Faq

GENERAL FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

  • I found a great house, but it has a septic system and not sewer. Should I give up my hopes on buying this house?
  • Do I need a pump for my septic system? If so, why?
  • What is hydro excavation? Why does a vacuum truck (septic) company also do this?
I found a great house, but it has a septic system and not sewer. Should I give up my hopes on buying this house?

Not at all! Modern septic systems are robust, sturdy and effective. We have installed and serviced many septic systems in Kelowna and across the Okanagan. While it’s true that some older septic systems may require attention or service, that is more a function of the age of the home and property.

Having said that, your best bet when buying a home is to hire an inspector to see that the home is in good condition. If you are interested in having D&L check the septic system, we would be happy to do so. Please contact us to set up an appointment for a site visit.

Do I need a pump for my septic system? If so, why?

Chances are, if you live in the Okanagan, you have a property with some rise or slope to it. Many septic systems involve secondary treatment. Raised systems such as sand mounds require a pump. This is necessary for “pressure distribution,” which uses smaller pipe to distribute effluent. This allows effluent to be stored in the pump chamber and pumped to the entire disposal field at once.

Thanks to this kind of system, no part of the disposal field is saturated, whereas the field is able to drain out and dry completely in between doses.

What is hydro excavation? Why does a vacuum truck (septic) company also do this?

Hydro excavation uses high-pressure water and vacuum technology to cut through dirt, rocks, and debris – in a clean and safe manner – to expose utility and electrical systems, pipelines, or to clear a path for next stages of construction. Hydro excavation is a non-destructive means to excavate an area with precision. Also called “daylghting,” this is rapidly becoming the preferred means of cutting and clearing.

The vacuum trucks for septic systems can double as hydrovac trucks, with some essential modifications to the vehicle and systems.

FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions

Hydrovac Truck Q&A

  • What exactly is a “hydrovac“ anyway?
  • What are the key differences between hydrovac and traditional vacuum trucks?
  • What is hydrovac daylighting?
What exactly is a “hydrovac“ anyway?

A hydrovac or hydro-vacuum truck is a vehicle with an ideal system for moving wet material. Hydrovac systems bring a successful result even for excavation of hard ground. How? The injection of pressurized water into the ground is ideal for loosening the ground.

Hydrovac trucks also deliver greater efficiency and directional control, a significant advantage when looking at trenching and mining projects. Hydrovac trucks are also very safe, environmentally and cost-effecient.

What are the key differences between hydrovac and traditional vacuum trucks?

Tradional vacuum trucks are ideal for excavation in dry & dusty fields and materials. Hydrovac, on the other hand, is great for moving wet material.

What is hydrovac daylighting?

Daylighting is simply the unearthing and exposing of underground utilities and pipelines. Hydrovac daylighting is a non-destructive means excavating, which translates to a safe and cost-efficient alternative to the traditional system of hand-digging and air vacuum excavation.

FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions

Industrial Vacuum Truck Q&A

  • What is an industrial vacuum truck?
  • Do you have industrial vacuums for large indoor cleanups?
  • What is hydro excavation? Why does a vacuum truck (septic) company also do this?
What is an industrial vacuum truck?

Industrial vacuum trucks, a.k.a. “industrial vacuum loaders,” enjoy solid reputation in the field as powerful and efficient industrial vacuum equipment to contain, recover and carry solids, liquids, dry bulk powders, slurries and thick sludge from areas that once would have been considered challenging if not impossible to reach and deal with.

At D&L Environmental Services in Kelowna, our industrial vacuum trucks cantackle the most demanding wet or dry industrial cleaning applications.

Do you have industrial vacuums for large indoor cleanups?

This really depends on what kind of situation we’re talking about.

If you have a warehouse or commercial building in operations, for example, and have experienced a spill or other situation that required containment and cleaning, it’s probably a different kind of vacuum system that you’re looking for.

If you are managing a construction project, on the other hand, and need bulk dry or wet materials moved, we can probably help. Contact us to find out more.

What is hydro excavation? Why does a vacuum truck (septic) company also do this?

Hydrovac trucks use high-pressure water and vacuum technology to cut through dirt, rocks, and debris – in a clean and safe manner. Hydro excavation or “daylighting” is a non-destructive means to excavate an area with precision.

The same vacuum trucks we use to service septic systems can also be used as hydrovac trucks, with some essential modifications to the truck and to its systems.

See our Hydrovac Trucks page for more information.

FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions

Hydro Excavation Q&A

  • Is hydro excavation safe?
  • Does hydro excavation destroy the area being excavated?
  • What are some common uses of hydrovac trucks in the excavation process?
Is hydro excavation safe?

Most definitely! Hydro excavation is a very safe process. At D&L Environmental Services we make great strides and take great pride in being a safety leader.

One of the concerns with any kind of excavation is buried utilities. One wrong move or careless venture could rupture gas or electrical lines, water pipes or telecom cables. Breaking these lines could cause some major damage to local infrastructure and community. Utility locating and hydrovac services can drastically reduce the possibility of ruptured utilities.

Does hydro excavation destroy the area being excavated?

Hydro excavation is a non-destructive method of digging. It utilizes a vacuum system and pressurized water (a.k.a. “hydrovac”) that safely expose underground infrastructure in a rapid but very controlled manner. The resulting slurry is extracted by a powerful vacuum and stored in a debris tank on board our hydrovac truck. That’s far more effective and environmentally friendly than traditional excavation methods!

What are some common uses of hydrovac trucks in the excavation process?

Hydrovac trucks are ideal for digging deep holes or exposing utilities (daylighting) and forming trenches. Because they’re fast & accurate, hydrovac trucks can be utilized to dig holes for installing road signs, telephone poles and the like. Our hydrovac trucks work on nearly all terrains, handling some of the most challenging excavation jobs. They’re also ideal for debris cleanup, removing wet or dry material from trenches, pits, and underground tanks; and pulling water, sludge, soil, spills, debris, etc. from hard-to-reach underground areas.

FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions

Sewer Backup Q&A

  • What are some causes for sewer backups?
  • What are the health & safety risks of a sewer backup?
  • Is a vacuum truck an effective means of remediating a sewer backup? How so?
What are some causes for sewer backups?

Sewers can back up as a result of grease, oil and foreign objects down your drains and in your toilets. This can affect residential properties as well as commercial properties. In homes, we’re talking about sewer backups in basement, bathroom floors, shower stalls, bathtubs or sinks. Commercial properties can see sewer backups affecting restaurants, retail stores, offices, warehouses and much more. While backups do happen, there are ways to help prevent sewer backups and mitigate their severity, such as discouraging all occupants of a home or commercial property not to throw foreign objects into the system.

What are the health & safety risks of a sewer backup?

The extent of health risks varies according to the volume of a sewer backup as well as the degree of exposure to it. Raw sewage contains germs, viruses, parasites and bacteria; tetanus affects the nervous system while hepatitis A damages the liver. These can pose significant health risks and contaminate your home, business or property.

Is a vacuum truck an effective means of remediating a sewer backup? How so?

From small to large scale operations, from home sewer backups to commercial property sewer backups, vacuum trucks are extremely effective in the cleanup process. They are a fast, safe and reliable means, especially when operated and supervised by experienced professionals. Count on D&L Environmental, your trusted Okanagan vacuum truck pros, to get the job done right.

FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions

Septic Cleaning Q&A

  • Are septic cleaning and septic pumping the same thing?
  • How often should you pump or clean a septic tank?
  • Is septic cleaning expensive? Can I do this on my own?
Are septic cleaning and septic pumping the same thing?

Not quite.

Both septic cleaning and septic pumping involve removing fluids and other matter from a septic tank.

Septic pumping refers to the removal of liquid and some sludge from a septic tank. Septic cleaning, meanwhile, means that that all the water and compacted sludge from the bottom of the tank are being removed.

Is one preferable to the other? Actually while the terms should not be used interchangeably, the methods can effectively be used in tandem. Septic pumping can be performed on a regular basis, while septic cleaning can be reserved for less frequent occasions.

The terms are sometimes used as synonyms, but now you know they are in fact different!

How often should you pump or clean a septic tank?

By cleaning a septic tank on a regular basis (every 3-5 years), the solids can be removed fairly easily.

Sometimes when the sludge is heavy, a high-pressure water nozzle is used to remove the solids. Occasionally, we find solids so thick that they can’t be broken down. In these instances, re-pumping the tank in 6 -12 months is recommended.

Is septic cleaning expensive? Can I do this on my own?

Septic cleaning is a necessary investment for anyone who owns a property with a septic system. This is either a financial investment, or an investment in your time and effort. While there are DIY methods for septic cleaning, the time involved may vary, and – very frankly speaking – it is not a pleasant endeavour. That’s why homeowners rely on the pros to clean their septic systems. At D & L Environmental, we offer a fairly priced septic cleaning service, one that is professional and thorough. Proper cleaning now will help prevent more costly (and unpleasant) issues down the road.

FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions

Septic Pumping Q&A

  • Do you clean out grease traps with a vacuum truck?
  • Is septic pumping just for homeowners?
  • What’s the difference between black water and gray water?
Do you clean out grease traps with a vacuum truck?

We sure do! If you’re a restaurant owner or manager, you know the importance of a grease trap. It’s a dirty part of the business, but one that’s necessary to maintain properly. We proudly serve restaurants in Kelowna and across the Okanagan by utilizing our professional vacuum truck services, cleaning grease traps to prevent sewage backups (that’s the last thing you want!). Count on our septic pumping services for your grease trap cleaning.

Is septic pumping just for homeowners?

Not even! Both homeowners and commercial property owners and property managers count on properly maintained septic system for smooth operations. We do residential septic tank pumping in Kelowna and across the Okanagan. We also service many businesses and commercial properties in the area, from offices and retail locations to warehouses and industrial facilities.

What’s the difference between black water and gray water?

Okay, buckle in, folks, this is where things get a little… less than clean.

What separates black water from gray water? How about white water?

Simply put, black water contains fecal matter. Gray water is, essentially, all other household waste (or waste from a commercial property or facility) that does not contain fecal matter.

Black water, as you might imagine, contains harmful materials. It should be pumped by professionals with the right gear and experience.

Grey water can, if you wish, be recycled. Or we can pump that as well.

White water is clean drinking water.

Have a question?

Contact us and learn more!

D & L Environmental Ltd. has been doing business in the Okanagan for over 25 years. We have grown into the largest full service vacuum truck company in the BC Interior.

670 Beaver Lake Road
Kelowna, BC V4V 1S7

250-765-0999 (Main Number)
250-766-3260 (Lake Country)
250-769-8040 (West Kelowna)
250-769-8040 (Vernon)

Get in touch