Many homes around the world rely on a septic tank rather than a sewer system to deal with their household waste. It's essential you take proper care of your septic system to keep it working properly. You can purchase specific septic system treatments to help maintain your tank, but many find them to be expensive, inconvenient and potentially harsh. Luckily, you can also create a natural septic tank treatment at home.
Septic Tank Treatments
Septic tank treatments work by using natural bacteria and enzymes to break down household waste. Rid-X explains that their product uses specific enzymes to break down toilet paper, oils, proteins and starches. It also helps maintain a healthy bacterial level within your septic tank.
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These treatments are designed to be flushed down a toilet around once per month to maintain a properly working septic system. However, some worry that these treatments are too expensive and could be harmful if they enter the water supply.
Making Homemade Septic System Treatments
Because of the concerns surrounding treatments like Rid-X, some septic tank users have taken to making system treatments at home. They can be more ecologically sound and offer greater value for the money. Most of these treatments center around active yeast. When used alone or mixed with either sugar or cornmeal, the yeast works as a method of balancing the bacterial levels within a septic system.
Septic Tank Care recommends mixing 3 cups of warm water, 2 cups of sugar, 2 cups of cornmeal and 2 packets of yeast in a large bucket and then, when the mixture starts to bubble, pouring it in your toilet and flushing twice. It only needs to enter one toilet, as it treats the entire tank rather than your toilet's drainage system.
As the Old Farmers' Almanac explains, using yeast is a great way of maintaining a healthy bacterial level in your septic tank. It recommends adding 1/2 cup of active yeast to your tank by flushing it down the toilet, then adding another 1/4 cup every four months.
After flushing, avoid taking long showers, doing laundry or over-flushing your toilets for the next eight hours. You don't want to put too much water into your septic tank as this can dilute your treatment and make it less potent and effective.
Septic Tank Maintenance Tips
Alongside regular monthly septic tank treatments, there are many other ways to keep your septic system working properly. You should be getting your system pumped out regularly to prevent a backup.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency also reminds septic tank users to be careful about what they put down their drains. Keeping tampons, sanitary towels and any wet wipes out of your septic tank can seem pretty obvious, but it's also essential to keep oils, grease and food waste from your garbage disposal to a minimum.
It's also recommended to avoid using any harsh antibacterial cleansers around your drains as they can enter your septic tank and disrupt its bacterial balance. If you do encounter a blockage in a drain, it's better to use a drain snake or plunger to try to remove it rather than using chemicals to dissolve it. Septic tanks can be a reliable and safe method of household waste disposal, but they must be treated with care to keep them safe and effective.