Septic System Health, Part 2
When you have a septic system, you rely on it to process the wastewater from your house and return it to the water table. Most of the work is done by the septic tank that is located underground in your yard. Inside that septic tank, there are a number of naturally occurring bacteria that will digest and breakdown the organic waste. The worst thing you can do for your septic system is to introduce septic tank additives and other household chemicals into your tank.
You want what is best for your home and that is understandable. You are thinking about preserving the assets you paid a lot of money for and the septic system is one of them. There are many septic chemical products on the market that prey on this fact, selling you septic tank additives that are supposed to help break down grease, remove odors and solve other septic system problems. Some of these products, in fact, do what they say they will do. Many, however, don’t tell you that that they are also killing the micro-organisms that your septic tank relies on to keep your septic system working properly.
The EPA actually cautions against using these septic tank additives because of how disruptive they can be to the natural environment of the septic tank. Some states have actually banned these products because of their undesirable effects. There is no research proving that these additives offer any long term benefit to the septic system.
Many of these products waste your money and can do damage to the septic system components. The septic tank additives that claim to help with these issues are typically the same products found in drain cleaners. They can damage the pipes and the septic tanks, which will cost you thousands of dollars in repairs.
Septic tanks, for example, are not cheap. Replacing them costs even more when factoring in the labor and landscaping costs. Installing a new septic tank could cost upwards of $15,000 and this doesn’t factor in a new drainfield or mound system. This is a lot of money that you don’t have to pay if you exercise a healthy dose of skepticism when thinking of using septic tank additives. The most important thing is not to let the advertising of these products grab your interest. Spending $20 on septic tank additives can seem like a good idea, but it could end up being a very expensive mistake.
The septic tank that you have is naturally designed to provide a number of functions for your household. One important function it does is allow oils and grease to float on the top of the water in the septic tank while allowing solids to settle on the bottom. The middle layer, or clear zone, is what will exit the tank into the drain field that you have in place. When you use various additives that claim to break down the grease, this process is disrupted. The EPA actually warns against placing biological septic tank additives into the tank because it will often increase various contaminants inside of the septic tank and will cause problems with the soil absorption system in the drainfield.
Avoid costly headaches and septic system problems, in general, by letting your septic system function as it was designed to without the negative affects of septic system chemicals and additives.
Read “Septic System Health, Part 1“
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