NORWALK, Conn. All the rain we had this spring might have been great for the flowers, but it was not so great for septic systems. "Your yard is like a sponge," says Bill Hall of Kaiser-Battistone . "It can only absorb so much liquid." So when the subsoil becomes full of rainwater, there's less room for output from a septic system's leaching field.
How do you know if your septic system isn't meeting the demand from the house? "If you've got wet spots on your lawn above the fields, especially if there's an odor, that's a good indication," says Hall. "If you think your system is failing, we can do a full inspection, including a soil test, which is required by the state of Connecticut."
That won't necessarily mean an expensive complete replacement of the system would be required. "There are a lot of options," says Hall. "The technology has really evolved." He cites a process in which air is blown into the leaching fields to create a more aerobic environment.
Hall says household water management can also reduce the strain on an overtaxed septic system. "Only run full loads in your dishwasher or washing machine," he says. "If your house is more than 20 years old, replace your toilets with low-flow models. And watch out for 'sneaky leaks.' A dripping faucet or a toilet that runs can use a lot of water and add to the volume that goes into the septic system."
Hall has been with Kaiser-Battistone for 26 years. He joined the company after working in the hospitality and restaurant field. He's melded that industry's emphasis on customer relations with knowledge of all aspects of a plumbing business. "It's a continual learning process," he says. "Technology keeps creeping in. There's a growing emphasis on the environmental impact of plumbing, and that's good."