Should I Use Septic Tank Additives?

September 25 2022

Should I Use Septic Tank Additives?

There are a lot of mixed opinions on using additives in your septic tank. Do you need additives to clean out your tank? The short answer is no; a septic tank is designed to clean out the waste by itself, without needing help from any other substances. All you need to do as a homeowner is keep up maintenance on your septic tank, such as having regular septic tank pumping. To understand why additives are not needed, we’ll need to know how a septic tank works.

How Septic Tanks Work

The septic tank is the starting point of the wastewater treatment process. After waste is sent down your drains and into the septic tank, it’s distributed within three layers. The bottom holds the solid waste, which sinks to the bottom of the tank. The middle layer holds the liquid waste, and the top has room for scum and grease piled on top of the liquid. Bacteria that live in the septic tank will help break down solid waste into liquid or gas. If there are objects like small toys that are flushed into the septic tank by accident, those will not be broken down. You’ll need to call a septic company and get it removed with septic tank pumping.

How Additives Affect Bacteria

The bacteria in septic tanks are a key component in the breakdown of solids, fat, and grease. They will continue to thrive in their environment unless something interferes and disrupts their system. Additives like drain cleaners, bleach, and disinfectants can jeopardize the functioning of bacteria and slow down the breakdown process. When it takes more time for bacteria to break down waste, it can lead to the build-up of waste, causing backups or overflow. Additives do not contribute any positive factors to septic tanks, so it’s best to disregard them. If you still think you should use additives, buy septic-friendly ones.

How to Maintain Your Septic System

  • Conserve Water: Consume water moderately and keep track of how often you use your washing machine. Avoid using water for two tasks at once, such as showering and turning on the dishwasher. The sudden filling of water in your septic tank can overload the system and flood your drain field.
  • Think Before You Dump: Not everything belongs in your septic tank. The only things that should be sent down your drain are waste and toilet paper. Hygiene products, diapers, tissues, oil, grease, etc. should be disposed of in a trash bin instead.
  • Protect Your Drain Field: Monitoring your water usage is important to protect your drain field. Avoid parking any vehicles or building anything above or near your drain field. Make sure sump pumps and gutters dispose of somewhere far from the drain field. Talk with a septic company about other ways in which you can help maintain your septic system.

Need Professional Help?

If you have been using additives in your septic tank without knowing how it can affect your system and now need repairs, call Septic Blue. We’ll run a quick inspection on your septic system and see what we can do to help revive it back to its health.