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Maintaining Your Septic Tank

Keeping the bacteria in a septic tank working properly is essential for breaking down the sewage. This guide is about maintaining your septic tank.

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Septic Tank
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October 28, 2015 Flag
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Will the use of Epsom salts damage our copper bathtub? If not, will the use of Epsom salt baths damage our septic system?

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October 30, 20150 found this helpful

I occasionally use Epsom salts to water my plants, Weezy, so I can't imagine a negative impact on you septic system. As to copper? Do you have anything else in the house on which you could do a test? But really, by the time you fill a bathtub with water, a cup of Espom salts is a very small amount, right?

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June 29, 20160 found this helpful

Epsom salts will definitely harm a copper bathtub; the place where I bought mine said so.

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May 24, 2016 Flag
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This is a guide about using brewer's yeast in a septic system. Many homeowners with septic systems regularly add brewer's yeast to keep their system functioning properly.

Using Brewer's Yeast in a Septic System

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February 10, 2015 Flag
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I bought a house two years ago and don't know when the septic tank was last pumped. Should I have the septic tank pumped as a starting care and maintenance program?

By Charles H.

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February 14, 20150 found this helpful

Yes. Call someone in your area that does this, and consult with them. It may be possible to visually inspect it as well, depending on what type of system you have.

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Anonymous Flag
April 1, 20160 found this helpful

No! Most septic tanks don't need anything done to them with regular use. Add some robic or ridx just to make sure. If it ain't broke don't fix it.

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October 28, 2009 Flag

For those of you on septic tanks; I had to have my tank pumped out last year. The guy who did the work, told me that instead of buying the expensive bacteria products, to pour a half gallon of buttermilk down the drain once a month and it would do the same thing!

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By ssfelts from Tallassee, TN

March 20, 2010 Flag
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Could someone tell me if there is anything you could use in your septic system to dissolve ice cream and milk products? We have an ice cream stand and the people are always putting the unused ice cream and milk down the drain and then the septic backs up. We have to have it pumped all the time. It does not dissolve the way it should.

By Glenn from Coalport, PA

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March 24, 20101 found this helpful

Sorry that you did not get the help you need, but this site is for people who appreciate what advice they get. The people here are such good and kind folks with plenty of wonderful advice, so for you to say "thanks for nothing" was very rude.

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March 29, 20100 found this helpful

Found this concerning septic systems and dairy waste:

http://www.extension.umn.edu/distribution/livestocksystems/DI1321.html

The bottom line is that septic systems and dairy waste never mix--you will have ongoing failure unless you either hook in to a municipal sewer system or dispose of the waste through your trash system. If you don't want to deal with leaky bags, throw a layer of cat litter or play sand to absorb the waste before disposal.

By the way, thumbs up, Marfette. If this were me, I think I would have done a little research into all aspects of business operations before dumping the dairy sludge into the septic system. Finding the info took under a minute just by Googling.

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Anonymous Flag
November 16, 20150 found this helpful

I clean my drains once a month with Baking Soda and White Vinegar let sit for 10 minutes then pour warm to hot water down the drains.It's supposed to keep the sludge off the pipes and prevent it from building up.Too much sludge will narrow the hloe for draining.

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July 16, 2014 Flag
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Will mixing sugar and yeast in your toilet bowl and letting it stand over night then flushing help with the biological breakdown action ocuring in the septic system?

By Jim L

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October 15, 20140 found this helpful

No it doesn't. This is an old myth that needs to end now! There are certain bacteria for fats, proteins, feces, urine, etc and each works only on that which it is made to digest. Use the bacteria you buy specifically for septic tanks. Once every 3 months is plenty for the average household of 4.

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October 20, 20140 found this helpful

While I agree that different bacteria do different things, those septic tablets are a crock of boloney. Nobody needs to buy those, and some of their sales reps are rude.

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February 10, 2015 Flag
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What is involved in a septic tank inspection? I am not familiar with a septic tank and its care.

By Charles H.

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February 11, 20150 found this helpful

IF you have a lot of trees surrounding your land or nearby neighbors that roots can spread to your leach bed lines, then do this:

Each Spring before the rains pour forth, use copper sulfate (CUS-04) and put it into the septic system by removal of lid and pour it in mixed with water. As the rains begin, the water from the septic system will flow out into the leach bed lines and will kill tree roots that interfere with leach lines that can ruin the system and causing big problems later. Do not plant trees or shrubbery over leach bed lines or dig deeply into the soil with a garden plow, so you don't disturb the lines. You can buy this product at any lawn/garden or feed/grain store.

The more toilet paper is put down the toilet, the sooner the septic system will get filled and need pumped out; this isn't all that cheap anymore to have done, but you'll know if you have waited too long because of a noticeable outdoor odor in the air and sometimes causing toilet to not flush well.

Write down date of having septic system cleaned and you'll know just about when it's time to have it done again after the second time around. I'd also suggest that you do a lot of internet research on this topic so you are well informed. Ask the previous owners when the septic system was last cleaned. Other than that, it's all I can tell you as I can't see the layout of the land you live on.

There's also products you can buy that are yeast activated and break down the waste material faster that pours right into the toilet and is flushed. We never thought it to be that helpful and was a bit pricey.

Avoid driving heavy equipment over the leach bed lines; lawn mowers are okay.

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November 10, 2010 Flag
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What affects does yeast have on a septic tank system, to use or not to use?

By Tom from Peculiar, MO

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November 11, 20100 found this helpful

Yeast is much better than Ridex. The man who pumps my septic tank every other year says Ridex often just ends up solidified in the bottom of the tank. Make a septic tank cocktail with yeast and sugar and flush it down!

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November 11, 20100 found this helpful

The bacteria in a septic system work in an airless environment and do quite well at breaking down solid matter from humans. The worst thing one can do is pour grease down the drain as it will form a barrier that eventually coats the lines. Dishwashers create another problem by making the liquid in the septic tank too alkaline. I'm using a system that has never needed pumping in 20 years because I don't use a dishwasher and greasy pans are well wiped with paper towels before the pans go in the water.

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Anonymous Flag
November 19, 20150 found this helpful

I use my dishwasher with baking soda for cleaning and vinegar in the rinse.. from what I've read neither substance harms the septic

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July 24, 2006 Flag
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If you live in a rural area, chances are you have a septic tank. Septic tanks depend on the action of bacteria to break down solids. You can prevent sludge buildup and keep bacteria working hard for you by using this formula once a month. . .

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