If you have a septic system, you want to do everything you can to keep it running smoothly. If you’re asking yourself “Do septic tank additives really work?” here are some answers from the experts.
Your septic system is one of the most important investments you make to your home and keeping it running smoothly is simple with proper maintenance. Some companies suggest incorporating additives to help break down waste. It is also suggested that additives will cut down on the need for regular pumping. But do septic tank additives really work? The simple answer is no, and here’s why.
Do Septic Tank Additives Really Work?
The waste in your septic system is broken down by bacteria. Keeping the bacteria at optimal levels will keep your system functioning like it is supposed to. Introducing additives can kill off this good bacteria which will keep the oil, fats, and waste from breaking down. All you need to make your septic system last for decades is regular pumping and maintenance by a reputable septic services company like Acme Environmental Services.
What Are Additives?
There are a variety of supplements you can add to your septic system. Some additives are chemicals that contain calcium, sodium bicarbonate, and/or flocculants. These work on the assumption that the level of bacteria in the septic system is too low or too high.
Calcium raises pH levels which makes the environment conducive to growing bacteria. This could backfire, however, because introducing too much calcium can harm the good bacteria which, in turn, can cause bacteria levels to get too low.
Sodium bicarbonate raises alkalinity instead of pH. It is a safer method than using calcium because you won’t affect the pH level which can adversely affect the bacteria. Ultimately, though, it is unnecessary.
Flocculants, or surfactants, work by reducing tension between molecules. The most common flocculant is soap which breaks down dirt, making things easier to clean. When these additives are introduced to a septic system, the waste can break down before being treated.
Other types of additives introduce organic materials into the septic system such as:
- Other forms of food
The problem with this type of additive is it gives the bacteria in your septic system more waste to break down. The bacteria has enough to do breaking down the waste from your home. Adding more waste is counterproductive.
When you ask your local septic system company “Do septic tank additives really work?” they should tell you “no.” Proper maintenance should keep your system up and running for decades without adding any supplements.
Proper Maintenance Tips
Be Careful What You Flush
First of all, you should be careful what you put into your septic system. Items that should go in the trash like coffee grounds, feminine hygiene products, baby wipes, and cooking oils should never go into your septic system. Having these types of items in your system will have you calling in the professionals to pump your system more often than you should.
Your septic tank should be inspected every three years by a professional septic company. If you have an alternative system with floats, switches, or pumps, you should get it inspected more often.
You should have a professional septic company pump out your system every few years. This timeframe can vary based on the size of your system, the size of your home, and your water usage. A local septic tank maintenance company can help you set up a regular pumping schedule so you don’t need to worry about an emergency.
If you find yourself asking “Do septic tank additives really work?” contact a local environmental services company that specializes in septic tank maintenance. The professionals at Acme will give you an honest answer that will save you time and money. Adding unnecessary supplements won’t help your system and may even damage it. Contact Acme Environmental Services today to set up a free evaluation. We can help you have a worry-free septic system.