How Bacteria and Enzymes Help Your Septic System

September 9, 2020 8:08 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

A septic system is a safe and reliable alternative when your property is too rural to connect to city sewer lines. Septic systems rely on bacteria and enzymes to help “digest” the waste product you send into the tank, allowing the remaining water to seep into the groundwater supply and keeping any nondigestible solid waste in the tank until it’s time to pump.

Here’s what you need to know about septic bacteria and enzymes in Colorado Springs, CO.

How bacteria and enzymes work to benefit your septic system

Your septic tank will naturally attract colonies of bacteria and enzymes—which is a good thing. When properly cared for, these microbes will show up and get to work treating your wastewater, and you’ll rarely need to do anything to help that process along. Bacteria is necessary for attacking the sludge, while enzymes digest the scum on top of the water. As these microbes feed on the sludge and scum, they convert the solids to gas and liquid, which naturally treats the water. Once treated, it moves into the drain field.

What to avoid when you’re a septic tank owner

There are a few things that you need to avoid in order to assure proper septic system operation. You don’t want to put things down the drain that will actively harm the useful bacteria and enzymes—otherwise, the wastewater won’t get treated properly and you could face consequences like overflow and backups.

The key is to only use septic-safe products—all the time, every time. Bleach, antibacterial soap and other strong household chemicals will kill the helpful colonies living in your septic tank, which causes the tank to overfill and send effluent, sludge and solids back up through your plumbing. Not only is it gross, but exposure to untreated wastewater and solids is hazardous to your health and safety.

You should also be careful to only flush certain things down your toilets. Avoid flushing feminine hygiene products, cat litter (even if it says it’s “flushable,” that only means it’s biodegradable—it doesn’t belong in a septic tank), paper towels, disposable wipes and solid objects. If you have kids, make sure to teach them that toilets are off limits for anything but toilet paper and human waste.

While occasional use of strong household cleaners or soaps in your drains and toilet won’t completely ruin your septic system, they will weaken the colonies of helpful bacteria and septic enzymes in Colorado, CO. The more you use them, the more your system will struggle to keep up with the waste.

As a septic system owner, the best thing you can do is make sure you follow safe practices and have your tank pumped every year or two. This helps the system “start over,” and will help rebuild the healthy microbe colonies that are so important to proper functioning.

For help with your septic system, reach out to Affordable Rooter. We’ve been in business for 20 years, and can assist with all your plumbing and septic system needs.

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