Septic tank maintenance

February, 2012:

Septic System Safe Household Cleaners

Since having a septic system is a great deal of responsibility as a homeowner and you should be very careful of every decision that you make in caring and maintaining it. The most crucial care that you could ever provide your septic system involves treating your system regularly and utilizing septic safe household cleaners and detergents. Adhering to these two crucial elements of system care will help prevent sludge from accumulating too heavily within the septic tank since when the sludge gets too thick in the tank, the incoming wastewater can back up into your home or onto your yard. If this happens, sewage and septic odors will overwhelm your property and that will definitely be an unhealthy situation for your family and your neighbors.

 There are other things aside from this that you can do for your septic system’s well-being such as not planting trees over your septic system; not using harsh chemicals; not pouring grease, fats, and non-biodegradable materials into toilets and drains; not allowing vehicles and construction over your septic system; diverting the rainwater runoff away from the area of the septic system; and installing a dry well to lessen the water load of the system.

Another very important measure that you have to do is to choose the septic system safe household cleaners. The collection of household cleansers can be very confusing especially when they present overwhelming promises as to how “Green” they are and how compatible they are with all septic systems. They could also have promos or freebies which is why homemakers end up with products that are harsh to the septic system without even knowing it. If you look at majority of the commercial household cleaners, you may notice a common feature that is usually taken advantage of by manufacturers—antibacterial. This additive is not good for your septic system at all because bacteria are what make the breakdown happen in the first place. If the bacteria are maintained in high numbers, there will be much less chance of clogging, malfunction, or failure. But because of the antibacterial products used by millions of households, homeowners are often faced with frequent problems which are usually expensive and frustrating.

Fortunately, there are septic system safe household cleaners that also make it to the grocery and septic store shelves. The only thing that you have to do is to prioritize the septic system. Learn to read the labels of the commercially produced household products that catch you attention and see if they could benefit you and your septic system as well. Make sure that the household cleaner is “septic system safe” and “low in phosphorous”. When you say “septic system safe”, this means that the ingredients do not harm the physical components of the system and hopefully, the bacterial population as well. When you pertain to “low in phosphorous”, this means that the household cleaner does not let the algae proliferate in the surrounding water systems. If the product is high in phosphorous, the algae in the surrounding bodies of water will grow dramatically and will dominate the aquatic system. This will significantly lessen the amount of oxygen in the water and wipe out the living organisms that reside in body of water. This phenomenon is known as eutrophication.

To veer away from the oftentimes manipulative products in the market, why not consider the natural household cleaners? Here are some of the natural septic system safe household cleaners that you could consult with your septic expert:

  1. Earthstone—this is a cleanser that is made from glass that is finely ground.
  2. Pumice stone—works on cleaning but maintains the sensitive environment of your septic system.
  3. Vinegar—is a common household product that you can mix with water and then spray on surfaces as an effective cleaner. Adding essential oils such as tea tree oil, lemon oil, and eucalyptus oil into the vinegar solution could mask the smell and even improve the its ability to clean.
  4. Baking soda—can be used in combination with vinegar. Just wait about twenty minutes before pouring hot water into the drain. You could also use baking soda for scouring bathtubs, sinks, stove tops, and tiles. Make a paste of baking soda, apply on the surfaces, and then rinse it with water.
  5. Lemon juice—is also a natural household cleaner that has acidic properties. It could also leave the surfaces with a nice, fresh scent.

Talk to your septic expert about your choice of natural septic system safe household cleaners so that you may really achieve its long term benefits. Since septic systems cost a fortune to replace, learning to think of your system as a “compost” is prudent since your system really is just like a compost! You will never catch a farmer pouring toxic chemicals on top of his compost and you should adopt the same principal to assure long term system health.