How do you break down solids in a septic tank?
- So, how to break down solids in a septic tank? Rotten tomatoes are an excellent choice for breaking down solids, so is active dry yeast. However, for stubborn solid waste you may need to pump the tank, followed by a couple of rounds of backflushing.
What to put in your septic tank to break down solids?
Yeast helps actively breaks down waste solids when added to your septic system. Flush ½ cup of dry baking yeast down the toilet, the first time. Add ¼ cup of instant yeast every 4 months, after the initial addition.
What breaks down sludge in septic tank?
Bacteria that lives in the tank helps to break down the sludge, turning it into a liquid. Near the top of the septic tank is a pipe that leads to a part of the yard called the drain field.
What enzymes break down poop?
The two major enzymes important to breaking down pet waste are lipase, which breaks down fats, oil and grease, and protease for proteins. Other enzymes are cellulase, which breaks down vegetable matter, and amylase, effective on starches.
Do solids break down in a septic tank?
Solution for a clogged septic system The solids settle to the bottom, where microorganisms decompose them. The scum, composed of waste that’s lighter than water, floats on top. The middle layer of effluent exits the tank and travels through underground perforated pipes into the drainage field.
What is the best thing to put in your septic tank?
Biological Additives. Biological additives, like bacteria and extracellular enzymes, are the only acceptable septic tank treatment for promoting a healthy, natural bacterial ecosystem, maintaining an effective drain field, and protecting the health of the local groundwater.
Can you pour peroxide in septic system?
You May Interfere with the Drainfield The hydrogen peroxide found in some additives may be harmful to the soil in the drainfield. This can cause the drainfield to be less effective at purification. The hydrogen peroxide may also harm the bacteria found in the septic system.
How do I clean my septic tank naturally?
You can mix about a 1/4 cup of baking soda with 1/2 cup of vinegar and 2 tablespoons lemon to make your own natural cleaning agent. The baking soda will fizz up to help get the dirt and grime in your tub and drains. It’s a great cleaner and your septic system will thank you!
What will ruin a septic system?
Any paper products like tissues, paper towels, tampons, or sanitary products, even some heavier toilet paper, will clog your system if you flush enough of it. Wet wipes are another product that you should never flush into a septic system.
How can I increase bacteria in my septic tank naturally?
Homemade Septic Tank Treatment The ingredients required for this natural solution are the following: Water, Sugar, Cornmeal, and Dry Yeast. To concoct this mixture, first start by boiling roughly a half gallon of water. Add in 2 cups of sugar. The sugar will act as the first food your bacteria will eat!
What eats waste in septic tank?
Large colonies of bacteria and enzymes in your septic tank keep the tank from backing up or overfilling. Enzymes go to work on the scum, and bacteria goes to work on the sludge. The microbes eat the waste and convert large portions of it into liquids and gases.
How long does it take for poop to decompose in septic tank?
The bacteria take 2-4 hours to germinate and then begin to break down solid waste. If the temperature and conditions are favorable, then the bacteria will multiply to the maximum level that the environment will allow in about 2-4 days.
What chemical breaks down human waste?
uses caustic soda also known as lye (sodium hydroxide: NaOH) as an additive to create a highly alkaline environment and thereby sanitises sludge from human waste.
Is Rotten Tomatoes good for septic tank?
By simply grabbing your older or rotten tomatoes from the back of your refrigerator you can promote bacteria growth in your septic system by grinding them down into your garbage disposal. 3-4 rotten tomatoes every 4 months should be enough to provide good bacteria to your septic system and break down your waste.
How do you fix a saturated leach field?
Additional ways to help keep the soil in your drain field from becoming over-saturated include:
- Avoid using too many water fixtures in the home at once.
- Ensure all home gutter downspouts are directed away from the drain field.
- Don’t point lawn sprinklers toward drain field.
What are the signs that your septic tank is full?
Here are some of the most common warning signs that you have a full septic tank:
- Your Drains Are Taking Forever.
- Standing Water Over Your Septic Tank.
- Bad Smells Coming From Your Yard.
- You Hear Gurgling Water.
- You Have A Sewage Backup.
- How often should you empty your septic tank?
DIY Septic Tank Treatment
Septic tank systems are notoriously difficult to maintain and may be quite expensive when they fail. Over the course of almost two decades, we’ve only had to pump our septic tank once. Here’s how we maintain our system running smoothly: DIY Septic Tank Treatment
Natural Enzyme Action
Septic tanks, like your stomach, require the presence of beneficial bacteria and enzymes in order to break down the particles that travel through them. It is possible to obtain these helpful bacteria and enzymes from a variety of sources, but one of our favorites is rotting tomatoes. These naturally occurring enzymes are proteins known as Pectinase or Pectinolytic enzymes, and they break down pectin. Lipase, hydrolyzes, and lyase are all members of the pectinase family of enzymes that are capable of breaking down pectin and plant cell walls in the natural environment, therefore aiding in the decomposition and recycling of waste plant materials.
DIY Septic Tank Treatment
It is simple and inexpensive to treat a septic tank with DIY solutions. We “feed” our septic tank 3-4 rotting tomatoes every 3 months or so, which we do through our garbage disposal. The idea is to make sure that you split up the tomato and pass only half a tomato or so at a time through the water while it is running to ensure that it is properly flushed out. As an alternative, if you don’t have access to a garbage disposal, you may throw two or three large rotting tomatoes in a bag (chances are they’re already packed away in a bag in your refrigerator and starting to liquefy anyway!).
Dump them into a toilet (but don’t use bleach!) and flush them away.
Normally, having rotten tomatoes every few months isn’t a big deal because the garden overproduces in the spring, summer, and fall, and there are always a few extras available.
At the very least, they aren’t going to waste completely.
Toilet Paper No-No’s
When we had our septic system pumped for the first time in more than two decades, we were assured that it was totally unnecessary because the system was operating well and looked fantastic. During our conversation, the gentleman shared numerous true horror stories of systems he’d witnessed at his place of employment where the families utilized “fluffy” toilet paper. That one where the cute little bears in the advertisements are pleased of themselves for not having any lint left behind? You know the one I’m talking about.
Image courtesy of Ian Haycoxis (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).
He especially inquired about the brand of tissue we use, which is Scott Tissue.
It degrades swiftly and does not “glop” into a clog-inducing mass on the lines. Alternatively, if you don’t happen to have any rotting tomatoes on hand, you may use baking or brewing yeast to bring healthy bacteria to your tank as an alternative.
How to Clean Septic Tank Naturally
Yeast and sugar are excellent natural septic tank cleaners, and here’s an easy method for using them.
Septic Tank Cleaner
2 cups granulated sugar 5 cups of hot water (optional) 3 tbsp. active dry yeast Sugar and yeast should be dissolved in water. Pour the mixture into a toilet (that does not contain bleach!) and flush it. This is best done at night so that the yeast may continue to work throughout the night; do not flush for at least 3 hours after completion.
1Avoid flushing raw or cooked meat down the toilet, down the garbage disposal, or any other form of introducing meat into your septic system; meat is NEVER a helpful bacterium. 2. Never add oils, grease, or fat in any form (solid or liquid) to your tank. This includes, but is not limited to, cooking oils, bacon grease, meat grease from draining ground beef/turkey, and other fat-containing foods. 3Avoid flushing anything other than garbage and toilet paper down the toilet; this means that feminine products should be disposed of in the trash, baby diapers and wipes should be disposed of in the trashcan, and so on.
Have you tried the rotten tomato technique yet?
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Septic tanks are used in the vast majority of on-lot sewage systems nowadays. The subject of how frequently a septic tank should be pumped has been a source of contention for several decades. For example, there are some homeowners who say they have never drained their septic tank and that it “appears” to be in fine working condition. While trying to establish a standard pumping strategy, authorities have taken a more conservative approach and have declared that all septic tanks should be pump out every two to three years.
How a Septic Tank Works
Box 1.Can you tell me how much solid trash you generate? The average adult consumes around one quart of food every day. The body removes just a very little percentage of this meal and utilizes it to provide energy for the body’s functions. The remaining portion is discharged into the waste water system. This translates into around 90 gallons of solid waste being discharged into the septic tank per adult each year. Based on the assumption that the anaerobic bacteria in the septic tank reduce the waste volume by around 60%, this indicates that each adult contributes approximately 60 gallons of solids to their septic tank each year.
- Consequently, it will take around 5 years for one adult to completely fill a 1,000-gallon septic tank with sludge and scum, which is approximately 300 gallons.
- It is simple to infer that a septic tank should be pumped every two to three years after accounting for adults who work outside the home for a third of the time and children who attend school after making these modifications to the study.
- Single chamber septic tanks were the most common type of septic tank until recently.
- Septic tanks are designed to aid the removal of particles that are heavier than water by encouraging these heavy particles to settle to the tank bottom, resulting in the formation of the sludge layer.
- It is also designed to keep particles that are lighter than water by encouraging these lighter particles to float to the surface and be maintained in the tank, resulting in a layer of scum on the surface of the tank.
In part, this is due to the fact that the temperature of the septic tank is equal to that of the soil surrounding it, and the anaerobic bacteria require higher temperatures in order to effectively decompose organic material in wastewater and thus reduce the biological oxygen demand (BOD) of the wastewater.
- Holding on to the heavy (settleable) and lighter (floatable) particles allows the septic tank to gently fill with solids from the bottom up as well as from the top down.
- Septic tanks with an exit filter will catch and decrease the flow of solids into the absorption area when the tank is properly designed and installed.
- As a result, it is critical that every septic tank be pumped on a regular basis to eliminate the organic particles that have been collected and partially digested.
- Small amounts of the particles kept in the tank degrade, but the vast majority of the solids stay and build up in the tank.
- Under no circumstances should you enter a septic tank.
- With continued usage of the on-lot wastewater disposal system, an accumulation of sludge and scum builds up in the septic tank.
- As the amount of sludge and scum in the tank fills up, wastewater is maintained in the tank for a shorter period of time, and the solids removal process becomes less efficient as a result.
It is necessary to pump the tank on a regular basis in order to avoid this. Asseptage is the term used to describe the substance injected. Cross-sectional view of a two-chamber septic tank (Figure 1).
|Number of bedrooms in the home||Estimated daily flow (gallons/day)||Minimum septic tank size (gallons)|
How Frequent should a Septic Tank be Pumped?
Pumping frequency is determined by a number of parameters, including:
- The capacity of the septic tank
- The amount of wastewater that is put to the septic tank each day (see Table 1)
- The amount of solids in a wastewater stream is measured. In this regard, it should be noted that there are various different types of particles that are regularly dumped into a septic system. This group of solids includes (1) biodegradable “organic” solids such as feces (see Box 1), (2) slowly biodegradable “organic” solids such as toilet paper and cellulosic compounds, which take a long time to biodegrade in the septic tank, and (3) non-biodegradable solids such as kitty litter, plastics, and other non-biodegradable materials, which do not biodegrade and quickly fill the septic tank It is possible to significantly reduce the quantity of slowly biodegradable organics and non-biodegradable trash that is introduced to your septic tank by reducing the amount of organic waste that is added to the tank.
Volume of wastewater that is supplied to the septic tank on a daily basis (see Table 1); Capacity of septic tank In the wastewater stream, there are large amounts of particles (solids content). In this regard, it should be mentioned that there are various different types of particles that are regularly dumped into septic tanks. These include (1) biodegradable “organic” solids such as feces (see Box 1), (2) slowly biodegradable “organic” solids such as toilet paper and cellulosic compounds, which take a long time to biodegrade in the septic tank, and (3) non-biodegradable solids such as kitty litter, plastics, and other non-biodegradable materials, which do not biodegrade and quickly fill the septic tank (see Box 3 It is possible to significantly reduce the quantity of slowly biodegradable organics and non-biodegradable trash that is introduced into your septic tank by reducing the amount of organic waste that is added to the tank.
Homes with expanding families, having children ranging in age from tiny children to adolescents, often consume more water and deposit more sediments into the septic tank than other types of households.
Another key issue when determining how frequently a septic tank should be pumped is the time of the pumping.
This is especially true for tanks that do not have exit filters, which are common in older tanks.
By the time sewage has backed up into the home, the soil absorption area has become clogged with a nearly impermeable biomat and has become inundated with wastewater due to the soil’s inability to absorb the wastewater produced on a daily basis due to the soil’s inability to absorb the wastewater produced.
The biomat will not be removed from the septic tank by pumping it.
Then the pump-access hole to the absorption area should be left open for a few days to allow the absorption area to drain.
It is recommended that the septic tank be pumped in conjunction with the absorption area pumping, in order to promote the establishment of aerated conditions in the absorption area.
Is It Time To Pump Your Septic Tank?
So, how does one go about determining how frequently a septic tank needs be cleaned? We are aware that residences who dispose of huge volumes of non-biodegradable and slowly biodegradable organic waste into their septic tank require more frequent pumping. It is also known that prior to the time at which the collected solids have accumulated to the point that they are being taken with the tank effluent to the absorption region, the septic tank should be pump out. When it comes to determining when (and how frequently) to pump your septic tank, there are two generally safe ways to use.
The alternative method is to open the access port to the first chamber (as shown in Figure 1) once a year and insert a long pole to the bottom of the tank and then pull it out of the tank.
If the sludge has accumulated to more than one-third of the tank’s total depth, it is time to have it drained out completely. The majority of households will benefit from having their tanks drained every two or three years instead.
The Pumping Process
Contractors who specialize in septic tank pumping and hauling may pump your septic tank. It is a good idea to be present to check that everything is completed correctly. For the material to be extracted from the tank, it is necessary to break up the scum layer, and the sludge layer must be combined with the liquid section of the tank. In most cases, this is accomplished by alternately pumping liquid out of the tank and re-injecting it into the bottom of the tank. Not the little intake or outlet inspection openings situated above each baffle, but the two huge central access ports (manholes) are required for pumping the septic tank.
- It is not suggested to use additives in septic tanks to minimize the volume of sludge or as a substitute for pumping in order to achieve these goals.
- When you have your septic tank pumped, you should consider taking an additional step to ensure that your septic system continues to perform correctly for a long time.
- This inspector can tell you whether or not your septic tank needs to be repaired, as well as whether or not other components of your sewage system require upkeep.
- Mark the position of the tank as well, so that it may be found simply in the future for pumping.
Schedule Septic Tank Pumping
Your septic tank may be pumped by septic tank pumping and hauling professionals. Attending to the task to ensure that it is completed correctly is a wise decision. This requires the scum layer to be broken up and combined with the liquid component of the tank in order to fully recover the material from the tank. As a general rule, this is accomplished by alternately pumping liquid from the tank and injecting it into the tank’s bottom. Not the little intake or outlet inspection openings placed above each baffle, but the two huge central access ports (manholes) must be used to pump the septic tank.
There are no recommendations for the use of additives in septic tanks to minimize the volume of sludge or to serve as a substitute for pumping.
Once your septic tank has been cleaned and pumped, you may want to consider taking an additional step to ensure that your septic system continues to perform correctly for a long period of time.
If your septic tank is in need of repair or if any other components of your septic system require upkeep, this inspector can notify you about it.
Install risers from the central access ports and inspection ports to the soil surface in order to make future cleaning and inspection easier. Mark the position of the tank as well, so that it may be found easily in the future for pumping purposes.
A septic tank is simply one component of a complete on-site wastewater treatment system. Its purpose is to remove solids from the effluent prior to it reaching the soil absorption region, to allow for the digestion of a part of those solids, and to store the remainder of the solids in a holding tank. It is not necessary to use biological or chemical additions to enhance or speed the breakdown process. Grinders contribute to the solids load on the system by reducing the size of garbage. Solids must be removed on a regular basis in order to prevent them from accessing the soil absorption zone.
For additional assistance contact
Your local Sewage Enforcement Officer or Extension Educator can help you with these issues. A contact for the Pennsylvania Association of Sewage Enforcement Officers (PASEO) is as follows:4902 Carlisle Pike,268Mechanicsburg, PA 17050 Phone: 717-761-8648 Email: [email protected] Philadelphia, PA 18016 717-763-7762 [email protected] Pennsylvania Septage Management Association (PSMA)P.O. Box 144 Bethlehem, PA 18016 717-763-7762
The role of enzymes and bacteria in a septic tank
Please contact your local Sewage Enforcement Officer or Extension Educator for further information. A contact for the Pennsylvania Association of Sewage Enforcement Officers (PASEO) is as follows:4902 Carlisle Pike,268Mechanicsburg, PA 17050 phone: 717-761-8648 email: [email protected] P.O. Box 144 Bethlehem, PA 18016 717-763-7762 E-mail:[email protected] Pennsylvania Septage Management Association (PSMA)
What are enzymes?
Bacterial enzymes are a class of proteins that are released into the environment. Enzymes are quite selective in terms of the types of organic materials that they degrade. Enzymes, in contrast to bacteria, are not living organisms. They are incapable of growing or reproducing. Enzymes are often produced by bacteria and serve as catalysts for anaerobic digestion, which occurs in the absence of oxygen. Enzymes may be thought of as blades that cut through complicated molecules and break them down into smaller fragments that are more digestible for bacteria to consume.
Types of enzymes found in septic systems
Following are some of the most essential enzymes in sewage treatment systems. Protease is a digestive enzyme that breaks down protein-based waste such as blood and feces. Lipase is a digestive enzyme that breaks down fats, greases, and oils. Amylase is a digestive enzyme that breaks down carbohydrates such as porridge, rice, pasta, and so on. Cellulase is a digestive enzyme that breaks down cellulose, such as that found in paper-based goods. Urease is a digestive enzyme that breaks down urea.
The majority of these enzymes are generated by bacteria in their natural environment.
Organic matter and enzymes such as amylase, protease, cellulases, and lipases are introduced into the septic tank by Bio-maintenance Sol’s products in order to break down the organic waste and aid in the digestion process in the tank.
What are bacteria?
When it comes to bacteria, they are the most prevalent and significant germs in a septic system. Fungi, protozoa, rotifers, and nematodes are some of the other microorganisms that exist. Despite the fact that bacteria are microbes, which means that they are exceedingly little, they are still living entities, and as such, they require some type of nutrition to survive. They get their nutrition from organic stuff. Approximately 1/25,000 of an inch in length is the length of a bacterium. They may grow in large numbers in a little amount of area due to their minuscule sizes.
- Bacteria that require oxygen are referred to as aerobic bacteria, whilst bacteria that do not require oxygen are referred to as anaerobic bacteria.
- This explains why several common home goods are not very beneficial to the septic tank’s performance.
- When the conditions are good, bacteria can multiply every 15-20 minutes if the right conditions are there.
- This frequently results in the reduction of the bacteria population, which is a phenomena that has been linked to the failure of numerous septic systems in the past.
Types of bacteria found in the septic tank
When it comes to septic systems, there are four basic kinds of bacteria to consider. There are anaerobic, aerobic, facultative, and bacterium spores among these types of bacteria. Let’s take a closer look at each of these in turn.
As the name implies, anaerobic bacteria flourish in conditions with little or no oxygen, which is why they can be found in typical septic systems. They generate energy by using chemicals like as nitrates and sulfates, which helps to slow their metabolic rate down. Despite the fact that they are smaller than aerobic bacteria, they are highly selective, and because of their lower metabolism, it is more difficult for them to create enzymes. These animals have exceptional resistance to environmental stress and can thus live even when their environment changes dramatically.
The advantage of adopting anaerobic bacteria is that you will not be required to have any electromechanical equipment in your system.
Facultative bacteria are capable of flourishing in both the presence and absence of air. When there is enough oxygen available, they can survive by aerobic respiration. When there is no oxygen available, these bacteria convert to fermentation.
As a result, facultative bacteria may be described as having the potential to change into either aerobic or anaerobic conditions depending on the conditions in the environment they are exposed to. In most cases, this transition takes a few of hours to complete.
Facultative bacteria are capable of thriving in both the presence and absence of air. The aerobic respiration they use to stay alive occurs when there is enough oxygen available.’ The fermentation process begins when there is no oxygen present. As a result, facultative bacteria can be described as having the capacity to switch between aerobic and anaerobic metabolism depending on the circumstances in the environment. In most cases, this transition will take a few of hours to complete.
Bacteria endospores are a dormant structure that is created by stressed bacteria cells and is used as a protective barrier. They create a protective shell around the cell, which shields it from the impacts of the environment. Endospores can, as a result, endure circumstances that would readily kill any other bacteria, such as high temperatures. These materials can survive extreme pressure, ultraviolet radiation, chemical degradation and other conditions. However, despite the fact that this makes it easier for them to live in the septic tank, they are not particularly effective when it comes to the digestion of organic waste.
- A pathogen is a microbe that is responsible for the transmission of illness.
- The bacteria in the septic tank are responsible for the breakdown of organic waste in the septic system.
- An inadequately functioning system may not be able to effectively remove harmful microorganisms, resulting in groundwater pollution.
- Diseases transmitted by drinking water are caused by harmful bacteria, which are found in abundance.
- Shock therapy should be used promptly if you have a clogged drain field in order to restore it to its normal operating state.
The sludge layer
Heavy materials in wastewater from your home sink to the bottom of your tank, forming a layer known as sludge. When wastewater from your home enters your septic system, it forms a layer known as the sludge layer. Anaerobic bacteria aid in the partial breakdown of the sludge by oxidizing the organic matter. Sludge layers are often composed of mixed biodegradable and nonbiodegradable substances, making it impossible for the bacteria to completely decompose the layer. As a result, septic tanks must be drained on a regular basis, according to the requirements of your provincial legislation.
Applying probiotics to septic systems
At some point, every septic system will fail. Not if, but when will this happen is the real question. The harmful compounds utilized in houses, which ultimately make their way into septic tanks, might be held responsible for this impending breakdown of the system. Despite the fact that there are billions of naturally existing bacteria in the septic tank, these bacteria require a pH level of about 7. The harmful compounds that come from residences interact with the pH levels of the septic tank, resulting in the death of a large number of bacteria in the tank.
It is a direct result of this because organic waste is not digested at the rate that it should be. It has been suggested that using probiotics to septic systems may be one method of addressing this issue.
Even though there are thousands of different septic tank additives available on the market today, they are not all created equal. Some of them, in fact, will cause more harm than benefit to the septic tank’s environment. Some investigations have revealed that chemical additions can really cause the collapse of a septic system as well as the pollution of groundwater. For this reason, only biological additions such as those provided by Bio-Sol should be used in your recipes. They are created from bacteria and enzymes that have been meticulously chosen, and they inject billions of bacteria into the sewage treatment system as a result of their use.
It is a good idea to add biological additives to your septic tank on a regular basis to ensure that it is operating as effectively as possible.
How to Break Down Poop in a Septic Tank
A septic tank is a tank that breaks down waste. Image courtesy of shayneppl/iStock/Getty Images. Homes that are located apart from municipal plumbing systems rely on their own septic systems to handle waste. It is necessary to do regular maintenance on septic systems in order for them to function at their peak performance levels. Maintaining your septic tank will guarantee that it breaks down feces as effectively and as hygienically as it possibly can.
Using Treatments for Septic Tanks
There are a variety of store-bought septic tank treatments available that can aid in the breakdown of the contents of your tank and, as a result, reduce the accumulation of debris over time. Every month, one of your toilets will need to be flushed with one of these formulas. With a solution like RID-X, you can help avoid the accumulation of sludge that can cause your septic tank to clog by treating it on a consistent basis. Keeping your septic tank clear of obstructions will assist to guarantee that it is more effective and hygienically safer, as well as more efficient.
- In addition to breaking down toilet paper and certain food stuff, lipase also breaks down lipids, protease breaks down proteins, and amylase breaks down starches and starch-based carbohydrates.
- It is possible to use these solutions to prevent septic tank blockages from occurring in the first place, as well as to maintain a balanced bacterial environment in your septic tank.
- Considering that septic tanks require frequent treatment, the financial commitment required to utilize a store-bought solution might be substantial.
- According to the Farmer’s Almanac, for example, baker’s yeast can aid in the breakdown of septic waste solids by promoting the breakdown of lactic acid bacteria.
- Repeat this method with 1/4 cup of instant yeast at least once every four months after that, which can assist you in maintaining a healthy bacterial level in your septic tank.
- Because of this, you do not want to dilute your septic tank while the treatment is in progress.
- There are a number of other recommendations that you may follow to ensure that your septic tank operates as efficiently as possible.
- Wipes, hygiene goods, and food for garbage disposals should all be handled with extra caution since they all have the potential to block a septic tank.
- Septic tanks depend on their bacterial balance to break down solid wastes, which includes feces, and any disruption of this equilibrium might result in problems.
Finally, it’s critical to have your septic tank examined and pumped out by a professional service provider every three to five years to ensure that it’s operating properly.
How Your Septic System Works
Underground wastewater treatment facilities, known as septic systems, are often employed in rural regions where there are no centralized sewage lines. They clean wastewater from residential plumbing, such as that produced by bathrooms, kitchen drains, and laundry, by combining natural processes with well-established technology. A conventional septic system is comprised of two components: a septic tank and a drainfield, often known as a soil absorption field. It is the septic tank’s job to decompose organic matter and to remove floatable stuff (such as oils and grease) and solids from wastewater.
Alternate treatment systems rely on pumps or gravity to assist septic tank effluent in trickling through a variety of media such as sand, organic matter (e.g., peat and sawdust), constructed wetlands, or other media to remove or neutralize pollutants such as pathogens that cause disease, nitrogen, phosphorus, and other contaminants.
Specifically, this is how a typical conventional septic system works:
- All of the water that leaves your home drains down a single main drainage pipe and into a septic tank. An underground, water-tight container, often composed of concrete, fiberglass, or polyethylene, serves as a septic system’s holding tank. Its function is to retain wastewater for a long enough period of time to allow particles to sink to the bottom and form sludge, while oil and grease float to the surface and produce scum. Sludge and scum are prevented from exiting the tank and moving into the drainfield region by compartments and a T-shaped outlet. After that, the liquid wastewater (effluent) exits the tank and flows into the drainfield. The drainfield is a shallow, covered hole dug in unsaturated soil that serves as a drainage system. Porous surfaces are used to release pretreated wastewater because they allow the wastewater to pass through the soil and into the groundwater. In the process of percolating through the soil, wastewater is accepted, treated, and dispersed by the soil, finally discharging into groundwater. Finally, if the drainfield becomes overburdened with too much liquid, it can flood, causing sewage to flow to the ground surface or resulting in toilet backups and sink backups. Finally, wastewater percolates into the soil, where it is naturally removed of harmful coliform bacteria, viruses, and nutrients. Coliform bacteria are a kind of bacteria that may be found in the intestines of humans and other warm-blooded animals, with humans being the most common host. As a result of human fecal contamination, it is a sign of this.
A septic tank is where all of the water drains from your home through a single main drainage line. An underground, watertight container, often built of concrete, fiberglass, or polyethylene, serves as a septic system’s holding tank. Its role is to retain wastewater for a long enough period of time to allow particles to settle to the bottom and form sludge, while oil and grease float to the surface and produce scum. It is also known as a settling tank. T-shaped outlets and compartments prevent sludge and scum from exiting the tank and migrating into the drainfield region.
- An excavation built in unsaturated soil, the drainfield is shallow and covered.
- As wastewater percolates through the soil and eventually discharges into groundwater, the soil takes, processes, and disperses it.
- Finally, wastewater percolates into the soil, where it is naturally removed of harmful coliform bacteria, viruses, and nutrients.
- As a result of human fecal contamination, it is a sign of contamination.
Do you have a septic system?
It’s possible that you’re already aware that you have a septic system. If you are not sure, here are some tell-tale symptoms that you most likely are:
- You make use of well water. In your home, the water pipe that brings water into the house does not have a meter. In the case of a water bill or a property tax bill, you will see “$0.00 Sewer Amount Charged.” It is possible that your neighbors have a septic system
How to find your septic system
You can locate your septic system once you have confirmed that you have one by following these steps:
- Taking a look at the “as constructed” drawing of your house
- Making a visual inspection of your yard for lids and manhole covers
- Getting in touch with a septic system service provider for assistance in locating it
Failure symptoms: Mind the signs!
A bad odor is not necessarily the first indicator of a septic system that is failing to work properly. Any of the following signs should prompt you to seek expert assistance:
- Water backing up into the drains of homes and businesses
- It is especially noticeable in dry weather that the drainfield grass is bright green and spongy. The presence of standing water or muddy soil near your septic system or in your basement
- A strong stench emanating from the area surrounding the septic tank and drainfield
Household Products That Will Ruin Your Septic Tank!
Many people who have septic tanks are unaware of what they may and cannot flush down their toilets or down their sinks. It may come as a surprise to find just how delicate septic tanks are, and how many common household goods can cause harm to and/or block your septic tank if you don’t know what you’re doing. By keeping these things out from your drains, you can maintain your septic tank in good shape and avoid costly septic repairs down the road. Chemical Cleaners are a type of cleaning agent that uses chemicals to remove dirt and grime.
- You may disturb the bacteria cycle in your septic tank by pouring anti-bacterial cleansers like bleach down your drains and down your toilets.
- Additives Several septic tank additives make the promise that they will enhance the amount of bacteria in your septic system.
- The Environmental Protection Agency and the American Ground Water Trust, on the other hand, warn that chemical additions may cause more harm than good to your tank.
- Using Bath Oils Oil floats to the top of your septic tank, where it congeals and hardens to produce a layer of scum on the surface.
- It has the ability to withstand bacterial activity and embed in the solid waste layer.
- Grease from the kitchen Grease of any kind contributes to the buildup of scum in your septic tank.
- Unless otherwise instructed, you should avoid dumping oil down your sinks.
In addition, dryer papers might jam the entrance baffle.
Over time, the clay will clog your pipes and cause your septic tank to fail completely.
Products Made of Latex The majority of latex-based products are not biodegradable.
If the outlet tee is missing, the latex may clog the drain field on its way out of your septic tank, causing it to back up and choke the tank.
Paints and oils are two types of media.
In order to maintain your soil and groundwater free of diseases, you must have this bacterium on hand.
Prescription medications and chemotherapy medications Even after passing through a patient’s digestive system, powerful medications may still retain active ingredients that are harmful to them.
If possible, avoid allowing drug-contaminated faeces to enter your home’s septic tank.
Some prescription medications have the potential to be harmful to the environment.
Chemicals for Automatic Toilet Cleaning Systems Automatic toilet cleaners release an excessive amount of anti-bacterial chemicals into your septic tank, causing it to overflow.
Instead, choose toilet cleansers that are suitable for septic systems.
Even minute amounts of string, on the other hand, can clog and ruin pump impellers.
In a period of time, it will encircle a pump and cause harm to your septic tank’s mechanical components.
Your tank is only capable of holding a specific amount of domestic water; it cannot accommodate big volumes of water from a pool or roof drain.
Don’t use your sinks or toilets as garbage cans; this is against the law.
Put your trash in the garbage to prevent having to pay extra in pump-out fees.
Young children, on the other hand, may be unable to comprehend how toilets function.
Rather than degrading, the clothing are likely to block your septic tank.
Butts for Cigarettes Cigarette filters have the potential to choke the tank.
For a comprehensive list of potentially dangerous goods, consult your septic tank owner’s handbook or consult with a specialist.
If possible, avoid flushing non-biodegradable goods down the toilet or down the drain. You will save money on costly repairs and you will extend the life of your tank by taking these precautions.
Understanding Your Septic Tank’s Bacteria and Enzymes
Your septic tank is home to an entire ecosystem of living creatures that assist it in performing its essential functions. As living things, the bacteria in your tank may require a little assistance from time to time in order to carry out their functions. If you understand how things should occur in your septic tank, you will be more equipped to recognize when the bacteria in your tank are causing problems. What Bacteria and Enzymes Do to Assist in the Function of Your Septic Tank The presence of large colonies of bacteria and enzymes in your septic tank prevents the tank from backing up or becoming overfilled.
- Under optimal conditions, the bacteria and enzymes in your tank will seldom require assistance in carrying out their functions.
- In addition to eating the garbage, microorganisms are responsible for converting vast amounts of it into liquids and gases.
- The Things That You Can Do to Affect the Septic Tank’s pH Balance These live colonies are responsible for keeping your septic tank in balance, but they are also vulnerable to a variety of factors that might weaken them or reduce their efficacy.
- People, on the other hand, have the ability to quickly disturb that equilibrium in a variety of ways.
- Solid waste can only be consumed by the bacteria in your tank at a certain rate.
- Instead than memorizing all of the items that should not be flushed down the toilet, focus on learning what is safe for your plumbing and septic system.
- Anything else should be avoided.
The number and types of sediments that you drain or flush should be limited, to name a few considerations.
Putting things down the drain that will destroy bacteria is not a good idea.
If the bacteria in the tank die, there will be nothing left in the tank to break down waste.
It is common for germs to be destroyed when poisonous goods or powerful cleansers are used and allowed to enter your drains.
You can use your cleaning supplies, but you should use caution when doing so.
Medicines can potentially have negative interactions with the bacteria and enzymes in your tank, causing them to die.
What Contributes to the Health of Your Septic Tank Bacteria Even if you pay attention to what you do, the bacteria in your septic tank may require assistance from time to time.
A correctly provided additive can assist to strengthen microorganisms, aid in the removal of difficult substances, and promote the proliferation of these organisms.
Contacting a professional provider is the most effective approach to deal with any septic tank problem you may be encountering.
Septic tank inspection, cleaning, diagnosis, and repair are all things that Walters Environmental Services can do for you. If you have any problems or questions about your septic tank, please call us right away.
Maintain Your Septic System Naturally
On December 5, 2020, the information was updated. However, while this isn’t an enjoyable topic for polite discussion, having your septic system back up into your home is far from pleasant. There are actions that you can do to not only avoid septic issues in the future, but also to guarantee that the process of breaking down flushed waste proceeds as it should.
A Well-Functioning Septic System
The title of this article may be “The Care and Maintenance of the Gut in Your Yard,” which would be more descriptive. Understanding the necessity and advantages of eating dietary fiber, alkaline-forming foods, and taking probiotics for your own gut health will help you recognize the similarities between keeping a healthy septic system and maintaining a healthy digestive system. There are some items that you should avoid putting into any septic system, just as there are certain substances that are favorable to putting into our own digestive systems.
If you wait until there is a problem, you have waited too long and should contact a septic cleaning firm to pump your tank immediately.
Septic System Care and Maintenance Tips:
- A family of four living in a house with a 1,000-gallon tank should have their septic system cleaned every four years, according to the EPA. Inquire with your local septic cleaning firm about how frequently you should contact them
- Avoid using bleach-containing solutions to clean your toilets since it kills the bacteria that are necessary for the breakdown of waste particles in your septic system. Try this all-natural toilet cleanser
- It works great.
- When you add yeast to your septic system, it helps to aggressively break down waste particles, which is beneficial. Using the first time, flush a 12-cup package of dried baking yeast down the toilet. After the initial addition, add 14 cup of instant yeast every 4 months for the next 4 months. For those who are planning to install or have their existing septic system pumped, it’s a good idea to know precisely where it is in your yard so that you don’t have to dig up a lot of your lawn when the system is pumped in the future. With a tape measure, measure the precise distance between the septic tank lid and the home, and then snap a photo of the exact distance with your mobile phone to prove you were accurate. Maintain a copy of the snapshot in a home maintenance file on your computer for future reference.
Deborah Tukua is a natural living and healthy lifestyle writer who has written seven non-fiction books, including Naturally Sweet Blender Treats. She lives in Hawaii with her family. Since 2004, she has contributed to the Farmers’ Almanac as a writer.
Septic systems provide a safe means to dispose of waste for homeowners who live in locations without access to a municipal sewage system. If you have a septic system, you are surely aware that there are a variety of items that should not be flushed down the toilet. All of the following items: cat litter, dental floss, and antibacterial cleaning products can all cause harm to your septic system with continued use. The majority of homeowners believe that paper goods are safe to dispose of in a septic system when it comes to paper products.
- You may avoid the dangers of paper products in your septic system by not flushing typical clog-causing materials down your toilet or sink drains.
- Toilet paper is classified as a solid in your septic tank, and it is disposed of accordingly.
- Despite the fact that the beneficial bacteria in your septic tank can assist to minimize sludge over time, you should still have your tank pumped on a regular basis to avoid the sludge layer from growing too thick and blocking your drains.
- Using this method, you can simply lengthen the amount of time between pump-outs while also preventing huge bits of toilet paper from being lodged in your septic system.
- Instead, look for toilet paper that has been labeled as “septic-safe” or “recycled.” Toilet paper that is septic-safe has been thoroughly tested and proved to degrade swiftly.
- Additionally, recycled toilet paper has short strands that break apart quickly, reducing the likelihood of clogging.
- Many people consider facial tissues to be of the same caliber as toilet paper, and they are correct.
The unfortunate reality is that flushing face tissue into your septic system may put your system at danger.
In truth, facial tissue is engineered to be tough enough to withstand the moisture and pressure that is generated when you blow your nose without splitting or breaking apart.
The trapped tissue can capture other materials that are traveling through your drain pipes, resulting in a clog that totally limits the passage of waste and wastewater that is moving through your septic system and into the environment.
When a large amount of facial tissue is flushed down your drains, you may discover that solid waste is being pushed into your drainfield or that the baffles in your septic tank are not operating correctly.
It is critical that you use caution while flushing any form of paper product down your toilet or down your sink drain.
Contact Upstate Septic Tank, LLC if you suspect that you have flushed potentially hazardous papers into your septic system. We can assist you in removing the paper issues and restoring the performance and efficiency of your septic system.
The Myth of Rid-X and Why You Should Never Use it in Your Septic System
More than 21 million households in the United States rely on septic systems to collect and treat the wastewater generated by their homes and businesses. Septic systems, which are touted as an environmentally beneficial alternative to the chemically-laden waste treatment facilities that many communities rely on, work to naturally filter wastewater. Moreover, while a well working system requires little more than periodic cleanings every 2-4 years, some homeowners seek to improve the efficiency of their septic systems by adding additives, such as Rid-X, to give the bacteria in their tanks a little boost, which is not recommended.
Those costly additions not only interfere with the treatment process of your system, but they also put your entire septic system at danger of catastrophic collapse.
Septic Systems 101
It is necessary to first have a broad understanding of how septic systems operate before we can discuss the reasons why chemicals such as Rid-X are harmful to your septic system. Solids sink to the bottom of a well working septic tank, while liquids rise to the top. Wastewater then exits via the outlet baffle and filters into the drain field, where it is cleansed and reabsorbed into the groundwater. The bacteria contained in human waste work to degrade the particles in your septic tank, causing them to settle and form a layer of sludge on the bottom of the tank.
The bacteria in your septic system are excellent at breaking down particles and slowing the building of sludge, as long as the system is kept in a properly balanced environmental state.
How additives, like Rid-x, interfere with your septic system’s eco-system
It is possible to have too much of a good thing. There are several suggestions and products available to homeowners who want to improve the bacteria in their septic systems, ranging from commercial additions such as Rid-X to more bizarre suggestions such as yeast packets and raw liver! However, in a well operating bacterial environment, these additions have no beneficial impact and can potentially do enough harm to your septic system to cause it to fail completely and permanently. In that case, what exactly is the problem with chemicals like Rid-X?
Due to the fact that Rid-X includes a much stronger type of enzymes than the natural bacteria present in a good septic system, particles are broken down considerably more thoroughly than they would be in the absence of Rid-X.
However, this is not the case.
Soon after, the drain field will become blocked and will need to be replaced, which will cost more money.
And since the average cost to rebuild a septic system is $13,000, with costs ranging up to $25,000 in some cases, you might want to think carefully before throwing possibly system-killing chemicals into your septic tank.
Better methods for maintaining bacteria in your septic system
The most important thing you can do to ensure that your septic system is operating at peak performance is to keep a careful check on what you are pouring down the toilet. It is never acceptable to utilize your toilet or sink as a trash can!
- Avoid introducing harsh chemicals into your system, such as bleach, paint thinners, insecticides, gasoline, antifreeze, and the like, because they can damage the bacteria that is responsible for keeping your system running correctly. If your house has a septic system, you should avoid using garbage disposals because they flood the system with organic materials that are too difficult for the microorganisms in the septic tank to break down. Inorganic items such as feminine hygiene products, kitty litter, cigarette butts, and paper towels should never be flushed down the toilet. They fill your septic tank with substances that are not biodegradable
- Keep track of how much water you’re putting into your system and preserve it wherever you can to keep costs down. When possible, combine loads of laundry and only run your dishwasher when it is completely full. The use of grey water (water from the washing machine, dishwasher, baths and showers) to flood your septic system and drain field to the point of exhaustion will interfere with the bacterial composition of your septic tank and drain field.