• Residential FAQs

    • Do all septic tanks have pumps?
      No, not all septic tanks have pumps. Septic systems can be divided into two main types: gravity systems and pressure distribution systems. Gravity systems rely on the natural flow of wastewater from the house to the tank and then to the drain field. They don't require a pump. Pressure distribution systems, on the other hand, use a pump to evenly distribute effluent to the drain field, ensuring more efficient treatment.
  • Municipal FAQs

    • What pipeline maintenance services does Wind River Environmental provide?
      We offer pipeline installation, relining and crawler cameras for up to 72-inch pipes.
    • Can you facilitate a pipeline repair?
      Whether it’s providing main line camera service to plan infrastructure maintenance or assisting with any and all types of repairs, we can keep your infrastructure operating at peak performance.
    • Is alum sludge hauling available?
      Yes. We’re quite experienced with the compliant disposal of alum material.
    • Does Wind River Environmental have equipment specific to lagoon cleaning?
      We have pumps and related equipment specifically engineered for lagoon service work. Our Tiger lagoon pumps, floating pumps, and boxes are effective in properly removing material.
    • What method does Wind River Environmental use to service digesters?
      We implement pumping and hauling services, as well as GEO tubes, to clean digesters.
    • Is digester cleaning service available?
      Yes. Our hydraulic pumps easily remove the heavy material that accumulates in a digester.
    • Does Wind River Environmental service leachate collection lines?
      Our primary service is jetting, but we do realize that keeping these open is critical in managing methane collection.
    • Is there a volume consideration for your company?
      Wind River Environmental regularly provides leachate collection services. We’re always on alert following heavy precipitation. We have a fleet of pump trailers on hand, and we’re ready to handle requests for removals of more than 200,000 gallons in one day.
    • Can you provide us with portable storage tanks?
      Yes. We regularly site tanks on municipal sites. Our frac tanks range up to 21,000 gallons in size.
    • Are Wind River Environmental technicians confined space trained and compliant?
      All of our technicians are trained on several OSHA compliant programs including CSE, LOTO, MSHA, Fall Protection and many others. Contact our customer service team and they can engage our safety group who can assist you with any specific question you have about our training programs and certifications.
    • What disposal options does Wind River Environmental provide?
      We own and operate several disposal facilities throughout the Northeast and mid-Atlantic to handle all your non-hazardous waste. We also have an Environmental Department that can assist with all necessary permitting and reporting to dispose of your waste.
    • Can you help with bypass pumping during maintenance or repair projects?
      Yes. We can handle bypass pumping on projects of all sizes. We keep an inventory of portable bypass pumps readily available for this purpose.
    • Can you handle the large volume hauling needs of a high volume water treatment plant?
      We operate a large fleet of trucks of all sizes that can assist with all of your municipal sludge hauling, no matter what volume. We’ll arrange for disposal at one of our own WWTP or other POTW. We are experienced in handling dry cake and liquid sludge waste. We offer contract price hauling and emergency service.
    • Can you get rid of excessive odor in proximity to basin grates?
      No one likes odor issues, whether storm water system-related or not. We have teams of technicians trained in operating high-pressure water jetters who power wash the sludge buildup and scum to mitigate odors.
    • Can you clean catch basins to remove excessive trash and debris from storm water flow?

      Our fleet of Hy Vac equipment can perform all types of services for your storm water infrastructure system, including:

      • Large diameter culvert pipe cleaning
      • Removal of grit and debris from catch basins
      • Camera surveys
    • Can you clean grease and sludge buildup on floats and transducers?
      Yes. We clean lift stations of all sizes and configurations and handle line clearing for any float or transducer. Bypasses can be performed, if needed. All of our technicians are trained in confined space entry and can effectively perform the tasks required to keep your lift stations in prime condition.
    • Can you handle large weather events?
      We have a state-of-the-art fleet of Vactor® and GapVax® trucks, pump trailers and support equipment with highly trained technicians to respond to emergencies of all types and sizes.
    • Is a purchase order or formal agreement required in order to secure emergency services?
      While we’d appreciate a purchase order or agreement, we understand that fixing an emergency is a higher priority than paperwork. We make sure to employ a team of administrators that can help sort things out with municipal purchasing departments after-the-fact.
  • Commercial FAQs

    • Can you clean grease and sludge buildup on floats and transducers?
      Yes. We clean lift stations of all sizes and configurations, and handle line clearing for any float or transducer. Bypasses can be performed if needed, and all of our technicians are confined space entry trained to perform tasks needed to keep your lift stations in prime condition.
    • Can you handle large weather events?
      We have a state-of-the-art fleet of Vactor® and GapVax® trucks, pump trailers and support equipment with highly trained technicians to respond to emergencies of all sizes.
    • What size lines can the high-pressure vacuum (hy vac, Vactor®) accommodate?
      Our hy vacs can jet up to a standard 30-inch main line. We also have specialized cleaning capability for main lines up to five feet.
    • How often should I clean a storm drain?
      Storm drains should be cleaned annually. Generally, try cleaning before winter to avoid any issues with ice in the drains.
    • Do you provide high-pressure vacuum (hy vac, Vactor®) services?
      Yes. Contact us to set up an appointment.
    • Can you empty catch basin containing debris?
      Most catch basins with debris should not be a problem. To be certain, though, contact our Customer Service team.
    • Why is my hot water running out way too fast?
      First, check out all faucets for cross connections; make sure all mop faucets and 3-bay faucets are off completely, not just shut off so that they sanitize machines. If you are not seeing results, contact our Customer Service team.
    • I have low pressure at my faucet, what would cause that?
      It’s possible that the aerator (screen) may be clogged, leading to less water pressure. Contact us for additional information.
    • Where is the main water shut-off located?
      The location of a main water shut-off in a commercial setting varies, depending on where the water main comes into the building. However, typically it would be located near the water meter inside the building.
    • How long do ejector and sump pumps last?
      The lives of ejector pumps and sump pumps vary—they could last three years or 30 years. This will depend on the quality of the pump and whether it pumps water, grease, or caustic liquids. To maximize the life of your pumps, we recommend yearly inspections.
    • How long do hot water heaters last?
      Electric or gas-fired water heaters last approximately 10 to 12 years; oil heaters last slightly longer. Be sure to get regular checkups to prevent repairs and help extend the life of your system. Additionally, be aware of the manufacturer’s warranty as it can vary from company to company.
    • How do I prevent freeze-ups in my lines?
      When the temperature goes below 30 degrees, start a slow stream to the bathrooms that are affected. Check that the sink is not clogged to prevent any overflow.
    • Can you jet inside the store? How messy will this be?
      We usually perform indoor jetting after your normal business hours and make sure your business is spotless before you open up.
    • What is the difference between snaking and jetting, and how do I decide which service to request?
      Jetting is usually good for soft blockages (e.g., grease, paper, etc.). A snake can help clear harder blockages like hair or tree roots. We’ll determine the best method depending on where the cleanup access is and the length of the line.
    • Can you video inspect any line? What are the limitations?
      Barring extremely heavy blockage or cloudy liquid that would block our camera, we should be able to get video inspections of any lines you have.
    • What is not good to pour down the drain?
      Any thick or sugary liquids are usually bad to put down your drain. When in doubt, throw it out. Also, no food particles should go down your drain, so make sure to scrape plates into the trash.
    • What can I do to prevent floor drain backups?
      Screens on floor drains help keep out debris. Of course, making sure to keep mop strings, gloves and food away from drains and avoiding dumping grease in the lines is your best line of defense.
    • Can you send multiple trucks at the same time?
      If needed, we’ll send as many trucks as it takes.
    • How many gallons does your truck hold?
      Our fleet varies, but our biggest trucks hold 9,000 gallons. The standard size for most services is a 4,800-gallon pump truck.
    • Do you have special pricing for contractors?
      We have service contracts available for frequent commercial customers. Please contact us for specifics.
    • Do you recommend bacteria? If so, what is that actually doing, especially if I pump monthly?
      Bacteria can be a helpful part of your system and improve the lifespan of your system. But things like cleaners can kill bacteria, so we do recommend the use of bacterial additives. One exception — if you pump monthly, talk to us before using bacterial additives as they might not be needed.
    • What is not good to flush down the toilet?
      Besides one-ply toilet paper and human waste, anything else flushed puts your system at risk. Soaps and cleaners will end up in your septic tank, too. Using green products will help keep your system running smoothly.
    • How often should I have septic pumping service?
      Usually, every one to two years. For older or higher volume systems, more frequent pumping may be needed. The frequency may also be affected by use levels and how much water you’re handling.
    • What is a filter?
      We recommend filters as part of our 3-Step Maintenance Plan for a healthy septic system. Filters are installed in your outlet tee and act as a strainer, keeping out hair, grit and grime from your tank and leach field lines.
    • Why pump the whole tank; can’t you skim it?
      While skimming sounds like an easy fix, it actually misses the bigger part of the problem. Sludge will build up at the bottom of the tank. As your tank ages, a sludge layer that isn’t dealt with will put you at risk for a backup.
    • What is Drain Master®?
      Drain Master is an enzyme that helps break down grease and keep your system flowing well. Talk to your Wind River Environmental technician about the right amount of Drain Master for your system.
    • How often should I get my outside grease tank serviced?
      The frequency depends on the condition of the tank and how much grease your business produces. As a general rule, boards of health usually require quarterly servicing.
    • What is a sugar snake and what can be done to control this?
      A sugar snake is a congealed glob of sugar residue that builds up over time and can clog your drain pipes. We recommend installing a dispenser that automatically feeds a cleaning solution into your drain to break up residue. Contact us about our Viking Pro Battery Drain Chief dispenser and Pro Clean® solution to keep your drains clean and odor free.
    • Do you comply with state and Board of Health regulations, which require service logs?
      Our service technicians are highly trained in your local and state logging requirements and will make sure to keep and submit all appropriate records.
    • How do I keep foreign objects out of my grease traps?
      It’s always a best practice to scrape food into trash cans, not drains. However, having the proper screen or strainer over your sink drain is important.
    • Why do I have odors in my kitchen?
      Odors in your kitchen probably point to needing a new gasket or some jetting work. One of our technicians can use our “sniffer” tool to pinpoint the exact location of the smell and figure out what service you need to resolve the problem.
    • Why is my inside grease trap backing up if you just cleaned it recently?
      If we recently performed service on your grease trap and it is backing up, it sounds like you’ve got a clog. Please call us, and we’ll rectify the problem.
    • How often should I get my inside grease trap serviced?
      It depends on your trap condition and how much grease your business produces. Some states and towns have local regulations that require a set frequency for service to comply. Wind River Environmental will provide you with a set schedule for service at a frequency that will keep you compliant.
    • Will I have a dedicated sales or account manager who I can call with concerns on my account?
      If you need an account manager just for you, not a problem — we’d be happy to assign a business account representative that you can contact anytime.
    • Do you provide an estimated time of arrival on the day of service?
      We know you don’t have time to wait around, so we make sure to provide estimated arrival times. You can call our customer service center at any time to get an estimate of when we’ll arrive.
    • Do you do electronic invoicing?
      Yes. Our accounting group is experienced with all types of invoicing practices and can comply with any invoice requirements you have.
    • Is a purchase order or formal agreement required in order to secure emergency services?
      While we’d appreciate a purchase order or agreement, we understand that fixing an emergency is a higher priority than paperwork. We employ a team of administrators that will sort things out with purchasing departments after-the-fact.
    • Is holiday and weekend service available?
      We know that flow backups and clogs, line breaks and sewerage system failures don’t always happen at convenient times. With that in mind, yes, we’re available any time of day or night, including holidays.
    • I have multiple locations; can you service them all?
      We’d be happy to. With the largest fleet in the business, many of our clients use us in all their locations throughout the region.
    • Are you available 24/7 for emergency service?
      We operate 24/7. Call us anytime, day or night, at (877) 560-9007 to speak with a customer service representative about your emergency.
    • What do you recommend as preventative maintenance, and how do I know what’s right for me?
      The best preventative maintenance is different for every business. Based on our experience, we can recommend preventative maintenance steps customized for you. Contact us for a complimentary consultation.
    • Do you provide automatic recurring maintenance service?
      Yes. We have many options for automatic services and would be happy to set you up with routine visits at the proper frequency. Contact us for more information.
  • Residential FAQs

    • Do you service recreational vehicles or portable toilets?
      No, due to the small tank and hose hookups, our equipment cannot pump recreational vehicles or portable toilets.
    • Do you service boats?
      We are able to service boats provided they are docked and our truck and equipment have adequate access.
    • What areas do you service?
      We have an extensive coverage area. Please see the areas we serve.
    • Do you do work all year round?
    • What are your hours?
      We operate 24/7. Call us anytime, day or night, at 800-499-1682 to speak with a customer service representative.
    • Why is my toilet flushing slowly?
      This could be a sign that you need septic pumping service. It might also indicate a potential clog; particularly if you’ve recently had septic pumping service.
    • Why would I have odors inside my house?

      There are lots of possible causes. It’s best to contact us to help troubleshoot.

      Some of the questions we’ll ask include:

      • Has it been more than a year since your last septic pumping service?
      • Where are the odors coming from?
      • Do you have an unused drain or bathroom?
    • How far down the line can your cable go?
      We have 50-foot baskets with our drain cleaner which means that our cabling can go out at 50-foot intervals. We can cable down as far as we need to go.
    • Does someone need to be present at the time of my drain cleaning service?
      Yes. We need access to the inside of your home for drain cleaning service.
    • How much digging is involved?
      Depending on the type of inspection, some require extensive digging. Some system components may be very deep and, therefore, difficult to find. A small backhoe is usually used to expose the system components.
    • How long does the septic system inspection usually last?
      Every system is different and finding the components, exposing them, inspecting and dealing with any issues that may arise can take varied amounts of time. In general, though, it’s about a two-hour process.
    • During the septic inspection, will I have to have septic pumping service?
      It depends. While it is highly recommended, sometimes the inspector needs to see the tank before and after to properly inspect the system. Some inspections involve checking the interior walls of the septic tank for staining, cracks, holes, etc.
    • How much does it cost to install a new septic system?
      The price will vary based on size, type, location and other factors. Give us a call and our engineering team can discuss the options and put together a quote for you.
    • Why do I have more than one cover on my septic tank?
      Actually, most septic tanks have three covers. One over the inlet side of the septic tank where the water from your home enters the tank, one in the center of the tank and one on the outlet side of the tank where the liquid from the tank exits to your leach field.
    • Do I have to be home for septic pumping service?
      It’s not necessary, but it’s a good idea. This way, if we find any areas of concern while servicing your system, we can show them to you and discuss possible options.
    • It is wet over my septic system, what does that mean?
      ‘Ponding’ or damp soil of any sort around or near your septic tank or leach field could be caused by a number of issues, including an over-full septic, a break in a line and other factors. We recommend you contact us, so we can come out to troubleshoot and fix the problem.
    • How can I find out where my septic system is located?
      Your local Board of Health or town office should have a diagram of your septic system, also known as the ‘As-Built’ plan. If there is no record with the town, we can provide locating services. If you are already a Wind River Environmental customer, we have this information on file for you.
    • What is the difference between a cesspool, a septic system and a tight tank?

      There are many different types of septic systems. A septic system comprises a tank and a leaching area that is attached to the tank. For example, there could be a septic tank attached to a distribution box which has leach field pipes connected to it. You could also have a septic tank and a pump chamber that pumps septic up to the mound in a mound system which would then leach water.

      A cesspool is essentially a carved-out hole in the ground lined with cinder blocks or stones through which the grey water leaches out of the walls of the cesspool. An outlet pipe is sometimes added to a cesspool pipe which would then connect to an overflow pit.

      Tight tanks are similar to septic tanks, except that they have no outlet and must be pumped out at regular intervals.

    • What does a septic filter do?
      Filters keep the hair, grit and grime from getting out into and clogging your leach field lines. A filter is installed in the outlet tee of your septic tank and acts as a strainer, keeping all solid large particles in the tank and, therefore, out of your leach field lines.
    • What can I do to preserve and protect my septic system?

      We recommend our simple 3-Step Maintenance Program for residential septic systems.

      • Regular septic and cesspool pumping service;
      • Use of bacterial additive products; and
      • Use of a septic system filter (see below for more information).
    • How do I know the last time I had septic pumping service?
      If you are unsure of the date of your last septic pumping service, your local Board of Health might have a record of it or you can contact your previous provider.
    • How often should I have septic pumping service?
      While all systems should be pumped every year or two, more frequent servicing may be required based on the age of your system, how much water your septic system handles on a regular basis, how many people live in your home and the overall condition of your system.
    • Why does my septic system back up or clog?

      There are many reasons for a septic system backup or clog; it’s best to contact us to discuss your specific situation. When you call, here are a few standard questions we will ask to help diagnose the problem.

      • When was the last time you had septic pumping service? Going too long between septic services can cause a variety of issues.
      • Do you have a filter installed in your septic system? Filters keep the hair, grit and grime from getting out into and clogging your leach field lines.
      • Where is the backup occurring? Depending on the location (e.g., toilet upstairs, toilet downstairs, outside breakout of liquid), we may need to bring in one of our drain cleaners to help clear the clog.