Can a Septic System Have Too Many Bacteria?

May 14 2021

Can a Septic System Have Too Many Bacteria?

When it comes to bacteria, we were all raised to think that if bacteria is around, it’s a bad situation. In most cases, bacteria is bad, but in some instances, having bacteria is a good thing. One instance where having bacteria present is a good thing is in your septic systems. We say this lightly – we don’t want you to run and think that because we’re saying bacteria is good for your septic system so the more the better because that isn’t the case. Our job at Septic Blue is to help and educate our customers as much as we can about maintaining septic system and offering a wide variety of services involving septic systems. 

What role does bacteria play in your septic system?

Believe it or not, septic systems don’t solely rely on chemicals when treating them. Rather, your septic systems rely on a complete balance of different kinds of bacteria which we will discuss later on in this blog. These bacteria work together to break down any solid items in your septic tanks and they clean your home’s wastewater.

Types of bacteria that can form in your septic system

There are a wide variety of bacteria strands that live in your septic system, the two most common types being aerobic and anaerobic. Let’s discuss both further.
Aerobic bacteria requires an oxygen-rich environment to thrive in your system. This kind of bacteria is the more active kind than anaerobic and because of that, it’s the more efficient bacteria that easily breaks down the solid waste in your septic system. On the flip side, aerobic bacteria is a lot more sensitive to any environmental changes it may face, such as drastic changes in temperature. While this kind of bacteria is a lot more sensitive, it can actually live in the upper, rougher waters of your septic tank where it will have access to a lot more oxygen – which is the type of environment it needs to break down any layers of scum or solids in your septic tank. 
Anaerobic bacteria is the complete opposite of aerobic bacteria where it likes to live in an oxygen-free environment. This bacteria is much slower and far less efficient at breaking down solids and scum in your septic system. While aerobic bacteria sits at the top of your tank breaking down solids, anaerobic bacteria sits on the bottom of your tank to break down the sludge that builds up over time. 

Is too much bacteria bad for my system?

Like everything in life, you need moderation. Bacteria is good in your septic system, but too much can lead to more serious issues. Your septic system relies on a balance of the two types of bacteria, and having too much of one kind can overpower the other and make things not work properly. 

Call us at Septic Blue!

Whether you want some advice on how to tell if you have the correct balance of bacteria in your septic tank or your tank needs cleaning, our team at Septic Blue is here to help! We offer a wide variety of septic system services to help things in your home run as they should. Give us a call anytime to set up an appointment!