Do I Need a Plumber or a Septic Service Provider?

A backed-up toilet is not a good situation under any circumstance. For homeowners with on-site septic systems, the question becomes, is it my plumbing or could my septic system be failing?

The quickest way for a septic system owner to decide whom to call when drains are slow is to count the fixtures backing up. If more than one fixture is slow or backs up, call a septic system provider. If it is just one fixture, start with a plumber.

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Septic Tank Additives

Septic Tank Pumping

For homes with an on-site wastewater disposal, system maintenance falls to the homeowner. Household wastewater flows into the septic tank, where the heavier solids settle on the bottom to form a sludge layer. Floatable solids, such as greases, oils and fats, collect at the surface to form a scum layer. The remaining liquids empty in to the drainfield to be treated by natural processes in the soil. Homeowners are responsible for regular tank pumping to remove solids so they do not clog the system.

It has been suggested that additives can be used in a septic system to accelerate digestion of biosolids, break up scum, improve settling of solids, or restore clogged soil. There are two distinct categories of additives: 1) chemical, including inorganic and organic compounds and 2) biological, such as yeast, bacteria, and enzymes.

Biological additives may reduce the amount of grease and effluent in the septic tank. However, these additives may increase biological activity to the point of adding extra solids to the tank. A breakdown of the scum layer in the tank by these additives is also detrimental. The scum layer holds back fats, greases and other floatables, preventing them from clogging the drainfield.

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Be Responsible For Your Yard Waste

Like many others, I have enjoyed working in my yard after a long winter. We have been mowing our lawns and working hard to clean up brush to prepare outdoor spaces for gardens and summer cookouts. As we do this, it is important that we take time to properly dispose of yard waste and not just dump it into ditches or streambanks.

It might seem harmless to toss our grass clippings, leaves, and sticks into streams, after all isn’t all from nature anyway? But, it actually causes significant problems for water quality, aquatic habitats, and the environment. 

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Escape Ramps Benefit Wildlife

Do you have a livestock watering tank or trough on your farm? Many watering facilities have not been designed with wildlife in mind. Although they are used to provide water to livestock, they can double as vital water sources for bats, birds and other wildlife. Considering the needs of wildlife in the installation of livestock water facilities is not only the right thing to do, but it will result in cleaner water for livestock and less maintenance for the producer. You can maximize the quality of water for your livestock and provide a safe water source for wildlife by making a few easy changes.

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Little Things Can Make A Big Impact For Wildlife

Everything you do, or don’t do, on your land has an effect on the wildlife you share it with and the fish in the streams and rivers. Just letting plants grow taller, rather than clipping them close to the ground, creates more cover for wildlife. Or letting a few plants grow taller results in more insects for young birds.

If you think about leaving food or cover for wildlife and fish as you manage your land, you’re on your way to doing the little things that can add up to having a major impact. Here are some suggestions along the way:

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Eight Great Habitats for Wildlife

To improve your land for fish and wildlife, you must first think of the food, water, cover and space needs of the wildlife you want to attract throughout the year. Then begin to establish plants, water sources, and other practices that fit those needs. The Shiawassee Conservation District and Natural Resources Conservation Service offers technical and financial assistance to landowners in planning for wildlife habitat on their lands.

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How Do You Spell Conservation?

How do you spell conservation? At the Shiawassee Conservation District office, we spell it S-W-A-P-A-H-E. It is our mission to help Shiawassee County residents protect and conserve our natural resources. We do this through education and conservation planning, considering each natural resource – Soil, Water, Air, Plants, Animals, plus Humans and Energy. Take the first letter of each word and you get SWAPA+HE!

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Electronic Recycling Program

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Save Money, Energy, and Natural Resources

Electronic waste (e-Waste) is unwanted, non-working, or obsolete electronic devices that have reached the end of its useful life. Untreated e-Waste may contain hazardous material, which can pose serious risks to human health and the environment. Toxins contained in electronics, such as mercury and lead, can leach into drinking water and accumulate in plants and animals if not disposed of properly.

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