Septic Tank - Leave it be or add enzymes?


Old 07-03-05, 08:23 PM
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Septic Tank - Leave it be or add enzymes?

Greetings. I just love this forum. I always get the best help here.

I live rural. Have a septic tank and all that stuff. I have never added any enzymes or bacteria, etc. to my tank. I was told that there is a natural type system thing going on in the tank and to leave well enough alone.

My neighbor just bought me a box of something and told me that I should be adding it to my septic tank. I thanked her for the box of stuff. But didn't add it.

Should I be adding something to my septic tank each month? I certainly don't want any problems, but I don't want to foul it up and then clog up my leach line or somethng.

FYI: I live alone, shower, toilet, sink water into septic. Washing machine goes out for gray water. I put as little paper into the septic as possible - minimal.

My septic tank if 12 years old, I've never had it pumped because it's just me and not much goes into the tank.

Thanks for any input and/or advice.

Old 07-03-05, 11:27 PM
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The common anology for septic tank maintenance is: If it doesn't pass through YOU first, do not put it in your system. This is overkill but very close to the truth.
A septic sysyem is a self contained eco-system. It does not function well with too much water diluting the bacteria/enzymes.
It does not function well with the addition of cooking oils, strong cleaners, bulk items( excess toilet paper, tampons,paper towels, cig butts,etc...), normal amounts of toilet paper are ok.
Garbage disposals are not the best thing for septic tanks.
The only time I would add any extra bacteria/enzymes would be if you were abusing the system with large amounts of water.

The tank should be pumped down every 5-7 years as a preventive. The addition of the "box" is not necessary with a properly functioning septic system.

Family of 4 here, septic system for 11 yrs. No additions to the tank and never a problem. We were carefull to only put into it what HAD to be put into it.
You should have no problems as long as you follow the rule at the top.
Old 07-04-05, 12:06 AM
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Mr. Dragon Man,

When you say abusing tank with excessive amounts of water - does that include my long daily 20 minute shower with a low-flow shower head?

None of the items you mentioned are put into the tank- no tissues, no cigs, no tampons/pads, definitely no papertowels, no garbage disposal (kitchen waste goes in trash except what small particles slip by). Rarely does toilet paper gets flushed - living alone I can use a separate waste recepticle for TP.

Occasionally bleach/cleanser will go down the sink/tub/toilet from cleaning - but I try to keep that to a minimum. Again, living alone I can sparingly use those products.

I guess I should have my tank pumped? I never have since I am the sole user at my house. Everything passes through me or over me (shower!)

Any other comments on my situations?

Thanks, Mr. Dragon!

Old 07-04-05, 09:19 AM
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I don't think anything you are doing will harm the tank. I am a believer in "preventative maintenance" however, I don't spend money I don't have to either. Unless you start having drainage problems, I would just keep doing what you have been. Pumping is probably not necessary either unless you notice a change in the way it is acting (slow draining or back-ups). Good luck.
Old 07-04-05, 12:04 PM
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Thanks, Mr. Dragon!!!!

You have relieved my mind. I try to be watchful of what goes in my tank, and have always avoided additives.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Old 04-04-11, 04:56 PM
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Follow-up ...

Approximately 1-1/2 years ago, I finally had my septic tank pumped - first time in 14 years since it was installed. I figured it would be pretty bad. Boy, was I ever wrong! It was mostly water, just a few floating solids, and probably a little sludge on the bottom. No mat build-up at all. The guy pumping the septic tank said it was the cleanest septic tank he had ever seen!

I was thrilled that my method of what goes into the septic tank was working so well. Based on what I observed after 16 years of usage and no pumping, I doubt that I will ever need to have the septic tank pumped again.

Because I do live alone, I have the luxury of being able to control the little to no toilet paper being flushed down the toilet (I dispose of TP separately), and not having the TP to breakdown probably helps a lot. Obviously I can't say for sure, but it sure hasn't hurt.

Old 04-04-11, 09:25 PM
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Thanks for the
This is the oldest up-date to a thread I have ever seen..
And you are correct, most build-up in a tank is from stuff that never should have been there in the first place.
Again, thanks for the follow-up...
Old 04-12-11, 11:01 AM
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Enjoyed this thread. I didn't pay attention to the original posting dates. Thank you for your followup Judy. I've spent much time thinking, making repeated posts, even studying their posted diagrams and then I never hear anything again. I've even come back and ask them how they made out, and get no response at all. No matter how much advice I give, I always learn something in the process-that's why I and others want to hear back. Thanks again Judy. Come on over to the pest control forums if you ever need help there.

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