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Septic tank additives: Yea or nay?

Regular septic tank maintenance

Is the jury still out on septic tank additives? As a septic tank user, you know that your system depends on a delicate internal balance to safely and effectively deal with household waste. Sometimes, using septic tank additives gives the bacteria a little boost, depending on the situation inside the tank. In general, homeowners in Fayetteville should never use additives unless an expert recommends doing so. Always seek out expert advice, since the improper use of additives can backfire.

What are additives?

Additives are components that you add to the tank to facilitate an action. Additives are generally grouped into two categories:

  • Organic and synthetic chemicals
  • Biological components, which include enzymes, bacteria and yeast

The additive market is big, and there are about 1,200 different options available for use. Septic tank experts have the know-how and experience to choose the right additives, but homeowners generally don’t.

Why use additives?

Chemical additives are often used to treat clogs in a system or to address issues that arise from the presence of oil or grease. However, these chemicals are harsh, and as a result, there are risks to using them. They can lead to tank corrosion or the corrosion of other internal system components. Eventually, repeated use of additives can damage the tank structurally. Other risks include the contamination of soil and groundwater. Some experts advise using these chemicals only on a limited basis, due to their high risk.

Experts may recommend using biological additives to help facilitate a more efficient breakdown of solid matter in the tank. You may also employ an additive to boost maintenance, helping to keep the balance inside the tank. These additives are also used to help liquefy solids, restore bacterial components in the wastewater treatment process and boost the process of solids settling in the tank.

Maintenance tips

In general, most homeowners should never need to use additives if they follow routine maintenance suggestions. This includes regular pumpouts of the tank and following rules for use, such as

  • Never putting oil or grease down the drains.
  • Putting food items like coffee grinds and food scraps in the garbage, instead of down the drain.
  • Keeping foreign objects out of toilets, and using the garbage for sanitary napkins, paper towels, tissues and so forth.
  • Disposing of medications and chemicals in the garbage, instead of the plumbing.

If you have more questions about septic tank additives, contact the plumbing experts at Delta The Educated Plumber today!

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