How to Break Down Poop in a Septic Tank

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Homes that operate away from city plumbing systems depend on their own septic systems to deal with waste. Septic systems require proper maintenance to help them work to the best of their ability. Here's how to ensure your septic tank breaks down poop as efficiently and hygienically as possible.

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1. Use Treatments for Septic Tanks Monthly

There are many store-bought septic tank treatments that can help break down the contents of your tank and therefore minimize the buildup of debris over time. These formulations generally need to be flushed down one of your toilets every month. By continuously treating your septic tank with a product like RID-X, you can help prevent the sludge that can cause your septic tank to become clogged. Keeping your septic tank free of blockages helps to ensure it's more effective and hygienically safer too.

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RID-X is made of four natural enzymes that each break down a certain element of solid waste. Cellulase breaks down toilet paper and some food matter, lipase breaks down fats, protease breaks down proteins and amylase breaks down starches.

Because they treat all the different aspects of septic tank blockage, septic tank treatments can be effective at keeping your tank working properly. These products can essentially treat any potential septic tank blockages before they occur and help maintain a healthy bacterial balance in your septic tank.

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2. Use Dry Baker's Yeast

You may be dissuaded from using store-bought treatments, thanks to the higher price tag. Because septic tanks need to be treated regularly, the financial commitment to a store-bought product can be quite high. There are homemade alternatives, although they may not be quite as effective.

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For example, according to ​Farmer's Almanac​, baker's yeast can help promote the breakdown of septic waste solids. To try this method, measure out 1/2 cup of active dry baker's yeast and flush it down one of your toilets the first time you treat. Repeat this process with 1/4 cup of instant yeast at least every four months thereafter, which can help you maintain a healthy septic tank bacterial level.

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Make this treatment as effective as possible by avoiding taking long showers or baths or doing laundry during the hours following use. You don't want to dilute your septic tank while the treatment is getting to work.

3. Perform Regular Septic Tank Maintenance

There's more to caring for your septic tank than just using a septic tank treatment. There are several other tips you can follow to ensure that your septic tank works as well as possible.

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Keeping your septic tank in good condition is in large part due to what you put down your drains. Be extremely careful about flushing wipes, sanitary items or any food for garbage disposals, as all of these have the potential to clog a septic tank.

Also, be careful about allowing antibacterial cleaning products to make their way into your septic tank. The bacterial balance of a septic tank is what helps it break down solid wastes, including poop, and disrupting it can cause issues. Finally, it's important to have your septic tank inspected and pumped out every three to five years by a professional service provider.

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