Septic tank maintenance

October, 2012:

Septic tank safe laundry detergents

The washing machine, it’s not only a mechanized house chore assistant. It is a dependable life saver for your health. It is a fact that part of your hygiene is wearing clean clothes. If you have fresh clothes that are ready to wear, you’re always raring to go. Your self-esteem is boosted when you have your laundry done on time. With your washing machine, you fulfill this need at a much faster pace always remembering to use septic safe launder detergents in the process.

Of course, laundry detergents have to be placed in your washing machine so that you could get the job done. Aside from the ability of the detergent to effectively remove dirt and stains while leaving a fresh scent, you should also make sure that they are safe for your septic tank and the environment.

When you wash your dirty clothes, grey water is dumped into the septic tank. The grey water is the wastewater from washing your clothes. It is also the term use for the wastewater that comes from the dishwasher. You may already know that your septic tank is your household’s wastewater treatment facility. When you choose septic tank safe laundry detergents, make sure that you pick the liquid form if you have the conventional, gravity-powered system. If you have an aerated septic system, it would be most ideal for you to use powdered septic tank safe laundry detergents to avoid excessive foaming in the aeration chamber.

Aside from being liquid in form, your septic tank safe laundry detergents should not contain (or at least have low amounts of) phosphates and surfactants, and should be biodegradable. Phosphates encourage algal growth. If algae grow too fast and too abundant in the water system to which the phosphates drain to, then there will be a total depletion of dissolved oxygen. Of course, when there is no oxygen, there is no life. The aquatic system is left for dead. Surfactants are the sud-producers and grime-lifters in the laundry detergents. The more surfactants, the more soap suds you have. Another trait that you should look for in your septic tank safe laundry detergents is that it should be concentrated. A concentrated liquid septic tank safe laundry detergent allows you to wash clothes even with just a small amount.

You may find yourself overwhelmed by the various brands of laundry detergents that keep on coming out these days. To help you with your choice, here are some ideal brands of septic tank safe laundry detergents that you may want to try:

1)       Arm & Hammer

2)       Charlie’s Soap Laundry Detergent

3)       Cheer

4)       Earth Friendly Laundry Products

5)       Boraxo

6)       Dr. Bronner’s Sal Suds

7)       Equator

8)       Amway S-A-8

9)       Naturally Yours Laundry Detergent

10)   Dash

11)   Country Save Laundry Products

12)   Fresh Start

13)   Bi-O-Kleen Laundry Powder

14)   Oxydol

15)   Ecover Liquid Laundry Wash

16)   Healthy Living Fresh Laundry Concentrate

17)   Ecover Wool Wash Laundry Liquid

18)   Oxy Prime Laundry Detergent

19)   Planet Delicate Laundry Wash

20)   Mrs. Meyers Laundry Detergent

21)   Cal Ben Seafoam Laundry Soap

22)   Ecover Ultra Washing Powder

23)   Planet Ultra Liquid or Powdered Laundry Detergent

24)   Mountain Green Ultra Laundry Liquid

25)   Seventh Generation Laundry Powder

26)   Ultra Citra-Suds Natural Laundry Detergent

27)   Sodasan Soap Washing Powder

28)   Restore Laundry Detergent

29)   Seventh Generation Laundry Liquid

Surfing the web, asking your septic expert, asking your local septic store owner, or conducting your personal survey would help you make your decision in picking out the septic tank safe dishwasher detergents that you want. Maybe you would like to have trials of each product to know which does your system and the environment the most benefits.

It won’t be magic for your septic tank in terms of efficiency when you use septic tank safe laundry detergents. You still have to pump it out regularly and use the system properly as a homeowner should. Never depend on product propaganda and additives to care for your septic tank. Some septic tank safe laundry detergents may be more expensive so look for the brands that fir your budget as well.

Septic additives do help leach fields

Your best friend was going to drop by to discuss a real estate project with you. It was a perfect excuse to cook and clean up, which you didn’t do on a regular basis because of all the office and charity work that you had to do. After making pasta and cheesecake, you decided to start cleaning the bathrooms. Then, you vacuumed everything and swept the yard. You still had an hour to wait so you turned on your computer and started browsing through your favorite websites. After a while, you smelled something weird. You just cleaned the entire house but faint, disarming smells wafted through the house. To resolve this, you lit up your aromatic oils to mask the horrid smells until your best friend arrived. You should have remembered that septic additives do help leach fields.

When your best friend entered your home, she went straight to the bathroom. There was silence for a few minutes but she immediately went out covering her nose and mouth. She said that the drains were backing up and she wasn’t able to finish flushing because she was afraid that the toilet would back up and flood the bathroom as well. You wondered why this happened. You just had the drains checked by your plumber the other day and he said that there was no problem. But apparently, there was. Your best friend suggested that you should call up your septic expert instead. This was way bigger than just superficial clogs. Something was wrong with your septic system.

You apologized to your best friend and decided to have your meeting at the front yard. You brought out the food and covered them as you waited for your coffee to brew. The septic expert arrived with his equipment. You invited him to join you for a while before he started dealing with the septic problem. The first thing the septic professional said was that septic additives do help leach fields. After a few minutes of eating and having coffee, the septic expert excused himself and went to work. He assessed the septic system and discovered that your leach field had a minor clog. He suggested that septic additives should be applied to help make the leach field improve.

As you may know, the leach field is the part of the septic system that purifies the outgoing effluent before it is distributed into the surrounding environment. If the leach field is blocked or clogged up, the wastewater will back up into your home and onto your yard. This was the reason why the sinks, drains, and toilets in your home were backing up and septic odors were wafting through your home. This could be avoided if monthly leach field treatments are given to your system. There are many septic additives to choose from these days. But biological additives are the best that you could use. Biological additives are bacteria and enzymes that increase the efficiency of the resident bacteria. This is bacteria- and environment friendly so you can be confident that no harm will befall your septic system, its resident bacteria, and the surrounding water systems in your area.

The septic system’s real fuel is the bacteria that break down the solid waste materials and purify the effluent. If the anaerobic bacteria are always kept in large numbers, the degradation of the solid wastes is maintained. With this, the effluent is kept clear to be dispersed into the leach field. In the leach field, the aerobic bacteria are responsible for eliminating the disease-causing microorganisms in the effluent.

Your best friend was surprised at why you didn’t use septic additives in your leach field and that septic additives do help leach fields. It was exactly what you needed in your subdivision development project. You only refused to use septic additives because you wanted to maintain the old ways that you grew up to. You only pumped out your septic tank and that was it. With septic additives, the leach field will be greatly improved because the clogging will be immensely lessened. No homeowner would want a failing leach field after all.

Odors coming from the sink can mean trouble

Celebrating your birthday has always been a red-letter event. Even if it just involved having dinner with your girlfriend or your family, it was always special. There was a time when you were so busy to plan your birthday celebration that your family and friends surprised you with one. It was done over a weekend so everyone was there. This year, you planned on having a party in the coming weekend. There was going to be a holiday on the following Monday so you were expecting really long celebration. That was when your wife said to you the there were odors coming from the kitchen sink. You father said that odors coming from the sink can mean trouble.

With the plan brewing in your head, you went to your bathroom to wash your face. Your faithful pug sat at your feet and watched you. When you bent over, you smelled something foul. You though that your dog just farted but it came from the sink. You knew that odors coming from the sink can men trouble so you immediately called your septic expert.

He said that there was indeed a problem with your septic system so he said that he would check on it immediately. After a few minutes, he arrived and inspected the system. He checked on the plumbing but there wasn’t any problem only odors coming from the sink can mean trouble.He concluded that it was in the septic system itself. When he checked the records, it showed that you were not able to have the tank pumped out three years ago. Anyone who was as busy as you were would have also forgotten the scheduled pump out.

It was trouble for you because you can’t afford to have your septic system replaced. There are so many caused of septic trouble that you may have unknowingly done yourself. The septic expert enumerated some of them:

1)       Use of antibacterial solutions

Many households use antibacterial solutions to clean their homes and you were one of them. Paranoia struck you hard before because of a skin irritation that infected your brother when he visited a year ago. From then on, you used nothing but antibacterial household cleaners. These cleaners kill off the resident bacteria that decompose or break down the solid particles in the wastewater. If there are no bacteria to do the job, the entire septic system fails to work.

2)       Dumping of grease and fats

Grease and fats clog the system. They are not easily digested by the resident bacteria so they just get dispersed into the drain field and clog the entire septic system. You were guilty of this especially when you used your garbage disposal. You just disposed of the grease and fats in there everytime you had pork chops.

3)        Dumping of non-biodegradable materials

Non-biodegradable materials such as paint, tampons, diapers, napkins, and plastic items completely add up to the clogs in the system. Even if you did use your garbage disposal, it didn’t change the composition of these items. They are not degraded by the resident bacteria and just stay in the system. These materials clog the septic system, which will eventually lead to malfunction and failure.

 4)       Increased water load

An increase in water load can be brought about by a heavy rain fall directed over the system, a heavy batch of laundry every week, and more people living in the house. The rain gutter should be diverted away from the system, the laundry should be divided in a week, and there should be an adjustment in the size of the system if there will be more people living in your home.

5)       Trees, vehicles, or construction over the tank or drain field

Tree roots could invade the system components in search of water and nutrients. Vehicles or construction placed over the system damages the system’s components because of the heavy weight.

6)       Not pumping on schedule

When you fail to have your tank pumped out, the sludge will get dispersed into your drain field and clog the system.

 7)       Pumping during heavy rains

If you pump your system during heavy rains, the mud and silt will enter the system. The mud and silt will clog the system and will lead to malfunction and failure.

 The septic expert corrected the septic malfunction and you just couldn’t be more grateful because you could get on with planning your birthday celebration the coming weekend. You definitely learned your lesson and asked the septic expert to always remind you of your pump out schedules. Remember, odors coming from the sink can mean trouble.