This Blog Isn't In the Toilet

Inadequate, Unnecessary, Or Dangerous Solutions To Septic Problems

Septic systems provide great waste management alternatives to sewer systems. Regular and adequate maintenance maximizes the benefits and efficiency of septic systems. However, many myths abound about septic maintenance and repair — myths that might even harm your septic system.

Below are examples of advice that do not help and might even damage your septic system.

Pumping Tank After Noticing Failure Symptoms

Some people think septic tank pumping is the solution to all septic problems. For example, they might pump the tank after noticing slow or blocked drains, waste backups, or signs of waste leakage around the tank. You will appreciate that tank pumping cannot solve underlying septic problems if you understand how septic systems work.

The septic tank is a holding chamber for wastes. The wastes accumulate in the tank and degrade, separating into solid and liquid parts. The liquid wastes flow out of the tank into the drain field for absorption, and the solid wastes accumulate until you pump the tank.

Thus, pumping the tank creates more volume for additional waste from the house. However, it doesn't solve other problems not related to a full tank. For example, pumping the tank doesn't unblock clogged pipes or drain a flooded drain field.

Installing a Filter to Deal With a Clogged Drain Field

The septic drain field is meant to handle liquid wastes. If solid waste ends up in the drain field, they block the spaces between the soil particles and interfere with liquid waste percolation. The wastes also block the lateral lines' holes. The blockage interferes with waste disposal. Some people install effluent filters when they notice such symptoms of drain field clogging.

You can use an effluent filter to reduce the flow of solid wastes into the drain field. However, the filters won't help if solid wastes clog the drain field. Contact a septic contractor for a professional solution. For example, the contractor can use a sewer jetter to unclog the leach field.

Adding Bacteria and Enzymes to a Failing System

Bacteria in the septic tank break down waste for efficient disposal. Some people sell enzymes and bacteria that they claim can restore failing septic systems. They claim that the additives work by accelerating waste breakdown in the tank.

At best, such septic additives offer minimal benefits, for example, by masking the septic smell. In the end, however, the additives cause harm by interfering with the balance of bacteria in the tank. Some additives even kill the bacteria that should decompose waste in the tank. For more information on septic tank cleaning, contact a professional near you.