Questions? Keep them to yourself.
Ha ha! We are just kidding. If you do have a question, chances are we’ve heard it before. Check out our list of common questions and answers below. If you still can’t find what you need, just give us a call and we’ll be happy to help.
Septic Problem Solving
Why does my septic system back up or clog?
There are many reasons for a septic system backup or clog, so please 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.
How often should I have septic pumping service?
The answer is the same for everyone: it depends.
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 system handles on a regular basis, how many people live in your home, and the overall condition of your system.
Check out our nifty Septic Service Frequency Calculator. It’s a pretty fantastic tool.
How do I know the last time I had septic pumping service?
Regulations require that a record of each septic pumping service by a licensed septic hauler in Massachusetts be sent to the local Board of Health office. If you are unsure of the date of your last septic pumping service, your local Board of Health can provide you with the answer. In other states it’s not required to file pumping records; check with your town first, and call your previous provider if you’re not sure.
What can I do to preserve and protect my septic system?
We recommend a simple, 3-step maintenance program for residential septic systems:
- Regular septic and cesspool pumping service.
- Use of bacterial additive products.
- Use of septic system filter (see below for more on this).
Learn more about our 3 step preventative maintenance program here.
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 is the difference between a cesspool, a septic system and a tight tank?
There are many different types of septic systems. A septic system is comprised of 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.
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.
(Note that if you are already a customer, we have this information on file!)
It is wet over my septic system, what does that mean?
It means don’t roll in it with your nice clothes on. It also means that you should Contact Us.
“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. Give us a call and we’ll get to the bottom of things.
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 we can show them to you and discuss possible options.
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).
How much does it cost to install a new septic system?
As you might expect, there’s a fair amount of “it depends” in the answer. 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.
Septic System Inspections
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. Part of some inspections involve checking the interior walls of the septic tank for staining, cracks, holes, etc.
How long does the 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.
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 back-hoe is usually used to expose the system components.
When do I get my inspection report?
You will know that day the outcome of your inspection. Depending on the type of inspection or state regulations you could receive your report within 24 hours or 10 business days.
What does a Title V Inspection involve?
A Title 5 Inspection is a 15-page report regarding your septic system. It requires that a State Licensed Massachusetts Title 5 Inspector expose and inspect the components of the septic system.
Why do I need a Title V Inspection?
In Massachusetts, a Title V Inspection is required before the sale of any home. In addition, there may be other instances that also require a Title V Inspection. Some towns, for example, require a Title V Inspection with an addition to the home or a change in the number of occupants or bedrooms. Check with us or your local Board of Health for more information.
How long is a Title V inspection good for?
Your Title V Inspection is good for two years. However, the inspection will be valid for three years if you have septic pumping service each year on or before the anniversary date of your septic system inspection.
What is a certificate of compliance?
A Certificate of Compliance is an official document supplied by your local Board of Health office which states that the condition has been met on a Title 5 inspection that was initially deemed a conditional pass.
What is a conditional pass?
A conditional pass means that your system will pass if a certain condition is met. Repair or replacement of the distribution box is the most common of these.
With a conditional pass, the inspector writes up the official Title V report with the conditional pass notes outlining whatever is needed. At that time, we will schedule an appointment for the repair and attain all the proper permits required.
When the repair is completed, your Board of Health will issue a Certificate of Compliance. The Certificate of Compliance will go along with your conditional pass Title 5 and will be used together in the sale of your home.
What do I do if I fail the Title V Inspection?
If it is determined that your system has not passed the Title V Inspection, your inspector will advise you on the next steps necessary to repair or replace your system.
What is an ISDS inspection?
ISDS is an Individual Sewage Disposal System. Some towns in Rhode Island will require that you receive periodic ISDS inspections and will notify you when it is time. We have ISDS Certified inspectors on staff and will be able to complete the inspection and promptly submit the proper paperwork to your Board of Health office.
During your ISDS inspection, our technician will conduct a flow test, check your system components (excluding the distribution box), check for staining and any other potential issues, and write up the condition report of the system. We can service your septic tank at the time of inspection as well.
Do I have to have septic pumping service when I get an ISDS inspection?
Not always. However, if the ISDS inspector does require that you have septic pumping service at the time of the inspection, we have pricing set up to include and exclude septic pumping with the inspection.
Drain Cleaning Services
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 long down the line can your cable go?
We don’t like to brag, but 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 long as we need to go.
Why would I have odors inside my house?
There are lots of possible causes so give us a call 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?
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.
Other Wind River Environmental Questions
What are your hours?
All of them. Wind River Environmental operates 24/7/365. Call us anytime, day or night, and speak with a customer service representative.
Do you do work all year round?
Yes. Day, night, weekends, holidays. We don’t even have locks on the doors since we never close.
What areas do you service?
Do you service boats?
While we don’t own many yachts ourselves (we wish!) we are occasionally able to service boats if they’re docked with good hose access. Let us take a look and we can see!
Do you service RV’s or portable toilets?
Unfortunately, most individual RV’s have a small tank a small hose hook-up. Our trucks are better suited for large tanks, so we don’t usually do RV’s. We aren’t able to support portable toilets, either.