4 Ways to Prevent Septic Tank Bacteria

Concerned about septic tank bacteria? Many Septic systems fail each year and cause illness and disease from water that has been contaminated. The main reason septic tanks fail is because there is some sort of blockage that keeps the liquid waste from passing through. This of course backs the waste water up and allows it to mix in with the clean water. So, how can you prevent this from happening? Luckily, there are some easy steps you can take to keep your septic system healthy and operating well enough to prevent bacteria from contaminating your water supply.

1. Use a Filter with Your Washing Machine

Washing machine lint is a huge source of drain field clogs in septic tanks. Lint traps only catch a small percentage of the contaminants and the rest of them, made up of synthetic materials, such as the nylon and polyester in our clothes, get caught in the soil bed. You can prevent this cycle of possible bacteria back-up by using an inline filter that will attach to your washing machine’s discharge hose. 

2. Don’t Use Excessive Water

If you do a lot of laundry on a regular basis, that can cause the septic system to flood over time because it is not meant to handle such a large volume of water. If the system floods, it’s possible that solids will flush out of the tank and make their way into the drain field. As a precaution, it’s better to limit, or spread your washing loads out over a longer period of time.

It’s also possible that your water softener can be flooding your septic system. Softeners regularly output hundreds of gallons of water that isn’t contaminated, so it doesn’t need to get treated by the system. You can remedy this by upgrading your softener to a model that will not use as much water.

3. Don’t Let Solids Get Out of the Tank

In order to keep the solid waste materials from exiting the tank, you should have it regularly pumped so that solids won’t be allowed to accumulate in it. A good plan to follow is having the tank inspected about every one to three years. You should also utilize Effluent filters, which can be installed in the tank to keep solids from getting into the drain field. They are relatively inexpensive to buy and can save you from developing major contamination problems in your tank.

4. Closely Monitor the Usage of Household Cleaning Products

It is believed by some that regular usage of detergents, fabric softeners and bleaches kill off the necessary bacteria in the septic system, which in turn will cause the system to fail. This is generally not true with normal washing machine or dishwasher usage, even though the aforementioned products do kill a negligible amount of bacteria. However, if used excessively, these detergents and cleaners can cause a system failure in your septic tank. If you are doing large loads of dishes or laundry on a regular basis, you can avoid potential problems by not using detergents that are powdered, which may cause blockages because of the non-biodegradable fillers they contain.