Biological septic tank additives include yeasts, natural bacteria, and enzymes. They are meant to improve the bacterial flora in septic tanks and drain fields, control biomass, and reactivate dormant septic systems.
What is the best chemical to put in a septic tank?
Rid-X Septic Tank Treatment Enzymes Rid-X helps to prevent septic backups by continuously breaking down household waste — the natural bacteria and advanced enzymes start working immediately to attack paper, protein, oils, and grease. One pouch of is a one-month dose for septic tanks between 700 and 1,500 gallons.
Should I put chemicals in my septic tank?
Your septic system contains a collection of living organisms that digest and treat household waste. Pouring toxins down your drain can kill these organisms and harm your septic system. Whether you are at the kitchen sink, bathtub, or utility sink: Avoid chemical drain openers for a clogged drain.
How do I increase bacteria in my septic tank?
Flush a packet of brewer’s dry yeast down one toilet on the bottom floor of your house once a month. The yeast will help add “good” bacteria to your septic tank and break down waste.
Can I put muriatic acid in my septic tank?
You don’t want to put muriatic acid into your septic system or into a municipal sewage system. That means you need to add it to your toilet bowl when the water level in the bowl is minimal. If you add any extra, it will go down the drain line toward your 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?
How do I keep my septic tank healthy?
Do’s and Don’ts when maintaining your septic system
- Regularly inspect and maintain your septic system.
- Pump your septic tank as needed.
- Keep your septic tank lids closed and secured.
- Be water-wise.
- Direct water from land and roof drains away from the drainfield.
- Landscape with love.
- Keep septic tank lids easily accessible.
What chemicals are bad for a septic tank?
But to make it even clearer, here are the top ten household products to avoid when you have a septic tank.
- Fabric softeners.
- Latex products.
- Antibacterial soap.
- Drain cleaners.
- Dishwasher and laundry detergent.
What is the best bacteria to put in septic tank?
Much like your stomach, septic tanks need good bacteria and enzymes to break down the solids that pass through it. These beneficial bacteria and enzymes can come from several sources, but our favorite is actually rotten tomatoes. These naturally occurring enzymes are proteins called Pectinase or Pectinolytic enzymes.
Can you put too much bacteria in a septic tank?
Too much of a good thing can cause problems. A septic system relies on the correct balance of bacteria to do its job. An overpopulation of bacteria can deplete the oxygen in the septic tank and turn the environment septic. A septic, septic system is one in which the ecosystem within the tank is out of balance.
How do you dissolve sludge in a septic tank?
How to Reduce Sludge in a Septic Tank Without Pumping
- Install an aeration system with diffused air in your septic tank.
- Break up any compacted sludge.
- Add a bio-activator or microbe blend.
- Maintain the aeration system.
- Add additional Microbes as required.
Is boric acid safe for septic tanks?
Try rotenone, temephos, diatomaceous earth, or boric acid in your septic tank. Therefore, place them in the tank where they can stay dry for at least a few days, if that is at all possible. The first three won’t kill the microbes that your septic tank needs.
Is CLR septic Safe?
Yes, CLR Calcium, Lime and Rust Remover is septic safe. By the time it reaches the septic system it is neutralized with water.
Is vinegar safe for septic systems?
Will baking soda hurt a septic system? Baking soda and other common household solutions such as vinegar are not harmful to your septic system. Harsh chemicals such as bleach and ammonia can disrupt the good bacteria in your septic tank and should not be used as part of a septic treatment.
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.
Strong acids and alkalis are used as septic tank additives in combination with inorganic substances. They are designed to unblock clogged septic system drains. 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)
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
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:
- 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
- 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.
Should we use septic tank additives and do they really work?
The efficacy of septic tank additives is a subject of intense discussion in the scientific community. The most common reason why individuals are warned against using septic tank additives is the misconception that adding an addition totally eliminates the need for pumping or other maintenance operations. However, while it is true that additives increase the effectiveness and durability of septic systems, the owner of the system must still adhere to the regular pumping plan. Every septic system owner should be reminded that even when utilizing biological additives, they should still pump their tanks once every three to five years, according to Purdue University researchers.
What are septic tank additives made of?
The other reason why some individuals are against additives is because they have had a terrible experience with some of the poor quality additives that are now available on the market. So, what characteristics distinguish an excellent additive? Let’s have a look at the primary ingredients that are utilized in the production of septic tank additives.
Chemical septic tank additives
The most significant disadvantage of chemical additions is that they operate under the premise that the septic tank has sufficient bacteria and enzymes. Unfortunately, this is seldom the case, especially given the fact that the majority of households employ items that reduce the effectiveness of bacteria. The following are some of the most often seen chemical additive components: Calcium Calcium is one of the most often used chemical additions, and it is also one of the most abundant. In general, the concept behind utilizing calcium as an addition is that it elevates the pH levels in sewage, so creating an environment that is favourable for optimal bacterial activity.
- Although it appears to be a smart idea on paper, the reality is that calcium will really do more harm than benefit.
- As if things weren’t bad enough, the calcium may also act as a flocculant, which will cause solid waste to suspend in the septic tank and finally make its way into the leach field.
- Sodium bicarbonate is preferable to calcium because it increases the alkalinity of the septic tank, rather than increasing the pH of the tank.
- The action of flocculants and surfactants is to reduce the tension that exists between molecules.
- The same concept is used by the additives that make use of these items to allow the particles to break down and flow smoothly with the waste water.
However, when biosurfactants are used in conjunction with bacteria, there is an exception to the general norm. Consequently, the biosurfactant will actually aid the bacteria in their digestion of organic waste.
The introduction of food into the sewage system is the goal of several septic tank additives. Bacteria, like any other living entity, require nourishment in order to maintain their existence. As a result, these additions provide minerals, carbon, grain, meat, protein, and other kinds of sustenance for the bacteria. These additives, on the other hand, have two major drawbacks. First and foremost, they operate on the assumption that the septic tank has the appropriate types of bacteria in proper quantities.
We manufacture enzymes in our bodies to assist in the digestion of food and the absorption of nutrients by our bodies. Enzymes serve a similar role in the treatment of sewage in septic tanks. In the process, they break down the complicated chemicals, making them more appetizing to bacteria. Yeast is one of the most often utilized products in the production of enzymes, but it faces a number of challenges, the most significant of which is that it lacks the enzymes required for the decomposition of FOG and hair protein.
Bio-additives Sol’s are derived from both enzymes and bacteria, so avoiding this usual stumbling block.
- Lipase is a digestive enzyme that converts the molecular structure of lipids into water. Amylase is a digestive enzyme that digests carbohydrates by converting them into a soluble solution. It contains the enzyme protease, which deodorizes and liquefies solid wastes. Cellulase is a digestive enzyme that aids in the breakdown of toilet paper.
CAUTION: Despite the fact that yeast contains enzymes, it is not recommended to introduce yeast into the septic system. The absence of bacteria in the yeast means that your system may have an imbalance between enzymes and bacteria, which will result in foaming, which can result in suspended particles being pushed into the leachbed before they can be digested by bacteria.
As a result of flushing the toilet after passing stool, the proper bacteria is introduced into the septic tank together with the feces. Bacteria are a natural component of the digestive secretions produced by the human body. These bacteria perform best when the pH is regulated and the temperature is maintained at body temperature. So, why would you want to add bacteria-containing chemicals to your septic system, anyway? There are a handful of valid explanations for this. Most importantly, the addition of highly-trained specialist bacteria into the system will aid to improve its overall efficiency since the specialized bacteria are specifically engineered to withstand higher temperature variations as well as greater swings in pH value fluctuations.
The use of a good biological additive to replenish the system is recommended since bacteria decrease and pH levels are disrupted as a result of the usage of dangerous items.
The biological ingredient in Bio-septic Sol’s system brings billions of bacteria and enzymes into your septic system, which is why it has been shown to be effective in the cleaning of septic systems.
Chemical septic tank additives can actually be harmful to the septic tank since they destroy the microorganisms in the tank and pollute the surrounding environment. In order to avoid them entirely, it is recommended that you do so. Biological additives, on the other hand, are completely harmless to the environment and the septic tank, and they can even assist to increase the efficiency and durability of the septic tank. Only one word of caution should be heeded while utilizing biological additions: keep in mind that not all biological additives are created equal.
Do Septic Tank Additives Really Work?
Adobe Stock / kaliantye / Adobe Stock Because your septic system is such an important component of your house, it’s only reasonable to want to do everything you can to ensure that it continues to function properly. Manufacturing companies that produce septic tank additives are well aware of this, and they market products that claim to lessen the need for pumping, dissolve obstructions, or otherwise enhance your sewage system. In actuality, though, these additions aren’t essential and, in many cases, are detrimental to one’s health.
How Septic Systems Work Without Additives
Many people utilize unneeded or hazardous septic tank additives because they don’t fully comprehend how a septic system functions. This is the most common reason for this practice. Septic systems function by taking use of a perfectly natural biological process that does not necessitate the involvement of humans in any way. They are intended to function without the need of additives. Your septic tank is responsible for collecting all of the wastewater and waste solids generated by your home’s plumbing system.
- Solids settle to the bottom of the tank, forming a layer known as sludge, while fats float to the surface, forming a layer known as scum.
- In most systems, the effluent passes through equipment that further purify it before being released into the soil over time (see Figure 1).
- You don’t have to add anything further to them, feed them, or provide any kind of assistance.
- Because the bacteria are anaerobic, they do not require the presence of oxygen.
- There is no additive that can break down this layer in order to postpone or replace the pumping process.
Maintaining a solid waste removal system in your tank every two to five years, depending on the size of your home and how frequently you use it, as well as your climate, is recommended.
The False Promise of Septic Tank Additives
Manufacturers of septic tank additives often claim that their chemicals aid in the breakdown of the solid waste layer or the scum layer, resulting in you not having to have your tank pumped as frequently. Other items claimed to be able to unclog a blocked soil absorption system, but none of them delivered. There are two sorts of additives: These are bacteria, yeast, and enzyme items that manufacturers market as a means to kick-start a brand-new septic system or to provide extra assistance for an overburdened system.
- They are not harmful to your system, but they are also not beneficial.
- In other circumstances, the system may have been designed or built improperly, necessitating a complete revamp of the entire system.
- This category includes products such as drain cleaners and degreasers for the home.
- When they really do what they say they will, they will cause interference with the waste separation process.
- At worst, they can cause damage to the pipes and other components of the system.
- You should get your septic tank pumped if you detect a foul odor, gathering water around the drainfield, or your drains are running slowly.
Managing Special Situations
There are several septic tank additions that are promoted for use in rare conditions, however even in these instances, an additive will not be of much use. For months at a time, when the septic system is not in use, the bacteria load might decrease to such a low level that the system is no longer as efficient as it would be under normal circumstances. To combat this issue, save any activities that need a lot of water, such as running the dishwasher or washing laundry, till after the toilet has been used a few times to allow additional bacteria to colonize the system.
- In the event that your septic system has not been utilized in some years, you should have it professionally examined before resuming usage.
- It is necessary to have expert repair work or cleaning done if there is damage or filth.
- Hosting a large number of visitors in your home for a few weeks might put a strain on your septic system.
- The fact that there are a variety of septic tank additives available on the market makes it tempting to believe that at least a some of them would be able to improve the efficiency of your system.
The most beneficial thing you can do for your septic system is to allow it to function as it was intended, using only natural bacteria. Beyond that, keep it pumped and examined on a regular basis, and it will continue to function well for decades.
Everything You Need to Know About Septic Tank Additive
When you manage your septic system properly, you won’t need to use any septic tank additives. Get quotations from as many as three professionals! Enter your zip code below to get matched with top-rated professionals in your area. Septic tanks are meant to handle waste disposal on their own, without the use of any additional chemicals. Regular septic tank pumping and inspections will ensure that a septic system will last for decades. A septic system is usually employed in rural locations where there is no access to municipal sewer systems.
How Septic Tank Systems Work
In essence, a septic tank is a storage tank for sediments and wastewater that is discharged from a residence and serves as the initial stage in the treatment process. Your septic tank has an important role to play in keeping sediments, grease, and oils from entering your drainfield. The drainfield is a shallow region where the pretreated wastewater filters through the soil before exiting the system. When wastewater is introduced into the tank, it is separated into three levels. It is divided into three layers: the top layer is composed of fat or grease, the middle layer is composed of clear wastewater known as effluent, and the bottom layer is composed of solid trash.
Some materials, such as sand or small toy cars, that have been flushed will not be broken down by the bacteria.
Those formidable bacteria, on the other hand, will break down organic solids—as long as they are provided with an environment in which to grow.
What Septic Tank Additives Do
Kevin Trimmer/Moment is credited with this image through Getty Images. The bacteria in the septic tank are critical to the proper operation of the system. It is necessary because without it, the oils, fats, and organic substances would not be broken down. The septic system has been meticulously constructed to function with little or no interference from you. Don’t be fooled by septic system urban legends. It is not necessary to pay $15 each bottle in order to introduce additives into the system.
Any additions, such as drain cleaners, disinfectants, or bleach, have the potential to kill out all of the beneficial bacteria in the tank, putting the septic system in peril as a result.
Some additions, such as formaldehyde, quaternary ammonium, and zinc sulfate, are touted as helping to suppress the smell of these compounds, but in the process, they damage the system and its microbes.
Septic tank additives have caused so many system failures that several jurisdictions have outlawed their usage entirely.
An experienced septic tank technician can assist you in diagnosing and treating any problems you may be experiencing with your septic system. If you need to walk outside to see what’s wrong with the septic system, make sure you follow septic tank safety precautions.
How to Care for Septic System Bacteria
The bacteria in septic systems may be killed by a variety of means, not simply commercial additions. Keep those bacteria healthy and productive by doing the following:
- Cleaning solutions should be properly diluted since cleansers that end up in the drain might kill microorganisms
- Properly diluted cleaning solutions Keeping contaminants such as residual stain, paint, and oil out of the sink is important to your health. Check the waste management website for your county or city to find out how to properly dispose of it
- Water consumption should be spread out. It is recommended to wash garments on different days of the week in order to prevent overloading the system on a single major wash day.
How to Maintain Your Septic System
A septic system is not intended to be bacteria-free and fragrant with the aroma of rain. There is no septic tank additive that will perform better than the natural operation of a septic tank and the utilization of healthy bacteria. The most important thing you can do is to let the bacteria to do their work while performing your routine septic tank pumps and inspections. In reality, certain additives can induce septic system failure, which will necessitate the replacement of the entire system.
- Conserve water by installing high-efficiency showerheads and toilets in your home. Wash full loads of clothing or use the small load setting on your washing machine. Waste should be disposed of properly: All of the things that you flush or pour down the toilet end up in the septic system. Items such as feminine hygiene products, dental floss, and diapers should be disposed of properly in the garbage. Chemicals such as paints and cleansers should be carefully recycled since they have the potential to harm the microorganisms in a septic system. Keep your drainfield in good condition: Know the location of your drainfield and avoid parking vehicles on it. Landscape surrounding a sewer system from a safe distance away in order to avoid system disturbance. Rainwater should be directed away from the drainfield, and things such as pools should not be drained over the drainfield. The addition of water to that location may cause the system to slow down.
If you have a query regarding a specific addition or would want further information, you should contact the state government agency that oversees wastewater and septic systems in your area.
Do Septic System Additives Work?
|If your home has a septic system, you are one of a growing number of homeowners in the United States that rely on privatesewage disposal. Twenty-five percent of total housing, and 33 percent of new homes in the US use onsite wastewater treatment,also known as septic systems.In addition, Professor Mike Hoover of theDepartment of Soil Science at North Carolina StateUniversitymaintains that “forces such as urban and suburban sprawl and the high costs of central sewage systems for buildersand governments” increase the number of septic system users each year.For septic system owners, proper maintenance can mean the difference between along-lasting, trouble-free system and onethat ultimately racks up tens of thousands of dollars in problems. Yet, many people receive conflicting and confusing adviceabout what maintenance is necessary.Most professionals recommend that septic tanks be pumped every 2 – 3 years to remove collected solids, but many privatecompanies have another solution – use low-costseptic additiveson a regular basis to reduce the need for the more costlypumping. Additionally, when a septic system is in trouble and costly repairs or replacement looms, many additives offer aquick fix.So what’s the truth? Are septic system additives (there are about 1200 on the market today) the next best thing to indoor plumbing, or are they money down the drain?Some experts say additives do more harm than good, and some believe that they are not harmful, but they don’t do much of anythingat all, except cost money. Other than the septic additive manufacturers themselves, we could find no scientist, engineer,academic, or government source that recommends the use of septic system additives.|
Septic Additives 101
Wastewater exits the residence when the toilet flushes or the washing machine runs in homes with septic systems and gathers in a septic tank once it has been collected. Natural microorganisms found in trash break down the majority of the solid material, converting it to a liquid or gas. Heavy materials, such as fragments of plastic or other non-biodegradable material, fall to the bottom of the tank and create the sludge layer there. Lighter things such as grease or oil float to the surface of the water, where they are referred to as scum.
- It’s a rather straightforward and natural procedure.
- They are sometimes referred to as septic tank cleaning agents, aerators, restorers, rejuvenators, and enhancement agents.
- The active constituents in these products, such as sulfuric acid, can be very corrosive and cause structural damage to the tank’s internal components.
- In addition to acting as starting agents in new systems, they are also reported to boost the efficiency with which solids are broken down in existing systems.
In terms of the environmental effect of biological additions, it is important to note that According to the Journal of Environmental Health, the vast majority of “wastewater professionals” are unconcerned.
What’s the Hype?
In addition to home improvement and building stores, hardware stores, and supermarkets, septic tank additives are now widely accessible for purchase online. They are marketed on television and on the internet, among other places. In addition, certain additives are pushed by way of telephone solicitation or by door-to-door salespeople. Even in the face of intensive marketing, homeowners must be knowledgeable customers who understand what they are purchasing. The National Environmental Services Center at West Virginia University, according to Jennifer Hause, a scientist there, is concerned about “Septic tanks are mysterious to most individuals who have never been inside one.
Generally speaking, most septic system maintenance manuals regard solids removal from the tank to be a necessary and fundamental operation.
Hause provides the following explanation: “Solids will be present in a septic tank for as long as wastewater is being discharged into it.
If a product promises to reduce or eliminate the need to pump, I have to wonder where the solids end up if they are no longer in the tank to begin with.
What the Government Says
Because the design of any septic system is influenced by the location in which it is installed, local health agencies are frequently the finest source of help and information for homeowners. In order to ensure that there are no restrictions on the use of chemicals, Hause recommends that homeowners check with their local permitting authorities, which are most often municipal health departments. Use, sale, and distribution of additives are only permitted in the states of Washington and Massachusetts if they have been approved.
It is required to submit non-chemically based additive goods to a review system in order to establish whether components are associated with detrimental impacts on human health or the environment.” Product advertising may indicate “complying with Washington rules addressing harm to public health and water quality,” but additive producers are not permitted to use the word “approved” in their marketing materials in the state of Washington.
What the Research Says
‘Much-needed study,’ Dr. Hoover stated in an email, “is of great interest not only to practicing experts in the on-sitewastewater area, but it is also of significant interest to many homeowners as well, who wish to safeguard their home investment while also protecting the environment.” Despite this, credible independent research has been hard to come by during the previous four decades. There are two studies from the late 1990s that are noteworthy. Gregory H. Clark, a doctoral student at the time, conducted what has been dubbed a “landmark” research under Hoover’s supervision in 1997.
- tanks were separated into three categories: those that had been properly kept (recently pumped), those that had been badly maintained (rarely or never pumped in 15-20 years of usage), and those that were somewhere in the center of the two categories.
- The three products tested were from Drano, Liquid Plumr, and Rid-X, and they were all successful.
- “The additions evaluated did not give any considerable or long-term statistically significant advantages when compared to the control,” the researchers found, referring to the things that were examined and the settings of this study.
- The results of this study were published in the Journal of Environmental Health in January 2008.
- They came to the same conclusion that there had been no change in the amount of sludge accumulating at the bottom of the tank or the quantity of floating particles.
- Despite the fact that the addition appeared to have no harmful impact on septic systems, the NAWT did not express a “opinion, favorable or negative, on the use of bacterial additives in septictanks” in its report.
It is no longer possible to purchase chemical additives since they are plainly harmful to septic systems and the environment. According to septic system expert Sanford Mersky, biological additions are largely harmless but needless “re-branded potions marketed under private brands.” Some homeowners are concerned that the medications they consume or the cleaning products they use in the house could kill or harm the beneficial bacteria in their septic systems.
Hause suggests that if there is a potential problem with a septic system, homeowners should get it checked by a septic specialist, and she believes that the local health department is the best place to begin looking for resources. septic system maintenance
Several septic additives are listed on the websites of both Massachusetts and Washington that are believed to be non-toxic to the environment. These lists may be found at the following link:
Do Septic Tank Additives Work?
Is it Effective to Use Septic Tank Additives?
Do Septic Tank Additives Work?
You’ve probably seen the advertisements for Septic Tank Additives, which promise to save you money and keep you from having to call the septic company, but do they actually work? Septic tank systems are used to treat organic wastewater on millions of properties across the world. It is easy to overlook or forget about the system while it is buried underground, which might lead to a problem later on. By the time that occurs, the situation has progressed to the point that expert assistance will be required to correct it.
- Things as simple as keeping an eye on the drain field and adhering to the Do Not Flush guidelines may make a significant difference.
- Homeowners who are well-versed in the art of avoiding sewage backups know that scheduling a septic tank pumping and cleaning on a regular basis is the most effective method of preventing them.
- Or maybe assist a system that is in distress?
- The idea is that this low-cost option will aid in the maintenance of the system, eliminate all potential problems, and allow you to live worry-free as long as you pour the septic tank additives into the toilet once a month.
- Like most things in life, if something appears to be too good to be true, it almost always is.
- There are a variety of solutions on the market that claim to be able to revitalize your septic system and allow you to go longer periods of time between septic tank cleanings.
- While it is worthwhile to have an extra layer of protection for efficient and healthy septic tanks, it is not a complete replacement.
What is the Truth About Septic Tank Additives?
Septic tank additives can be a beneficial addition to a septic system owner’s regular maintenance program. They are not, however, a panacea. Consider the following information on septic tank additives and how they might benefit your Florida septic system.
1. Types of Septic Tank Additives
Biochemical additives, organic solvents, and inorganic substances are the most common forms of septic tank additives, with biological additions being the most common. Biological Additives are a blend of bacteria and enzymes that work as boosters for the natural process taking place in your septic tank, according to the manufacturer. But the quantity of bacteria included in these additions does not equal the number of bacteria found in a good septic tank, and in fact, they are insignificant when compared to the latter.
- You should never underestimate the value of a booster pump if you know your septic system will be put through a lot of extra labor (such as over the holidays or before a major party).
- They are comparable to the chemicals used on machine components to break down oil and grease.
- Furthermore, they have the potential to pollute groundwater, and several states have outlawed their use.
- The employment of powerful alkalis or acids to assist break down bothersome and recalcitrant waste material is a feature of Inorganic Compounds.
- It can also create corrosion within the pipes and the concrete tank if it is used too regularly.
All of these additions are intended to be used as boosters rather than as a one-stop shop. When used in conjunction with a properly functioning septic tank, they are extremely effective in preserving the overall effectiveness of your septic system.
2. Making False Claims
There are a lot of claims being made by the manufacturers of the septic tank additives that seem incredibly promising. However, statements that septic pumping will no longer be required are untrue; nothing can replace the necessity of having the tank pumped when it becomes overflowing. According to the findings of the research, additives do not completely remove the need for pumping, and disregarding septic care can be detrimental. Consider the following examples of credible resources that support the above assertion.
- “Commercial septic tank additives do not remove the requirement for frequent pumping,” according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Homeowner Guide.
- “Given the absence of consistent findings or current unbiased studies concerning the impacts of septic system additives, our best advise remains to have septic tanks drained every 3 to 5 years,” according to Purdue University.
3. Additives Are Boosters
The fact is that a properly managed tank has the process of decomposition of waste down to a precise science (literally). However, what happens when you require your system to operate at maximum capacity? Alternatively, it’s possible that the kids weren’t as stringent about the Do Not Flush regulations when you were out of town. Using septic tank additives to give your system a boost will help you avoid having to pump out your tank and pay for repairs sooner. While they are not a panacea, they can assist you in getting your system back on track and healthy again.
The solution is straightforward: keep your septic system in good working order.
If you need to, you may also use septic tank additives to assist your system.
Call the professionals at Advanced Septic Services at 352-242-6100 for assistance.
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Septic Tank Additives
Chemicals for use in septic tanks are a common occurrence in our sector. Some individuals swear by them, but others are not persuaded of their effectiveness. With the passage of time, additives have developed in response to shifting expectations and views in our sector. Currently, only a small number of governments are attempting to regulate the use of additives, and the lack of an uniform testing procedure has added to the confusion and ambiguity around their usage. The following information is meant to give some clarification on the many sorts of goods that are currently on the market.
- Septic tank and drain field additives are divided into three categories: inorganic chemicals, organic solvents, and biological additives.
- Inorganic chemicals, which are often strong acids or alkalis, are advertised for use in unclogging clogged drains.
- Corrosion of concrete tanks caused by these materials might also result in leaks.
- These products, on the other hand, have the potential to kill the bacteria in the tank, which might result in groundwater pollution.
- In order to encourage or stimulate bacterial growth and action in the septic tank, bacterial-based additives are added to an existing tank to offer an additional boost of bacteria.
- Some harmful compounds, such as medications, extra cleaning products, anti-bacterial soaps, and other items that interfere with the bacteria essential for anaerobic digestion may be introduced into the tank, resulting in a “unhealthy” biological environment.
- While introducing a commercial product may not harm the bacteria in your treatment tank in most situations, it may cause the new bacteria to compete with the bacteria that have become accustomed to living in your treatment tank.
However, starches make up just a small fraction of the waste produced in a tank, which means that yeast can contribute to the process by breaking down starches within the tank.
Enzymes have a narrow range of activity.
Enzymes, in contrast to bacteria, are not living organisms that can multiply.
Up to this point, there has been little scientific data to back up the usage of enzymes.
Many solutions make the promise that they eliminate the need to pump empty the treatment tank after each use.
Some of the solids in the treatment tank are made up of sand, grit, fragments of plastic, and other similar non-biodegradable elements that cannot be digested or broken down by enzymes or bacteria and, as a result, build up in the tank over time.
Degreasers may be able to break down resistant solids, but where do the solids go after they have been broken down?
An effluent filter that is properly working and maintained may be able to assist decrease this danger.
The scientific evidence in support of the use of additives is still inconclusive.
In some cases, sustaining or boosting bacterial populations may be beneficial, though not absolutely required, for the appropriate treatment of effluent waste.
They will assist you in selecting the most appropriate addition for your system.
Property owners who are involved and responsive and who combine any prospective additive usage with appropriate septic tank care, such as following sewer use guidelines, pumping, and effluent filter cleaning, can only be beneficial to our industry.
The Absolute Truth About Septic Tank Additives: They Don’t Work
On-site waste water treatment systems, often known as septic systems, are required by many property owners in the United States in order to handle organic waste water generated on their land. According to estimates, between one-quarter and one-third of all waste water is handled via septic systems installed by private property owners on their properties. Due to the fact that these systems are underground, they are frequently overlooked. However, when issues arise, homeowners are reminded of the high cost of maintaining their asset.
- It is unfortunate that many believe the hype from television advertising for vendors of septic system additives who promise that their solutions would revitalize and maintain the free flow of septic systems while also prolonging the period between septic tank pumping.
- In reality, research undertaken by Kansas State University, the Agricultural Experiment Station, and the Cooperative Extension Service discovered that the contrary was true.
- “.do not use septic tank additives,” they advise (these do not help and sometimes can be harmful to your system.) ” 3You might spend days searching the Internet for a single scientific research that finds that any septic tank additive is effective, but you would never find one.
- In reality, the majority of studies has found that septic tank additives are detrimental to septic tank systems, rather than beneficial.
- They assert that the bacteria are required to aid in the dissolution of trash.
- Waste generated by humans provides an abundant supply of bacteria to the septic tank, which allows the septic tank to break down waste more effectively.
- According to research conducted by Purdue University 4 and Baylor University 5, the installation of an aeration system to a septic tank enhanced the overall performance of the system and reduced the likelihood of early septic system failure.
- Only regulated aeration of a septic tank is capable of transforming the system from an anaerobic to an aerobic state.
This conversion has shown to be a very useful instrument in the treatment of wastewater by septic tank systems, as well as in the rehabilitation of failed or failing septic systems. 12345
Can Septic Tank Additives Do More Harm Than Good?
The bottom line is that nothing is more beneficial to the preservation of your septic system than frequent expert pumping, inspection, and repair. Certain off-the-shelf septic tank additives intended for homeowners can, in certain circumstances, assist your septic system in maintaining a basic degree of health and function. The use of a hardware store or DIY additive should only be done after consulting with a professional septic inspector, and should never be used to address an active septic tank emergency.
That said, here are the key differences in your common homeowner additives:
Biological additives are manufactured from natural substances that are typically laced with bacteria and enzymes to enhance their effectiveness. The concept behind these additions is to provide “insurance” for worried septic owners by ensuring that your system contains the microorganisms it needs to function correctly. In most cases, however, unless your system has been inactive for several months, there is no need to add bacteria or enzymes because your system is already making those elements naturally from the stuff that enters it through the drainpipe.
Chemical additives are exactly what they sound like: chemicals that are used to break down solid materials and clear obstructions from pipes and drains. These chemicals, on the other hand, are plainly not natural or organic, and they will interfere with the breakdown of stuff in your system by interfering with the action of bacteria-killing chemicals. These synthetic compounds might also be damaging to the environment and groundwater in your area. Essentially, while it may be tempting to purchase a “cheap and quick” DIY solution from your local hardware store, you may be purchasing a placebo rather than a genuine benefit to your system’s health.
As always, you may refer to our previous blog posts for more best practices, tips, and techniques, as well as answers to typical septic system problems.
Please do not hesitate to contact Shankster Bros.
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.
But take care! 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.
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.