Keeping you updated.

Pump to Gravity System in Port Orchard

on Wednesday, 12 April 2017.

This was a pump to gravity system for a customer in Port Orchard, installed by Gettin' It Done. Lancer and his team did a great job! Below you can see the transport lines going from the tank to the distrubution box, which helps "decide" how the effluent is distributed into the drain field. Contact information for Gettin' It Done can be found here.


Potential Warning Signs For A Failed System

on Monday, 27 February 2017.

We often get calls from customers who aren't sure if their system is failing or not. Typically, septic issues are first discovered by pump out companies. There are some warning signs that will allow you to get an idea of a potential failure. A septic designer is ideal in not only determining problematic situations, but avenues to remedy while being an expert in the current codes and regulations which must be adhered to. 
Some potential clues can be: 
    • Water or effluent backing up into sinks, toilets and shower/bathrub drains
    • Surfacing effluent, standing water or damp/soggy spots in your drain field
    • Gurling or other unusual sounds when water is running
    • Bright green patches that appear in the area of your drain field
    • Older systems can be more likely to fail, due to lifespan limits 
 If you suspect your system has failed or is failing, please call our office at 360-698-8488. 
Tip: If you are in a feasibility period for the purchase of a home, you may want to consider having the septic system inspected, to see the current state of the drain field. Rod is able to dig along side the drain field to see if there is any bio-matting. Additionally, some customers choose to have a camera locate performed. This is when a camera is sent down the legs of the drain field to see the condition on the inside. 

KPHD Home Owner's Guide

on Thursday, 26 January 2017.

The Kitsap Public Health District (KPHD) has published a Home Owner's Guide to on-site sewage systems (OSS). This is a helpful and informative tool, which helps to explainthe different types of systems, why the care of your system is so important, what to do when your system fails, (because eventually all systems will fail) and has some great illustrations. 
You can find the online version of this guide here. Please note that the KPHD has recently changd their phone number, and can now be reached at 360-728-2235.

Gravity System in Bremerton

on Friday, 30 December 2016.

This was a gravity system designed by Rod and installed in the Bremerton area. Rod's goal at the feasibility is always to design a gravity system. The soils don't always qualify for gravity, however, this property did and this customer was able to achieve a 4 bedroom gravity system. To learn more about the design process, or to see samples of some of our designs, click here


Baum Mashup

Pump to Gravity System in Poulsbo

on Thursday, 13 October 2016.

This was a pump to gravity system in Poulsbo, installed by Kat Trax. They did a great job on this system! Contact information for Kat Trax can be found on our Resource Page. 

Kat Trax Clear Creek Mashup

Gravity System in Bremerton

on Wednesday, 28 September 2016.

The Kitsap Public Health District, or KPHD, allows home owners to install their own system, if the system is gravity. This was a home owner install in Bremerton. Once a system has been installed, either by a home owner or a licensed installer, it must be called in for inspection. Here, Rod takes a look at the installation, to verify things have been done correctly. Great job to this home owner! 

Dimmen Mash Up

Access For Monitoring and Maintenance Inspections

on Friday, 13 May 2016.

Monitoring and Maintenance (M&M) is extrememly important for your system. All septic systems in Kitsap County are required to have an M&M contract on the system, for the life of the system, except for residential gravity. When you have an M&M contract on your system, your M&M provider will come out and inspect your system regularly. However, if we're unable to access your system for inspection, we cannot alert you to problems, solve problems, or tell you when it's time to pump your system. An inaccessible system has the potential to cost you thousands of dollars. Keeping your system accessible should be a top priority for all home owners. One of the main things we check is the drain field. This is the part of your system that will typically begin to show the first signs of system failure and needing to be replaced. Most drain fields have inspection ports, which are covered by inspection port lids. There are two kinds of inspection port lids. The white twist off kind, and the green pop off kind. The green pop off lids are best, as dirt and debris can build up in the tracks of the screw on lids, making it difficult to get them on and off. If we can't remove the lids, we can't inspect the drain field. 
Replacement caps can be purchased at Lowes, Home Depot, HD Fowler in Gorst or Ferguson's in Silverdale. (Contact information for HD Fowler and Ferguson's can be found here)




lid mash up

Standard Pressure System in Port Orchard

on Friday, 08 April 2016.

Acme was brought in by a local home builder to design a 3-bedroom septic system for a property being developed in Port Orchard. This standard pressure system was installed by A-Bell Excavating. A-Bell did a great job installing this system, and they're always a pleasure to work with! Orchard Ave Mash Up

Septic Alarms

on Friday, 10 March 2017.

As a Monitoring and Maintenance (M&M) provider, we occasionally have customers calling us during a septic alarm. One of the first questions we will ask the customer is if they have silenced the alarm already. If you have a septic system that requires a panel, and all systems other than gravity require a panel, you're going to experience an alarm at some point during the lifetime of your system. We always want our customers to call us with septic alarms, as there could be a variety of things causing the alarm, however, it's important to know how to silence the alarm, especially if the alarm goes off in the middle of the night. Most panels will have a button on the front or the side that can be pushed to silence the alarm. Below we have a Nuwater panel, where you can see there are two alarm lights, a level alarm and a low air alarm. When an alarm goes off, the button can be pushed to slience the alarm. It's very important to note that silencing the alarm does not mean the alarm has been resolved. It simply means the noise will stop. Once you've silenced the alarm, please call our office at 360-698-8488 to discuss the next steps. 
Please note that unless you have a Nuwater panel, your panel will look different than the one pictured. It's a good idea to take a look at your panel, and determine where the button to silence an alarm is located, before you experience an alarm. 


outside Nuwater panel

Securing Septic Tank Lids

on Wednesday, 08 February 2017.

All septic systems have tank lids, which are accessible to anyone who comes onto the property. Well secured tank lids are esstential to the safety of your family, friends, and neighbors. Therefore, when we come out for your Monitoring and Maintenance (M&M) inspections, we will always check the tank lids to ensure they are secured properly and in good condition, with no visible cracks or damage.
If a tank lid is not secured properly, people can accidently fall in. The average septic tank is about 6 feet deep, plus the risers, which can add up to an additional 36 inches (unless your tanks are Department of Transportation (DOT) grade, in which case they could be much deeper). In addition to trying to make a potential 9 foot climb, the methane gas that builds up in the tanks can easily render someone unconscious. Falling into a tank is pretty rare, but it does happen, and serious injury and deaths have occurred.
Sometimes the screws that secure the lids can, and do, go missing for various reasons. If we notice a tank lid is missing screws, we will let you know. Replacement scews can be purchased at HD Fowler in Gorst, or Ferguson's in Silverdale (click here for contact information). We are only at your property once or twice a year, if you have an M&M contract, and not at all if you have a gravity system, therefore it is vital that you check your lids regularly
In addition to missing screws, lids can, and will, crack during the lifetime of the system. Acme recommends the fiberglass lids, due to their durability over the plastic lids under the UV rays from the sun, and basic wear and tear. It's important to replace cracked lids as soon as they are noticed. You can also find replacement lids at HD Fowler or Fergusons. 
It's also a good idea to teach children that tank lids should not be played on, or around. Jumping, driving or parking on tank lids is also not recommended (unless you have DOT grade tanks), as the added pressure can cause lids to crack suddenly. The pressure from vehicles could also cause the septic tanks to crack underground (if they aren't DOT grade).
For more information about tank lid safety, please click here. For more information about monitoring and maintenance please click here.

Port Orchard Pressure System

on Tuesday, 03 January 2017.

This was a standard pressure system installed in the Port Orchard area by Ron Hemley's Septic Installation. As always, Daryl and his team did a fantastic job! You can find more information about Ron Hemley's and all of our other installers here

Watkins Mashup 

Vented Lids For An Aerobic Treatment Unit

on Friday, 04 November 2016.

Pretreatment systems, or Aerobic systems, are now being required to have vented lids installed on all new systems. The Aerobic Treatment Unit, or ATU, is the pretreatment device in which the effluent must go through before going out to the drain field. Vented lids were not always required, so most ATUs do not have them. The reason for the change has to do with the algae that can, and does, build up in a system. When a lid is vented, it can reduce this build up, and will also reduce the frequency of pump outs. Charcoal vented lids can help with the septic smell. Home owners are not currently required to change the ATU lids to the vented ones, however, it is recommended. Below are photos of two different types of vented lids. The top photo is the older version, which is no longer recommended as groundwater can get in, as the holes are on the sides. The bottom photo is the current vented lid, which can be purchased at HD Fowler in Gorst or Ferguson's in Silverdale. Contact information for both can be found here


IMG 8500

Setting A System Up For Use

on Thursday, 29 September 2016.

Setting up a system for use is a key part of the septic process. This is a standard pressure system in Bainbridge Island.

Digging Soil Logs

on Thursday, 30 June 2016.

The type of septic system that can be placed on a property is determined by the type of soils and the depth of the soils. As Rod likes to say" the deeper, the cheaper!" The deeper you can dig, the better the system you can achieve. Some properties it's not possible to dig very deep, as the soil just isn't there. When Rod goes out to a property for a feasibility appointment, he takes his tractor. Digging by tractor is not only faster than digging by hand, but it allows you to dig as deep as possible, since the machine is doing the work, and not the person.

Landscaping Your Septic System

on Friday, 22 April 2016.

One of the more frequent questions we are asked is "What can I plant over my drain field?". We do suggest planting grass over your drain field, as it helps with evaporation and providing oxygen to your system. However, it's extremely important to know what else can be planted and what should be avoided. Planting certain types of plants and trees near your drain field can cause it to become root bound and fail prematurely, costing you thousands of dollars. 
Non-invasive plants, and those without deep roots are good ideas. Grass is always an excellent choice for planting over a drain field. It's important to avoid planting edible plants such as fruits and vegteables in your drain field area. The consistent, heavy amounts of water required to grow fruits and vegetables could easily flood a drain field. It's not a good idea to plant anything you plan to eat in the soils of your drain field, for obvious reasons. If you'd like to plant something more than grass near your drain field, you can always speak with a gardener, landscaping company or visit a nursery for more information on non-invasive plants. 
Typically, shrubs and trees can have some pretty intrusive root systems, which will actively seek water and grow into the legs of your drain field. Invasive roots have been known to break pipes and other important septic components, and grow inside or even break septic tanks. It's important to remember that even though you can't see them, some tree roots can spread out the same height of the tree. It's best to avoid planting trees near your drain field. Certain types of trees, such as alder, cedar, maple, poplar, and willow trees are best avoided, as they can cause the most damage to a drain field. Blackberry bushes, English ivy and ferns are also plants to avoid having near your drain field. 
In ground sprinkler systems are not recommended. During warm summer months, watering the lawn is understandable, but limit the amount of water as much as possible. Try to water no more than an inch a week. Remember the more water that goes into your system, the more it will impact your drain field. Keep in mind that septic components can have varying depths, with some being as shallow as 6-12 inches. It's not a good idea to do any heavy digging or rototilling in your drain field, or near the tanks. If you're unsure of where your septic components are, check the Record of Construction, sometimes called an as-built, for your system. If you do not have a copy of this, you can check online here.