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How to keep your septic healthy with various enzymes

On average, one in five American homes use either a private septic system or are attached to a group septic system, according to the EPA. These systems have unique features that can help break down waste before the processed liquid is released safely back into the groundwater. To accomplish this task, septic tanks use a mixture of bacteria and enzymes — essentially, the tank’s personal little ecosystem — to naturally break down and process solid waste, and turn it into liquid and gas. While the tank’s system of bacteria is generally able to operate without any additional help, occasionally, there may be a need to give it a boost by introducing additional enzymes.

Accidentally Killing Septic Bacteria

As living creatures, the bacteria in the septic tank can be killed. When harsh chemicals (like paint or pesticides), cleaners (like bleach or drain cleaners), and abrasive fluids (like automotive oil or coolant) are run down drains leading into the septic system, the chemicals can kill off the bacteria, in addition to damaging the pipes and potentially contaminating the groundwater. 

While the bacteria can re-grow, as it does grow naturally, it can take an inordinate amount of time to do so once some or all of the bacteria have been killed off. If more chemicals are introduced while the bacteria is attempting to re-grow, as well, then it will have a harder time doing so as it constantly fights off new attacks.

Enzymes Restore Bacteria

Enzymes designed to be introduced to a septic tank — usually in the form of a liquid or a flushable packet— can help septic tank bacteria in different ways. Overall, the enzymes will help the bacteria already present in the tank break down waste material, as they mimic the natural enzymes produced by the bacteria that help break down smaller solids. However, some enzyme mixes go further, with some mixes introducing nutrients that directly feed the bacteria, helping to produce more bacteria by being fed, while other mixes will introduce entire bacteria clusters to replace clusters that have died off. 

In addition to keeping the bacteria happy, healthy, and thriving within the septic tank, it’s also important to keep the tank free of build-up and sludge. These substances can accumulate on the top and bottom of the septic tank, and make it harder for the mixture of bacteria and enzymes to do their jobs as thoroughly as necessary. Making sure that the septic tank is inspected annually, and drained every couple of years, is necessary to maintain the perfect balance within the tank.

If you’re trying to figure out why your septic tank is having issues breaking down waste, if you feel like you may have disrupted the bacteria within, or if you’re noticing unpleasant additions to the septic tank’s drain field, then consider contacting Duane Blanton Family Home Services. With over 30 years of experience, the licensed and knowledgeable technicians at Duane Blanton will be able to get your septic tank back on track and balanced. Reach out today at (815) 781-2567, or schedule online using Duane Blanton’s convenient online scheduling portal.

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