How Do You Reactivate A Septic Tank Thats Been Inactive For Years? (TOP 5 Tips)

What happens if a septic tank is not empty?

  • If the septic tank is not empty inspect the sewage and effluent levels. A septic tank that was in active use but has been unused for a year or even longer should still be nearly full to the point just below its outlet pipe. A septic tank that has been un-used for many years may have lower sewage and effluent level.

Do septic tanks go bad if not used?

Nothing happens to a septic system if it’s unused. A septic system that sits unused is safe. It isn’t subjected to wear and tear through use. If the tank had prior use, then it may contain solid waste inside of it.

Can you reuse an old septic tank?

In addition to the standard abandonment process of pumping your septic tank and having it rendered useless by filling it with gravel or cement and crushing the tank lids, you have the opportunity to reuse your tank as a cistern.

How long can a septic tank go without being pumped?

You can wait up to 10 years to drain your tank provided that you live alone and do not use the septic system often. You may feel like you can pump your septic tank waste less frequently to save money, but it’ll be difficult for you to know if the tank is working properly.

What if my septic tank has never been pumped?

What Are the Consequences of Not Pumping Your Tank? If the tank is not pumped, the solids will build up in the tank and the holding capacity of the tank will be diminished. Eventually, the solids will reach the pipe that feeds into the drain field, causing a clog. Waste water backing up into the house.

Do old septic tanks need to be registered?

Many homes are not connected to mains drainage, instead having sewage treatment systems or septic tanks or occasionally cesspools. If your sewage treatment system or septic tank discharges to a river or stream it must be registered immediately.

How do you check an old septic tank?

While the septic tank is open, look for evidence of places where ground water might be leaking into the tank (DO NOT ENTER THE SEPTIC TANK) – and check the condition of the septic tank inlet and outlet baffles to be sure they are in place. If the septic tank is not empty inspect the sewage and effluent levels.

Can you leave an old septic tank in the ground?

Tanks can be completely removed or they can be destroyed and buried in place. The decision depends on if you plan to use the land for something else, such as a home addition or pool, and need the remains of the tank out of the way.

Can you sell a house with an old septic tank?

If you’re selling a property with a septic tank, then you must be transparent with buyers about the fact the property uses a one and provide a detailed specification of the system. In fact, You are required by law to inform a buyer in writing about the presence of a septic tank.

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?

Can you get your septic pumped in the winter?

Winter is really the only season we don’t recommend pumping septic systems. Unfortunately, frozen ground, heavy snow, and slippery ice can make it extremely difficult for even our skilled technicians to properly dig up and securely cover the septic tank.

Is it possible to never have to pump a septic tank?

A septic tank without a septic field would need to be pumped out often. If not pumped out then raw sewage would bubble up out of the tank and contaminate the yard. If you don’t put anything in it that you shouldn’t, the bacteria in the tank can reduce the waste for a very long time.

What causes a septic tank to back up?

Hydraulic overloading occurs when too much water rushes into the septic system at once, causing wastewater to back up into your drains. Space out high-volume activities like laundry, showering and running the dishwasher. Also, remember that unusually wet weather can contribute to hydraulic overloading.

Should I pump my septic tank every year?

Inspect and Pump Frequently Household septic tanks are typically pumped every three to five years. Alternative systems with electrical float switches, pumps, or mechanical components should be inspected more often, generally once a year.

What happens when your septic tank backs up?

Dangers of a Backed Up Septic Tank A backed-up septic tank can cause bigger problems than just pooled water in your shower. Septic backup carries disease and is a real health hazard to you and your family. Drug byproducts, human waste, fungus, viruses, and bacteria all live in sewage.

The risks of septic systems range from illnesses to unintentional accidents, and the injuries themselves can range from minor to potentially lethal in their consequences. A septic tank can provide a number of distinct hazards, which are listed below. If the ground gives way or collapses, it is referred to as “caving in.” Septic tanks that are too old or broken to function properly might cave in and fail. It is natural for septic tank walls and covers to degrade with time, eventually becoming unable to withstand the exterior pressure placed on the tank.

The consequences of falling into an unsanitary sewer system are serious: you might break limbs and suffer lacerations, as well as become ill from exposure to harmful microorganisms.

Explosion As a result of the treatment process, septic tanks emit a variety of gases.

If you expose an open flame to the septic tank gases, you might easily get burn injuries or possibly cause your home to burn down.

  1. Asphyxiation If your body does not receive enough oxygen, you will experience asphyxiation.
  2. The presence of oxygen in the space around or inside a septic tank is restricted due to the large amount of gases produced by septic treatment procedures A prolonged period of exposure to the tank may result in you inhaling potentially hazardous gases instead of oxygen.
  3. Infection Unsafe bacteria are found in abundance in a regular septic tank.
  4. By way of example, wounds on the hands or legs may allow bacteria to enter the bloodstream.
  5. In the event that you dig without first validating the position of electrical utility lines, you may come into contact with some of the wires and be subjected to electrical shock as a result.
  6. If you want to avoid septic tank injuries at any moment, adopt these steps.
  7. Understand the location of your septic tank in order to limit the danger of an accident.

Identifying the location and marking it will allow you to avoid engaging in any unwanted activity around the tank.

Avoid the use of open flames, such as cigarette lighters, in the vicinity of the sewage treatment system.

Refrain from Performing Your Own Work Septic system maintenance and servicing should be left to experienced professionals whenever possible, especially during the winter months.

Work with Groups Instead of Alone Whenever possible, avoid working alone in or near septic tanks.

Hopefully, you will not get any injuries as a result of your septic tank-related efforts.

Al’s Septic Tank Service is the company to call for all of your septic tank maintenance and repair requirements. Please do not hesitate to call us if you have any septic concerns. We have the necessary instruments and experience to properly resolve your problem.


Septic system hazards range from illnesses to unintentional accidents, and the injuries themselves can range from minor to potentially lethal. A septic tank can provide a number of distinct risks, which are listed below. Cave-in or Collapse: Which Is Worse? Septic tanks that are old or broken may cave in and collapse. Septic tank walls and covers degrade with time and become unable to withstand the external pressure exerted on the tank. Tank covers and walls may also get weakened if heavy machinery is used in the vicinity of the tank on a regular basis.

  • It’s also tough to get out of a septic tank on your own.
  • Some of these gases, such as methane, have the potential to cause significant explosions.
  • For example, if you attempt to fix a broken septic tank with a cigarette lighter, you may produce an explosion.
  • If you don’t obtain care right once, the situation might progress to the point of unconsciousness or death.
  • If you spend an excessive amount of time at the tank, you may wind yourself breathing in these potentially harmful gases instead of oxygen.
  • Infection A typical septic tank is teeming with pathogenic germs.
  • For example, wounds on your hands or legs may allow bacteria to enter your bloodstream.

If you dig without first checking the position of electrical utility lines, you run the risk of striking some of the wires and receiving an electrical shock.

Take the steps listed below at any time to avoid septic tank injury.

You may either question the former owner of the land, search for signs that past owners may have left, or hire the services of a septic system professional to assist you in locating the tank.

Stay away from open flames.

If you need to examine your septic tank at night, bring flashlights.

Ideally, you should delegate septic system maintenance and repair to experienced specialists.

Try to stay away from alone work.

In the event that something goes wrong, hire an assistant who can assist you or contact for emergency assistance.

Al’s Septic Tank Service is the company to call for all of your septic tank maintenance and repair needs. Please don’t hesitate to call us if you have any septic difficulties since we have the necessary instruments and expertise to safely resolve them.

How Long Can A Septic System Sit Unused? (What To Know)

The inspection of the septic system is an important aspect of the process of purchasing a new property. If an item has been sitting unused for a long period of time, you may have concerns about its integrity and usefulness. Repairing a septic system is a costly endeavor. After purchasing your property, you may find that you do not have the financial resources to do so. Find out how long a septic system may be left unattended in the following section of the guide!

How Long Can A Septic System Sit Unused? (What To Know)

When properly maintained, septic systems can endure 15–40 years. Unused septic systems may endure much longer than those that have been utilized regularly. When it comes to how long a septic system may be left inactive, there are a few variables to consider. To assist you in determining how long a septic system may be left unattended, we’ll go through four of these criteria in further detail.

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1. Septic Tank Materials

Septic tanks are available in a variety of different materials. Steel is one of these materials. Steel, on the other hand, has the disadvantage of corroding over time. It doesn’t matter whether the septic system has been inactive for several years; the steel is still susceptible to groundwater contamination. It may rust and disintegrate as a result of the prolonged exposure. However, it may last for a longer period of time than a septic tank that is currently in use. In the event that a septic system is in operation, the components are constantly wearing down over time.

  1. This is not a concern if the septic tank is not being utilized.
  2. The other type of material is a composite made of concrete and fiberglass, which is used in construction.
  3. It helps to avoid corrosion-related issues.
  4. A concrete septic system that has not been utilized in several decades can endure for several decades.
  5. It is the pieces that will wear down first, and not the concrete tank itself.

2. Vehicle Traffic In The Piping Area

Another element that affects the longevity of an underused septic tank is the amount of vehicle traffic that passes through it. Your septic system disposes of liquid waste into the soil by means of pipes that run beneath the ground. These pipes are extremely fragile. While strolling on the ground does not pose a threat, the usage of automobiles and heavy machinery can be problematic. In the event that someone has ever driven their vehicle or equipment over the pipes, there is a potential that the pipes have been damaged.

  • Consequently, no one will be driving their car or equipment over the pipes as a result.
  • This necessitates the use of a vehicle as well as pipes.
  • However, if the place is difficult to reach, they may be forced to drive closer to the pipes in order to empty the tank completely.
  • A clogged septic tank is also a sign that someone is currently residing in the house.

They may require equipment on-site to complete a variety of jobs. Any of those vehicles has the potential to damage the pipes. Because there are less hazards to the plumbing of an underutilized septic system, it can endure for a longer period of time.

3. Root Clogs And Damage

Tree roots are another potential hazard to the longevity of a septic system. The root systems of trees grow in size as they mature. Some of your backyard’s roots might be several meters in length, indicating that the area has been overgrown. One of those roots has the ability to penetrate a pipe. It has the potential to choke the pipe or perhaps cause it to burst completely. The difficulty with an unattended septic system is that no one is there to keep a check on the trees and root systems that may be growing in the area.

It is dependent on the distance between the closest root system and the location of the closest root system.

4. Flooding Groundwater

The groundwater table is one last aspect that might have an impact on the longevity of a septic system. A septic system is buried far beneath the surface of the land. Groundwater plays just a minor factor in this area’s ecology. If, on the other hand, the house is located in a region where groundwater frequently floods, this might result in damage to the septic system. When groundwater floods the cavity of the tank, the tank rises as a result of the water pressure. When the tank rises, the pressure on the pipes causes them to burst.

If you live in a location where groundwater frequently floods, an underused septic system will not last long.

Someone will be responsible for the upkeep of any septic systems that are in operation.

How Long Do Steel Septic Tanks Last?

Steel septic tanks have a lifespan of 15–20 years if they are properly maintained. If they’re not utilized, they can endure for 10–30 years. The corrosion of steel septic tanks is the most serious issue they face. Every time the tank comes into touch with water, it stands a possibility of rusting. The rusting out of the bottom of a steel septic system is one of the most prevalent causes of failure. The dense sludge weighs down on the bottom of the tank and causes it to crack open. Corrosion damages the tank’s bottom, allowing the solid waste to do more damage to the tank.

Even the top of the tank can rust and constitute a hazard if not properly maintained.

Additionally, the components are not moving.

How Long Does A Concrete Septic System Last?

If properly maintained, a concrete septic system can last 10–40 years. A concrete septic system that hasn’t been utilized in a long time can endure nearly indefinitely. When it comes to water, concrete septic systems do not provide the same issues that steel systems do.

The only thing that may cause a concrete septic system to fail is excessive pressure applied to the pipes, root systems, and worn out components. This means that a concrete septic system that has been left unused might last indefinitely.

What Happens to A Septic System If It’s Unused?

When a septic system is not in use, nothing occurs to it. A septic system that is left unattended is completely safe. It is not susceptible to wear and tear as a result of normal use. If the tank has previously been used, it is possible that it contained solid waste. Unused septic systems are only capable of breaking down the solid waste that has accumulated in them. Even that solid garbage may be gone depending on how many times someone uses the system in a given day.

Do Septic Systems Go Bad If They’re Unused?

No, it is not a problem if septic systems are left unattended. That does not imply, however, that it is in the finest physical condition of its existence. As a new homeowner, you should always examine the septic system before putting it to use for any purpose. It’s impossible to tell what the prior owner did to it since you don’t know who did it. However, due to the fact that the septic system is not in operation, it is doubtful that any issues would arise. If anything, the fact that it was left unused is what most likely contributed to its longer lifespan.

Signs Your Septic Tank Is Failing

There are a few symptoms that your septic system is ready to collapse that you should look for.

1. Sewage Backups

Nothing is more upsetting than having sewage backed up into your home from the sewer line. It doesn’t matter if it’s coming from the toilet, shower, or sink; it’s a complete disaster. Furthermore, it is an indication that your septic system is deteriorating. Something is preventing the wastewater from escaping through the pipes and into your land, according to the experts. An obstruction might be the source of the problem. It’s possible that your tank has to be emptied. It is also possible that the problem is with the septic system’s pipes.

2. Slow Drains

When you use the sink, the shower, or the toilet, you expect the contents to instantly go down the sink or shower drain. This will be ensured by the presence of properly functioning and healthy plumbing. If the water and its contents are taking an unusually long time to drain, the problem may be with your septic system. The presence of a clog someplace in the tank indicates the presence of a blockage. It’s possible that it’s coming from the house’s internal plumbing. If the tank is nearly full, that might be the source of the problem.

Slow drains are frequently the first indication that your septic system need attention.

3. Gurgling Sounds

The plumbing in your home is normally quite silent. The only thing you can hear is the flow of water as it goes through the pipelines. If you begin to hear a gurgling sound, this indicates that something is wrong. The sound of gurgling indicates that there is air trapped within the plumbing system.

Something is wrong with the way the drain is draining. Occasionally, gurgling might be associated with sewage backups in the home. bubbling sounds indicate that it is time to have your septic system inspected by an expert.

4. Standing Water In Drain Field Or Tank Area

The plumbing in your home is often very quiet, though. Water is the only sound you hear as it rushes through the pipes. Whenever you begin to hear a gurgling sound, you should be concerned. bubbling indicates that there is air trapped in the plumbing system. The sink isn’t draining properly for some reason! Gushing water and sewage backups are two things that can happen together at times. Septic system inspection may be necessary if you hear gurgling or other unusual noises.

5. Bad Odors

The stench of sewage is similar to that of rotting eggs. If you detect the odor, it indicates that something is amiss with your septic system. The source of the stink might be anywhere, but it commonly emanates from your plumbing system. In addition, you can smell it outside, particularly in the area where the tank is located. It’s possible that foul scents indicate that you just need your tank emptied. The inability of solid waste to pass from your plumbing into the tank might potentially indicate a problem with the plumbing itself.

6. Spongy And Lush Green Grass

It’s possible that you enjoy the sight of beautiful green grass. It may, on the other hand, signal that your septic system is experiencing difficulties. When grass is fertilized, it grows quickly and vigorously. The material found within sewage tanks may be used to produce excellent fertilizer. Unfortunately, this indicates that the solid waste contained within the tank is seeping into the surrounding soil. Your septic system is no longer capable of storing solid waste, which poses a health risk to you and your family.

The presence of spongy and lush grass in the vicinity of the problem indicates that the issue is related to your septic system.

7. Algal Blooms In Water Sources

Perhaps the sight of a field of beautiful green grass is one of your favorites. It might, on the other hand, signal that your septic system is experiencing difficulties. The use of fertilizer encourages grass to grow well. Septic tank waste provides for excellent fertilizer since it is rich with nutrients. As a result, it is likely that solid waste contained within the tank is escaping into the surrounding soil. Your septic system is no longer capable of holding solid waste, which represents a health threat.

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The presence of spongy and lush grass in the vicinity of the problem indicates that it is caused by your septic system.

8. Increased Nitrates And Coliform Bacteria In Wells

In addition, the presence of nitrates and coliform bacteria in the drinking water from your well is a symptom that your septic system is in need of repair. The groundwater that supplies your well water is a source of supply. If your septic system is leaking, the nasty bacteria can get into your well water and cause it to become contaminated.

Having a properly working septic system prevents this sort of germs from entering your well. Testing your well water on a regular basis can assist to guarantee that it is safe to drink and use.

How To Prevent Septic Tank Failures

In order to keep your septic system from failing, you may take a few precautionary measures.

1. Decreased Use

It is possible to extend the life of your septic system by using it less frequently. The less it is used, the less wear and tear it takes on the components. Water conservation measures such as limiting water consumption and finding alternative methods of disposing of garbage and waste can be beneficial.

2. Regular Inspections

Regular maintenance is the single most important factor in extending the life of an item. While your tank will most likely need to be pumped every few months or once a year, you should take advantage of this opportunity to check it. A specialist can perform repairs on parts and ensure that they continue to function properly. It is less damaging to your septic system’s components when it is operating at peak performance. As a result, it has a longer shelf life.

3. Soil Conditions

It’s important to evaluate the soil conditions while moving into a new home or when considering transferring your septic tank to a different place. The existence of floods is one of the most significant issues to consider. If the earth floods, it has the potential to cause harm to your tank. Consider putting the tank at a higher-than-normal location. The existence of bacteria is another criterion to consider. These microorganisms will eliminate the harmful bacteria that are present in the waste water.

4. Regular Tank Pumping

In addition to doing regular inspections and maintenance, you should also have the system pumped on a regular basis. If your tank is overflowing at the seams, you’ll have trouble keeping it filled. Wastewater is also impossible to exit the pipes due to the blockage. Solid trash continues to clog the system. It has the potential to be a formula for disaster. Having the system pumped out on a regular basis can help to guarantee that everything operates as it should.

5. Not Flushing Non-Biodegradable Materials

The tendency of dumping non-biodegradable objects down the toilet is a new issue that is creating consternation among plumbers. The most common offenders are wet wipes, baby wipes, and other similar goods. The difficulty with these materials is that the bacteria in the tank will not be able to break them down in the presence of these materials. Therefore, they cause blockages in sewage pipes and catastrophic damage to the rest of the system. They also persist in the tank for years since there is nothing that can break down their structure.


A septic system that is not utilized for several years might endure for several decades. It is possible that the septic system will survive eternally if it is constructed of certain materials such as concrete. A few variables can contribute to the premature aging of a septic system, whether it is in operation or not.

Septic system problems can manifest itself in a variety of ways. It is possible to make your system survive even longer if you avoid certain behaviors and are aware of its current state of health.

Are septic tank additives good or bad?

Household septic tank additives are supplied to consumers throughout the United States, but they are not subject to government oversight, standardized testing, or official certification. As a result, it can be difficult to determine if septic tank additives are effective and whether you actually require them. Our approach will be to categorize additives into three groups based on their chemical composition: inorganic substances, organic solvents, and biological additives.

Inorganic compounds

Strong acids and alkalis are used as septic tank additives in combination with inorganic substances. They are intended to unblock clogged septic system lines. We recommend that you avoid using these chemical additions, even though they may function as described, because they:

  • The corrosion and leakage of concrete treatment tanks
  • The cessation of the anaerobic digestion process in septic tanks
  • Harming the bacteria that are essential to the wastewater treatment process
  • The reduction of the effectiveness of conventional septic systems
  • The disruption of the performance of secondary treatment systems (including the Ecoflo biofilter)

Organic solvents

Septic tank additives containing organic solvents are intended to break down fats, oils, and greases in the septic system. Once again, even if these products may be effective, we recommend that you avoid using them since they:

  • Bacterial kill in septic tanks
  • Negative impact on the health of traditional septic systems
  • Decrease the efficiency of secondary treatment systems
  • Contamination of groundwater

Biological additives

Natural bacteria, yeasts, and enzymes are all examples of biological septic tank additives. Septic tank and drain field bacteria should be improved, biomass should be controlled, and dormant septic systems should be reactivated using these products.

Do I need to add bacteria to my septic tank?

Septic tanks that are in good condition already contain sufficient bacteria to support the biological processes that treat human waste and wastewater. By increasing the number of bacteria in the tank, you may create an environment in which bacterial populations struggle against one another for resources. This rivalry has the potential to cause more harm than benefit. Septic systems that are in poor condition are a different matter. Excessive concentrations of poisonous compounds, such as the following, have frequently weakened the microorganisms that live in these environments:

  • Certain soaps, disinfectants, cleaning products, medications, and insecticides, among other things

Bacterial additives may be used to assist you in re-establishing a healthy balance in your septic system when this occurs. To determine if this procedure is appropriate for you, speak with your septic system manufacturer or consult with our team of specialists.

Do I need to add septic tank enzymes?

Septic tank additives containing enzymes (also known as bio enzymes) are intended to accelerate the growth of bacterial populations in the tank. They accomplish this by altering the structure of organic pollutants, making it easier for bacteria to feed on them. There are two things you should be aware of when it comes to septic tank enzymes:

  1. They have a special purpose. Consider the enzymes cellulase and protease, which are both widely used. Cellulase is a digestive enzyme that only breaks down toilet paper and other fibrous materials. Protease is a protease enzyme that exclusively breaks down protein-based contaminants. The presence of these enzymes has no influence on other organic pollutants
  2. They are not living and thus can’t replicate themselves. In contrast to bacteria, enzymes must be purchased and applied to your septic system on a regular basis in order to retain their intended effectiveness.

Some septic tank enzymes are offered in order to prevent the formation of a scum layer in the tank. Fats, oils, and greases are allowed to move downstream into secondary treatment systems and other septic system components, and they function in this way. This is due to the fact that fats, oils, and greases are not intended to be carried downstream. As a result, they may overburden the components of your septic system, which may impair their efficiency and reduce their lifespan.

The verdict on septic tank additives

It might be difficult to determine if septic tank additives are beneficial or detrimental.

It is possible to make an educated decision with the aid of this article, the scientific community, and the environmental restrictions in your region.

What science says about septic tank additives

There is very little scientific evidence to support the idea that you should add bacteria or enzymes to your septic system. Septic tanks that are in good condition do not appear to benefit from the use of biological additions, according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency. The same findings were inconclusive when it came to justifying the expense of septic system additives for residential applications (EPA, United States, 2002).

Septic regulations near you

Many septic additives claim to be able to completely remove the requirement for septic tank pumping and maintenance. Even if these assertions are correct, they are frequently irrelevant. Raw sewage comprises a variety of contaminants, including minerals, synthetic fibers, plastics, and other solid waste, in addition to organic waste. No amount of septic tank additives will be able to break down these substances. They accumulate as sludge at the bottom of your tank, where they will remain until a septic pumper comes to remove them.

As a result, most jurisdictions require homeowners to have their septic tanks pumped on a regular basis to ensure proper functioning.

Your next steps for a healthy septic system

One of the most important things you can do for your septic system is to have it professionally serviced by a certified expert. This necessitates thorough inspections as well as frequent septic tank pumping. For information about septic services in your region, please contact our team of professionals. We are always there to assist you. Please get in touch with us.

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. Slow water drainage, as well as water backing up in the toilet, dishwasher, tub, or sinks, are signs that you may have a septic system problem.

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.
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Deborah Tukua

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.

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I recently completed the purchase of a resale house. The house has a septic system, which hasn’t been used in around three years. Is there a certain procedure I should follow while getting started? Thanks The leach field should be in excellent condition, having had three years for soil microorganisms to thoroughly clean it. In terms of the tank, it should be pumped by a trustworthy company. Make sure they back-flush to remove all of the scum and sludge from the system. If the tank is somewhat porous or has a little leak, it is possible that the liquid has drained out, leaving the scum on top of the sludge in the tank’s bottom, where it has accumulated.

  • It is possible that some of the scum will get through the exit baffle when the water level rises and block your exit pipe if you do not take this precaution.
  • Yes.
  • Fortunately, human waste falls under this category.
  • Then, after a year, have it pumped and examined once more for safety.
  • (Local ordinances enacted by Modulo) There should be absolutely no action taken.
  • The leach field, on the other hand, is likely in excellent condition, having had three years for soil microorganisms to clean it up.
  • Make sure they back-flush to remove all of the scum and sludge from the system.
  • Make sure you remove it from the tank before resuming use of the container.
  • No, I would not flush the toilet.

That is one of the results of a system that is correctly working. If there is no scum and sludge in your system, it is not functioning properly. Wait until the scum and sludge has accumulated near the field drain pipes and then have it pushed out of the system.

Without a doubt, it does. when the tank’s operational level is at its optimal level Nothing that has been mentioned thus far contradicts this. If the tank liquid has been completely drained, there is a problem (through a slow leak over a period of three years- see earlier post which explicitly stipulated this). Then, when the tank is placed back into regular operation, entering sewage causes the layer of pre-existing scum to rise as a result of the increased volume of incoming sewage. In many tanks, the exit baffle is not well-suited for dealing with this transitional situation.

  • Is it inevitable that this will produce a problem?
  • Is it possible that it will cause a problem?
  • Pump the tank since it is better to be safe than sorry.
  • Yes, without a doubt.

It is possible that there is scum in the tank, but it is below the exit baffles since the tank liquid has been drained out over the course of three years of not being utilized, and the scum will enter the exit pipe as soon as the liquid level increases again when the tank is placed back into use.

  • The OP should be made aware that what you are stating here is that he has to have the tank opened up and examined on an annual basis, which you should make very obvious.
  • In no way, shape, or form!
  • Here in Texas, if a septic tank inspector comes onto our property to inspect it, he is shot and killed on the spot.
  • The reason you do this is because you are hosting a holiday party for the members of your gun club this year and you are not sure if your plumbing system can handle 200 flushes per hour.
  • Additionally, you should be concerned about more than simply the sludge itself.

Neither the sludge nor the scum should be measured in order to assess whether or not they are about to reach the drain field. It’s not a problem if you get the tank pumped out on a regular basis and on a fair timetable. You won’t have to worry about playing chicken with your septic system.

Septic Tank Bacteria: What You Need to Know

In the case of a new septic tank owner, or if you’re just not familiar with the way your septic tank operates, you may not be aware of the importance of bacteria and how it affects your septic tank’s operation. Bacteria contributes to the proper operation of your septic tank over time. Your septic tank would most certainly jam up very fast if there were no microorganisms present. By following proper septic tank management procedures, you may encourage the growth of beneficial bacteria. The way you utilize your septic tank, as well as the items you flush down your drains, can have an influence on how well it functions.

Why Is Septic Tank Bacteria Important?

Solid waste is continuously drained down the drain to the septic tank. Whenever solids are introduced into the tank, they sink to the bottom and accumulate there. Over time, such sediments will begin to accumulate in the sewer system. In order to prevent this, the tank must be pumped every three to five years since the solids in the tank always ascend to the top of the tank. If the solids reach the drainfield pipe, which is located towards the top of the septic tank, microscopic particles will be released into the drainage system.

Bacteria reduces the amount of bacteria that accumulates at the bottom of the tank.

Whenever the liquids in the tank reach the drainfield, they are securely discharged into the yard and do not become clogged.

What Can You Do to Promote Septic Tank Bacteria Growth?

Septic tanks inherently contain bacteria that will develop and multiply. By draining more solid waste down into the tank on a consistent basis, you encourage the growth of bacteria. However, there are several things you can do to your septic tank that will help to slow the spread of germs. All of the items meant to kill bacteria such as antibacterial soaps, bleach, antibiotics, and other products designed to kill bacteria have the potential to enter your tank and harm some of the beneficial bacteria in your tank.

It is possible that you may need to alter the way your family operates in order to prevent flushing these items down the toilet.

Before washing soiled garments, soak them in vinegar for a few minutes, and mix baking soda into your laundry detergent before putting it in the machine.

If you require a secure location to dispose of your medication, consult with your doctor to determine where you may properly dispose of your medication waste. It’s possible that your doctor is aware of medicine-recycling activities taking place in your neighborhood.

Do You Need to Put Bacteria In Your Septic Tank?

Some firms manufacture bacteria that may be added to your septic tank in order to support good functioning of the system. However, if you follow the instructions to the letter, microbial additives should not be required. Assuming you keep the amount of bacteria-killing agents and chemicals in your drains to a minimum, your tank should have enough bacteria to perform its functions. Whether or not you decide to employ septic tank bacteria, you should check with your local sanitation authorities to see if any chemicals or other materials are prohibited from being flushed down the toilet.

If you’re not sure which septic tank bacteria firms are the best, ask the specialist who pumps your septic tank for a suggestion.

Al’s Septic Tank Service is delighted to speak with you about septic tank bacteria and other septic tank-related issues.

To learn more, please contact us immediately.

Will my septic system be ruined if I don’t use it for an extended period of time?

When a normal septic system has been operating effectively for a length of time, such as 4 – 5 years, it is unlikely to lose its efficacy or capacity to operate correctly when it is re-activated and placed back into service. A non-use period may even be beneficial to certain older septic systems, as it may enable part of the biomat, which is a biological clogging layer in the leachfield, to naturally decompose, resulting in rejuvenation of the soils in the leachfield. During the period when they are not in use, septic systems equipped with gravelless chambers for leachfields are more prone to degrading in performance over time.

When not in use, septic tanks, whether composed of concrete or plastic, normally do not decay or lose their efficacy as a result of the environment.

This is due to the fact that most empty septic tanks are not built to resist the external pressures that are applied to them by the surrounding soil and groundwater when they are empty.

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