Maintaining a Safe Septic System

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Truth Or Fiction: Septic Tank Edition

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Septic tanks are those mysterious, waste-filled tanks located underground in your backyard. Since you rarely see your septic tank, you may not know much about it. And to make matters worse, some of the information floating around about septic tanks is merely folklore. It's time to get to the bottom of the problem! It's time for Truth or Fiction: Septic Tank Edition.

Truth or Fiction: You can't use bleach when you have a septic tank since it will kill the bacteria.

Fiction! (Mostly). While dumping a gallon of bleach down the drain is not a good idea, you can still use a little bleach here and there to clean in your home without worrying that you'll kill off the bacteria in your septic tank. Most of the chlorine in the bleach will be "used up" by the time the bleach water makes it down the drain.

Truth or Fiction: You can't flush wet wipes when you have a septic tank.

Truth! Even if the wipes say "flushable," you are best off not flushing them. They take forever to break down, so they will just build up and take up space in your septic tank until you have it pumped. The more space they take up, the more likely you are to have a septic backup. Put them in the trash, or don't use them at all. Toilet paper is really the only paper product you should be flushing since it breaks down so fast.

Truth or Fiction: You should save money by waiting until your septic tank has problems to have it pumped.

Fiction: Having your septic tank pumped should only cost a few hundred dollars. If you wait until the tank is backing up or having issues, you may have to pay for sewage cleanup and home repairs -- and you may even need a new tank! Regular maintenance is always the most affordable choice when it comes to your septic tank. Have it pumped every three years or so.

Truth or Fiction: Septic tanks require additives to keep them functioning properly.

Fiction (Mostly): Septic additives, which contain bacteria and enzymes to help break down waste, may come in handy if your tank has become deprived of bacteria. However, this is a very rare situation. In the vast majority of cases, your waste contains enough bacteria on its own to replenish the tank with every flush. Unless your septic professional tells you otherwise, you can assume you do not need additives.

For more information, contact a company like A Aaron Super Rooter Sewer & Septic.