Here is a water system question that comes up occasionally among homeowners:
What to do after your septic tank is pumped at Home?
The answers to that question are surprisingly varied in local tradition and folklore! Some homeowners are very dogmatic with their beliefs and practices surrounding this event. We have found some homeowners who stoutly declare that the only way their septic tank functions properly after cleaning is if they put a dead chicken into the tank after it’s pumped! This, they claim, re-starts the bacteria in the septic tank, and everything works wonderfully. Others ascribe to a legendary method of adding a large bag of dog food to the tank after cleaning…they say when they fail to add the dog food, their tank will not function properly. Still, others keep a special supply of yeast on hand to flush down the toilet when their tank has been pumped out. They feel that this special additive will keep the septic bugs happy, and keep all bad things from occurring.
Based on our many years working in the residential septic system industry, we have found that in most cases, there is no need to add anything to your septic tank after pumping.
Human waste coupled with kitchen waste is full of bacteria and enzymes which are fully sufficient to break down the residential waste that comes from most homes.
Washington State University has a helpful study on this topic, which we feel encapsulates our experience in the field.
Septic Tank System Additives
Safe additives will likely be ineffective, while an effective additive will likely be unsafe to use. Money spent on additives would better be spent pumping your septic tank every three to five years.
There are certain cases where home septic tank additives can be helpful for cleaning your plumbing system…
- We have had customers who were undergoing chemotherapy who experienced adverse effects on their septic tank, due to the chemo-killing bacteria in the tanks.
We have also had customers who used more than normal amounts of bleach or Clorox in cleaning, which affected their septic tanks.
- In cases like this, we recommend a product called BioClean, which is a mix of bacteria in powder form, that activates when it is added to liquid. This can increase the bacterial count in the septic tank to help overcome higher levels of toxic influent.
- At times, a leach field may become clogged with solids from overuse. We have had success with opening the ends of leach fingers and cleaning out the solids from the lines using a hydro-jetting machine. Once the solids are cleaned out, we flush clean water back into them, mixed with a high concentration of BioClean bacteria. This helps to break down the remaining solids with a shock treatment of very high bacteria content, and many times a failing leach field can be brought back to life in this manner.
So…in most cases, the best thing to do after pumping your septic tank is…Flush The Toilet! If you need to schedule a septic tank cleaning, pumping, or inspection, don’t hesitate to call Shankster Bros. at any time.