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Colorado Sand Trap Pumping   Leave a comment

When you hear the word “sand traps”, most people think about a golf ball gone awry into a sand trap. In our business, “sand trap” has a very different meaning. At Reliable Sanitation and Watson Rooter, we clean out sand traps for:

  • Car washes
  • Car and truck dealerships
  • Service shops
  • Parking garages
  • Government institutions

What is a Sand Trap?
A sand trap helps to retain the sand, grit, silt and petroleum products used by many commercial and industrial businesses. When cars are washed, for instance, all the sand/dirt/mud goes into the drain. Similar to a grease trap, the water with all the sand/mud in it flows into the sand trap and the sand settles to the bottom of the sand trap tank while the sand less water continues out the outlet hole down the line.  When the sand trap fills up, it will eventually clog up the line. To prevent this, sand traps should have regular maintenance.

Similar to garbage disposals — sand traps should not be used as catchalls. You should post a sign above your sand trap explaining what should and should not be dumped into a sand trap. For instance, antifreeze, solvents, oil, and transmission fluid should never be dumped into a sand trap.

Here’s some tips on sand trap cleaning:

  • Sand traps should be pumped regularly to prevent pollutants from being discharged to the sanitary sewer collection system.
  • Companies that clean sand traps should provide you with a manifest, and tell you what they are doing with the waste (we do!).
  • Sand traps should be pumped when the depth of the liquid and solids in the sand trap approaches 25% of the total depth of the trap

For more information on Colorado sand trap pumping, contact Reliable Sanitation at 719-527-9484.

Top Ten Springtime Home Repair Items   Leave a comment

Springtime in Colorado is my favorite time of the year because usually we can put the snow shovels away and the temperatures are moderate … not too hot and not too cold. However, winter can take a toll on our homes and Memorial Day weekend is the perfect time to do some repair work and preventative maintenance. So here’s some items you may have neglected in your home that now require your attention:

  1. Get your septic tank cleaned. Your septic tank should be cleaned every 2 – 4 years depending on the size of your household. Reliable Sanitation is offering $25 off septic tank cleaning through September 1, 2012.
  2. Check the air conditioning filter.
  3. Check your ceiling fans. Are the blades well balanced and moving in the right direction?
  4. Check the windows. Do they open and close easily? If not, a can of WD40 goes a long way! Make sure the caulking is good.
  5. Have your chimney cleaned.
  6. Check your sprinklers. Sprinklers can waste a lot of water if they have leaks and really increase your water bill!
  7. Mend fissures in the exterior house siding; look for holes that pests might use to get inside.
  8. Clean the barbecue and grill; ensure that valves/connections/hoses are working and in good condition. I can smell the steaks sizzling!
  9. Inspect children’s outdoor play equipment. Tighten loose bolts and cover them with plastic protectors.
  10. Haul the patio furniture out of storage and hose it down!

And most of all, have fun and enjoy!

$25 Off Septic Tank Cleaning   Leave a comment

Grease Trap Cleaning   Leave a comment

 If you own a restaurant, you should have a grease trap. Let Reliable Sanitation take that stress off your shoulders by setting up a regular maintenance schedule for disposing of the grease trap waste. You can worry about managing
your staff, spicing up your menu and publicizing your restaurant and we’ll take the unsavory task of grease trap disposal from your plate. From maintaining your interceptors, traps and related drain lines to compliant disposal of your
waste, Reliable Sanitation can provide you with peace of mind.

  What is a Grease Trap?
  Grease traps or grease interceptors capture grease, fat, oil, wax or debris before it can enter a home or business’s sanitary sewer system. Such materials can cause blockages in the system, which lead to  backups and overflows. Traps
and interceptors are designed to separate greasy materials from wastewater so that they can be removed before they enter the sewer system.

How Does a Grease Trap Work?
A grease trap looks like a vault spliced into the water drainage line. When the water enters the grease trap, it cools down, and settles to allow the oil to separate from the water. A series of baffles in the grease trap collect oil and chunks of material during this separation process. This allows the grease to rise to the top, food and other solids to drop to the bottom and the water to ride in between these layers. All grease traps need a sanitary tee on the outlet line to work properly, usually a 4” or 6” pipe. This tee is configured so that it is perpendicular to the outlet line with about six inches of pipe going up above the outlet line and 18’ below the outlet so the water can escape without allowing the grease or sludge layers to escape.

How Does Reliable Sanitation Clean a Grease Trap?
For grease interceptors and traps to function properly, they must also be regularly serviced and maintained by a qualified company such as Reliable Sanitation. We come into your business, pump out the grease trap completely and scrape the baffles.  All grease traps should be emptied on each service. Partial pumping allows the sludge layer at the bottom to increase, and over time, the sludge will reach a level to escape from the outlet and cause a back-up. Regular service is important because the grease is acidic and the byproduct of sulphuric  acid will corrode and ruin the integrity of the trap. Replacing a trap is costly, dwarfing the cost of regular maintenance.

We’ll keep a log of our work and keep you on a regular grease trap cleaning and maintenance schedule to prevent any disasters! The last thing you need is for your restaurant to be shut down because your drains are clogged! We also cable or hydrojet the inlet or outlet lines to eliminate build-up.

Reliable Sanitation also cleans grease traps in schools, cafeterias, hospitals, nursing homes, hotels, grocery stores and more. Call us today at 719-527-9484 to get an affordable estimate.

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.

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?


  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.


  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.


  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.