Your septic system contains a collection of living organisms that digest and treat household waste. Pouring toxins down your drain can kill these organisms and harm your septic system. This will significantly reduce the amount of fats, grease, and solids that enter your septic tank and ultimately clog its drainfield.Your septic system contains a collection of living organisms that digest and treat household waste. Pouring toxins down your drain can kill these organisms and harm your septic system. This will significantly reduce the amount of fats, grease, and solids that enter your septic tank and ultimately clog its
Septic drain field – Wikipedia
- A septic tank treatment can help you keep your home’s septic tank clean. It is also a great way to reduce the number of times you will need to pump out the tank.
Should I use septic tank treatment?
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.
Are septic tank additives necessary?
Septic tanks are designed to take care of waste disposal on their own — no additives needed. With regular septic tank pumping and inspections, a septic system should last decades. A septic system is used primarily in rural areas without access to city sewer systems.
Should you put Ridex in your septic tank?
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.
Does adding bacteria to septic tanks work?
Much research has shown that they do not make a positive difference: A good deal of research that has been conducted has shown that adding bacteria to a septic system has no positive overall effect. Some of this research has even found that additives may be harmful to septic tank systems.
Do septic tanks need bacteria?
Bacteria helps your septic tank function over time. Without bacteria, your septic tank would likely clog quickly. You can promote growth of beneficial bacteria through good septic tank maintenance practices. The way you use your septic tank and the things you flush down your drains can impact your tank’s functioning.
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.
Is Roebic septic safe?
With patented, environmentally friendly bacteria enzymes safe for all plumbing, Roebic K-37-Q Septic Tank Treatment is specifically designed to restore the natural balance within septic tanks by promoting the efficient and rapid breakdown of solids, resulting in reduced sludge and scum levels, odors, clogs, and more
Is Dawn dish soap safe for septic systems?
One of the best know is commercials for Dawn dish soap. The ability for the cleaner to disperse oil and grease is better for cleaning, as it helps to break it up. The reason these are bad for septic systems is because if you use too much they can leach out into the environment without being properly treated.
How do I clean my septic tank naturally?
You can mix about a 1/4 cup of baking soda with 1/2 cup of vinegar and 2 tablespoons lemon to make your own natural cleaning agent. The baking soda will fizz up to help get the dirt and grime in your tub and drains. It’s a great cleaner and your septic system will thank you!
Do you put Ridex in every toilet?
If my home has 2 or more bathrooms, do I have to use RID-X® in each one? No, either pour RID-X® down one drain or toilet or flush a RID-X® Septi-Pac down one toilet.
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?
What happens to poop in a septic tank?
The inlet pipe collects the water waste in the septic tank, long enough that the solid and liquid waste is separated from each other. Inside the tank bacteria from the wastewater breaks down the solid waste. These bacteria decompose the solid waste rapidly allowing the liquids to separate and drain away more easily.
How long do septic tanks last?
A septic system’s lifespan should be anywhere from 15 to 40 years. How long the system lasts depends on a number of factors, including construction material, soil acidity, water table, maintenance practices, and several others.
What is the best bacteria to put in septic tank?
Much like your stomach, septic tanks need good bacteria and enzymes to break down the solids that pass through it. These beneficial bacteria and enzymes can come from several sources, but our favorite is actually rotten tomatoes. These naturally occurring enzymes are proteins called Pectinase or Pectinolytic enzymes.
What to do after septic is pumped?
After you have had your septic tank pumped by a trusted septic company, there are some things you can and should do as the septic system owner.
- 1) Get on a Schedule.
- 2) Take Care of the System.
- 3) Know the Parts of Your System.
- 4) Check Other Possible Issues.
Should we use septic tank additives and do they really work?
The efficacy of septic tank additives is a subject of intense discussion in the scientific community. The most common reason why individuals are warned against using septic tank additives is the misconception that adding an addition totally eliminates the need for pumping or other maintenance operations. However, while it is true that additives increase the effectiveness and durability of septic systems, the owner of the system must still adhere to the regular pumping plan. Every septic system owner should be reminded that even when utilizing biological additives, they should still pump their tanks once every three to five years, according to Purdue University researchers.
What are septic tank additives made of?
The other reason why some individuals are against additives is because they have had a terrible experience with some of the poor quality additives that are now available on the market. So, what characteristics distinguish an excellent additive? Let’s have a look at the primary ingredients that are utilized in the production of septic tank additives.
Chemical septic tank additives
The most significant disadvantage of chemical additions is that they operate under the premise that the septic tank has sufficient bacteria and enzymes. Unfortunately, this is seldom the case, especially given the fact that the majority of households employ items that reduce the effectiveness of bacteria. The following are some of the most often seen chemical additive components: Calcium Calcium is one of the most often used chemical additions, and it is also one of the most abundant. In general, the concept behind utilizing calcium as an addition is that it elevates the pH levels in sewage, so creating an environment that is favourable for optimal bacterial activity.
- Although it appears to be a smart idea on paper, the reality is that calcium will really do more harm than benefit.
- As if things weren’t bad enough, the calcium may also act as a flocculant, which will cause solid waste to suspend in the septic tank and finally make its way into the leach field.
- Sodium bicarbonate is preferable to calcium because it increases the alkalinity of the septic tank, rather than increasing the pH of the tank.
- The action of flocculants and surfactants is to reduce the tension that exists between molecules.
- The same concept is used by the additives that make use of these items to allow the particles to break down and flow smoothly with the waste water.
However, when biosurfactants are used in conjunction with bacteria, there is an exception to the general norm. Consequently, the biosurfactant will actually aid the bacteria in their digestion of organic waste.
The introduction of food into the sewage system is the goal of several septic tank additives. Bacteria, like any other living entity, require nourishment in order to maintain their existence. As a result, these additions provide minerals, carbon, grain, meat, protein, and other kinds of sustenance for the bacteria. These additives, on the other hand, have two major drawbacks. First and foremost, they operate on the assumption that the septic tank has the appropriate types of bacteria in proper quantities.
We manufacture enzymes in our bodies to assist in the digestion of food and the absorption of nutrients by our bodies. Enzymes serve a similar role in the treatment of sewage in septic tanks. In the process, they break down the complicated chemicals, making them more appetizing to bacteria. Yeast is one of the most often utilized products in the production of enzymes, but it faces a number of challenges, the most significant of which is that it lacks the enzymes required for the decomposition of FOG and hair protein.
Bio-additives Sol’s are derived from both enzymes and bacteria, so avoiding this usual stumbling block.
- Lipase is a digestive enzyme that converts the molecular structure of lipids into water. Amylase is a digestive enzyme that digests carbohydrates by converting them into a soluble solution. It contains the enzyme protease, which deodorizes and liquefies solid wastes. Cellulase is a digestive enzyme that aids in the breakdown of toilet paper.
CAUTION: Despite the fact that yeast contains enzymes, it is not recommended to introduce yeast into the septic system. The absence of bacteria in the yeast means that your system may have an imbalance between enzymes and bacteria, which will result in foaming, which can result in suspended particles being pushed into the leachbed before they can be digested by bacteria.
As a result of flushing the toilet after passing stool, the proper bacteria is introduced into the septic tank together with the feces. Bacteria are a natural component of the digestive secretions produced by the human body. These bacteria perform best when the pH is regulated and the temperature is maintained at body temperature. So, why would you want to add bacteria-containing chemicals to your septic system, anyway? There are a handful of valid explanations for this. Most importantly, the addition of highly-trained specialist bacteria into the system will aid to improve its overall efficiency since the specialized bacteria are specifically engineered to withstand higher temperature variations as well as greater swings in pH value fluctuations.
The use of a good biological additive to replenish the system is recommended since bacteria decrease and pH levels are disrupted as a result of the usage of dangerous items.
The biological ingredient in Bio-septic Sol’s system brings billions of bacteria and enzymes into your septic system, which is why it has been shown to be effective in the cleaning of septic systems.
Chemical septic tank additives can actually be harmful to the septic tank since they destroy the microorganisms in the tank and pollute the surrounding environment. In order to avoid them entirely, it is recommended that you do so. Biological additives, on the other hand, are completely harmless to the environment and the septic tank, and they can even assist to increase the efficiency and durability of the septic tank. Only one word of caution should be heeded while utilizing biological additions: keep in mind that not all biological additives are created equal.
Are septic tank additives good or bad?
Household septic tank additives are supplied to consumers throughout the United States, but they are not subject to government oversight, standardized testing, or official certification. As a result, it can be difficult to determine if septic tank additives are effective and whether you actually require them. Our approach will be to categorize additives into three groups based on their chemical composition: inorganic substances, organic solvents, and biological additives.
Strong acids and alkalis are used as septic tank additives in combination with inorganic substances. They are 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)
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
Bacterial kill in septic tanks; negative impact on the health of traditional septic systems; decrease the operation of secondary treatment systems; contamination of groundwater;
Do I need to add bacteria to my septic tank?
Septic tanks that are in good condition already contain sufficient bacteria to support the biological processes that treat human waste and wastewater. By increasing the number of bacteria in the tank, you may create an environment in which bacterial populations struggle against one another for resources. This rivalry has the potential to cause more harm than benefit. Septic systems that are in poor condition are a different matter. Excessive concentrations of poisonous compounds, such as the following, have frequently weakened the microorganisms that live in these environments:
- Certain soaps, disinfectants, cleaning products, medications, and insecticides, among other things
Bacterial additives may be used to assist you in re-establishing a healthy balance in your septic system when this occurs. To determine if this procedure is appropriate for you, speak with your septic system manufacturer or consult with our team of specialists.
Do I need to add septic tank enzymes?
Septic tank additives containing enzymes (also known as bio enzymes) are intended to accelerate the growth of bacterial populations in the tank.
They accomplish this by altering the structure of organic pollutants, making it easier for bacteria to feed on them. There are two things you should be aware of when it comes to septic tank enzymes:
- They have a special purpose. Consider the enzymes cellulase and protease, which are both widely used. Cellulase is a digestive enzyme that only breaks down toilet paper and other fibrous materials. Protease is a protease enzyme that exclusively breaks down protein-based contaminants. The presence of these enzymes has no influence on other organic pollutants
- They are not living and thus can’t replicate themselves. In contrast to bacteria, enzymes must be purchased and applied to your septic system on a regular basis in order to retain their intended effectiveness.
Some septic tank enzymes are offered in order to prevent the formation of a scum layer in the tank. Fats, oils, and greases are allowed to move downstream into secondary treatment systems and other septic system components, and they function in this way. This is due to the fact that fats, oils, and greases are not intended to be carried downstream. As a result, they may overburden the components of your septic system, which may impair their efficiency and reduce their lifespan.
The verdict on septic tank additives
It might be difficult to determine if septic tank additives are beneficial or detrimental. It is possible to make an educated decision with the aid of this article, the scientific community, and the environmental restrictions in your region.
What science says about septic tank additives
There is very little scientific evidence to support the idea that you should add bacteria or enzymes to your septic system. Septic tanks that are in good condition do not appear to benefit from the use of biological additions, according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency. The same findings were inconclusive when it came to justifying the expense of septic system additives for residential applications (EPA, United States, 2002).
Septic regulations near you
Many septic additives claim to be able to completely remove the requirement for septic tank pumping and maintenance. Even if these assertions are correct, they are frequently irrelevant. Raw sewage comprises a variety of contaminants, including minerals, synthetic fibers, plastics, and other solid waste, in addition to organic waste. No amount of septic tank additives will be able to break down these substances. They accumulate as sludge at the bottom of your tank, where they will remain until a septic pumper comes to remove them.
As a result, most jurisdictions require homeowners to have their septic tanks pumped on a regular basis to ensure proper functioning.
Your next steps for a healthy septic system
One of the most important things you can do for your septic system is to have it professionally serviced by a certified expert. This necessitates thorough inspections as well as frequent septic tank pumping. For information about septic services in your region, please contact our team of professionals. We are always there to assist you. Please get in touch with us.
Everything You Need to Know About Septic Tank Additive
When it comes to your septic system, the best thing you can do is have it professionally maintained by a knowledgeable professional. The result is frequent septic tank pumping and careful examination. For information about septic services in your region, please contact our team of professionals for assistance and guidance. We are available at all times to assist you with your inquiries. We invite you to get in touch with us
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.
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.
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.
- Inspection of the average residential septic system by a licensed septic service specialist should be performed at least once every three years. Household septic tanks are normally pumped every three to five years, depending on how much usage they receive. 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 good working order. As an alternate system with automated components, a service contract is critical. The frequency of septic pumping is influenced by four primary factors:
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.
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:
- Septic systems are not meant to be used as garbage disposal systems. A simple rule of thumb is that you should not flush anything other than human waste and toilet paper down the toilet. Never flush a toilet if you can help it
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?
When dealing with a clogged drain, stay away from chemical drain openers if possible. To prevent clogging, use hot water or a drain snake; Don’t ever flush cooking oil or grease down the toilet. It is never a good idea to flush oil-based paints, solvents, or huge amounts of harmful cleansers down the toilet. We should strive to reduce even latex paint waste. Disposal of rubbish should be eliminated or limited to a minimum. In turn, this will dramatically limit the quantity of fats, grease, and sediments that enter your septic tank and eventually block its drainfield; and
- 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.
Do Septic Tank Additives Really Work?
Adobe Stock / kaliantye / Adobe Stock Because your septic system is such an important component of your house, it’s only reasonable to want to do everything you can to ensure that it continues to function properly. Manufacturing companies that produce septic tank additives are well aware of this, and they market products that claim to lessen the need for pumping, dissolve obstructions, or otherwise enhance your sewage system. In actuality, though, these additions aren’t essential and, in many cases, are detrimental to one’s health.
How Septic Systems Work Without Additives
Many people utilize unneeded or hazardous septic tank additives because they don’t fully comprehend how a septic system functions. This is the most common reason for this practice. Septic systems function by taking use of a perfectly natural biological process that does not necessitate the involvement of humans in any way. They are intended to function without the need of additives. Your septic tank is responsible for collecting all of the wastewater and waste solids generated by your home’s plumbing system.
- Solids settle to the bottom of the tank, forming a layer known as sludge, while fats float to the surface, forming a layer known as scum.
- In most systems, the effluent passes through equipment that further purify it before being released into the soil over time (see Figure 1).
- You don’t have to add anything further to them, feed them, or provide any kind of assistance.
- Because the bacteria are anaerobic, they do not require the presence of oxygen.
- There is no additive that can break down this layer in order to postpone or replace the pumping process.
Maintaining a solid waste removal system in your tank every two to five years, depending on the size of your home and how frequently you use it, as well as your climate, is recommended.
The False Promise of Septic Tank Additives
Manufacturers of septic tank additives often claim that their chemicals aid in the breakdown of the solid waste layer or the scum layer, resulting in you not having to have your tank pumped as frequently. Other items claimed to be able to unclog a blocked soil absorption system, but none of them delivered. There are two sorts of additives: These are bacteria, yeast, and enzyme items that manufacturers market as a means to kick-start a brand-new septic system or to provide extra assistance for an overburdened system.
- They are not harmful to your system, but they are also not beneficial.
- In other circumstances, the system may have been designed or built improperly, necessitating a complete revamp of the entire system.
- This category includes products such as drain cleaners and degreasers for the home.
- When they really do what they say they will, they will cause interference with the waste separation process.
- At worst, they can cause damage to the pipes and other components of the system.
- You should get your septic tank pumped if you detect a foul odor, gathering water around the drainfield, or your drains are running slowly.
Managing Special Situations
Many septic tank additive manufacturers say that their chemicals help break down the solid waste layer or scum layer, which means you won’t have to have your tank pumped as often as you would otherwise. There were a number of other solutions on the market that purported to unclog congested soil absorption systems. In general, there are two categories of additives: dietary and non-dietary. These are bacteria, yeast, and enzyme treatments that manufacturers market as a means to kick-start a brand-new septic system or to provide additional assistance for an overburdened one.
- They will not do harm to your system, but they will not assist you in your endeavors.
- Occasionally, the system may have been built or installed wrongly, and it may need to be redesigned or completely replaced.
- This category includes products such as drain cleaners and degreasers that are used around the house.
- These are the ones who genuinely carry out their promises and interfere with the garbage removal procedure.
- It is possible that the pipes and other system components will be damaged as a result.
If you notice a foul odor, collecting water around the drainfield, or if your drains are running slowly, your septic tank may need to be emptied and cleaned. A single addition will not be sufficient to resolve these issues.
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. Green Gobbler offers a 30-day money-back guarantee on all of its products.
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.
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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 necessary to first have a broad understanding of how septic systems operate before we can address the reasons why chemicals such as Rid-X are harmful to your septic system. Solids sink to the bottom of a well operating septic tank, while liquids rise to the top. Wastewater then exits via the outlet baffle and filters down the drain field, where it is cleansed and reabsorbed into the water table. In your septic tank, the bacteria contained in human waste work to degrade the solids, allowing them to sink and settle into a layer of sludge.
As long as a properly balanced environment is maintained, the bacteria in your septic system will efficiently break down particles and delay the building of sludge.
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.
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? After that, I’ll explain why things go wrong and offer you some tips on how to keep your system in peak operating condition.
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.
- The garbage is completely decomposed by aerobic bacteria found in gravel and dirt.
- Potable water seeps into the groundwater and aquifer system from the surface.
Septic Tank Clean Out: Don’t abuse the system
In order for a septic system to function properly, bacteria must be in the system. These organisms decompose garbage, resulting in water that is safe to pass through and percolate into the ground. The entire system is set up to keep bacteria healthy and busy at all time. Several species inhabit the tank, but the majority perform their functions on the drainage field. 1. The septic tank is the final destination for all waste. 2. 2. A large portion 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 water system.
- A layer of sludge accumulates at the bottom of the container.
- Sludge is a mixture of inorganic particles and byproducts of bacterial decomposition that may be found in wastewater.
- A layer of scum rises to the surface of the water.
- Oil, fats, and grease are the primary components of scum.
- Grease and oils float to the surface of the water and accumulate on the surface.
- Five, a filter is used to keep most solids out of the exit pipe.
- In addition to providing a huge space for bacteria to flourish, the drain septic field also allows treated water to seep into the earth.
It is possible for water to get into the soil and for oxygen to reach bacteria because of the gravel around the pipes. 8. Aerobic microorganisms in the gravel and soil completely decompose the waste material. The groundwater and aquifer are replenished by clean water seeping below.
- 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. Bacteria in the tank and drain septic field can’t break it down
- 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
This device prevents lint from entering the system, particularly synthetic fibers, which bacteria are unable to digest and hence cause infection. Septic Protector is the name I gave to one of these filters that I designed myself. An additional filter is included in the price of roughly $150 plus delivery. See this article for further information on how to filter out lint from your clothes.
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.
DIY Septic Tank Treatment
As a result of their ability to deliver purified water to depleted aquifers, Jim vonMeier believes that septic systems are the solution to America’s water shortage.
As an advocate for septic systems around the country, he speaks at conferences, gives lectures, and appears in court. For septic system inquiries, as well as information on the operation of the septic tank, contact him via email or letter.
Natural Enzyme Action
Septic tanks, like your stomach, require the presence of beneficial bacteria and enzymes in order to break down the particles that travel through them. It is possible to obtain these helpful bacteria and enzymes from a variety of sources, but one of our favorites is rotting tomatoes. These naturally occurring enzymes are proteins known as Pectinase or Pectinolytic enzymes, and they break down pectin. Lipase, hydrolyzes, and lyase are all members of the pectinase family of enzymes that are capable of breaking down pectin and plant cell walls in the natural environment, therefore aiding in the decomposition and recycling of waste plant materials.
DIY Septic Tank Treatment
It is simple and inexpensive to treat a septic tank with DIY solutions. We “feed” our septic tank 3-4 rotting tomatoes every 3 months or so, which we do through our garbage disposal. The idea is to make sure that you split up the tomato and pass only half a tomato or so at a time through the water while it is running to ensure that it is properly flushed out. As an alternative, if you don’t have access to a garbage disposal, you may throw two or three large rotting tomatoes in a bag (chances are they’re already packed away in a bag in your refrigerator and starting to liquefy anyway!).
Dump them into a toilet (but don’t use bleach!) and flush them away.
Normally, having rotten tomatoes every few months isn’t a big deal because the garden overproduces in the spring, summer, and fall, and there are always a few extras available.
At the very least, they aren’t going to waste completely.
Toilet Paper No-No’s
When we had our septic system pumped for the first time in more than two decades, we were assured that it was totally unnecessary because the system was operating well and looked fantastic. During our conversation, the gentleman shared numerous true horror stories of systems he’d witnessed at his place of employment where the families utilized “fluffy” toilet paper. That one where the cute little bears in the advertisements are pleased of themselves for not having any lint left behind? You know the one I’m talking about.
Image courtesy of Ian Haycoxis (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).
He especially inquired about the brand of tissue we use, which is Scott Tissue.
It degrades swiftly and does not “glop” into a clog-inducing mass on the lines. Alternatively, if you don’t happen to have any rotting tomatoes on hand, you may use baking or brewing yeast to bring healthy bacteria to your tank as an alternative.
How to Clean Septic Tank Naturally
Yeast and sugar are excellent natural septic tank cleaners, and here’s an easy method for using them.
Septic Tank Cleaner
2 cups granulated sugar 5 cups of hot water (optional) 3 tbsp. active dry yeast Sugar and yeast should be dissolved in water. Pour the mixture into a toilet (that does not contain bleach!) and flush it. This is best done at night so that the yeast may continue to work throughout the night; do not flush for at least 3 hours after completion.
1Avoid flushing raw or cooked meat down the toilet, down the garbage disposal, or any other form of introducing meat into your septic system; meat is NEVER a helpful bacterium. 2. Never add oils, grease, or fat in any form (solid or liquid) to your tank. This includes, but is not limited to, cooking oils, bacon grease, meat grease from draining ground beef/turkey, and other fat-containing foods. 3Avoid flushing anything other than garbage and toilet paper down the toilet; this means that feminine products should be disposed of in the trash, baby diapers and wipes should be disposed of in the trashcan, and so on.
Have you tried the rotten tomato technique yet?