You’ve seen the ads, “Add this to your toilet to protect your septic tank.” This may lead you to the idea that you will never have to pump out your septic tank again. It is a fantastic idea. It is so tempting to believe. But is it true?
The Short Answer
Septic systems are designed to retain human solids in the septic tank and to process out the liquid waste in a leaching field. Built-up sludge and solids that are not removed from the septic tank in a timely manner will cause problems. The image that the added bacteria will eliminate the need for your septic tank to be pumped out is not exactly accurate.
You Add More Than Human Waste
Septic systems were designed for human waste, period. Bacteria is added naturally every time you flush. But you add more to your septic tank than human waste. Two things create most septic tank problems. The addition of things not meant to be added to a septic tank or when the septic tank has waited too long to have built-up sludge removed.
When the wrong things are added to your septic tank in large amounts, you will have a problem. You will find your system having problems when too many cooking oils, kitchen grease, cleaning chemicals, laundry products or sanitary products have been flushed or poured down the drain. Some septic tank additives are designed to help.
You Need the Right Balance
Not all bacteria or enzymes can break down grease and toilet paper. Chemicals such as cleaning products will kill healthy bacteria and disrupt pH balance. When the system is disrupted, it will become overloaded. Even if you add healthy bacteria or enzymes, the moment you clean your toilet you have once again disrupted the natural balance in your tank.
Ideally, there isn’t a need for more enzymes or bacteria. Using a recommended biological additive to replenish your system’s pH, enzymes and healthy bacteria may be helpful if you have abused your system. The first sign of stress you are likely to notice is a foul odor indicating that your septic tank does not have sufficient healthy bacteria to break down your waste.
You Need to Check
Research shows that you cannot expect an overall positive effect from adding any bacteria or enzyme to your septic tank via your toilet. Doing so could damage your tank. At the same time, some products may help prolong your septic tank life. You need to check with your septic system specialist at Septic Service Pro about your septic tank’s specific needs. Call before you have a problem and extend the life of your tank.