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, Maple Falls, Bow, Birch Bay, Custer, Acme, Alger, Sedro Woolley, Burlington, Birdsview, Concrete & Mt Vernon

Posted on September 30, 2022 | Published by Ignite Local | Related Local Business

Learn the Advantages of Septic Pumping & Maintenance in Bellingham

Advantages of Septic Pumping BellinghamWhen was the last time you scheduled a septic pumping for your Bellingham home? Waiting too long can cause problems down the road. As you’ll see, the advantages of septic pumping go well beyond clog prevention.

Advantages of Septic Pumping at a Glance

With respect to septic upkeep, homeowners tend to have an ‘out-of-sight-out-of-mind’ mentality. Since your septic system is almost completely hidden, the only time you’re aware of it is when there’s a problem. Regular pumping keeps the system healthy and your water clean. A backed-up septic could potentially contaminate the freshwater supply. Maintenance keeps bacteria and other harmful substances out of your water. 

Regular Pumping Prevents Odors

A properly running septic system disposes wastewater into the leach/drain field. If the system backs up, waste can overflow into the soil, creating boggy and unsanitary areas. Sewer gas, methane and ammonia gas from household waste emanates from this boggy soil, which smells terrible.  Keeping your system maintained prevents this back up from occurring.

Increases Property Value

If you’re putting your home on the market, you can bet the septic system’s health will influence the property value. Home buyers don’t want to inherit a house with a septic system that’s not been maintained. A real estate agent evaluating your home will most certainly recommend OSS inspections to boost property value.

Septic Maintenance for Bellingham Homes & Businesses

Your septic system needs regular maintenance. If your property is connected to a septic system rather than to the municipal sewer line and you want to be sure it’s in good working order, contact  us at  Lil John Sanitary Services for an inspection. We also clean grease traps for Bellingham businesses.

Advantages of Septic Pumping for Bellingham Residences

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

Posted on August 31, 2022 | Published by Ignite Local | Related Local Business

Septic System and the Environment: Is There a Connection in Bellingham?

septic system and environment bellinghamIs a septic system an environmentally friendly solution for handling wastewater in Bellingham? In other words, what’s the connection between a septic system and the environment, if any? Let’s explore the correlation.

Septic System and the Environment: Exploring the Link

Here’s the deal: provided that you adhere to regular septic tank pumping, the septic system has no adverse environmental effects. In fact, septic tanks are actually a green solution since they rely on natural anaerobic bacteria to break down the waste. This is a stark contrast to municipal sewer systems that use chlorine and harsh chemicals for treating wastewater.

When Septic Systems Harm the Environment

If your septic system is failing, it’s a whole different story. Failing systems release untreated wastewater into the environment, contaminating the groundwater. This can be a major issue for systems located near bodies of water. Furthermore, wastewater release can lead to serious health concerns, such as dysentery and hepatitis.

That’s not all; the improperly treated wastewater contains nitrates. Nitrates in water supplies lead to algae growth, in turn releasing toxins that pose a threat to people and wildlife.

The Solution

The key is prevention. To ensure proper filtration of effluent, schedule a regular OSS inspection. A technician can determine whether the system is releasing wastewater into the soil. Plus, the checkup detects potential problems in their early stages before they grow.

In addition, take active measures not to overwhelm the system. You should not, for example, do multiple loads of laundry back-to-back. Likewise, occupants should not take a shower one after the other.

We Inspect Septic Systems for Problems in Bellingham

Similar systems like grease traps and portable toilets also do not pose an environmental risk as long as they’re well maintained. Contact Lil John Sanitary Services for routine inspections. This ensures that risks to the septic system and the environment are kept to an absolute minimum. Contact us today for more information.

We’re Certified to Ensure Your Septic System is Safe for the Environment in Bellingham

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

Posted on June 29, 2022 | Published by Ignite Local | Related Local Business


Important Septic System Do’s and Don’ts for Bellingham Homeowners

septic system do’s and don’ts bellinghamUsing your septic system correctly is an important part of keeping your home running smoothly. When it’s working properly, the septic system runs in the background, so you probably don’t give it much thought. If it backs up, though, no one in your household is going to be happy until the problem is fixed. Knowledge of a few critical septic system do’s and don’ts will help you keep your system working properly.

Septic System Do’s and Don’ts Outside

Familiarize yourself with the location of your septic system and the drain field. Either make a sketch or take photos of it when you have it pumped out. Don’t plant anything over or close to the septic system or the drain field, except grass. Tree and shrub roots can migrate over to the drain lines, potentially leading to clogs and damage. Don’t use any additives in your septic tank. They don’t perform as advertised and may even damage your septic system.

And Inside

Place cooking grease into a container so that it can harden. Then throw it out in the garbage. Don’t dispose of cooking grease by pouring it down the kitchen drain or the toilet. Stagger your water use throughout the day and the week. Install a low-flow shower head and an aerator in your kitchen sink. Don’t use the washing machine, dishwasher, shower and toilet at the same time.  It can put a strain on your septic system. If you’re doing laundry, the best strategy is to do a couple of loads each day, rather than saving it up and doing several loads in one day.

Use Our Service for All Your Septic Maintenance Needs

Contact a licensed sanitary service contractor if you have any questions or concerns about your septic system. Don’t ignore signs that you have a problem. Lil’ John Sanitary Service is your expert source for septic system inspections and pump-outs. Contact us to schedule a service call today.  Our technicians are skilled at grease trap cleaning and certified OSS Inspections.  Our services also include portable toilets.

Depend on Us For Septic System Do’s and Don’ts in Bellingham 

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

Posted on May 29, 2022 | Published by Ignite Local | Related Local Business

Portable Toilet Decoration Tips for Weddings in Sedro-Wooley

portable toilet decoration sedro-wooleyWe admit that portable toilets can be an eyesore. They’re units people associate with industrial sites and work zones. Nevertheless, they’re a requirement for lavish events like outdoor weddings. Portable toilet decoration is one way to keep the units from being an overt visual distraction at your upcoming Sedro-Wooley event.

Be Mindful of Location

Decorations aren’t just about adding décor. Placement is also a part of strategic decorating. Keep portable toilets away from the areas where people will congregate. Sure, guests may have to walk a bit further to answer nature’s call, but it’ll keep the venue looking nice. It’s also a nonissue if indoor restrooms are nearby. If an indoor venue exists, then consider placement behind the building.

Portable Toilet Decoration Ideas

You can attach balloons, ribbons, and flowers to the portable toilet’s exterior. Do the same for handwashing stations. You can also create an elegant pathway leading to restrooms. If the celebration is going to extend to the night hours, add light scones to create a beautiful light display.

Another idea is to add a refreshments table near the portable wash stations. This can be a table with complimentary items, such as moist towelettes, mints, perfume, and hand sanitizer.

Decorate the Inside

The interior of a portable toilet can be unpleasant, especially to the nose after multiple uses. Consider adding a scented flameless candle and perhaps a towel basket and flowers. Occupants won’t appreciate having to set personal items on the porta-potty floor. So, add suction hooks so occupants can hang a coat or purse. 

We Provide Portable Toilet Rental for Sedro-Wooley

Are you tying the knot soon? Call Lil John Sanitary Services for porta-potty rentals. This is a part of our bigger service that also includes septic tank pumping and OSS inspections. Portable toilet decoration helps the units match their lavish surroundings. Contact us today for help with this important detail.

Portable Toilet Decoration: We Do Rentals for all Occasions in Sedro-Wooley

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

Posted on April 28, 2022 | Published by Ignite Local | Related Local Business

Buying a Home with a Septic System in the Mt. Vernon Area: A Good Idea or Not?

septic system mt. vernonSome homebuyers are put off when they discover that a home for sale has a septic system. There’s a notion that these properties are inferior to one connected to a city sewer line. We’ll answer your questions about this topic.

The Truth About Buying a Home with a Septic System

The truth is that it’s neither better or worse. It comes down to personal homeowner preference. Let’s examine the factors in which a septic system can add or detract from the value of the property for sale.


If the system is in disarray, then repairs or a whole replacement can be costly. Request for an OSS inspection or see the paperwork to verify that an evaluation was completed recently. When we say inspection, we mean from an actual septic specialist. A general valuation from a real estate agent doesn’t cover this.

Water Conservation

You’ll have to be more mindful of water use to prevent overburdening the drainfield. This can be a good or bad thing, depending on your perspective. It forces you to monitor water usage. On the flip side, this also helps you save water.

Cost Savings

In most instances, you save money in monthly sewer fees. Provided you take good care of the system, you only pay for the annual or bi-annual septic system pump.

We Inspect Septic Systems for Home Buyers

Leave it to Lil John Sanitary Service to inspect the septic system of a prospective property. We evaluate septic tanks and grease traps on a day-to-day basis. Buying a home with a septic system can be a huge plus, but only if it’s well maintained. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

Septic System Inspection for Homebuyers in the Mount Vernon Area

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

Posted on March 29, 2022 | Published by Ignite Local | Related Local Business

Septic System Flooding: How Does This Affect Your System and Drain Field in Bellingham?

septic flooding, drain field flooding

Many Bellingham homeowners know septic system flooding is a serious issue. However, they don’t understand why and how to minimize the damage. We’ll examine some of the ramifications of flooding and explain how you can be proactive.

The Consequences of Septic System Flooding

When the drain field is exposed to standing water, it can become waterlogged. The consequences of this could include having wastewater back up into your toilet or sink. This can pose a serious sanitation issue and health hazard. 

Flooding seldom damages the septic system itself. However, any openings may allow floodwater and accompanying debris to enter. Areas the floodwater can enter through include the tank cover and the manhole cover, as well as the inlet and outlet pipes. The debris and silt that get in may cause solid waste in the tank to rise and plug the outlet and inlet pipes.

What Homeowners in Bellingham Can Do

If the drain field is flooded, you may not even be able to run your sink or flush your toilet. The best solution is to limit water usage as much as possible. As soon as the water recedes, arrange for an OSS inspection to evaluate for potential backups. The system may require a septic tank pumping

During this time, don’t place excess weight over the drain field. This compacts the soil, making it harder for the system to expel effluent. Don’t drive a vehicle or place heavy machinery over the area. You shouldn’t be doing this ever but it’s especially a no-no during a flood.

We Inspect Septic Systems Post-Flood

We service residential septic systems and commercial grease traps throughout the Bellingham area. Contact us at Lil John Sanitary Services after a storm that results in puddling water over the drain field. Septic system flooding requires professional inspection.

Septic Flooding & Summer Septic System Inspections

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

Posted on February 28, 2022 | Published by Ignite Local | Related Local Business

The Truth About Mulch and Septic Systems in Burlington

mulch and septic system burlingtonYour septic system’s drainfield requires special care. Most homeowners know, for instance, not to plant deep-root trees and shrubs in the drainfield. But you might not know that mulching can also be a problem. We’ll tell you what you need to know about mulch and septic systems for your Burlington home.

Mulch and Septic Systems Are not an Ideal Combination

Next to planting deep-rooted plants, mulch is the least septic-friendly landscaping practice. As a general rule, you should avoid mulching directly over the drainfield. Mulch inhibits the treatment system’s oxygen flow that’s needed for the filtration of effluent. When there isn’t sufficient oxygen, the bacteria can’t break down solid waste. This can lead to a backup requiring a septic tank pumping.

Mulching Around the Foundation

In no way are we suggesting that you avoid mulching altogether. We actually recommend mulching around the perimeter of your home. The mulch absorbs moisture that would otherwise make its way into your foundation, leading to erosion of the concrete.

It’s when you mulch directly over the septic system’s drainfield that the problem arises. The extra moisture retention strains the system, especially after a rain spell. Mulch absorbs the rainwater, which then has to be filtered through the drainfield. This is the same reason why homeowners are advised to avoid doing loads of laundry back-to-back. The excess water taxes the system too much at one time.

Improving Drainfield Aesthetics

You can improve the drainfield’s appearance without mulch. You can plant grass and other shallow-root vegetation over the field. This is also functionally beneficial as it improves oxygen exchange and prevents the build-up of excess soil moisture.

We Service Your Septic System

We recommend an OSS inspection as part of a 2022 initiative. The same goes for grease trap cleaning for business owners. Call Lil John Sanitary Services if you have been holding off regular pumping or inspections. 

Mulch & Septic Systems: Your Septic System Maintenance Experts in Burlington

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, 2022 | Published by Ignite Local | Related Local Business

Can You Clean Your Grease Trap Yourself in Ferndale?

clean your grease trap FerndaleTo keep your grease trap functioning at its peak in Ferndale, you need to empty it regularly. Can you clean your grease trap yourself, or does this type of cleaning require a professional? We can’t provide a straight “yes” or “no” answer; consider the following variables.

Don’t Clean Your Grease Trap if…

First, you need to know what kind of grease trap you own. Larger dining establishments and cafeterias usually have units which process between 500 and 2,500 gallons of grease. These are located outside and right below a manhole cover on the company’s premises. In this scenario, you almost definitely need to hire a professional service company.

Smaller Establishments Probably Can, BUT…

Smaller establishments may have smaller units located inside the shop. DIY cleaning for these traps is definitely doable. However, even if you decide to go the DIY route, your county may require licensure. King County, for example, requires owners to have a Certificate of Competency. Some states require a septage hauler’s license.

Why so many hoops to jump through just to clean a grease trap? Improper grease trap maintenance can create serious sanitation issues. Our recommendation is to hire a professional. Most professional cleaners have the certification, expertise and equipment to handle grease traps of all sizes.

As a restaurant owner, you may want to focus your efforts providing high-quality food and excellent dining service. Leave the elbow grease to us.

We Service Grease Traps in Ferndale

Besides servicing grease traps, we also pump out septic tanks and perform on-site sewage inspections. Contact  Lil John Sanitary Service for your next scheduled grease trap maintenance. This ensures the job is done right on the first go. Cleaning your own grease trap is doable, but is it worth the hassle?

We Clean Your Grease Trap For You in Ferndale Eateries

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

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

Recognizing a Grease Trap Emergency in Skagit County

grease trap emergency skagit county

All Skagit County grease traps need to be pumped out eventually, no exceptions. However, what separates routine maintenance from an emergency? With the latter, when is a situation so urgent that it needs emergency grease trap service?

Grease Trap Is Overflowing

If the grease trap is overflowing, that is an emergency that requires priority servicing. Overflowing grease can seep onto the floors and walls, creating an environmental hazard. You’ll need to have the grease trap pumped ASAP. Fortunately, this can be prevented easily with routine scheduled maintenance.

We recommend a cleaning every three months. Aside from being a preventive measure, it also ensures that you’ll remain within municipal compliance. Most cities impose fines for failure to maintain the grease trap.

Clogged Grease Trap

Before a grease trap overflows, it may exhibit signs of being clogged. Much like a household sink, your commercial sink may drain more slowly, or water may pool without fully going down.

A clog also puts the facility at risk of a grease trap fire. As a safety precaution, refrain from using any heating-related appliances and don’t use the water until emergency services arrive.

Foul Odors

A bad smell from the direction of the grease trap doesn’t necessarily mandate an urgent response. However, if the odor is bad enough, it can spread to the dining area and offend patrons. It can also affect employees and possibly make them sick.

Avoid Emergency Grease Trap Servicing in Skagit County

Requesting an impromptu grease trap pumping can slow business operations. Grease trap care is part of our Septic tank pumping and OSS inspections. Avoid emergency grease trap servicing altogether by contacting us at Lil John Sanitary Service.

Commercial Grease Trap Emergency & Maintenance Experts for Skagit County

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

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