They use a combination of nature and proven technology to treat wastewater from household plumbing produced by bathrooms, kitchen drains, and laundry. The septic tank digests organic matter and separates floatable matter (e.g., oils and grease) and solids from the wastewater.
- The septic tank holds wastewater from the home until solid debris settles at the bottom of the tank (the sludge layer) and lighter waste, such as oil, rises to the top to form the scum layer. Between the two layers lies clarified liquid, which flows into an outlet pipe and is gradually dissipated through a drain field.
What is the best thing to put in your septic tank?
Biological Additives. Biological additives, like bacteria and extracellular enzymes, are the only acceptable septic tank treatment for promoting a healthy, natural bacterial ecosystem, maintaining an effective drain field, and protecting the health of the local groundwater.
Should I put anything in my septic tank?
The truth is, bacteria is added to the tank every time the toilet is flushed; there is no need for additives unless the system is being overloaded or residents are putting items down toilets and drains that they should not.
What can I put in my septic tank for bacteria?
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 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.
How can I increase bacteria in my septic tank naturally?
Homemade Septic Tank Treatment The ingredients required for this natural solution are the following: Water, Sugar, Cornmeal, and Dry Yeast. To concoct this mixture, first start by boiling roughly a half gallon of water. Add in 2 cups of sugar. The sugar will act as the first food your bacteria will eat!
What will baking soda do to a septic system?
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.
Do I need to add chemicals to my septic tank?
Chemicals and other additives promoted to keep a septic system “healthy” or “free-flowing” or “nourished” are generally not required nor recommended by any known expert sources.
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.
Does yeast in a septic tank work?
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.
Does sour milk help septic tank?
The bacteria in the sour milk creates a symbiotic relationship with the yeast in the septic system. Therefore, yes the sour milk would be good for the septic system. These same yeasts and bacterias are the basis for sour dough starters, sauerkraut etc. Plus, it’s a SEPTIC system.
Can you put yogurt in a septic tank?
If you are having trouble with your system, add some helpful bacteria by putting yogurt, activated yeast, or even some beer down the drain. These helper bacteria will only help keep a system healthy, so if you’re still having trouble it’s time to bring in a professional for an inspection, pumping, or possible repair.
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.
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?
Is RIDX good for your septic?
So what’s the problem with additives like Rid-X? According to the EPA and the Ohio Department of Health, not only are additives like Rid-X not recommended, but they actually have a detrimental and potentially hazardous effect on your septic system’s waste treatment process.
Can I use bleach if I have a septic tank?
You might consider bleach to be a great cleaner to use for your septic system. Unfortunately, that mindset is a dangerous one to have because it’s usually recommended to avoid using bleach in your septic system. The chemicals within bleach can kill the bacteria that your septic tank relies on.
How Your Septic System Works
Underground wastewater treatment facilities, known as septic systems, are often employed in rural regions where there are no centralized sewage lines. They clean wastewater from residential plumbing, such as that produced by bathrooms, kitchen drains, and laundry, by combining natural processes with well-established technology. A conventional septic system is comprised of two components: a septic tank and a drainfield, often known as a soil absorption field. It is the septic tank’s job to decompose organic matter and to remove floatable stuff (such as oils and grease) and solids from wastewater.
Alternate treatment systems rely on pumps or gravity to assist septic tank effluent in trickling through a variety of media such as sand, organic matter (e.g., peat and sawdust), constructed wetlands, or other media to remove or neutralize pollutants such as pathogens that cause disease, nitrogen, phosphorus, and other contaminants.
Specifically, this is how a typical conventional septic system works:
- All of the water that leaves your home drains down a single main drainage pipe and into a septic tank. An underground, water-tight container, often composed of concrete, fiberglass, or polyethylene, serves as a septic system’s holding tank. Its function is to retain wastewater for a long enough period of time to allow particles to sink to the bottom and form sludge, while oil and grease float to the surface and produce scum. Sludge and scum are prevented from exiting the tank and moving into the drainfield region by compartments and a T-shaped outlet. After that, the liquid wastewater (effluent) exits the tank and flows into the drainfield. The drainfield is a shallow, covered hole dug in unsaturated soil that serves as a drainage system. Porous surfaces are used to release pretreated wastewater because they allow the wastewater to pass through the soil and into the groundwater. In the process of percolating through the soil, wastewater is accepted, treated, and dispersed by the soil, finally discharging into groundwater. Finally, if the drainfield becomes overburdened with too much liquid, it can flood, causing sewage to flow to the ground surface or resulting in toilet backups and sink backups. Finally, wastewater percolates into the soil, where it is naturally removed of harmful coliform bacteria, viruses, and nutrients. Coliform bacteria are a kind of bacteria that may be found in the intestines of humans and other warm-blooded animals, with humans being the most common host. As a result of human fecal contamination, it is a sign of this.
The Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority has built an animated, interactive model of how a residential septic system works, which you can view here.
Do you have a septic system?
It’s possible that you’re already aware that you have a septic system. If you are not sure, here are some tell-tale symptoms that you most likely are:
- You make use of well water. In your home, the water pipe that brings water into the house does not have a meter. In the case of a water bill or a property tax bill, you will see “$0.00 Sewer Amount Charged.” It is possible that your neighbors have a septic system
How to find your septic system
You can locate your septic system once you have confirmed that you have one by following these steps:
- Taking a look at the “as constructed” drawing of your house
- Making a visual inspection of your yard for lids and manhole covers
- Getting in touch with a septic system service provider for assistance in locating it
Failure symptoms: Mind the signs!
A bad odor is not necessarily the first indicator of a septic system that is failing to work properly. Any of the following signs should prompt you to seek expert assistance:
- Water backing up into the drains of homes and businesses
- It is especially noticeable in dry weather that the drainfield grass is bright green and spongy. The presence of standing water or muddy soil near your septic system or in your basement
- A strong stench emanating from the area surrounding the septic tank and drainfield
How to Care for Your Septic System
Septic system maintenance is neither difficult or expensive, and it does not have to be done frequently. The maintenance of a vehicle is comprised of four major components:
- Inspect and pump your drainfield on a regular basis
- Conserve water
- Dispose of waste properly
- And keep your drainfield in good condition.
Inspect and Pump Frequently
Inspection of the ordinary residential septic system should be performed by a septic service specialist at least once every three years. Household septic tanks are normally pumped every three to five years, depending on how often they are used. Alternative systems that use electrical float switches, pumps, or mechanical components should be examined more frequently, typically once a year, to ensure that they are in proper working order. Because alternative systems contain mechanical components, it is essential to have a service contract.
- The size of the household
- The total amount of wastewater produced
- The amount of solids present in wastewater
- The size of the septic tank
Service provider coming? Here is what you need to know.
When you contact a septic service provider, he or she will inspect your septic tank for leaks as well as the scum and sludge layers that have built up over time. Maintain detailed records of any maintenance work conducted on your septic system. Because of the T-shaped outlet on the side of your tank, sludge and scum will not be able to escape from the tank and travel to the drainfield region. A pumping is required when the bottom of the scum layer or the top of the sludge layer is within six inches of the bottom of the outlet, or if the top of the sludge layer is within 12 inches of the bottom of the outlet.
In the service report for your system, the service provider should mention the completion of repairs as well as the condition of the tank.
If additional repairs are recommended, contact a repair professional as soon as possible. An online septic finder from the National Onsite Wastewater Recycling Association (NOWRA) makes it simple to identify service specialists in your region.
Use Water Efficiently
In a normal single-family house, the average indoor water consumption is about 70 gallons per person, per day, on average. A single leaking or running toilet can waste as much as 200 gallons of water each day, depending on the situation. The septic system is responsible for disposing of all of the water that a residence sends down its pipes. The more water that is conserved in a household, the less water that enters the sewage system. A septic system that is operated efficiently will operate more efficiently and will have a lower chance of failure.
- Toilets with a high level of efficiency. The usage of toilets accounts for 25 to 30% of total home water use. Many older homes have toilets with reservoirs that hold 3.5 to 5 gallons of water, but contemporary, high-efficiency toilets consume 1.6 gallons or less of water for each flush. Changing out your old toilets for high-efficiency versions is a simple approach to lessen the amount of household water that gets into your septic system. Aerators for faucets and high-efficiency showerheads are also available. Reduce water use and the volume of water entering your septic system by using faucet aerators, high-efficiency showerheads, and shower flow restriction devices. Machines for washing clothes. Water and energy are wasted when little loads of laundry are washed on the large-load cycle of your washing machine. By selecting the appropriate load size, you may limit the amount of water wasted. If you are unable to specify a load size, only complete loads of washing should be performed. Washing machine use should be spread throughout the week if at all possible. Doing all of your household laundry in one day may appear to be a time-saving strategy
- Nevertheless, it can cause damage to your septic system by denying your septic tank adequate time to handle waste and may even cause your drainfield to overflow. Machines that have earned theENERGY STARlabel consume 35 percent less energy and 50 percent less water than ordinary ones, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Other Energy Star appliances can save you a lot of money on your energy and water bills.
Properly Dispose of Waste
Everything that goes down your drains, whether it’s flushed down the toilet, ground up in the trash disposal, or poured down the sink, shower, or bath, ends up in your septic system, which is where it belongs. What you flush down the toilet has an impact on how effectively your septic system functions.
Toilets aren’t trash cans!
Your septic system is not a garbage disposal system. A simple rule of thumb is to never flush anything other than human waste and toilet paper down the toilet. Never flush a toilet:
- Cooking grease or oil
- Wipes that are not flushable, such as baby wipes or other wet wipes
- Photographic solutions
- Feminine hygiene items Condoms
- Medical supplies such as dental floss and disposable diapers, cigarette butts and coffee grounds, cat litter and paper towels, pharmaceuticals, and household chemicals such as gasoline and oil, insecticides, antifreeze, and paint or paint thinners
Toilet Paper Needs to Be Flushed! Check out this video, which demonstrates why the only item you should flush down your toilet are toilet paper rolls.
Think at the sink!
Your septic system is made up of a collection of living organisms that digest and treat the waste generated by your household. Pouring pollutants down your drain can kill these organisms and cause damage to your septic system as well as other things. Whether you’re at the kitchen sink, the bathtub, or the utility sink, remember the following:
- If you have a clogged drain, avoid using chemical drain openers. To prevent this from happening, use hot water or a drain snake
- Never dump cooking oil or grease down the sink or toilet. It is never a good idea to flush oil-based paints, solvents, or huge quantities of harmful cleansers down the toilet. Even latex paint waste should be kept to a bare minimum. Disposal of rubbish should be avoided or limited to a minimum. Fats, grease, and particles will be considerably reduced in your septic tank, reducing the likelihood of your drainfield being clogged.
Own a recreational vehicle (RV), boat or mobile home?
If you have ever spent any time in an RV or boat, you are undoubtedly familiar with the issue of aromas emanating from sewage holding tanks.
- The National Small Flows Clearinghouse’s Septic System Care hotline, which may be reached toll-free at 800-624-8301, has a factsheet on safe wastewater disposal for RV, boat, and mobile home owners and operators.
Maintain Your Drainfield
It is critical that you maintain the integrity of your drainfield, which is a component of your septic system that filters impurities from the liquid that emerges from your septic tank once it has been installed. Here are some things you should do to keep it in good condition:
- Parking: Do not park or drive on your drainfield at any time. Plan your tree plantings so that their roots do not grow into your drainfield or septic system. An experienced septic service provider can recommend the appropriate distance for your septic tank and surrounding landscaping, based on your specific situation. Locating Your Drainfield: Keep any roof drains, sump pumps, and other rainfall drainage systems away from the drainfield area. Excess water causes the wastewater treatment process to slow down or halt completely.
Maintain Your Septic System Naturally
On December 5, 2020, the information was updated. However, while this isn’t an enjoyable topic for polite discussion, having your septic system back up into your home is far from pleasant. There are actions that you can do to not only avoid septic issues in the future, but also to guarantee that the process of breaking down flushed waste proceeds as it should.
A Well-Functioning Septic System
The title of this article may be “The Care and Maintenance of the Gut in Your Yard,” which would be more descriptive. Understanding the necessity and advantages of eating dietary fiber, alkaline-forming foods, and taking probiotics for your own gut health will help you recognize the similarities between keeping a healthy septic system and maintaining a healthy digestive system. There are some items that you should avoid putting into any septic system, just as there are certain substances that are favorable to putting into our own digestive systems.
If you wait until there is a problem, you have waited too long and should contact a septic cleaning firm to pump your tank immediately. Slow water drainage, as well as water backing up in the toilet, dishwasher, tub, or sinks, are signs that you may have a septic system problem.
Septic System Care and Maintenance Tips:
- A family of four living in a house with a 1,000-gallon tank should have their septic system cleaned every four years, according to the EPA. Inquire with your local septic cleaning firm about how frequently you should contact them
- Avoid using bleach-containing solutions to clean your toilets since it kills the bacteria that are necessary for the breakdown of waste particles in your septic system. Try this all-natural toilet cleanser
- It works great.
- When you add yeast to your septic system, it helps to aggressively break down waste particles, which is beneficial. Using the first time, flush a 12-cup package of dried baking yeast down the toilet. After the initial addition, add 14 cup of instant yeast every 4 months for the next 4 months. For those who are planning to install or have their existing septic system pumped, it’s a good idea to know precisely where it is in your yard so that you don’t have to dig up a lot of your lawn when the system is pumped in the future. With a tape measure, measure the precise distance between the septic tank lid and the home, and then snap a photo of the exact distance with your mobile phone to prove you were accurate. Maintain a copy of the snapshot in a home maintenance file on your computer for future reference.
Deborah Tukua is a natural living and healthy lifestyle writer who has written seven non-fiction books, including Naturally Sweet Blender Treats. She lives in Hawaii with her family. Since 2004, she has contributed to the Farmers’ Almanac as a writer.
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:
- A few types of soaps
- Products for cleaning
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.
Best septic tank treatments for rural homeowners
If you reside in a rural area of the United States, the chances are good that you will not be linked to a municipal water and sewer system. This means that your water will come from a well, and your body waste will be disposed of in a septic tank. It is the latter that we will be discussing in this article. After all, while septic tanks are capable of decomposing human waste on their own, they occasionally require assistance, and it is at this point that we as homeowners turn to the internet for information on the finest septic tank treatments available.
- Consider it to be akin to re-digesting the solids before sending them to a distribution box (D-box) and then out onto a leaching field to break them down.
- If anything isn’t operating properly, you may find yourself stuck with obstructions and a buildup of gasses.
- After all, septic repairs are not inexpensive – I had to have my leaching field replaced a few years ago, which resulted in a bill of several thousand dollars.
- In all likelihood, it will require pumping, however we have been able to go even longer without the need for pumping.
Here are 5 of the greatest septic tank treatments that we’ve come across that you may use if you need to give your septic system a little more TLC:
Green Gobbler Septic Saver Pacs
A septic saver that is designed to digest grease and fats while also breaking down paper and organic debris in order to keep your sewage line and septic tank free of blockages. It also aids in the reduction of smells, no matter how offensive they may be! To use Septic Saver, simply drop one pack into your downstairs bathroom toilet and flush it once a month for preventive septic tank maintenance. Each bag of Septic Saver contains six water-soluble packs; to use, simply drop and flush one pack into your downstairs bathroom toilet once a month for preventive septic tank maintenance.
Rid-X Septic Tank Treatment Enzymes
This is the brand that you’ll see the most advertisements for on television, and in our experience, these enzyme pacs are really effective! Septic backups are prevented by continually breaking down household waste – the natural bacteria and sophisticated enzymes begin working instantly to target paper, protein, oils, and grease. Rid-X is available in a variety of sizes. One packet of provides a one-month treatment for septic tanks ranging in capacity from 700 to 1,500 gallons. To use, simply insert a pouch in your toilet and flush it down the toilet.
Instant Power 1868 Septic Shock
Septic Shock unclogs and deodorizes blocked, foul-smelling septic systems while also aiding in the digestion of soap, paper and grease. Pouring two liters (one container) of bleach directly into the toilet and flushing it will introduce millions of helpful bacteria to the system. This product comprises bacterial/enzyme strains of lipase (grease), protease (protein), cellulose (paper), and alpha amylase, which work together to breakdown system-clogging waste and debris.
Bio-Tab for Septic Systems
Using this ecologically friendly septic tank treatment will not affect your plumbing or septic system because it is non-corrosive and non-poisonous. Each container has a year’s worth of supplies (14 no-mess pills), as well as a calendar on the lid to keep track of your monthly use. Bio-Tab is made up of organisms that have been considered safe by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and is non-toxic to people and animals.
Walex Bio-Active Drop-Ins Septic Additive
Each month, you’ll receive a box that is safe for all types of plumbing and environmentally friendly – just put it in the toilet and flush it. With each dose, billions of bacteria and septic-specific enzymes are released, assisting in the prevention of blockages and the dissolution of solid materials. The use of Bio-Active helps to replenish the biological population of beneficial worker bacteria and enzymes, which are responsible for solids reduction. Each package contains 12 packets, which is enough for a year’s supply.
Purchases made through the retail links in our product evaluations result in commissions being earned by us.
On AG Daily, there is sponsored content.
Is Rid-X Safe for your Septic System?
“Is Rid-X safe for your septic system?” a question we’ve been asked several times. If you have a query, we’ll answer it with another question: Do you need to use Rid-X or any other additive?
If you’re looking to avoid frequent pumping, the answer is no, unfortunately. Not because Rid-X is inherently hazardous, but because it has given the idea that it may be used in place of other, more vital components of septic system management, which is not the case. Even Rid-X believes it.
Do septic additives really work?
Many homeowners are attempting to improve the efficiency of their septic systems by adding additives, such as Rid-X, to give the bacteria in their tanks a small boost. Bonus points for being aware of your septic system! Maintain your zeal, though, for something a bit more constructive. In order for the bacteria in your tank to function correctly, it must have a broad biome of bacteria. That tiny package (whether it contains yeast, Rid-X, or another organism) will only provide a small amount of biodiversity to the system.
- Due to the minimal number of bacteria or enzyme contained in an additive dosage when compared to the amount of bacteria already present in a tank, the additive dose provides little, if any, help in wastewater digestion.
- It is possible to have too much of a good thing.
- Maintaining a septic tank does not need extensive knowledge of chemistry.
- Every 2-4 years, this layer of sludge must be removed from your system by a sludge pump.
Are septic additives worth it?
In a nutshell, the answer is no. The needless expenditure of additives will “ADD” up in the long run. (Please accept my apologies for the dad joke.) Keep the extra coin in case you want to tip the pump truck driver. When comparing tanks with and without bacterial additions, one research revealed no variation in the sludge level between the two groups (McKenzie, 1999). Is Rid-X a safe product to use on your septic system? An additional inquiry in response to your query: How much do you charge for a bowel movement?
Septic system maintenance for the enthusiastic homeowner…
For those meticulous homeowners who want to take home a gold medal in septic tank care, we’ve compiled a non-exhaustive list of tasks for you to do. Pumping your tank on a regular basis is the most effective maintenance procedure.
The best way to maintain a septic system
The liquid in a septic tank should look like this: A maintenance item that isn’t your standard squeaky-clean item: This is what liquid septic waste looks like after it is disposed of.
- Review ourMaintenance Suggestions for more information. 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
- Check out our options for septic system laundry
- 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. Prevent dangerous compounds from being flushed down the toilet. Use the appropriate rubbish transfer station to properly dispose of chemicals such as solvents, paint, varnish, oil, and insecticides
- Cooking oil and fat should not be flushed down the sink. Drainage and runoff water should be diverted. Pools and hot tubs should never be drained into your septic system or drainfield. To keep water input to your drainfield to a minimum, downspouts and roof runoff should be directed away from your drainfield. Reduce the amount of water you use! When feasible, fix leaks and replace old, inefficient toilets, faucets, and showerheads with new, more water-efficient models. Only use the washer and dishwasher when there are full loads. Additionally, it reduces the cost of water and electricity bills, while also extending the life of the septic system.
Is Rid-X a safe product to use on your septic system?
References for Further Reading
- “Septic Tank Additives” is a course offered by Washington State University Extension.
Septic Tank Additives, Environmental Protection Agency, n.d. Septic Tank Additives Environmental Protection Agency Fact Sheet No.
1 on Special Issues Regarding Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems (EPA 625/R-00/008. McKenzie, M. C., and McKenzie, M. C., 1999. Septic tank additives are the subject of groundbreaking research at North Carolina State University. Summer 1999 issue of Small Flows Newsletter, Vol. 13, No. 3.
Do I Need Enzymes for My Septic Tank
In addition to septic tanks and grease traps, Herring Sanitation recommends the use of an environmentally friendly digestant (additive) for use in drainage fields, ATU systems, home drains, floor drains, dump sites (including lift stations), lagoons (including seepage ditches), vault toilets, seepage ditches, and sewage spills. Our environmentally friendly waste and grease digestant aids in the digestion of waste, the management of smells, the maintenance of free-flowing drains, the maintenance of septic tanks, the maintenance of grease traps, the digestion of grease, and the improvement of percolation.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about Eco-Friendly Digestant or Additive
1Do I require enzymes and bacteria additions for the treatment of my septic tank? Over time, waste accumulates in your drain lines and septic tank, causing them to back up. It is recommended by Herring Sanitation that you use a unique combination of bacteria that will help you minimize waste. The natural digesting micro-organisms will not destroy your plumbing or septic system in the same way as chemical drain openers can cause damage. By applying our particular mix on a daily basis, you can help to keep the environment safe.
- A waste and grease digestant that is environmentally safe can assist in the regular operation of waste disposal systems by increasing the capacity for waste elimination and providing natural aid.
- It aids in the elimination of scents that attract disease-carrying insects.
- It assists in the elimination of wet soil and surface puddles caused by the obstruction of the drain field.
- It aids in the breakdown of grease.
- 3What makes the product you propose superior to the main brands on the market?
- This well-known commodity is mostly comprised of sawdust and fillers, neither of which contribute significantly to waste degradation.
- There are several requirements for septic users, including waste breakdown, hair breakdown, and odor reduction.
4) Do I still have to pump out my septic tank if I use products with enzymes and bacteria additives?
The removal of solid waste from your tank is not possible with any product now available on the market.
The pumping of a standard septic/leach field system is required every two to three years.
Nothing will ever be able to eliminate the requirement to pump a septic tank on a regular basis.
The product Herring sells is packaged in 12 tidy envelopes that are about the size of a packet of hot chocolate (see photo).
In a household setting, you just place one in a new drain each month, and the water will continue to flow. 6 I’m not sure what systems I should use an ecologically friendly digestant (or addition) for, but Any of the following systems can be used with it:
- Each and every family who utilizes a high dose of antibiotics, anti-bacterials, and bleach in their house on a regular basis (monthly maintenance)
- The use of shock treatment can improve the performance of sluggish septic, drain, and grease trap systems. Regular monthly maintenance of septic, cesspool, mound, and ATU systems
- Septic tank replacement
- Drains in the home (which require monthly maintenance on a regular basis)
- Grease traps (maintenance performed at the end of each business day and on a weekly basis)
- Sewage ponds, sewage systems, seepage pits, and a dumping station (where needed) are all included in the price.
7 Can I use the ecologically friendly digestant in meat and poultry factories that are subject to federal inspection? Yes. In meat and poultry industries that are subject to federal inspection, our ecologically friendly digestant is approved for use. Each package contains 12 packets, which should be used once a month for normal household upkeep and cleaning. We recommend that you follow the following schedule. To Place an Order for Enzymes, Please Click Here- Take a printout of this enzyme schedule for your own reference and convenience:
How Does a Septic Tank Work?
Mr. Fix-It-Up-For-The-Family You may save a lot of money if you understand how a sewage treatment system works—and what can go wrong—so that you can handle your own septic system maintenance.
How does a septic tank work?
Pumping the tank on a regular basis eliminates sludge and scum, which helps to keep a septic system in good working order. It is possible for a well-designed and well built septic system to last for decades, or it might collapse in a matter of years. It is entirely up to you as long as you can answer the question of how do septic tanks function. Healthy septic systems are very inexpensive to maintain, but digging up and replacing a septic system that has completely collapsed may easily cost tens of thousands in labor and material costs.
It’s critical to understand how a septic tank works in order to maintain one.
Let’s take a look below ground and observe what happens in a properly operating septic system, shall we?
Understand that a septic system is a cafeteria for bacteria
Bacteria are responsible for the proper operation of a septic system. They decompose garbage, resulting in water that is clean enough to safely trickle down into the earth’s surface. The entire system is set up to keep bacteria healthy and busy at all times. Some of them reside in the tank, but the majority of them are found in the drain field. 1. The septic tank is the final destination for all waste. 2. The majority of the tank is filled with watery waste, referred to as “effluent.” Anaerobic bacteria begin to break down the organic matter in the effluent as soon as it enters the system.
- A layer of sludge settles to the bottom of the container.
- Scum is mostly constituted of fats, greases, and oils, among other substances.
- Grease and oils float to the surface of the water.
- (5) A filter stops the majority of particles from reaching the exit pipe.
- The effluent is discharged into the drain field.
- Effluent is allowed to leak into the surrounding gravel because of holes in the drain septic field pipe.
When gravel is used to surround pipes, water can run into the soil and oxygen can reach germs. The garbage is completely decomposed by aerobic bacteria found in gravel and dirt. 9. Potable water seeps into the groundwater and aquifer system from the surface.
Septic Tank Clean Out: Don’t abuse the system
Septic systems that have been correctly planned and constructed require just occasional ‘pumping’ to remove the sludge and scum that has built up inside the tank. However, if you don’t understand how a septic tank works, you may unintentionally hurt or even destroy the system.
- Drains are used to dispose of waste that decomposes slowly (or not at all). Cigarette butts, diapers, and coffee grounds are all known to cause issues. Garbage disposers, if utilized excessively, can introduce an excessive amount of solid waste into the system. Lint from synthetic fibers is emitted from washing machine lint traps. This substance is not degraded by bacteria in the tank and drain septic field. Bacteria are killed by chemicals found in the home, such as disinfecting cleansers and antibacterial soaps. The majority of systems are capable of withstanding limited usage of these goods, but the less you use them, the better. When a large amount of wastewater is produced in a short period of time, the tank is flushed away too quickly. When there is too much sludge, bacteria’s capacity to break down waste is reduced. Sludge can also overflow into the drain field if there is too much of it. Sludge or scum obstructs the flow of water via a pipe. It is possible for tree and shrub roots to obstruct and cause harm to a drain field. Compacted soil and gravel prevent wastewater from seeping into the ground and deprive germs of oxygen. Most of the time, this is caused by vehicles driving or parking on the drain field.
Get your tank pumped…
Your tank must be emptied on a regular basis by a professional. Pumping eliminates the accumulation of sludge and scum that has accumulated in the tank, which has caused the bacterial action to be slowed. If you have a large tank, it may be necessary to pump it once a year; but, depending on the size of your tank and the quantity of waste you send through the system, you may go two or three years between pumpings. Inquire with your inspector about an approximate guideline for how frequently your tank should be pumped.
…but don’t hire a pumper until you need it
Inspections and pumping should be performed on a regular basis. However, if you’re not afraid of getting your hands dirty, you may verify the sludge level yourself with a gadget known as The Sludge Judge. It ranges in price from $100 to $125 and is commonly accessible on the internet. Once you’ve verified that your tank is one-third full with sludge, you should contact a professional to come out and pump it out completely.
Install an effluent filter in your septic system
Garbage from your home accumulates into three distinct strata. The septic filter is responsible for preventing blockage of the drain field pipes.
Septic tank filter close-up
The septic tank filter is responsible for capturing suspended particles that may otherwise block the drain field pipes. Obtain an effluent filter for your tank from your contractor and place it on the outflow pipe of your tank. (It will most likely cost between $50 and $100, plus labor.) This device, which helps to prevent sediments from entering the drain field, will need to be cleaned out on a regular basis by a contractor to maintain its effectiveness.
Solution for a clogged septic system
If your septic system becomes clogged and you find yourself having to clean the filter on a regular basis, you might be tempted to simply remove the filter altogether. Hold on to it. Solids, wastewater, and scum are separated into three levels in septic tanks, which allows them to function properly (see illustration above). Solids sink to the bottom of the container, where microbes breakdown them. The scum, which is made up of trash that is lighter than water, rises to the surface. In the drainage field, the middle layer of effluent leaves the tank and goes through an underground network of perforated pipes to the drainage field.
- Keep the effluent filter in place since it is required by your state’s health law.
- Waste particles might flow through the filter and clog the perforated pipes if the filter is not used.
- Your filter, on the other hand, should not require cleaning every six months.
- A good chance is high that you’re flushing filter-clogging things down the toilet, such as grease, fat, or food scraps.
- A garbage disposal will not be able to break down food particles sufficiently to allow them to flow through the septic tank filtration system.
- Plastic items, disposable diapers, paper towels, nonbiodegradable goods, and tobacco products will clog the system if they are flushed through it.
For additional information on what should and should not be flushed down the toilet, contact your local health authority. More information on removing lint from your laundry may be found here.
Get an inspection
Following a comprehensive first check performed by an expert, regular inspections will cost less than $100 each inspection for the next year. Your professional will be able to inform you how often you should get your system inspected as well as how a septic tank functions. As straightforward as a septic system appears, determining its overall condition necessitates the services of a professional. There are a plethora of contractors who would gladly pump the sludge out of your tank, but many, in my experience, are unable to explain how a septic system works or how it should be maintained.
A certification scheme for septic contractors has been established in certain states; check with your state’s Secretary of State’s office to see whether yours is one of them.
Also, a qualified inspector will be able to tell you whether or not your tank is large enough to accommodate your household’s needs, as well as the maximum amount of water that can be passed through it in a single day.
As you learn more about how a septic tank works, your professional should be able to tell you whether or not your system will benefit from this treatment.
Alternatives to a new drain field
If an examination or a sewage backup indicate that your drain field is in need of replacement, the only option is to replace it completely. As a result, it’s important to talk with a contractor about other possibilities before proceeding with the project.
- Pipes should be cleaned. A rotating pressure washer, used by a contractor, may be used to clean out the drain septic field pipes. The cost of “jetting” the pipes is generally around $200. Chemicals should be used to clean the system. A commercial solution (not a home-made one) that enhances the quantity of oxygen in the drain field should be discussed with your contractor before installing your new system. Septic-Scrub is a product that I suggest. A normal treatment will cost between $500 and $1,000. Make the soil more pliable. The practice of “terra-lifting,” which involves pumping high-pressure air into several spots surrounding the drain field, is authorized in some regions. Some contractors use it to shatter compacted dirt around the pipes. Depending on the circumstances, this might cost less than $1,000 or as much as $4,000 or more.
Protect your drain septic field from lint
When this device is in place, it inhibits lint from entering the system, especially synthetic fibers that bacteria are unable to digest. One of these filters, which I’ve designed and termed theSeptic Protector, was invented by me. An additional filter is included in the price of around $150 plus delivery. Learn more about how to filter out laundry lint in this article.
Don’t overload the septic system
Reduce the amount of water you use. The volume of water that flows into your tank, particularly over a short period of time, can be reduced to avoid untreated waste from being flushed into your drain field. Replace outdated toilets with low-flow ones, install low-flow showerheads, and, perhaps most importantly, wash laundry throughout the week rather than just on Saturday mornings to save water.
Meet the Expert
Septic systems, according to Jim vonMeier, are the solution to America’s water deficit because they supply cleaned water to depleted aquifers, according to vonMeier. He travels the country lobbying for septic systems, giving lectures, and giving testimony. For septic system inquiries, as well as information on the operation of the septic tank, contact him by email.
7 Tips to Take Care of Your Septic System
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Maintaining a home’s septic system may seem like a daunting and stinky task, but it’s really not. Being mindful of what you’re doing inside the home will keep the system healthy.
Preventing and treating problems with your septic system is not difficult and does not have to be expensive. Failure to maintain your septic system, on the other hand, might result in significant financial loss, since digging up and rebuilding a septic system can cost tens of thousands of dollars.
What Is a Septic System?
Because it handles all of the wastewater that comes from your home, including the water from the bathrooms, kitchen, and laundry room, if your home is not connected to a municipal water and sewer system, your septic system is essential. Septic systems are generally comprised of a tank, into which wastewater is channeled for treatment and the particles are separated from the liquid. Microorganisms break down the organic stuff in wastewater, allowing it to be recycled. A perforated pipe system transports wastewater from there to a drain or leach field, which collects the effluent.
Get Familiar With Your Septic System
Understanding how your septic tank works, what sort of system it is, and where it is placed are all important first steps in proper maintenance. The county or town should keep a record of the permit, as well as a chart showing the tank’s layout and placement, because state rules demand a permit for septic system installation. Visual clues, such as sewage covers, or the direction in which the sewer pipe, which is located in the basement, runs out of the home, may be able to assist you in your search.
Have It Pumped Routinely
The normal residential septic system should be pumped (had sediments removed) every three to five years. According on the size of the tank, the typical price of pumping a residential septic tank is between $300 and $600. When you contact a septic service company, they will also inspect your septic tank for leaks and evaluate the sludge layers in your tank for any problems. Remember to save a copy of any maintenance paperwork pertaining to work performed on your septic tank. They will come in helpful if there are any difficulties with the house or if you decide to sell it.
Spread Your Washing Machine/Dishwasher Usage Throughout the Week
You may believe that scheduling a “laundry day,” during which you wash all of your clothing and possibly even run your dishwasher, would save you time. However, it puts a great deal of strain on your septic system. If you don’t allow your septic system enough time to process the wastewater, you risk overloading the system and flooding your drainfield with wastewater. Replace this with doing a full load of laundry (to ensure that you are not wasting water) a couple of times a week.
Don’t Treat Your Toilet Like a Trash Can
The only item that should be flushed down the toilet that does not come out of your body is toilet paper. Everything else should be discarded. This implies that there will be no tissues, diapers, feminine items, hair, dental floss, or anything else. Toilet paper is supposed to decompose in the septic tank after it has been used. Any additional materials are not permitted; they will clog and cause harm to your septic tank.
Make sure you use toilet paper that is safe for use with your septic system. Some of the luxurious, pricey ones that include lotions and additional plys may clog your system or introduce unwelcome substances into it.
Think About What You Dump Down the Kitchen Sink Drain
We flush a variety of items down the kitchen sink that might cause serious damage to a septic system. Never flush objects down the sink drain, including coffee grounds, eggshells, medicine, produce stickers, flour, and other such items. All of these things can clog pipes and cause screens to get obstructed. Do not dispose of any oil, including cooking oils and paint, grease, and fat since these substances will block your sewer line and cause it to back up into your home. Even dairy products such as milk, cream, and butter are harmful if they are flushed down the toilet.
When you use a garbage disposal in conjunction with a septic tank, the ground-up food particles contribute to the layer of solids that accumulates at the bottom of the tank’s bottom.
Be Careful With Cleaning Chemicals
Cleaning agents that homeowners use can be harmful to the beneficial microorganisms in their septic systems. When washing textiles, avoid using harsh chemicals such as bleach. If you absolutely must, use only a little quantity of the product. Use of drain cleaners is discouraged since, in addition to destroying beneficial bacteria, they can cause harm to the tank itself. Alternatively, if a plunger does not work, a toilet drain snake, which is also effective on clogged kitchen and bathroom sinks, may be used.
Quaternary ammonia is also present in antibacterial soaps and disinfectants, which should be avoided.
Protect Your Drainfield
As previously said, proper management of your drainfield begins with careful monitoring of water consumption and the materials that enter your septic system. Never drive or park a vehicle on top of your drainage system. Make certain that gutters and sump pumps discharge water far enough away from the drainfield to prevent flooding. Avoid growing trees and bushes in close proximity to the drainfield since the roots of these plants might interfere with the pipes.
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.