Tips For New Homeowners To Navigate Septic Tank Additives

Posted on: 23 September 2015

If you're new to owning property with a septic tank, you may be wondering about how you can keep the tank and septic system in the best possible condition to reduce the risk of backups. There are a lot of additives on the market that claim to promote septic tank health, and for new septic system owners, the options can be dizzying. It's important that you understand that not all additives are alike, so you'll want to be sure that you're choosing one that fits your needs. Here are some things you should know about septic tank additives and how to choose them.

Additive Types

When you look at all of those additives, you'll find that they all fit into one of two categories.

  • Biological – A biological septic tank additive is one made from a natural product, such as yeast, enzymes or bacteria. They're often used in an attempt to break down grease, oil or solids in the tank.
  • Chemical – Chemical additives are items like hydrogen peroxide, baking soda and sulfuric acid. They're typically used to help clear out clogs in backed-up septic systems.

Considerations Before Treatment

Although both kinds of additives are known to be beneficial in some instances, it's also important that you consider the risks of treating your septic tank on your own. Chemical septic tank additives have the potential to corrode the septic tank, especially if you're using an acidic product. Even organic chemical treatments can contaminate ground water if they seep through the tank or the tank leaks around the cap. This can be hazardous to your property's water table, and it may contaminate drinking water. To reduce these risks, there are a few things to keep in mind.

  1. Additives such as alkanes or benzenes are pollutants, so avoid any additive that contains either one.
  2. Zinc sulfate and paraformaldehyde are also hazardous to the environment, and are best avoided.
  3. Biological additives can even contaminate the ground water and drain fields, because they can sometimes cause solids from the tank to overflow and reach the drain field.

The best thing you can do is to work with a septic tank installation and maintenance contractor like Honest John's Septic Service Inc to help you take care of your septic tank. They can tell you what your tank will safely accommodate in terms of treatments and if any are even necessary. The more attentive you are to the way your septic tank works and to routine maintenance, the less likely it is that you'll need an additive of any kind for your system.