Summer Septic Maintenance in Blaine: The Best Tips for the Hottest Season

septic system care, summer septic maintenance

There are several reasons septic system issues increase during the hot summer months. Outdoor barbecues, increased showers and landscaping all contribute. We’ll go over the ins and outs of summer septic maintenance in Blaine so you don’t have issues.

What Goes Down the Drain Matters

This applies year-round, but it’s even more critical during the summer months because your system typically gets more use. Cooking oils,  disposable wipes, paper towels, and condoms belong in the trash and not down the toilet or drain. Toilet paper is the only manmade substance that should go down the toilet.

Don’t Forget Septic Pumping

Arrange for a septic pumping BEFORE a large social gathering. This is especially the case if it has been more than three years since the last pumping. This maintenance process greatly reduces the likelihood of a system failure at the most inopportune moment.

If you’re hosting a party for a large number of guests, you may also want to consider renting a portable toilet or two. This will take some of the pressure off the septic system.

When Landscaping, Do Your Homework

Many homeowners renovate their landscape during summer. Grass is actually a great cover for drainfields. The same goes for shallow-root plants. Be sure, though, to add a riser if you don’t already have one. Otherwise, a technician will have to dig up the ground to access the opening. Avoid planting trees, shrubs, and vegetable-producing plants. These have deep root systems that can damage the septic pipes.

Leave Summer Septic Maintenance Care in Blaine to Us

With the increased activity at home, summer is the ideal time to schedule an OSS inspection. Contact us at Lil John Sanitary Service for periodic maintenance. Summer septic system care is a must if you plan to host large gatherings and open your restroom to guests.

Summer Septic System Maintenance in Blaine

Serving Bellingham, Ferndale, Lynden, Everson, Deming, Lummi Island, Nooksack, Blaine, Whatcom & Skagit Counties, Maple Falls, Bow Birch Bay, Custer & Acme


Posted on July 27, 2021 | Published by Ignite Local | Related Local Business

Summer Hygiene Tips for Your Upcoming Event in Blaine

summer hygiene tips blaineDo you have an outdoor family-oriented event on the horizon?  With public health safety a key factor in every gathering, organizing an event of any size has become more complicated. We’ve compiled some summer hygiene tips for your upcoming event in Blaine.

Summer Hygiene Facts

As you plan your event, keep abreast of current Covid-19 conditions. There may be changes in the safety measures you’ll need to put in place for your large event or gathering.

Summer Hygiene Tips for Your Event 

Set up sanitizer stations throughout your venue. Set them right outside the portable toilets, and also by the food serving stations. Also consider setting some up in the food preparation area. Many portable toilets come with a sanitizer inside every unit. Be sure to check sanitizers often and refill them when necessary.

Instruct any helpers to sanitize their hands after using the restroom and before and after handling food. It’s a good idea to also post signs that instruct event attendees to do the same. 

Regarding food preparation, we recommend frequent washing and sanitizing of all food contact surfaces and utensils. Keep perishable foods refrigerated until ready to serve. If you’re serving burgers and hotdogs, cook them fully in order to kill any E. coli bacteria.

We Promote Good Hygiene Practices

Organizing an outdoor event? Contact Lil John Sanitary Services for portable toilet and sanitizer rentals. For homeowners who plan to invite guests over, we recommend an OSS inspection. Guests may repeatedly use the restroom and overtax the septic system. In any case, summer event hygiene is absolutely critical for preventing illness.

Summer Hygiene Tips, Portable Toilet and Sanitizer Rentals for Blaine

Serving Bellingham, Ferndale, Lynden, Everson, Deming, Lummi Island, Nooksack, Blaine, Whatcom & Skagit Counties, Maple Falls, Bow Birch Bay, Custer & Acme


Posted on June 30, 2021 | Published by Ignite Local | Related Local Business

How Many Portable Toilets Do You Need for Your Event in Everson?

portable toilets in Everson

Are you planning a summer wedding or other outdoor event? Any gathering that takes place outdoors requires portable restroom rental. Even though this detail isn’t the most enjoyable aspect of the event to plan, it’s one of the most important. Here are a few tips to help you rent portable toilets in Everson.

Don’t Skimp

The general rule of thumb is one portable toilet for every 100 people expected to attend the event. Don’t forget to include people hired to help. 

Although this varies by company, portable toilets usually last about 250 uses before they reach capacity. If your event is scheduled to last more than one day, a servicer may need to pump or replace the units.

Factor in These Variables

The number of people and duration of your event are the two biggest factors. However, additional elements come into play as well. If alcohol is being served, trips to the toilet increase 15 to 20%. If your event is scheduled to last only a few hours, you may need less units. Also, check to see if public restrooms are available nearby; this will also affect your numbers. 

Think About These Extras

You may also need to rent restrooms that are handicap-friendly. And, especially because of Covid-19 concerns, you may want to rent hand sanitizer units and handwashing stations. Consider renting one for every four toilets. 

We Provide Portable Toilets in Everson for Your Outdoor Events

Having too few restrooms is a common complaint at outdoor events. To avoid this happening at your event, contact us at Lil John Sanitary Services. Portable restroom rental is an extension of our OSS inspection service. A consultant will help you determine the correct number of portable toilets for your event. We also offer grease trap cleaning services.

Renting You Portable Toilets in Everson

Serving Bellingham, Ferndale, Lynden, Everson, Deming, Lummi Island, Nooksack, Blaine, Whatcom & Skagit Counties, Maple Falls, Bow Birch Bay, Custer, and Acme


Posted on May 31, 2021 | Published by Ignite Local | Related Local Business

Septic Tank and Holding Tank: What’s the Difference Between the Two in Lynden?

Home Septic Tank Pumping

If you own property that uses a septic system, you’re probably heard the terms septic tank and holding tank. Do you know the difference between the two and what each is for? 

First, The Septic Tank

Homes that aren’t connected to the municipal sewer line have a septic system. The septic tank collects all the waste and wastewater that flows out of the home. It doesn’t just hold waste, though. It also separates heavy solids from light solids. The lighter solids float to the top and the heavy solids sink to the bottom. Between the two lies water that exits out of an outlet pipe into the drain field.

Next, The Holding Tank

A holding tank is also used to store household wastewater, but it doesn’t have an outlet pipe. The waste remains inside until it’s pumped out. Unless your home is located near a body of water, you probably don’t have one. Homes near lakes and rivers often lack soil suitable to act as a drain field. 

Pumping Intervals Vary for Your Septic Tank and Holding Tank

Since holding tanks can’t remove waste on their own, they have to be pumped more often. Homes with a holding tank may require a pump every two to five months. Septic tanks, on the other hand, only require pumping every two or three years. Frequency varies depending on water usage.

We Take Care of Your Septic System in Lynden

Our OSS inspections cover residential septic systems. For businesses, we perform grease trap cleaning. Contact us at Lil John Sanitary Services for a cleaning or checkup. Whether you own a home with a septic tank or holding tank, we’ll get the job done! We also rent portable toilets for events and businesses.

Home Septic Tank and Holding Tank Pumping in Lynden

Serving Bellingham, Ferndale, Lynden, Everson, Deming, Lummi Island, Nooksack, Blaine, Whatcom & Skagit Counties, Maple Falls, Bow Birch Bay, Custer, and Acme


Posted on April 30, 2021 | Published by Ignite Local | Related Local Business

Septic Outlet Filter Cleaning in Ferndale

septic outlet filter ferndale

If your septic system is clogged, how can you find out what’s causing it? Maybe something was thrown down the drain that didn’t belong there. Or maybe you’ve got a clogged septic outlet filter. Knowing how this filter works and why it needs to be kept clean is just as important as pumping the septic tank.

It’s a Screening Device

If you have a mesh strainer for your kitchen sink, you have a pretty good idea of how an outlet filter works. Located in the outlet, the filter acts like a strainer, collecting solid material. Like any strainer, it fills up over time.

Cleaning the Filter

Because of the filter’s location, this is not a job you can do yourself.  Depending on the size of your home and number in your household, the cleaning frequency will vary. An OSS inspection will determine an appropriate interval, usually three to five years for most households. A professional can also examine the filter for signs of damage and decide when a replacement is necessary.

Consequences of a Dirty Septic Outlet Filter in Ferndale

When a filter gets old, it catches less large particles, which leads to backups before it’s time to pump. Some older septic systems don’t have a filter at all. An OSS inspector will be able to determine this and you can have one installed.

We Clean and Install Outlet Filters

Lil John Sanitary Services handles the dirty work, from septic system maintenance to grease trap cleaning. An outlet filter is an inexpensive contraption that prevents costly repairs; taking care of it can add years of life to your system.

Septic Outlet Filter Cleaning in Ferndale

Serving Bellingham, Ferndale, Lynden, Everson, Deming, Lummi Island, Nooksack, Blaine, Whatcom & Skagit Counties, Maple Falls, Bow Birch Bay, Custer, and Acme


Posted on March 30, 2021 | Published by Ignite Local | Related Local Business

Grease Trap Requirements for Bellingham Food Establishments

grease trap requirements bellingham

If you own or manage a food-service establishment in Bellingham, you’ve probably already heard of FOG management. (Fats, Oil and Grease) If you’re considering a new business in the industry, you’ll no doubt become very familiar with it. Grease trap requirements are very specific, and most restaurants and eating establishments will be required to have and maintain a grease trap.  

Very Few Exceptions

Here are two examples to illustrate how specific the rules get. No grease trap needed if all you serve is fat-free yogurt with disposable cups and spoons. What if you have a coffee shop? Probably no grease trap needed – unless you serve espresso and baked goods. Hmmm… is … that … still a coffee shop?  

Bellingham Law

Bellingham Public Utilities have the final say regarding whether your business requires a grease trap or not. Check out the Uniform Plumbing Code regarding size and fitting requirements. The consequences of not installing a grease trap are serious. The city/county public health department can shut you down until you comply.

Slippery Slope

Another FOG ordinance to understand is the 25% rule regarding grease trap maintenance. The trap needs to be cleaned when the device’s holding tank is filled to 25% capacity. A professional sanitary service company is needed for this.

Don’t DIY – Call a Pro

Keep up with grease trap requirements, and keep FOG waste from entering your septic tank or the municipal sewer system. Call Lil John Sanitary Services. They’ll clean out the tank, clean the intake and outtake pipes where possible, and check intake valves. This local family-owned business is also ready to service other on-site systems, such as portable toilets and septic tanks

Bellingham Food Services Grease Trap Requirements  

Serving Bellingham, Ferndale, Lynden, Everson, Deming, Lummi Island, Nooksack, Blaine, Whatcom & Skagit Counties, Maple Falls, Bow Birch Bay, Custer, and Acme


Posted on February 28, 2021 | Published by Ignite Local | Related Local Business

Septic System Maintenance for Pet Owners in Bellingham

septic system maintenance for pet bellevue

Most homeowners know better than to throw solid objects down the drain. For pet owners, though, additional precautionary measures are in order. Septic system maintenance for pet owners isn’t rocket science, but it’s important to keep a few things in mind. 

Regarding Pet Hair

Pet hair, like human hair, is a common drain-clogging material, and while it’s biodegradable, it does take a while to completely break down. You can easily reduce the buildup of both pet fur and human hair with a mesh strainer. We often discover excess pet hair during a septic pump. Find a strainer for $2 to $3 at your local hardware store.

Watch For Digging

Some breeds of dogs have a tendency to dig holes, and larger breeds can dig holes deep enough to expose the pipes. While a dog’s paws aren’t likely to damage the pipes, they can disrupt the drain field. This can mess with the field’s ability to let waste back into the water table. This is also just as bad for your dog, because it could be exposed to partially treated waste water.

Cat Litter 

Our OSS inspections also commonly reveal a buildup of cat litter in septic systems. Regardless of what the package says, don’t put kitty litter down the drain. The litter petrifies the poo, which makes it harder for septic bacteria to break it down.

Experts at Septic System Maintenance for Pet Owners

Lil John Sanitary Services tackles various pumping jobs, including grease trap cleaning. Contact us today if you have questions about maintaining your septic system. We’re here to help!

Help with Septic System Maintenance for Pet Owners in Bellingham

Serving Bellingham, Ferndale, Lynden, Everson, Deming, Lummi Island, Nooksack, Blaine, Whatcom & Skagit Counties, Maple Falls, Bow Birch Bay, Custer, and Acme


Posted on January 31, 2021 | Published by Ignite Local | Related Local Business

How Does Laundry Affect Septic Systems in Deming?

laundry affect septic systems demingIf you have a septic system in Deming, you’ve probably already asked yourself, “How does laundry affect septic systems?” We’ll explain how washing clothes in the wrong way can harm your septic system.

Laundry and Septic Systems: What’s the Connection?

The average American household completes about 300 loads of laundry every year. Depending on your washer, you use between 5 and 45 gallons of water per wash cycle. Because all the wastewater from the wash cycle enters the septic tank, it takes time for the system to separate the waste from the water. A sudden surge of water can disrupt the tank’s treatment solutions. This leads to plumbing backups and a flooded drain field.

Preventive Measures You Can Take

When you schedule an annual OSS inspection, the inspector will recommend a septic pumping interval based on your current usage level. If your system is overdue for a pump, it will have a harder time handling a water surge.

Regarding doing your laundry, follow these tips:

  • Be careful to set the washer to the proper load setting. Setting a small laundry load for a large setting is not only a waste of water; it also burdens the septic system unnecessarily.
  • Space out your laundry. Instead of doing a load of colored clothes right after the whites, wait several hours.
  • When it’s time to replace the washer, choose an Energy Star model. These use about half the water as standard washing machines.

Want to Learn More About How Laundry Can Affect Septic Systems in Deming?

We are a septic system and grease trap cleaning service based in Bellingham. Contact us at Lil John Sanitary Services if you notice backups or a slow drain. Doing laundry affects your septic system more than you might think; being mindful of the frequency of your wash cycles can help.

How Laundry Can Affect Septic Systems in Deming

Serving Bellingham, Ferndale, Lynden, Everson, Deming, Lummi Island, Nooksack, Blaine, Whatcom & Skagit Counties, Maple Falls, Bow Birch Bay, Custer, and Acme


Posted on December 29, 2020 | Published by Ignite Local | Related Local Business

What’s the Ideal Septic System Size in Maple Falls?

septic system size maple falls

More Maple Falls homebuilders are choosing to install septic systems rather than choosing the often more expensive option of connecting to the municipal sewer line. If you decide to go this route, one of your first decisions will be determining the optimum septic system size for your residence. 

Why Septic System Size Matters

Septic systems hold wastewater for about 24 hours. During these hours, the bacteria separate the solids from the liquid before releasing the effluent, or waste, to the drain field. If your system is too small for the size of your home, the pipes build too much pressure, preventing the waste from entering the tank. The excess water inhibits waste breakdown by diluting the bacteria. If your system is too large, the tank won’t have enough water to encourage bacteria growth. Both situations lead to ineffective waste breakdown, which costs more due to increased septic pumping and inspection intervals. 

Septic System Sizing Guidelines

So how is size determined? By the amount of water used per household. Consider this estimate:

  • Two-bedroom or 1,500-square-foot home: 750-gallon septic system
  • Three-bedroom or 2,500-square-foot home: 1,000-gallon septic system
  • Four-bedroom or 3,500-square-foot home: 1,250-gallon septic system

These are just rough guidelines. Building codes in your area may also impact the tank size required for your home. A septic inspector can determine the optimal septic tank size based on all of the above factors. The bottom line is that bigger is not better. In addition to size, you’ll want to use best practices for septic systems to keep yours in top running order. 

We Maintain Septic Systems in Maple Falls

Lil John Sanitary Services performs septic checkups for Maple Falls homes. We’re also grease trap maintenance experts for Maple Falls businesses. Septic systems aren’t one-size-fits-all units; contact us today for a free consultation!

Maintenance for Every Septic System Size in Maple Falls

Serving Bellingham, Ferndale, Lynden, Everson, Deming, Lummi Island, Nooksack, Blaine, Whatcom & Skagit Counties, Maple Falls, Bow Birch Bay, Custer, and Acme


Posted on November 28, 2020 | Published by Ignite Local | Related Local Business

Grease Trap Vs Grease Interceptor: What’s the Difference in Blaine?

grease interceptorIf your business includes a commercial kitchen, then it most certainly has a grease trap or a grease interceptor. Most people are either unfamiliar with the latter, or they use the terms interchangeably. While the two may serve the same function, they’re not identical.

What Is a Grease Trap?

Let’s start with the more common grease trap. As you may know, a grease trap collects fats, oils, and grease (FOG) from cooking deposits. This prevents the solids from entering the plumbing system.

You can usually locate the grease trap directly under the sink. The size ranges from a shoe-box to a small refrigerator. The contraption is designed for low-flow plumbing, meaning it can handle plumbing pressure up to 50 gallons per minute.

What Is a Grease Interceptor?

A grease interceptor is for larger scale applications and can handle a flow rate exceeding 50 gallons per minute. Due to the heftier bulk, technicians have to install interceptors outside of the building rather than under the sink. They’re usually installed underground with access via a manhole cover. Grease interceptors are found in hotel restaurants and diners that serve on a nearly non-stop basis.

Cleaning Interval

Grease traps require more frequent cleanings since they have a smaller storage capacity. We recommend a cleaning about once a month. Grease interceptors require a cleaning every three months.

Of course, frequency is dependent on kitchen activity. As a rule of thumb, you need to clean grease traps and interceptors once they fill to one-fourth capacity. Blockages usually arise once traps and interceptors exceed this level.

We Clean Grease Traps and Grease Interceptors in Blaine

We pump grease traps and interceptors for businesses and conduct OSS inspections for residential septic systems. If you operate a food establishment in Blaine, contact Lil John Sanitary Services. Municipality codes require interval grease trap and grease interceptor cleaning. Contact us today for more information.

Grease Interceptor & Trap Cleanings for Blaine Businesses

Serving Bellingham, Ferndale, Lynden, Everson, Deming, Lummi Island, Nooksack, Blaine, Whatcom & Skagit Counties, Maple Falls, Bow Birch Bay, Custer, and Acme.


Posted on October 29, 2020 | Published by Ignite Local | Related Local Business