Should I use an additive to my septic system?


No, Heck, No!

Every single offical source I have ever consulted explicitly states that they should not be used, and do more harm than good. Every bacterium required for the process lives inside you, and populates the tank "naturally."

Here is an excerpt from one:

You do not need to put special additives into your septic system. In fact, some can do more harm than good. Those which advertise that they will remove solids from your tank, usually do. The problem is that the solids exit the tank and end up in the disposal field. Once there, the solids seal off the disposal area, and the system malfunctions. Also, although it hurts nothing, it is not necessary to "seed" a new system with yeast, horse manure, and so forth. Normal human waste contains enough bacteria for the septic tank, and other microbes are already present in the soil and stones of the disposal area.

The problem...

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There is a long-standing debate about using septic system additives — everything from marketed products like Rid-X to bizarre items like dog food. We’ve yet to come across any hard evidence that suggests that adding anything to a septic system does any good. In our opinion, using additives is just throwing money down your toilet – literally!

Septic system additives do not replace septic system maintenance

There are many products on supermarket shelves that claim to help prevent septic system backups. Many people are under the common misconception that if they put something into their septic system, they won’t need to have their tank pumped out. However, this could not be further from the truth.

There is no product that can make the sludge in a septic tank magically disappear. The whole purpose of any septic tank is to separate the solids from the liquids, and for those solids to stay in the tank. The only way to remove the solids...

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Find where you want to go into the building relative to where you want to place the septic tank.

Excavate to at least 2 feet deep and drill a hole through the wall, or go deeper and go under the footing, whichever is desired, or necessary. Plan for the flow to go downhill from here, as this is exactly what a gravity fed system is all about. It does not use a mechanical means other than gravity to discharge the waste from the tank to the drain field.

Pipe 4" Sch. 40 going a foot through the wall or under the footing, and to a minimum of five feet outside the building toward the tank. Set it level where it's going through the wall or under the footing, and from there run with about an 1/8" per foot of pitch (slope) toward the septic tank. Go further or all the way into the tank if required. If not, switch to 4" 3034 with the appropriate adapter and pipe toward the tank with 3034. Be sure to put a test cap on the end going into the building. If going through the wall, seal around...
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There are certain products that you must use in order to maintain your septic system. And then there are products which can make your life a little bit easier with a septic system. A septic tank additive is one of these products. You do not have to use one in order to maintain a healthy tank, but it can be beneficial. If you are on the fence about using this product, learning about the benefits it has to offer may help you decide if it is ideal for you to use. Here are a few of the benefits of septic tank additives.

Adds Healthy Bacteria and Enzymes

One of the benefits of a septic tank additive is that it adds healthy bacteria and enzymes back into your septic tank. Most bacteria and enzymes are naturally found in septic tanks, so you do not have to worry about introducing them to the system. However, if you use cleaning products like bleach or antibacterial soap, you can kill these good bacteria. Adding them back in can help maintain your septic tank.


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When homeowners hoist a wrench to install or repair sinks, tubs and toilets, they risk more than leaks. They risk their sanity, finances and general mechanical disaster. Here are 10 essential principles to avoid plumbing disaster.

1. Don't go galvanic.

You often see copper and galvanized steel plumbing mixed in residential water systems with nothing separating them other than a little thread sealant or Teflon plumbing tape. The galvanic connection (copper to steel) can be trouble-free for years or the steel plumbing can begin to corrode almost as soon as the connection is tight.

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What to do: Use a plumbing fitting called a dielectric union to connect copper pipe to galvanized steel. The fitting uses a steel collar on the steel side and a copper collar on the copper side and isolation bushings to keep the parts separate.

2. Flow out, not back.

Back flow occurs in municipal water systems (or...

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I have a cesspool. Does it need to be replaced by 2013?

According to the RIDEM regulations regarding cesspools, only those within certain areas (i.e. within 200’ of a coastal feature, within 200’ of a public well throughout the state, and within 200’ of the shoreline of surface water drinking water reservoirs with an intake to the water supply) must be abandoned by January 1, 2014.

I just installed a water softener with a brine backwash which needs to be discharged. Can I connect this to my septic system?

No, RIDEM regulations do not prohibit introduction of brine backwash from a water softener device but they do recommend that it be disposed of in a separate dry well, so as not to negatively impact the operation of the septic system.

I am proposing an addition to my house. Do I need to update my septic system?

The specifics of the proposed addition, position on the property and existing septic system will dictate whether you need to make changes to the septic...

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You’ve likely seen products that claim they can help keep your septic tank from backing up and prevent all sorts of different issues by causing organic waste to break down more quickly than it would otherwise. However, a number of different studies have been conducted that put these various products to the test, and the end result is the same: they don’t really help at all, In fact, some of them actually damage your septic tank.

The Myth

These products claim that they contain a number of different enzymes and bacteria that will break down waste. The problem, some even state, is that many cleaning products you use daily are destroying the natural bacteria found in your septic tank, so you need to use an additive to replace them. This isn’t necessarily the case, and even though some additives might actually help in the short term, they can also result in your need for septic system repair services.

What the Experts Say

The U.S. Environmental Protection...

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Q: When do I need to pump out my septic tank?

A: There are several factors that determine the tank-pumping frequency: the tank's size, the number of people living in the house, whether a garbage disposal is used, and how often laundry is done. For an average single family home, it is recommended for the tank to be pumped every two to three years. Depending on the factors discussed above, it may need to be done more or less frequently. A safe approach is to have the tank inspected yearly until it is determined that pumping is required (when the accumulated solids are less than 25% of the volume in the tank). Once the pumping interval is established, you can follow that until there is a change in water-use patterns that would require the tank to be pumped more or less frequently.

Q: Why so frequent?

A: The inorganic fraction of the sludge is not biodegradable and builds up. The higher it gets the more likely it can overflow into the drain field and the less...

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I can add a few things to the above post.

If local regulations permit, if you already have built your house/building, and want to run grey water out to lawns, gardens, agriculture etc. you can modify the plumbing possibly under the crawl space if any which the structure has under it. If this is possible it's a one shot deal and worth it.

Solution 2. If no crawl space/access, and if appearance is OK, exit the shower and laundry room effluent through the outside wall discretely using elbow fittings, and underground enough to prevent freezing onto planted areas using a system of pipes and ball valves to distribute it in a controlled even manner. Install a concrete clean out sump along the tubing for obvious reasons. Soil particles wash off the body in the shower and also off vegetables in the kitchen sink which will clog pipes of grey water without clean out sumps. Use a holding tank if possible especially if you want to put water downslope from the house/structure....

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The following septic system additives was determined by the State of Massachusetts, with certain conditions, to not harm components of septic systems. The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) also determined that these additives will not negatively impact the the environment or adversely effect septic system performance if used as recommended by the manufacturer.

2430SB (septic system additive)
Septic Technology, 5 Blossom Road, POB 990 Plaistow, NH.
Contact person - Sheldon Wolff. ABS Formula 77 (septic system additive)
Fore Green Solutions LLC
Contact Person: E. Patrick Griffin (978-798-1010) Advanced Formula Rid-X (septic system additive)
Reckitt Benckiser, Inc., 399 Interpace Parkway, Parsippany, NJ 07054-0225.
Contact person - Jennifer DeCarlo. Aid-Ox (septic system additive)
Hercules Chemical Company, Inc.
Contact Person: Wayne Merrifield (800-221-9330).
NOTE: Use of this additive is restricted. See...
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If your home has a septic system, you are one of a growing number of homeowners in the United States that rely on private sewage disposal. Twenty-five percent of total housing, and 33 percent of new homes in the US use onsite wastewater treatment, also known as septic systems. In addition, Professor Mike Hoover of the Department of Soil Science at North Carolina State University maintains that "forces such as urban and suburban sprawl and the high costs of central sewage systems for builders and governments" increase the number of septic system users each year.

For septic system owners, proper maintenance can mean the difference between a long-lasting, trouble-free system and one that ultimately racks up tens of thousands of dollars in problems. Yet, many people receive conflicting and confusing advice about what maintenance is necessary.

Most professionals recommend that septic tanks be pumped every 2 - 3 years to remove collected solids, but many...

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A simple tip to help with septic system odor. My home is in a location where the normal breezes tend to swoop over the roof of the house. This seems to act like a wing or airfoil and draw the air that flows over the house down and into my deck and backyard area. I believe these septic system odors are normal in our case. If the wind is striking the front of my home I smell the septic tank odor in back, likewise with the wind hitting the back I get septic system odor in front, but this only seems to be a problem when special wind conditions are present and someone is using the bathroom or taking a shower, anything that forces water through the septic system. Obviously for a short period of time, adding water to the system will cause septic system smell to be forced up the vent pipes and with the right winds down onto our deck.

When they install chimneys they make sure that the stack is sufficiently high that the smoke will be carried away by the wind regardless of its...

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BACKUP PREVENTION, SEPTIC - CONTENTS: septic system backup prevention. How to prevent septic system backups into buildings. How to prevent sewer line backups into buildings.How to diagnose and cure septic system backup problems.. Use of check valves and backflow preventers to avoid basement flooding from heavy rain or sewer line backups. How to prevent a septic backup during heavy use of a private septic system POST a QUESTION or READ FAQs about how to avoid septic system or sewer line backups REFERENCES

InspectAPedia tolerates no conflicts of interest. We have no relationship with advertisers, products, or services discussed at this website.

Septic or sewer backup prevention:

This document explains how to avoid septic system backups when heavy use of the system is anticipated and for homes connected to a municipal sewer we discuss how to prevent sewer or storm drain backups into a building during rain or heavy flooding.

Green links show where you are. ©...

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Follow these tips on what to do and what to avoid doing when you have a septic system for waste management for your home or business. A good rule of thumb: If you haven’t, wouldn’t or couldn’t eat it – Don’t throw it into the septic tank!

Septic System Do’s

Do spread laundry use over the week rather than many loads on one day. While it might be convenient to do so, dedicating an entire day to doing laundry will put a severe strain on your septic system. Consider connecting your laundry waste to a separate waste system (dry well or seepage pit). While not normally necessary, will reduce the load on the regular system and permit the survival of a marginal system. Space out your laundry loads and wash only full loads. The average load of laundry uses 47 gallons of water. One load per day rather than 7 loads on Saturday makes a big difference to your septic tank. Also, front loading washers use less water than top loaders. Use liquid laundry detergent. Powdered laundry...
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Question: Can I Regularly Use Yeast in My Septic Tanks?

Is yeast satisfactory to use regularly in septic tanks?

By Vivian from Acton, CA


September 27, 20100 found this helpful

Best Answer

Yes, you can. Just empty a few packs down your drain every month or so followed by lots of very warm water. Yeast is "good" bacteria and this will counter-act the killing of bacteria by bleach and other cleaners that are washed down your drain. As an added benefit, yeast is way cheaper than any of the commercial products you see advertised on TV.

September 29, 20101 found this helpful

Best Answer

Well, you could use yeast, but it may not actually be thrifty in the long run. Did a little Googling (and multiplying and dividing :). A 20.7 oz box of Rid-X ( essentially yeast-based) runs about $12 and has enough for two monthly treatments; that would be about 10 1/2 oz. per month at a cost of around $6.

Three ounces of...

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If you are like most people, you know very little about your septic tank system. This is understandable. In urban and suburban areas there are sewers to carry household waste to muncipal wastewater treatment facilites.

In more rural areas, however, septic tank systems provide the functions of both sewers and treatment facilities.

All household waste is disposed of through the septic system. The proper operation of the septic system is essential to public and private health, to property values, and to the environment. To see if you know enough about your septic system, answer the following questions. If you cannot answer all the questions, your septic system could become a huge aggravation, public nuisance, health hazard and financial burden.

Do you know what a septic tank is and how it works? Do you know what kind of soil absorption area you have and how it works? Do you know what causes septic systems to fail? Do...
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