Most people put bacteria in a negative category. While it is true that certain types of bacteria can cause harm and infection in your body, your septic tank has a different relationship with bacteria. In fact, your septic tank desperately needs bacteria in order to do its job.
Your septic system is so much more than just pipes and drains. It involves an actual living environment inside your septic tank. The primary role of your septic tank is to digest organic matter that enters the tank (the waste from your home) and separate the oils, grease and solids from wastewater. To accomplish this, your tank has a precise microbial system, which includes bacteria, yeasts and enzymes to keep your septic system healthy and balanced.
The bacteria in your tank can initiate the digestions or decompensation process by helping to breakdown those solids that have settled at the bottom.
Two Main Types of a Septic System
Your septic system actually relies on two types of bacteria, anaerobic and aerobic. Both play important roles in purifying your wastewater and keeping your system running efficiently. Anaerobic bacteria don’t require oxygen, so these are found inside the septic tank. Aerobic bacteria does need oxygen, so it performs its digestion duties within the leach field soil.
Keeping Bacteria in Your Tank
Without bacteria, your septic system loses powerful and necessary tools to breakdown organic matter. With insufficient levels of bacteria, you may find that you have to pump your septic tank more often than normal. So how do you ensure your septic system keeps that healthy bacteria inside? The most important rule is avoiding chemicals and harsh cleaning products in your home plumbing. Anti-bacterial soaps, bleach, ammonia and other harsh chemicals will cause the bacteria in your septic system to die. Don’t worry; you don’t’ have to live in a dirty house. You can still clean your bathrooms and kitchens with green, biodegradable and “septic safe” products – like baking soda.
At Metro Septic, we love helping homeowners understand their septic system in detail. By learning about the scientific process that goes on inside your tank, you’ll be better equipped to take care of your septic system and protect your plumbing investment going forward. Call today to find out if your septic tank has enough healthy bacteria to function best.