GDM Environmental

Top Ten Springtime Home Repair Items

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 are 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.
  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!

GDM Environmental

Colorado Sand Trap Pumping

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.

GDM Environmental

Grease Trap Cleaning Guide

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.

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Why You Should Clean Your Septic Tank

At GEM Environmental, 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.