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Will Bleach Hurt My Oakton VA Septic System?

“Will bleach hurt my Oakton VA septic system?”

It’s a question we’ve gotten a lot over the years, and it’s no surprise why.  After all, your septic tank requires a healthy population of bacteria in order to function properly, and bleach isn’t known for being friendly to bacteria.

It might surprise you to know then, that the answer to the question “will bleach hurt my Oakton VA septic system?” is usually no.  Of course, “usually” is the key word here.

If the only bleach being introduced into system is as a result of routine cleaning, then the quantity simply isn’t sufficient to cause any real harm.  Studies have shown that it would take around two gallons, poured directly down the drain to cause serious damage.  As long as you’re not doing that, you’re fine.

Unfortunately, it is the asking of the question “will bleach hurt my Oakton VA septic system?” that could cause problems, because in the asking, you may take your eye off of other threats which are a great deal more hazardous, and that could lead to the need for expensive repairs.  Here are a few things to watch out for.  All of these represent a greater potential threat to the integrity of your system than bleach:

  • Excess water – It might seem strange, given that water is a necessary component of a properly functioning septic system, but too much can cause problems. Excess water can be introduced in one of two ways:  If the downspouts connected to the rain gutters on your home are angled toward the drain field, or if you’ve got dripping faucets and toilets that run constantly.  Fixing those will go a long way toward improving the operating efficiency of your system.
  • Grease – Almost everyone knows it’s not a good idea to pour grease down the drain, but it happens more often than most people care to admit. Unfortunately, when it does, there’s really only one solution.  You’ve got to pump it out.  There are products on the market that promise to break it up, but honestly, most of them don’t work at all, and many can actually harm the bacteria in your tank.  Not good.
  • Chemical Drain Cleaners – While it takes up to two gallons of bleach to harm your tank’s bacteria, it only takes a teaspoon of chemical drain cleaner to do serious damage. These are to be avoided at all costs!

With proper maintenance, you can expect your septic system to provide you with years of reliable service, but maintenance isn’t something you can perform on your own.  You need a trusted expert by your side.

We’ve been proudly serving the region since 1977, and are happy to help.  Give us a call to schedule your appointment today.

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