ve got you covered.


We Won’t Charge You an Arm and a Leg

Other septic tank companies or plumbers may charge obscenely high emergency fees for after-hour calls, but we don’t call ourselves Affordable Pumping Services for nothing, we take our namesake very seriously. No matter what your issue may be, you can trust that you will get an honest, affordable price.


We’re Prepared for the Most Common, and Not so Common, Emergency Situations

Numerous factors can produce an emergency septic or plumbing situation, and our expert team is prepared for them all. A common septic emergency is an improperly functioning soakaway, a pit near your tank that is filled with rocks and rubble. If your soakaway is not draining properly, it can cause your toilets to back up, or your washing machine hookup may overflow.


Call Affordable Pumping Services at the first sign of an emergency, we’ll take care of the rest. And don’t forget to get on a regular pumping schedule to avoid septic backups.

Should You Replace Your Cesspool With A Septic System

Do you have a cesspool waste system for your home? Are you considering switching to a septic system? It can be overwhelming when deciding which waste system is best for your home, so let’s go over your options.

Should You Replace Your Cesspool with a Septic System?

Before we explore the possibilities of replacing your cesspool with a septic system, let’s go over the differences between each.

A Cesspool System

Like a septic tank, a cesspool is designed to hold sewage for a home. Cesspools, sometimes called leaching pools, are pits with concrete or cement walls. The wastewater from a house flows into the cesspool and slowly drains into the soil surrounding the walls.

A Septic System

The main difference between a septic tank and a cesspool is that a septic tank is designed to hold wastewater until it is pumped, unlike a cesspool that slowly drains. Septic tanks require less maintenance than a cesspool since they are a holding system whereas a cesspool has constant drainage. A septic tank will need to be pumped regularly but are recommended over a cesspool, especially for larger or more crowded homes.

How Much Does It Cost to Replace a Cesspool with a Septic Tank?

Depending on the size of your home and the number of people living in it, a septic tank replacement can run you anywhere between $4,000 to $6,000 or more for a larger home.

What Maintenance is Required for a Septic Tank?

Septic tanks need to be pumped every three to five years, but a yearly inspection should be done to ensure your system is functioning properly. A neglected septic system could overflow, causing costly and dangerous messes that could impact your entire property. At Affordable Pumping Services, we have over 18 years of experience maintaining septic systems, so call us with all your cesspool and septic tank questions today.

The Septic System Pumping Process

If you own a septic tank system, you know that regular pumping is necessary. But do you know what goes on during the pumping process?

A professional company like Affordable Pumping Services has a process they follow when pumping a residential septic tank system.

Locate the Tank

The first step to pump your septic tank is to find it. If you’ve recently purchased the property, you may not be aware of your tank’s location. If the lid is buried, it will need to be dug out so a hose can be inserted.

Check the Level

Wastewater from your septic tank seeps into a portion of your yard known as the drain field. Once the access lid is found, the pumping pros will check the level of liquid in your septic tank. If the level is lower than the outlet pipe, your tank could be leaking wastewater into the ground surrounding the tank which can be dangerous. If it is level or higher than the draining pipe, the pipe will be checked for clogs.

Pumping the Liquid

Once the levels and drainpipes have been checked, a large hose will be used to suck all the liquid from your septic tank into the pumping service’s truck. Using careful methods, the waste will be transported to a designated area.

Watching for Backflow

As your tank is being pumped, the techs will carefully watch for backflow to ensure the proper amount is flowing out of the outlet pipe.

Cleaning the Tank

After your septic tank has been pumped, it will be thoroughly cleaned. Solid waste will be loosened and sucked out of your tank, and everything will be cleaned using a high-powered hose.

Final Inspection

Once your tank is pumped, a professional will check it for leaks, cracks or any structural damage. Any necessary repairs will be discussed with you before completing.

If you own a septic tank system, call Affordable Pumping Services today to get on a regular pumping schedule.

The Key Components of a Septic System

If you own a septic tank system, it’s important that you understand how it works so you can spot problems before they become costly repairs. Your septic tank system has four main components. Let’s take a closer look at all of them.

Pipe Leading from Your Home to the Tank

The pipe leading from the bathrooms in your house to your septic tank is the first key component to your septic system. This pipe carries all waste materials from your toilets to your septic tank. Any leaks or damage to this pipe can prevent your system from working properly and cause dangerous and inconvenient backups.

Septic Tank

Your septic tank is the main component to the septic system. Your septic tank holds all waste materials from your home and keeps them from leaking into the ground surrounding your home. Septic tanks are usually made of concrete and are buried underground. Compartments in the tank prevent certain forms of waste from reaching the drain field. Bacteria located in the tank breaks down some of the solid waste.

Drain Field

The drain field or leach field is an area where the partially treated waste slowly drains to make room for more wastewater. The wastewater is then treated further by the soil of the drain field. Too much wastewater caused by an overflowing septic tank will cause the drain field to flood, which can be extremely costly and inconvenient to repair.

The Soil Surrounding the Tank

The soil in your lawn surrounding your septic tank plays an important role in your septic system. When the wastewater from your tank flows to your drain field, the soil removes harmful bacteria and viruses, making it safe for the environment. Proper soil is necessary for a septic system to work efficiently.

For any questions about the key components of your septic tank system, call the professionals at Affordable Pumping Services.

Tips to Extend The Lifespan of Your Septic System

Your septic tank system is an important part of your home. It’s essential to properly care for it so that it works efficiently and safely. Here are some easy ways to extend the lifespan of your septic system.

Schedule Regular Pumping

One of the best ways to extend the life of your septic system is to pump it regularly. Most professionals recommend having your tank pumped at least every three years, but depending on the size of your household and your system, it may need to be pumped every year or so. Be sure to ask Affordable Pumping Services about the best pumping schedule for your system. Regular pumping will also allow for minor problems and issues to be spotted quickly.

Never Flush Anything Other Than Waste and Toilet Paper

Your septic tank system is not built to deal with anything other than human waste and toilet paper. Anything else, like baby wipes or feminine products, could cause dangerous and toxic sewage backups in your home or cause your tank to overflow. Make sure anyone that is staying in your home knows not to flush anything other than toilet paper.

Avoid Using Chemical Cleaners in Your Bathrooms

Strong chemicals used in some bathroom cleaning products can be harmful to your septic system. Your septic tank is full of helpful bacteria that help break down solid waste. Adding chemicals to your septic tank can kill those helpful bacteria, messing with the levels of waste in your tank. Always look for septic tank friendly products to use for cleaning.

Avoid Landscaping or Digging Near Drain Field

Make sure you know the exact location of your septic tank and drain field so that you can avoid construction, landscaping and digging in that area. Digging or using digging equipment near a tank could accidentally pierce or puncture the tank itself or important pipes connecting to the tank.

Call Affordable Pumping Services for other ways to extend the life of your septic system.

How the Weather Can Affect Your Septic System

If you have a septic system, it’s important to be aware of how different temperatures and weather conditions can affect it. It’s essential to be prepared for the unexpected and to know how to keep your septic system running in top shape. Here’s how different weather conditions can affect your septic system.

Cold Temperatures

Cold, winter weather can affect your septic tank in several different ways. Extreme low temperatures make it hard for the helpful bacteria in your tank to survive. The bacteria’s job is to partially digest the waste in your tank. When it is too cold, the bacteria won’t be doing its job. Undigested waste becomes sludge that settles on the bottom of your tank. If your area tends to get freezing temperatures for an extended period, call Affordable Pumping Services to come up with a plan to avoid problems. Special bacteria that can survive in freezing temperatures may need to be added to your tank.

Heavy Rainfall

Heavy rainfall can flood your drain field which will make it hard for water to drain from your tank. A flooded drain field can back up your entire system, causing flooding inside your home. A flooded drain field can also be harmful to the environment since raw sewage can seep into groundwater and local bodies of water. If you suspect your drain field may be flooding, reduce your water usage and call Affordable Pumping Services right away. During rainy seasons, be sure not to park vehicles on your drain field and keep your gutters clean and pointed away from the draining area.

To prevent weather conditions from causing an emergency with your septic system, take as many preventative measures as possible. Avoid pouring bleach or chemical cleaners down your drain that could affect the bacteria level in your tank. Make sure you’re on a regular pumping schedule and always contact the professionals when an issue comes up. Call Affordable Pumping Services today.

Are Septic Tank Additives Worth the Cost?

If you have a septic system or are thinking about installing one, you may have seen ads for septic additives that promise to save you money and allow you to avoid problems, but are they worth it? There’s never any replacement for regular pumping by professionals, and anything saying otherwise should be approached with caution.

Beware of Anyone Who Tells You Not to Pump Your Septic Tank

Ask any septic tank pumping service professional what they think of additives, and you’ll most likely get an eye roll. It is extremely dangerous to risk avoiding pumping your septic tank every 3-5 years like these additive companies claim you’ll be able to do. If you’re not on a regular pumping schedule, you risk not only your septic system and home from costly permanent damages, but you also run the risk of contaminating the environment with raw sewage. While using additives may be useful along with regular preventative maintenance, although the research on that is slim, NOTHING is a replacement for pumping.

Different Types of Additives

There are three different types of additives on the market: biological, inorganic and organic. The companies that sell all three claim that using any of these will either increase or help the bacteria that already exists in your tank. The truth is they may partially help; they may also decrease the amount of bacteria in your tank, throwing off the whole system. When there isn’t enough bacteria in your septic tank, sludge will form. Unchecked sludge can back up your entire system, causing your toilets and plumbing inside your house to overflow and flood.

Backed by Science

Additive companies will make claims that their products ability to maintain your tank is backed by science, when in reality the opposite is true. Many scientific studies have shown that additives have little to no effect on your septic system.

Trust the professionals, call Affordable Pumping Services to get on a regular pumping schedule.