Thursday, February 17, 2011

Quick Tips for Maintaining Your Septic Tank

If you rely on a modern septic tank system, there are a few guidelines you should follow to ensure your system works efficiently and effectively – with minimal headaches – for many, many years to come. Keep your septic tank and drainfield healthy with these must-know tips:

  1. Pro-actively divert rainfall away from the drainfield. Plan all landscaping drainage and rooftop gutters to feed excess water away from the drainfield. A soggy, saturated drainfield will not work effectively.
  2. Do not plant grass over your drainfield and discourage root damage by keeping trees at least 100 feet away from the septic system (even farther if they are an aggressive arbor strain like willows.
  3. Be careful not to overload the system. Regularly check faucets and toilets for leaks and reduce water consumption whenever possible. Small changes, like waiting for the dish washer to be full before running it and placing a displacer in the toilet tank will help your system.
  4. Do not pour grease or cooking oil down the drain as these thick liquids will clog the drainfield.
  5. It goes without saying, but do not pour toxic materials (like paint thinner or car oil) down your drain either. Besides clogging the drainfield, they will poison the groundwater.
  6. Do not treat your toilet like a garbage disposal. Never flush non unnecessary solids, like paper towels, sanitary products or even cat litter. All of these things will clog the system.
  7. Same goes for your garbage disposal. Limit what you put down the drain and install a high quality garbage disposal that completely purees the waste that you must wash down the drain.
  8. Promote a healthy drainfield environment by limiting the use of chemical cleaning agents, detergents and soaps. Chemical household cleaners wash down the drain and concentrate in the septic system, often killing the beneficial bacteria required to effectively break down biological waste. These creatures are the lifeblood of a healthy septic tank system, so when possible, use non-chemical cleaners such as Dr Higa’s EM-1 Microbial Innoculant in the place of chemical cleaners and detergents.
  9. Regularly re-introduce beneficial bacteria into your septic system with a product like EM-1 Septic Tank Microbes for maximum drainfield health and performance.
  10. Have a professional pump your septic tank every 3 to 5 years.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Diagnosing & Treating Chemical Sensitivity

From our birth onward, we are all exposed to a number of synthetic chemicals, pollutants and volatile organic compounds (VOC’s). The body may not exhibit immediate reactions to these compounds, but with time they can build up, eventually reaching a critical mass and eliciting an allergy-like response, much like adult-onset allergies. Despite many of these cases being under or misdiagnosed, reports of chemical sensitivity are undoubtedly on the rise.

How do I know if I am Experiencing Chemical Sensitivity

  • Upon exposure to the suspected irritant, you experience an allergic reaction while nearby family members or friends do not experience any discernible symptoms.
  • The symptoms are chronic, meaning you reliably experience symptoms every time you are exposed to the suspected irritant, and the symptoms subside when the trigger is removed.
  • You are especially at risk if you suffer from autoimmune disorders such as Fibromyalgia.
  • If you have experienced heavy exposure to strong chemicals during a catastrophic event, such as the Gulf War or 9-11, you may even suffer from Multiple Chemical Sensitivities, which is considerably more complex and difficult to treat.

How do I Treat Chemical Sensitivity?

While every person and each condition is unique, there are few strategies that often help to alleviate chemical sensitivity symptoms.

  • Identify the culprit. It is not always easy, but it is important to identify the chemicals that make you ill so that you can pro-actively eliminate them from your home. If you find that several different products trigger symptoms, compare their ingredients to see if they share any compounds. For example, you might discover that products containing variations of salicylic acid trigger your symptoms. (Salicylic acid can be found in anything from Aspirin to skin care products and soap.) Google terms and ingredients you aren’t immediately familiar with so that you can spot less obvious triggers.
  • Remove the trigger chemicals from your home. Once you have identified the trigger chemicals, effectively remove those chemicals from your home by eliminating the host products. Read product labels thoroughly, especially when it comes to toiletries and products you place directly on your body. Perfumes are often a major chemical sensitivity trigger, so ban all chemical household air freshens. Rather, use a microbe-based cleaner like EM•1® Microbial Inoculants which uses beneficial, naturally-occurring microbes to break-down odor causing compounds. EM•1® can also be used as a laundry detergent in the place of harsh chemical detergents.
  • Cleanse your body. Your body has reached critical mass for chemical build-up, so it would be an excellent time for a cleanse to clear out any lingering chemicals in the digestive track. Teraganix recommends a raw probiotic product like Dr. Higa's Pro EM•1® Daily Probiotic Clease. Also, if you are not already, consider buying organic foods, as chemicals from pesticides and synthetic fertilizers can also trigger symptoms. If you grow your own food or garden at home, be sure to only use organic plant food and enzymes as well as organic lawn fertilizer.

Please keep in mind that these recommendations are not intended to replace professional medical treatment. If you are experiencing chronic symptoms, seek out a medical professional immediately.