Archive for April 2012

Conserving Water Outside Your Colorado Home   Leave a comment

Now that the temperature is starting to warm up, it will soon be time to turn the sprinklers on. Water is NOT inexpensive, but there are a lot of ways you can save on your water bills. Last week, we talked about saving water indoors. This week we will tackle saving water outdoors.

Tip: When the kids want to cool off, use the sprinkler in an area where your lawn needs it the most.

  1. Always check your water bills and water meter. If you notice a sharp increase, check for leaks.
  2. Adjust your sprinklers so only your lawn is watered and not the house, sidewalk, or street.
  3. If water runs off your lawn easily, split your watering time into shorter periods to allow for better absorption.
  4. Use a broom instead of a hose to clean your driveway and sidewalk.
  5. Spreading a layer of organic mulch around plants retains moisture and saves water, time and money.
  6. Choose shrubs and groundcovers instead of turf for hard-to-water areas such as steep slopes and isolated strips.
  7. Install covers on pools and spas and check for leaks around your pumps.
  8. Make sure your faucets, hoses and sprinklers don’t leak.
  9. Adjust your lawn mower to a higher setting. A taller lawn shades roots and holds soil moisture better than if it is closely clipped.
  10. Use sprinklers for large areas of grass. Water small patches by hand to avoid waste.
  11. Install a rain sensor on your irrigation controller so your system won’t run when it’s raining.
  12. Don’t water your lawn on windy days when most of the water blows away or evaporates.
  13. Group plants with the same watering needs together to avoid overwatering some while underwatering others.
  14. Use a minimum amount of organic or slow release fertilizer to promote a healthy and drought tolerant landscape.
  15. Wash your car on the lawn, and you’ll water your lawn at the same time.
  16. Use a hose nozzle or turn off the water while you wash your car. You’ll save up to 100 gallons every time.
  17. Aerate your lawn at least once a year so water can reach the roots rather than run off the surface.

Tip: Wash your pets outdoors in an area of your lawn that needs water.

We all know that the “honey do” list can become monstrous.  But if you grab a wrench and fix a leaky faucet, you can save 150 gallons of water a week. When in doubt, call Reliable Sanitation if your plumbing leaks or your drains are clogged! We’ll be happy to help.

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Conserving Water Inside Your Colorado Home   Leave a comment

Did you know that a typical household of four uses 260 gallons of water each day? The biggest water hog is the bathroom. Toilets use 40% of the total and showers/baths and faucets use 35%. By contrast, 15% is used in the kitchen, and 10% for washing clothes.

Each of us can help to conserve water, if not in big ways, than in small ways. For instance, no one wants to wash clothes by hand. However, using cold water and liquid detergent versus powder is more environmentally friendly. At Reliable Sanitation, we are all about conserving water. Here’s some tips to help you jumpstart your new water conservation ways that we have compiled from various sources:

Did You Know … If You Turn Off The Water While You Brush Your Teeth, You Can Save 25 Gallons A Month?

Toilets

  1. To significantly reduce water use, replace your old 5 gallon per flush toilet with a new 1.5 or 1.6 gallon per flush toilet. This is the #1 way to save money in your bathroom!
  2. As an alternative to installing a new toilet, retrofit your old one with a water-saving device. Displacing volume in the tank means that less water is used for each flush. A clean, sealed plastic container filled with sand will work.
  3. If your toilet flapper doesn’t close after flushing, replace it.
  4. Leaky toilets can waste a lot of water. Replace the rubber flapper in the tank every two to three years.
  5. Put food coloring in your toilet tank. If it seeps into the toilet bowl without flushing, you have a leak. Fixing it can save up to 1,000 gallons a month.

Showers

  1. Install a low-flow showerhead. Don’t listen to the nay sayers that claim there’s not enough pressure. New designs range from 1.5 to 2.5 gallons per minute and still provide a powerful stream of water.
  2. Shorten your shower by a minute or two and you’ll save up to 150 gallons per month.
  3. Turn off the water while you wash your hair to save up to 150 gallons a month.

Laundry Room

  1. Front-loading washing machines use 40% less water than top loaders.
  2. Washing dark clothes in cold water saves both on water and energy while it helps your clothes to keep their colors.

Kitchen

  1. Install low-flow faucet aerators.
  2. Wash only FULL loads in the dishwasher and select a low-water-use model.
  3. Wash your fruits and vegetables in a pan of water instead of running water from the tap. Collect the water you use for rinsing fruits and vegetables, then reuse it to water houseplants.
  4. Don’t use running water to thaw food. Defrost food in the refrigerator for water efficiency and food safety.
  5. Soak pots and pans instead of letting the water run while you scrape them clean.
  6. If your dishwasher is new, cut back on rinsing. Newer models clean more thoroughly than older ones.

What Not To Flush.   Leave a comment

Most people don’t think about their septic tanks very often. Because it is underground, the old adage “out of sight, out of mind” seems to apply. However, what you put into your septic tank greatly impacts its ability to do its job.  One good rule to follow is to not put anything in your septic tank that could ordinarily go in your garbage can. Your septic system was never designed to be a garbage can! The more solids you put into your septic tank, the more frequently the tank will need to be pumped.

Here are some tips for some other items that should not be flushed:

Kitchen: Do not put food scraps, coffee grinds, grease or cooking oils down your kitchen drain.
Bathroom: Do not put plastic, paper towels, sanitary napkins, disposable diapers, baby wipes, tampons, cigarette butts, dental floss, condoms or kitty litter down your toilet.

  • Use bleach, disinfectants, drain and toilet bowl cleaners in moderation. Overuse of harsh chemicals can harm your septic system.
  • Do not put even small amounts of hazardous household chemicals such as paints, varnishes, motor oil, and bleach. They kill the bacteria needed to decompose wastes in the septic tank and drain field.
  • Don’t use septic tank additives or “miracle” system cleaners. Some of these chemicals can actually harm your on-site sewage system by allowing solids to flow into and clog the drain field. The chemicals can also contaminate ground and surface water.

Decks: Don’t dispose of water from hot tubs into the on-site sewage system. Large volumes of water are harmful to the system, and the chlorine can destroy important bacteria in the system. Drain hot tubs onto the ground, away from the drain field and not into a storm drain.

Laundry Room: Use liquid detergent versus powder because powders contain clay.

If you have ANY questions about septic tank maintenance, septic tank services or need septic tank cleaning, call Reliable Sanitation today at 719-527-9484.

Why Should You Maintain Your Septic Tank?   Leave a comment

At Reliable Sanitation, we are often asked how often you should have your septic tank cleaned. And the answer is it depends.  Your septic tank size and family size usually dictate how often you would need to have your septic tank pumped. For instance, if you have a 2000 gallon septic tank and five people live in your home, you will probably want to have your septic tank pumped every 3 to 4 years; more often for larger families and less often for small.

Why is it important to maintain your septic system? There are three main reasons:

  1. Cost. Failing septic systems are expensive to repair or replace, and improper maintenance by homeowners is a common cause of early system failure. The minimal amount of preventative maintenance that septic systems require costs very little in comparison to the cost of a new system. For example, it typically costs from $3,000 to $10,000 to replace a failing septic system, compared to $300 to $500 on average per year to have it pumped.
  2. Health. Secondly, maintaining your septic system is important to the health of your family and the environment. When septic systems fail, inadequately treated household waste water is released into the environment. Any contact with untreated human waste can pose a significant risk to public health. Untreated waste water from failing septic systems can contaminate nearby wells, groundwater, and drinking water.
  3. Maintaining your community. Failing septic systems can cause property values to decline. Sometimes building permits cannot be issued for these properties. Also, failing septic systems may contribute to the pollution of local rivers, lakes, and shoreline that your community uses for commercial or recreational activities.

Checklist for Good Septic Tank Maintenance:

  • Check your system annually for leaks and sludge
  • Have your septic tank pumped by a licensed pumping contractor.
  • Practice water conservation. Repair leaky faucets and toilets. Spread clothes washing over the entire week, and operate only with a full load of laundry.
  • Learn the location of your septic systems. Make a map and keep it handy.
  • Keep a maintenance record.

If you need your septic tank cleaned or your septic tank maintained, call the dependable septic tank specialists at Reliable Sanitation: 719-527-9484.