Holding Tanks vs Septic Systems

If you’re new to septic tank systems or are just curious to learn more, you have probably heard about holding tanks as well. So what are they and what is the difference? Let’s take a closer look at holding tanks and septic systems so you can determine which might be best for your home.


What is a Holding Tank?

A holding tank does just what its name suggests. It holds wastewater from your home. Because it is only a holding tank and doesn’t have a system set up to deal with the waste once it hits the tank, it needs to be emptied once it has reached its capacity. The frequency of pumping will vary, but the average holding tank that gets regular use will need to be pumped monthly. Smaller holding tanks that get frequent use may need to be emptied weekly. While they are sometimes used in homes, holding tanks are better suitable for tiny houses or trailers or recreational vehicles like RVs or boats. Holding tanks are not designed for large households or long-term use. That’s where septic tank systems come in.


What is a Septic Tank System?

Like a holding tank, a septic tank is designed to hold wastewater from your home. But unlike a holding tank, a septic tank system is designed to treat the wastewater and allow it to seep into the surrounding ground called the drain field, to make room for more waste. Although a septic tank will need to be pumped about once a year, it is designed for long-term use. A properly maintained septic tank can last up to 40 years. With proper maintenance, including inspections, pumping, and repairs as soon as a problem arises, septic systems are the perfect choice for homeowners looking for an alternative to city sewage.


Own a septic tank system? Call Affordable Pumping Services today to get on a regular pumping schedule.

The Dangers of a Faulty Septic System Lid

The purpose of the lid of your septic tank is not just to mark its location and keep sewage contained, it’s also for the safety of your family and surrounding wildlife. A faulty septic tank lid is not only dangerous, but it could also be a liability. Let’s look at some of the dangers of a faulty septic tank lid and how to prevent accidents from happening.


Unknown Locations

One of the biggest reasons why accidents happen involving septic tank lids is because they’re in unknown locations or covered by brush or grass. This makes it easy for small children or animals to accidentally fall in, or injure themselves by partially falling in. Always know the location of your septic tank lid. If you’re purchasing a property with a septic system, have a reputable septic tank company come out and inspect the entire system as well as the lid. Keep the lawn mowed in that area and mark off the area of the lid if necessary.


Faulty Lids

If you notice your septic tank lid fits improperly or looks damaged, contact experts right away. Temporarily block off that area and let all family members know to stay away. Keep pets fenced in away from the septic tank area until the lid is repaired or replaced and adequately sealed.


What to Do in An Emergency

Not only does someone risk hurting themselves from the impact of the fall, but falling into a septic tank exposes you to toxic fumes and gases. If a person or animal falls in your tank, call 911 immediately. Even if they can be lifted out, don’t do it yourself. Special equipment will be needed, so you don’t endanger yourself as well. Stay calm and call 911.


To ensure your septic tank system is safe and secure, call the experts at Affordable Pumping Services.

How Poorly Maintained Septic Systems Affect Bodies of Water

It’s not only essential to maintain your septic system for the health and safety of your home and family, but also for the surrounding environment, especially nearby water sources. If you own a septic tank system on your property, it’s your responsibility to maintain it properly to protect those around you. Here’s how poorly maintained septic systems can affect surrounding water systems.


Drinking Water

A poorly maintained septic system can start to leach toxic chemicals into the nearby ground soil. It then can leak into neighboring wells and water system, potentially contaminating local drinking water. This can be disastrous for the health of the people in your community. Always have your septic system inspected once a year by a reputable company so you can spot potential leaks before they become dangerous.


Surface Water

When you have a septic tank, the wastewater from your home is treated through your system and filters into the surrounding soil. When your septic system isn’t functioning properly, the wastewater can contaminate nearby bodies of water like local streams, lakes, or rivers. Toxic septic chemicals could be detrimental to wildlife that depend on these waterbodies for survival.


Homeowners Near Lakes and Rivers Should Take Extra Precautions

If you live close to a river or lake, your septic system maintenance should be a top priority. Talk to your septic tank company about ways that you can protect your system from leaks, as well as possible upgrades for peace of mind. Septic tank technology is continuously evolving, so it may be time to upgrade your entire system to adequately protect your environment. An average septic tank can last up to 40 years, but if you’ve purchased an older home, it’s especially important to have your septic tank checked right away.


For all your septic tank system needs, including maintenance and pumping, contact Affordable Pumping Services today.

Tips to Spot These Common Septic Issues Before They Become Major

Tips to Spot These Common Septic Issues Before They Become Major

Septic tank issues can be costly and incredibly inconvenient. But if you know what to watch for, you can get them fixed before they lead to disasters. Here are some tips to spot common septic issues before they become significant problems.


Watch the Landscape Surrounding Your Tank

One of the easiest ways to spot potential septic system problems is to watch the landscape surrounding your tank consistently. If you notice the foliage around the tank or drain field begin to grow faster and bigger, it may be a sign of a leak in your tank. Wastewater leaks act as fertilizer for surrounding grass and plants and cause them to flourish quickly. An overgrown area of your yard is a telltale sign of a septic leak.


Look for Puddles and Swampy Areas

If the ground around your septic tank seems flooded in certain areas, this could indicate a leak in your tank. Contact a septic tank company at the first sign of any excess moisture on the land around your tank.


Pay Attention to Water Drainage

Slow drainage in your sinks and tubs is a sign of trouble in your septic system. Slow draining could indicate corrosion in your tank, a leak, or even a more severe problem. Call a professional at the first sign of slow draining in your home.


Keep an Eye on Your Property

By monitoring the plant growth and moisture content surrounding your septic tank and calling a professional at the first sign of drainage problems, you can catch issues with your septic system before they become major problems. Regular pumping is also a crucial step to take to keep your septic system healthy and working efficiently. Call Affordable Pumping Services today to get on a regular pumping schedule.

Can You Relocate a Septic System

There are many reasons you may want to relocate your septic system. Maybe you’re planning an expansion on your home or would like to landscape your yard and plant trees. Whatever the reason may be, relocating your septic system is a very involved process. It is possible to relocate your septic tank system, but it’s essential to do it correctly. Here are some things to keep in mind.


Your Septic System Has Many Components

Moving your septic tank system does not just involve moving the tank. There is also the pipe that runs from your home to the tank, the drain field, and the soil around the tank that removes microbes from the wastewater. Therefore, it’s crucial to contact a company that specializes in relocating septic tank systems. If the whole procedure is not handled correctly, it can result in costly repairs and problems.


Uncovering and Removing the Tank

Before your tank can be removed from the ground, the manhole covers must be detached. The soil over your tank must be removed using an excavator. Once the work moves closer to the tank, workers will use standard shovels to protect the tank from any damage. This is a very labor-intensive process which could make your overall cost very high. Keep this in mind when planning your tank relocation. Once the manhole covers are detached, and the pipes are removed as well, the tank is ready to be removed using a bar and cable system. The tank must be moved very slowly to prevent damage to the tank. It will then be stored in a flatbed truck until the new hole has been dug for its relocation.


Relocation Vs. Replacement

Older tanks can be challenging to move and can even fall apart during the removal process, so many homeowners opt to replace them. Before relocating your tank, have a reputable company assess its condition. Planning ahead will cut down on unexpected costs and problems.


For all your septic tank system needs and to get on a regular pumping schedule, contact Affordable Pumping Services today!

The History of Septic Systems

Septic tank systems are not exactly a modern invention. In fact, septic systems have been around for over 150 years. Let’s take a look at the history of septic systems.

The French Connection

The first septic tank system was invented in France by a man named John Mouras in 1860. The first prototype featured a concrete tank and clay piping which brought wastewater from Mouras’ home into the tank located in the yard.  When the system showed signs of working, he checked it yearly and was surprised to find that it contained barely any solid particles. After ten years, he felt confident to bring his invention to the United States.

Regulations Began

Once the septic process gained popularity in the US, it quickly became known that without proper handling, septic tanks could cause damage to the surrounding environment, and even be potentially toxic to the people living in the home. Regulations began almost immediately. These regulations have been updated over the years as more research and information has become available. Presently septic tank systems are completely safe for people, animals, and the surrounding environment when proper precautions are in place.

Septic Tank Systems Today

Most septic systems today are made of plastic, fiberglass or concrete and feature components like risers, filters, and alarms, all designed to make septic systems a safe alternative to using your city’s sewage system. Statewide regulations across the country make it almost impossible to purchase a property with an unsafe septic system. The best way to make sure your septic system continues to work efficiently and safely is to have it pumped regularly by a reputable pumping company.

Have questions about your septic tank? Call the experts at Affordable Pumping Services. We can get you on a regular pumping schedule today!

Septic Maintenance Tips for Warmer Months

The last thing you want to worry about in the summer is a septic problem. The warmer weather means you should be enjoying the sunshine, outdoor barbecues, and poolside fun, NOT dealing with septic emergencies. To make sure you have a drama-free summer, here are some septic maintenance tips for warmer months.


Remind Your Summer Guests Not to Flush Anything but Waste and Toilet Paper


Warmer weather sometimes means more frequent visitors in and out of your home. Be sure to remind your kids, their friends and anyone else that may be spending time in your home that you have a septic tank system, so it’s essential NEVER to flush anything but waste and toilet paper. This means no tampons, baby wipes, tissues, or anything other than plain toilet paper. If you plan on having a party, it might be a good idea to have a little bathroom sign reminding your guests.


Don’t Park Cars Near the Septic Tank

Summer parties can require extra parking on your property. Make sure you know where your tank and draining field are located and never park anywhere near it. The only piece of equipment or vehicle that should ever be on the land above your septic tank is a lawnmower.


Have Your Tank Pumped

Regular pumping is always important, but it becomes especially important when you may be having more frequent guests or parties. A good rule of thumb is to have your septic tank pumped at the beginning of the summer, or the week before a party.


Be Mindful of Your Landscaping

The best plants for a drain field is grass. Although it may be tempting to add new shrubs or trees in the warmer planting season, keep in mind that anything with roots could be potentially harmful to your septic system. Keep it simple with different varieties of grass.


Ready for Summer? Make sure your septic tank is too. Call Affordable Pumping Services for all your septic tank needs and to get on a regular pumping schedule.

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.