The "Health" Of Your Septic Tank: What It Is, Why It Is Important, And How To Keep It "Healthy"


Most homeowners probably would not consider a septic tank "healthy." It is, after all, filled with urine, feces, biological contaminants, and bacteria galore. However, a "healthy" septic tank is a lot more than the sum of its contents. There are things in a septic tank that make the septic tank function as septic tanks and systems should. When these things in the tank are at proper levels, then your tank and system are considered "healthy." Here is more on the "health" of your septic tank/system, what it is, why it is important, and how to keep the whole thing "healthy." 

What a "Healthy" Septic Tank Is

There are microorganisms in septic systems. They are called anaerobes. These creatures "eat" human waste for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, which sounds positively awful to humans, but it is a divine feast for these creatures. The "health" of your septic tank and system is measured by the level of anaerobes present in the tank. If there are sufficient anaerobes in the tank to break down all the waste that is present and will continue to be present, then your tank and system are considered "healthy." If there are so few anaerobes in the tank, the tank and system are "unhealthy," and this is very serious for the proper functioning of your septic system. 

Why It Is Important

When there are enough anaerobes in the tank, waste is broken down by these creatures at a substantial rate. That is important to keeping the tank from overflowing, leaking, and/or becoming clogged. It also helps liquid waste flow faster to the drainage field and leave more room for the solids in the septic tank. The anaerobes will reproduce rapidly, which is fine, since their life cycle is relatively short anyway. New anaerobes will replace the dead ones, and the process continues. 

How to Keep Your Tank and Septic System "Healthy"

The most important thing you can do is consult with residential septic services. These professionals can check a sample of the waste under a microscope to make sure there are enough of these microorganisms in your tank to keep everything moving and functioning as expected. The second most important thing you can do is to never use bleach or caustic chemicals of any kind in any appliance or pipeline in your home. These chemicals can kill the anaerobes, depleting their numbers so sufficiently that your waste ends up sitting, rather than being broken down and removed by the drainage field. If the pros detect that the tank and system are "unhealthy" because of a lack of anaerobes, the good news is that entire cans containing these creatures can be added to the septic system to restore the "health" of the tank.

About Me

new to owning a home with a septic system

When my husband approached me with the idea of moving out of the city, I was pretty excited. He told me that he had found the perfect house that was out in the country, so we went to check it out. A few months later, we closed on the house and began moving in. Since we were so used to city water and sewage, we had no idea why the yard would have become a swampy mess and smelled like raw sewage. After talking with the neighbor, we found out that there had been septic issues in the past and that we had to call a service. If you share a lack of knowledge about septic systems, our blog can help you learn what we learned the hard way.

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