Grenco Septic Systems and Excavation Services

Holiday Stress On Your Septic System

Santa pumps out a septic system to call attention to Grenco Excavation latest blog

Tis the season for visiting….for eating….for gathering…and for septic system issues.

Family gatherings during the holidays are what it’s all about. Unfortunately they also put extra strain on your septic system.  So how do these issues start?

Kitchen and Food Prep

More time in the kitchen making scrumptious treats and holiday dinners will surely increase the amount of water being used. Be extra conservative with water usage when rinsing items or in running the dishwasher. Only run it when it is full. And remember: never dump food waste or oils down the drain.

Stagger the schedule for showers and baths

We know that morning is the prime time for people to shower and bathe, but consider staggering the times that people take their showers. This will help to reduce the amount of water entering your septic system. If guests are not flexible in their scheduling, request that your guests take shorter showers.

While we are on the subject of reducing water from washing: try not to run consecutive loads of laundry. Also, just like with the dishwasher, only run full loads and plan to do your loads over a period of several days.

Take Care What You Flush Down The Toilet

It goes without saying that feminine hygiene products should never be flushed (at any time of year!) In the nicest way possible, request that your guests remember not to flush these items and that excessive toilet paper usage is also to be avoided. Taking the time to let your guests know your wishes can help to avoid potential blockages.

When In Doubt Pump It Out

Pumping your system if it has had issues in the past is a wise choice. Try to schedule it close to your gathering. This will give your system a buffer as no doubt, there will be guests who will need to use the bathrooms.

We hope this helps get you prepared for your holiday, because, seriously….no one wants a system backup to ruin their Holiday fun.

Think it is time to replace your system after the holidays? Give Grenco a call and let’s plan to start 2018 right!


Is Your Septic System Ready For Winter?

With the time change last week, we know that the usual thing to be reminded of is to change the batteries in your smoke detector. Since we are not in the smoke detector business, we would like to add another thing to check when you change your clocks: The health of your septic system, especially in the Autumn.

Grenco Excavation provides an example of a failed septic system with mud, puddling, and wet ground in the backyard.

Here’s the hard truth: if you’ve been putting off having your septic system looked and/or fixed, the time may be running out for you to do anything about it until the Spring thaw happens! If you’ve seen the tell-tale signs of a septic issue such as puddling in your drain field, catching whiffs of a funny smell, or having a gurgling noise from your plumbing when you flush or run the water, get your system checked before the hard freeze happens. Like it or not, once the snow is falling in Rhode Island the temperatures have dropped and the ground freezes. It can be pretty much impossible to perform septic maintenance and repairs even with heavy-duty equipment.

Winter is beautiful but not if the ground is frozen and you are unable to repair a failed septic system.

If your septic system fails in the heart of our New England winter, you may not be able to solve the problem until the ground starts to thaw in the Spring. Imagine not having a functional septic system for weeks (or maybe months!) This is not just an inconvenience, it can also be extremely unhealthy.

Be proactive! If you have seen signs and suspect that your system is a having some issues, get it checked out. The peace of mind you will gain knowing that you can pass the winter season without problems is priceless. Of course, if after the inspection you learn that need a new system, Grenco can help.

Grenco Excavation installs a new septic tank.

Septic Tank Deterioration

Grenco Excavation installs a new septic tank.

I feel pretty confident saying nobody wants to spend more than they have to on a new septic system. So why install a new tank if there’s already one in place? While holding off on replacement may seem to be the frugal way to go, taking the time to install a new tank can make the most sense in the long run.

Here are a few reasons I feel it’s money well spent:

  1.  The gasses created in a septic tank deteriorate the concrete roof of the tank over time. This results in a thinner concrete roof and exposes the structural wire. Therefore weakening the structure which can result in cracks and possibly collapse.

2.  The older tanks used concrete baffles to absorb the energy of the black water entering the tank and to keep solids from carrying over to the leach field. Just like the roof, these baffles are exposed to the deteriorating gasses. On most of the older tanks we look at, the baffles have fallen off. Failed baffles can result in solids carrying over to the leachfield therefore shortening its lifespan.

Diagram showing a two compartment septic tank such as the type that Grenco installs.

  1.  The older tanks were single compartment. New tanks have two compartments. The first makes up 2/3 of the tank and is where the black water enters the tank. The solids stay in this side of the tank and the “clear” layer carries over to the second compartment. Here the effluent will lose some more of the total suspended solids before it makes its way to the leach field.


The new tanks we install are water tight. This prevents the black water from entering the water table before treatment. More importantly it prevents ground water from entering the tank and overdosing the leach field.

Tanks don’t last forever. Even if you don’t replace the tank now eventually you will have to. It’s going to be much more cost effective to do it while we are on site installing the leach field. It is much easier to replace the tank then as we will have all of our equipment ready to do the job.

If you have questions about your tank and need some advice on the best option to take when it comes to replacement, contact Grenco, we will be happy to help you make the best decision for your situation.

Snow covers pipes in an excavated leach field installed by Grenco

2017 News from GRENCO

January is almost over already and spring is officially 49 days away!

We took a little family time and welcomed in the New Year Grenon style…skiing!

We’ve been doing some work, cleaning & maintaining our equipment and working on our continued education this January.  It feels like the winter is cruising by and we’re excited, as 2017 is looking to be another busy year working with fantastic clients on interesting projects.   Of course we’re hoping for at least a few more ski days first though!

Looking for a little gardening design inspiration…
One of our favorite landscape design teams, Samantha & Neil Best of Magma Design Group, will be giving a presentation ‘Stems and Stones: A Love Story’ on Sunday, February 19th from 1-2 at the Towerhill Botanical Garden.  To learn more and register, click here.

It hasn’t been that bad and we’ve still been able to work a bit – after shoveling the 1″ of snow off this Eljens that we installed the previous day…we were able to finish up, get it inspected and cover it up before the next snow came!



A little continued education?  Yes!  We always look forward to the RINLA (RI Nursery and Landscape Association) Annual Meeting and this year didn’t disappoint!

If you haven’t been following us on Facebook, you might want to!

With gratitude,
Scott and the Grenco family