Here is how to break down solids in a septic tank.
If you have a septic system installed on your property, you’ll need to take good care of it, as failure will lead to all kinds of problems.
These problems include damage from tree or plant roots, ground movement, collapsed baffles, vehicle damage, and damaged dip pipes.
Other common problems include hydrostatic pressure and too many solids forming in the tank. Finding solutions to a particular type of problem, solids in the septic tank, is what we’re focusing on.
Organic solid wastes are known to collect at the bottom of the tank and steadily accumulate.
Why Solids Form at the Bottom of Septic Tanks
To have a fair idea of why solids accumulate in septic tanks, you’ll need a basic understanding of how this system works. A septic system consists of multiple components that are vital to its operation.
These include the septic tank and drain field.
All wastewater coming from a home collects in the tank through the inlet pipe. There’s an outlet pipe that connects to the drain field. Now the wastewater collected in the tank undergoes separation.
Three distinct layers are formed, with the top consisting of a thin layer of grease and oils. This is called scum. The middle layer is made up of wastewater. It is slightly mixed with waste particles.
At the bottom of the tank lies the solid or sludge heavier than other layers.
The solid is acted on by millions of bacteria that help break down. Ordinarily, it’s not a bad thing to have solids in a septic tank.
It becomes a problem when solids accumulate much faster than usual due to reduced bacterial activity.
Factors that lead to a buildup of Solids in the Septic Tank
There are various reasons why you might experience a buildup of solids in your septic tank. One includes hardly maintaining a cleaning schedule and indiscriminate use of household cleaners.
A septic tank needs to be emptied every 3 to 5 years. If you’ve waited much longer, there will be a buildup of sludge and solid waste within the tank, which could affect its normal functioning.
When further ignored, it could lead to septic system failure.
Indiscriminate use of household cleaners, on the other hand, has its toll on septic tanks as it kills beneficial bacteria which act on solids.
With fewer bacteria left, the breakdown process becomes a lot slower, thus affecting general functionality. This leads to the accumulation of solids.
How to Break up Solids in Septic Tank
With excess solids accumulating in your tank, finding an urgent solution is necessary. One of the main actions to take includes emptying it if it exceeds the time required for clearance.
Other actions to break down solids include dumping rotten tomatoes down your drain and applying active yeast.
Inorganic acids can also serve the purpose of breaking down solids. There are other actions like adding hydrogen peroxide and also applying chemicals.
i. Have your Septic Tank Pumped
After noticing a buildup of solids in your septic tank, one of the first things to do is to have the tank pumped.
You can get this done by simply calling up the pros to come around. When the tank empties all its contents, it immediately addresses the problem of the excess solid.
Now you need to be careful about what goes in. To maintain an accurate pumping schedule, you must also recall when it was last pumped.
You’ll do well to call for yearly inspections to determine the condition of the septic system as well.
ii. Dumping Rotten Tomatoes down your Drain
How do rotten tomatoes help fix the buildup of solids in a septic tank? In more ways than you can imagine.
Pectinase is a protein in rotten tomatoes that helps break down cell walls. Rotten tomato also helps introduce certain bacteria that boost the breakdown process of solid waste.
All you have to do to introduce your rotten tomato into the septic tank is to have them sliced and run through the garbage disposal. This should be flushed with water after completion.
There should be a boost in bacterial activity within a short period.
iii. Applying Active Yeast
Active yeast can be a great ally in fixing your septic tank solids buildup.
All you need is a ¼ cup of active yeast. This should be poured down your toilet bowl and flushed. When this is done, it’s best to avoid using appliances that guzzle up water, as this could negate the effect.
iv. Inorganic Acids
Before using inorganic acids for a breakdown of solids, you must first consider the adverse effect of this product on your septic system and the beneficial bacteria acting on waste.
Inorganic acids will help eliminate clogs but will do little to address the solid problem in your septic tank.
v. Hydrogen Peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide is one product that can help fix the problem of the accumulating solid in a septic tank but has its other downsides, which make it unsuitable for use.
Hydrogen peroxide is harmful to drainfield as well as the soil. You’ll do well to find safer options when it comes to septic tank care.
vi. Applying Chemicals
For safe usage, it’s best to follow the exact use instructions of each chemical to ensure you get the expected outcomes. Plus, not all chemical products will be safe for use.
Do these Measures Work?
While discussing how to address or fasten solids breakdown in the septic tank, it’s necessary to have some reservations as these may not be 100% effective.
This could be due to various reasons, including insufficient dosage, or the method may not be effective.
To ensure you’re doing the right thing, consider speaking with a septic system professional to get the necessary guidance on what needs to be done.
Now you know what to add to your septic system to fasten the breakdown of solids. Some of these have proven effective in the past and can help you fix your problem.