What is the best bacteria additive to septic system.

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog. Water is life.' started by SergeFlorida, Sep 2, 2014.

  1. SergeFlorida

    SergeFlorida New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2014
    Just recently moved to new house with well water and septic system and I am trying to learn how both systems work. After finishing my well water softener I have a question about septic system. I am not sure what previous owner did to the system in terms of maintenance, but I read some info online that I need to put some bacteria once a month. My question is in title. I am getting different messages in terms of what is the best and some websites says do not use rid-x as it will damage bacteria balance and some says rid-x is the best choice. Can anyone share your personal experience in this area.
     
  2. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

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    Plumber
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    I've always heard the Bio-Clean was the way to go with septics.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2020
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  4. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades Master of one

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    Rocket Scientist
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    The rid X dry is good , I quit using it when it came in liquid only.

    I use Yeast and sugar mixed in Warm beer. Real Home Brew, Grandpa's way.

    Never used the Bio-Clean, But it should work good.

    The most important thing on a septic take system, is to watch what you flush.

    Chemicals and some T-Paper can cause big problems.

    You do not want to plug things up or kill your Micro Orgasms. lol


    Good Luck.
     
  5. SergeFlorida

    SergeFlorida New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2014
    Yes, I understand this part about chemicals and I found a list of safe chemicals for septic system. It is very interesting recipe not only for the septic but also for other uses. I am afraid without right proportions it may blow my septic tank, LOL. Thanks again.
     
  6. beeje

    beeje New Member

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    Dec 18, 2019
    Location:
    westminster md
    When I first bought a property with a septic system in 1993 I took a class offered by the county and learned that you should not put anything in your septic system that did not come out of your body accept toilet paper. Still on septic following the same rules. Never had an issue. In fact the last tank pumper mentioned that this is the cleanest tank he has ever pumped out. Said it was well maintained. That was 7/2017. The prior pump out was in 2008.
     
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  7. Rotaris

    Rotaris If its not broke, fix it until it is!

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    Jack of all trades, master of none!
    Location:
    Alberta,canada (North eh)
    The best thing is to eat some Chinese food! Please do not add anything. My best bud has been in septic field for 30 years!
     
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  8. water pro

    water pro Member

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    Nov 11, 2020
    Location:
    syracuse
    I'm assuming, like many, you may be worried about the water softener damaging the microbes in your septic. Don't. water softener discharge is NOT harmful to septic. the only thing entering the septic is chloride and hardness (mainly calcium and manesium). Chloride is what's left over after detaching from NaCl. Chloride differs from chlorine in that it is NOT an oxidizer or a biocidal, as is chlorine.
     
  9. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

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    NW Ontario, Canada
    I disagree. Even if it was benign, it is an extra load on the system. If local laws permit it, then divert it as grey water. That is what I do however it is not benign as it killed several trees.

    As for my septic tank, I have never used any special additive and routinely go longer than a decade between pumping it.
     
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  10. water pro

    water pro Member

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    syracuse
    it kills plants for a completely separate reason. plants/trees survive by making chlorophyll. Chlorides and salts prevent a plants flow of potassium and magnesium, both of which are vital ingredients in the making of chlorophyll.
     
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  11. taylorjm

    taylorjm Member

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    Dec 18, 2019
    Location:
    Saginaw, Michigan
    Just have it pumped out every few years and don't worry about it. Around here it's $125 to have the tank pumped out. I do it every 2-3 years and consider it to be cheap insurance.
     
  12. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    Sounds cheap. $500 would be expensive. Some charge extra to dig up the lid, and others don't.

    The time between pumping is dependent on the system, the number of people it serves, and their habits. When you get it pumped after 2-3 years the first time, an experienced operator can estimate if you can go longer next time.

    I don't think you need an additive. Enough bacteria will remain after pumping to get things processing again without an additive. You want to not put stuff down the garbage disposer, but instead put into the garbage. A bidet seat or bidet attachment will reduce toilet paper use, and leave you cleaner.
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2020
  13. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

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    Semi-Retired
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    Some require that you locate and open the lid.

    In Ontario they tried to enact a law requiring tanks be pumped every five years but they succumbed to much protest.
     
  14. taylorjm

    taylorjm Member

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    Dec 18, 2019
    Location:
    Saginaw, Michigan
    Excellent advice. We actually had a riser and surface mounted lid installed on our tank a couple years ago so they don't have to dig every again. That cost $100, and they actually reduced our pump out cost from $175 each time to $125 because we have the riser and lid.

    I do have one question for you though, see if you ever heard anything like this before. A friend of mine manages a sewage lagoon for a local high school. Basically all the waste gets pumped into a giant pond and he was certified by the state to manage it by checking bacterial levels, etc. So it's like a big open septic tank. He routinely goes out and will pour 50lb bags of cheap dog food into the pond if the bacteria levels get low and that gets them up and going and multiplying again. He said that the idea of not using a garbage disposal with a septic system is an old wives tale and they actually recommend using a garbage disposal because it adds organic food to the tank and keeps the bacterial strong and healthy and keeps them multiplying.
     
  15. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

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    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    Interesting!
    These are from *.edu sites. That doesn't mean they are necessarily right, but the probably don't have a bias on this topic. They either suggest to avoid some things, particularly fats, they also seem to think that the whole volume of solids will contribute to stuff that will need to be pumped. Some is broken down and some contributes to faster sludge.

    https://ossf.tamu.edu/frequently-asked-questions/#Question 4
    https://www.extension.purdue.edu/extmedia/HENV/HENV-106-W.pdf
    https://wsg.washington.edu/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/outreach/Septic-sense.pdf
    https://polk.extension.wisc.edu/files/2010/12/Care-and-Maintenance-of-Residential-Septic-Systems.pdf

    Maybe further research is good. The could be more useful than many topics that are called research.

    https://s3.wp.wsu.edu/uploads/sites/2079/2014/02/septic-additives.pdf has a list of septic additives deemed safe. It says
    However, approval and listing does not guarantee or certify the product is effective. Common household products, such as detergents, bleach, drain cleaners, and toilet cleaners, are excluded from this regulation.​
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2020
  16. taylorjm

    taylorjm Member

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    Dec 18, 2019
    Location:
    Saginaw, Michigan
    Thanks, I should have been more clear. I agree that things like fats or grease that can't be broken down easily or will float on the top and risk getting into the leech field, or too much so it ends up increasing sludge. I also found a whole slew of information that said things on both sides. Personally, we only put food waste down, but also have it pumped out every few years, but I wondered how you felt after seeing some of your comments. I'll check out the links you posted in more detail later. Thanks!
     
  17. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    I have one septic tank that I have gotten pumped twice. So very limited experience. Price for pumping seems very reasonable to me compared to me, typical $300 and more for sewer charges.

    I don't have a disposal.
     
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