Can Septic Tank Additives Do More Harm Than Good?
Bottom line: nothing is as good for your septic system upkeep as regular professional pumping, inspection, and maintenance. However, some homeowner-directed, off-the-shelf septic tank additives can help your septic system maintain a basic level of health and performance, in certain circumstances.
We suggest that you only use a hardware store/DIY additive if you’ve already checked with a professional septic inspector, and never to treat an active septic tank emergency.
That said, here are the key differences in your common homeowner additives:
Biological additives are made of natural compounds, usually packed with bacteria and enzymes. The idea for these additives is “insurance” for concerned septic owners, making sure that your system has the bacteria needed to function properly. But, unless your system has sat unused for several months, there isn’t a reason to add bacteria or enzymes, because your system is producing those elements naturally from the matter from your drainpipes.
Chemical additives are what they sound like: chemicals used to break down solid matter and remove clogs. However, these chemicals are obviously not natural or organic and will impede the breakdown of the matter in your system with bacteria-killing chemicals. These artificial additives can also be harmful to your local environment and groundwater.
Basically, while it’s tempting to purchase a “cheap and easy” DIY solution at your local hardware store, you might be buying a placebo instead of a real asset to your system’s health. Septic systems are incredibly well-designed and should run smoothly with little interference, assuming they are used properly and cleaned on schedule. As always, check back on our past blog content for more best practices, tips, tricks, and solutions for common septic system questions.
The important thing to remember is that your septic system can last for many years, without any septic tank additives or headaches, if you care for it properly and stay aware of septic system health and maintenance. If you need to schedule septic tank cleaning, pumping, or inspection, don’t hesitate to call Shankster Bros. at any time.