Septic Tank Treatments: What Are They and Should You Use Them?

Most homeowners never really care about their septic tanks since these systems are underground. And it’s not until they are faced with real problems that they remember how valuable these assets are. Since we all know that fixing a damaged septic tank is an expensive expenditure that could have been avoided, consequently, homeowners should actively maintain their septic system and keep it working.

While there are a lot of articles out there that speak against the use of septic tank additives and how they are unnecessary, the truth is that septic tank treatments can help to prolong the need to pump your septic system and help to prevent the case of a clogged system. But In as much as septic tank additives can revive the septic system and allow you to go longer between septic tank cleanings, they aren’t a cure-all, and improper use of them can cause more complications for your septic system.

There are different types of septic tank additives out there, but in general, they are usually classified into three main groups; biological additives, organic solvents, and inorganic compounds.

Biological additives

The biological additives make use of a combination of bacteria and enzymes that act as boosters for the natural process happening in the septic tank. Biological additives are routine maintenance substances that are to be flushed down the toilet on a weekly or monthly basis depending on the number of people that use the septic system. These additives help to ensure the septic system’s balance and prolong the usability of the septic system. However, the number of bacteria contained in these additives is no match for the number of bacteria contained in a healthy septic tank. They can only help to boost the bacteria count especially at periods when the septic system is about to do some extra work; like during the holidays.

Inorganic solvents

Inorganic solvents are usually strong acids or alkalis that help to break down stubborn waste materials. They are usually promoted for their ability to open clogged drains. However, when inorganic solvents are not properly used, they can adversely affect the biological decomposition processes in the treatment system and cause structural damage to the pipes, septic tanks, and other treatment system components.

Organic solvents

Organic solvents are concentrated chemicals similar to those used in machine parts to break down oil and grease. They are often chlorinated hydrocarbons (e.g., methylene chloride, trichloroethylene). However, while these products are good for getting rid of tough greases and oils, improper use of these also represent a significant risk to the groundwater and wastewater treatment processes. They can kill the good bacteria if used in excess or too frequently.

All these additives can only help to boost the septic system as they are not a permanent fix. But when coupled with a healthy septic tank, they work great to further protect the efficiency of your septic system.

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