Imagine my surprise when I came home from work one freezing cold evening and found water flooding my basement. I ran to turn off the water and then I called the plumber. Even though it was late in the evening, the plumber immediately came to my house and fixed the busted water line. The plumber told me that I could have prevented my water line from freezing and busting if I had winterized the pipes. After researching various methods, I insulated the pipes so they won't freeze again. My name is Joel Hampton and this blog is about the different ways to winterize your plumbing pipes to keep them from freezing. Coming home to a basement filled with water is a nightmare and I hope that after reading the information in my blog, it won't happen to you.
If you're a homeowner with a septic system, you may have heard that bacteria is good for your septic tank. Understanding the role that bacteria plays in your septic tank, and how you can preserve the bacteria inside the tank, can help you maintain your tank and reduce the chances that the tank will overflow.
Why is it beneficial to have bacteria in your septic system?
Your septic system holds all the wastewater from your house. When the wastewater enters the tank, it separates into three layers: fats at the top (scum), wastewater in the middle, and solids at the bottom (sludge). Over time, the sludge at the bottom of the tank grows thicker and thicker. If it were not removed from the system, the sludge would eventually cause the system to clog. This is why you must pump your septic tank from time to time.
The bacteria inside the septic tank helps to break down the sludge so that it can exit the septic tank as wastewater. Without the bacteria and the resulting decomposition process, your septic tank would fill up with sludge much more quickly and need to be pumped much more often.
How did the bacteria get in there?
The septic system contains a giant colony of bacteria that grows in there naturally. This is a healthy and normal process.
How can you encourage the bacteria to grow?
It's important not to flush any products down into your septic system that can kill bacteria. Medications, bleach, antibacterial soaps, hand gels and other cleaning products all can kill the bacteria in your septic system, causing the system as a whole to be far less effective and efficient.
Should you pour bacteria down your septic system to improve the conditions in the tank?
There are some companies that sell bacteria and enzymes that you can flush down your drains and into your septic system. These products are not required to maintain a healthy septic tank. If you're doing everything you should as a homeowner to take care of your septic tank—in other words, if you're having it pumped regularly and not flushing antibacterial substances down your drains—then you should be able to successfully maintain your septic system without flushing additional enzymes and bacteria.
For more information about how you can maintain your septic system, contact a septic system specialist in your area like Roto-Rooter. They can talk to you about more ways that you can keep your septic system running smoothly.