What Is In Septic Tank Additives? (Question)

Some chemical additives that have been used in septic systems include hydrogen peroxide, formaldehyde, baking soda, and alum. Studies have found that such chemicals could agitate soils containing clays and silts, destroying the soil structure and thereby decreasing the soil’s permeability.

What products are safe for your septic tank?

  • Eco-Friendly Cleaning Products. Generally,you should only use cleaning products marked “septic safe” if your home has one of these sewage systems.
  • Softer Food Waste. During the septic tank installation,the lead contractor should give you a full list of foods that need to be kept out of the system.
  • Almost Any Toilet Paper.
  • Most Beverages.

Should I put additives in my septic tank?

There is little scientific data to suggest that you should add bacteria or enzymes to your septic system. The United States Environmental Protection Agency reported that biological additives do not appear to improve the performance of healthy septic tanks.

What is septic tank treatment made of?

The septic tank is a buried, water-tight container usually made of concrete, fiberglass, or polyethylene. Its job is to hold the wastewater long enough to allow solids to settle down to the bottom forming sludge, while the oil and grease floats to the top as scum.

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.

What to put in septic tank to break down solids?

Yeast helps actively breaks down waste solids when added to your septic system. Flush ½ cup of dry baking yeast down the toilet, the first time. Add ¼ cup of instant yeast every 4 months, after the initial addition.

What 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.
  • Medicines.
  • Antibacterial soap.
  • Cosmetics.
  • Drain cleaners.
  • Bleach.
  • Dishwasher and laundry detergent.

Should I put enzymes in my septic tank?

Your septic system is unique in the way it processes your waste. If this information is not enough to convince you that enzymes and additives are bad for your septic tank, they can also cause complete septic system failure by allowing sludge and grease to pass to the soil treatment area, also known as the leach field.

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.

How can I increase bacteria in my septic tank naturally?

Homemade Septic Tank Treatment The ingredients required for this natural solution are the following: Water, Sugar, Cornmeal, and Dry Yeast. To concoct this mixture, first start by boiling roughly a half gallon of water. Add in 2 cups of sugar. The sugar will act as the first food your bacteria will eat!

Is Borax safe for septic tanks?

Borax can be a good alternative for cleaning products for homeowners that have a septic system, but again, all things in moderation. Borax has been shown to be non-toxic to people, and significantly safer for the beneficial bacteria that live in your septic tank.

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.

How do I reduce the sludge in my septic tank?

How to Reduce Sludge in a Septic Tank Without Pumping

  1. Install an aeration system with diffused air in your septic tank.
  2. Break up any compacted sludge.
  3. Add a bio-activator or microbe blend.
  4. Maintain the aeration system.
  5. Add additional Microbes as required.

Do septic tanks need chemicals?

at SEPTIC TANK PUMPING PROCEDURE. In general, septic system chemicals are not needed and are not recommended: Chemicals and other additives promoted to keep a septic system “healthy” or “free-flowing” or “nourished” are generally not required nor recommended by expert sources.

What eats sludge in septic tank?

One example of a homemade remedy is to flush ¼-½ a cup of instant yeast down your toilet. The yeast eats away at the sludge and helps loosen it, breaking it down so that wastewater can get through.

What eats waste in septic tank?

Large colonies of bacteria and enzymes in your septic tank keep the tank from backing up or overfilling. Enzymes go to work on the scum, and bacteria goes to work on the sludge. The microbes eat the waste and convert large portions of it into liquids and gases.

What dissolves poop in septic tank?

You’ll need a pot of hot water, a cup of baking soda and a cup of vinegar. Pour the baking soda into your toilet bowl. Then add the vinegar a little bit at a time to avoid overflow. The mixture should start fizzing and bubbling immediately.

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.

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 additives provide minerals, carbon, grain, meat, protein, and other forms of food 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.

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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.

Lipase is a digestive enzyme that breaks down the molecular structure of fats into water. In this case, Amylase is the enzyme responsible for the digestion of starches and the transformation of those starches into a soluble solution. It contains the enzyme protease, which deodorizes and de-solidifies solid wastes. Toilet paper is broken down with the aid of an enzyme called cellulase.


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.

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.

  • Bacteria-free and rain-fresh smelling isn’t exactly what a septic system is designed to be. Nothing can outperform the natural operation of a septic tank and the utilization of beneficial microorganisms in the tank. What you should do is to let the bacteria to do their work while performing your normal septic tank pumps and inspections on a schedule. Several additives have been shown to cause septic system failure, resulting in the need for a new septic system installation. In addition to regular inspections and pumping, the Environmental Protection Agency advises a number of septic system recommended practices to keep your system in good working order.

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 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 household 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.

  1. They are not harmful to your system, but they are also not beneficial.
  2. In other circumstances, the system may have been designed or built improperly, necessitating a complete revamp of the entire system.
  3. This category includes products such as drain cleaners and degreasers for the home.
  4. When they really do what they say they will, they will cause interference with the waste separation process.
  5. At worst, they can cause damage to the pipes and other components of the system.
  6. You should get your septic tank pumped if you detect a foul odor, gathering water around the drainfield, or your drains are running slowly.
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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.

  1. In the event that your septic system has not been utilized in some years, you should have it professionally examined before resuming usage.
  2. It is necessary to have expert repair work or cleaning done if there is damage or filth.
  3. Hosting a large number of visitors in your home for a few weeks might put a strain on your septic system.
  4. 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.

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 substances such as grease or oil float to the top of the water, where they are referred to as scum.

  1. It’s a rather straightforward and natural procedure.
  2. They are sometimes referred to as septic tank cleaning agents, aerators, restorers, rejuvenators, and enhancement agents.
  3. The active ingredients in these products, such as sulfuric acid, can be highly corrosive and cause structural damage to the tank’s internal components.
  4. 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.
  5. 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. Some claims have been made that all particles included in wastewater can be converted to liquids and gases, however this is not true.”

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.

More Resources

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.

Essentially, you are betting that the $25 box of additives would save you the money you would have spent on a septic pumping every 3-5 years if you didn’t use them. 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?

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 homes and businesses. It is easy to overlook or forget about the system when it is buried underground, which might lead to a problem if left unattended. It’s too late by then; the situation has progressed to the point where expert assistance will be required to fix it.

  1. It is possible to make a significant difference by doing simple things like monitoring the drainage field and adhering to the Do Not Flush guidelines.
  2. Residents who are well-versed in septic tank maintenance and cleaning know that scheduling regular septic tank pumping and cleaning is the most effective strategy to avoid sewage backups.
  3. Or even assist a system that is experiencing difficulties.
  4. The idea is that this low-cost option will assist to maintain the system, eliminate all possible issues, and allow you to live worry-free as long as you pour the septic tank additives into the toilet once a month as instructed.
  5. Generally speaking, if anything appears to be too good to be true, it almost always will be.
  6. The market is currently flooded with solutions that promise to be able to revitalize your septic system and allow you to go longer periods of time between tank cleanings.
  7. While it is beneficial to have an extra layer of protection to ensure that septic tanks are efficient and healthy, it is not a complete replacement.

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

“Commercial septic tank additives do not remove the requirement for frequent pumping.”, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In the words of Purdue University, “Given the absence of consistent findings or current unbiased studies concerning the impacts of septic system additives, our best recommendation remains to have septic tanks drained every 3 to 5 years.”;

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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.

  1. 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.
  2. In reality, research undertaken by Kansas State University, the Agricultural Experiment Station, and the Cooperative Extension Service discovered that the contrary was true.
  3. “.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.
  4. In reality, the majority of studies has found that septic tank additives are detrimental to septic tank systems, rather than beneficial.
  5. They assert that the bacteria are required to aid in the dissolution of trash.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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

Septic Tank Additives

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 that is generated on their premises. According to estimates, between a quarter and a third of all waste water is handled by septic systems installed by private property owners. This is due to the fact that these systems operate underground and are frequently overlooked. However, when issues arise, homeowners are reminded of the high cost of maintaining their asset.

  1. It is unfortunate that many believe the hype from television advertising for vendors of septic system additives who promise that their chemicals would revive and maintain the free flow of septic systems while also prolonging the period between septic tank pumpings.
  2. In reality, research undertaken by Kansas State University, the Agricultural Experiment Station, and the Cooperative Extension Service discovered that the contrary was true.
  3. In reality, some additives have the potential to be harmful to the performance or components of a septic system, as well as to the quality of groundwater.
  4. “.do not use septic tank additives,” they advise.
  5. Although makers and dealers assert otherwise, there is just no evidence to support the usefulness of these chemicals, regardless of what they say.
  6. Some con artists recommend that bacteria or enzymes be put to septic tanks that have recently been pumped or that are new to the system altogether.
  7. Wrong!

Aeration of water in a septic tank, according to research conducted by two universities, changes the bacterial environment from anaerobic to aerobic, allowing up to 40 times more active bacteria to consume and break down organic waste in the septic tank and the drainfield, according to the researchers.

Do not fall prey to con artists that make only hollow promises in order to gain your trust.

Septic tanks can only be converted from an anaerobic to an aerobic state by the use of controlled aeration. Historically, this conversion has shown to be a helpful instrument in the treatment of wastewater by septic tank systems, as well as the rehabilitation of failed or failing systems. 12345

The Myth of Rid-X and Why You Should Never Use it in Your Septic System

More than 21 million households in the United States rely on septic systems to collect and treat the wastewater generated by their homes and businesses. Septic systems, which are touted as an environmentally beneficial alternative to the chemically-laden waste treatment facilities that many communities rely on, work to naturally filter wastewater. Moreover, while a well working system requires little more than periodic cleanings every 2-4 years, some homeowners seek to improve the efficiency of their septic systems by adding additives, such as Rid-X, to give the bacteria in their tanks a little boost, which is not recommended.

Those costly additions not only interfere with the treatment process of your system, but they also put your entire septic system at danger of catastrophic collapse.

Septic Systems 101

It is necessary to first have a broad understanding of how septic systems operate before we can discuss the reasons why chemicals such as Rid-X are harmful to your septic system. Solids sink to the bottom of a well working septic tank, while liquids rise to the top. Wastewater then exits via the outlet baffle and filters into the drain field, where it is cleansed and reabsorbed into the groundwater. The bacteria contained in human waste work to degrade the particles in your septic tank, causing them to settle and form a layer of sludge on the bottom of the tank.

The bacteria in your septic system are excellent at breaking down particles and slowing the building of sludge, as long as the system is kept in a properly balanced environmental state.

How additives, like Rid-x, interfere with your septic system’s eco-system

It is possible to have too much of a good thing. There are several suggestions and products available to homeowners who want to improve the bacteria in their septic systems, ranging from commercial additions such as Rid-X to more bizarre suggestions such as yeast packets and raw liver! However, in a well operating bacterial environment, these additions have no beneficial impact and can potentially do enough harm to your septic system to cause it to fail completely and permanently. In that case, what exactly is the problem with chemicals like Rid-X?

Due to the fact that Rid-X includes a much stronger type of enzymes than the natural bacteria present in a good septic system, particles are broken down considerably more thoroughly than they would be in the absence of Rid-X.

However, this is not the case.

Soon after, the drain field will become blocked and will need to be replaced, which will cost more money.

And since the average cost to rebuild a septic system is $13,000, with costs ranging up to $25,000 in some cases, you might want to think carefully before throwing possibly system-killing chemicals into your septic tank.

Better methods for maintaining bacteria in your septic system

The most important thing you can do to ensure that your septic system is operating at peak performance is to keep a careful check on what you are pouring down the toilet. It is never acceptable to utilize your toilet or sink as a trash can!

  • Avoid introducing harsh chemicals into your system, such as bleach, paint thinners, insecticides, gasoline, antifreeze, and the like, because they can damage the bacteria that is responsible for keeping your system running correctly. If your house has a septic system, you should avoid using garbage disposals because they flood the system with organic materials that are too difficult for the microorganisms in the septic tank to break down. Inorganic items such as feminine hygiene products, kitty litter, cigarette butts, and paper towels should never be flushed down the toilet. They fill your septic tank with substances that are not biodegradable
  • Keep track of how much water you’re putting into your system and preserve it wherever you can to keep costs down. When possible, combine loads of laundry and only run your dishwasher when it is completely full. The use of grey water (water from the washing machine, dishwasher, baths and showers) to flood your septic system and drain field to the point of exhaustion will interfere with the bacterial composition of your septic tank and drain field.

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