Has it been a while since you had your septic tank pumped or your system inspected? If you can’t remember the last time it was done, it’s all but certain to be well past time. Our recommendation is that you have both of those things done every three to five years in order to keep your system running at something close to optimal efficiency.
The biggest advantage to you where regular inspection is concerned is the fact that it gives our guys the opportunity to spot problems with your system while they’re still small. All things being equal, small problems are much easier and cheaper to repair than big ones. If you’ve dealt with septic systems before, you know that major problems tend to all end up the same way. If you leave them alone long enough, you’re probably going to wind up with raw sewage backing up inside your home.
If you’ve never had to deal with something like that before, count yourself lucky. If you have, then you know what a nightmare it can be.
While we’re taking care of our clients, we talk to them, and field lots of great questions about home septic systems. One of the more common questions we get is, ‘is bleach harmful to Prince William County VA septic systems?’
It’s easy to understand where the concern comes from. After all, many, if not most household cleaning products are bleach-based, and one way or another, some of the bleach in them winds up in your septic tank. At first glance, that seems like it would be a recipe for disaster. After all, bleach doesn’t play well with bacteria!
You might be surprised to hear it, but the answer to the question ‘is bleach harmful to Prince William County VA septic systems?’ is generally no. Sure, if you went to the store, bought 1-2 gallons of bleach and poured it down the drain, you would seriously damage your system, but who would do that?
What most people are talking about when they ask the question though is how much damage those cleaning products will do, and the answer is, none at all. You’re not going to introduce enough bleach to your system that way to cause any damage at all.
Unfortunately, while the question ‘is bleach harmful to Prince William County VA septic systems?’ is certainly not a bad one, it does carry a hidden risk. Since nominal amounts of bleach don’t pose a threat to your system, by asking the question, you run the risk of having your attention drawn away from other issues which are potentially a lot more dangerous and damaging. Here are a few of those:
1) Water – This one might seem strange to you. After all, water is an integral part of a septic system, so how can it be a bad thing? The answer lies in your drain field. Too much water can overload it, and when the soil in your drain field becomes super saturated, your septic system can’t process waste efficiently.
While excess water can enter the drain field by any number of avenues, the two biggest potential culprits are the downspouts attached to the gutters on your house and your dripping faucets and constantly running toilets.
In the case of the downspouts, there’s a super simple fix. Just be sure they’re not pointed directly at your drain field and you’re all set. In the case of the faucets and toilets, just keep a sharp eye out and fix those types of issues the moment you see them.
2) Chemical Drain Cleaners – While the answer to the question ‘is bleach harmful to Prince William County VA septic systems?’ is generally no, chemical drain cleaners can be absolutely devastating. In some cases, as little as a teaspoon of chemical drain cleaner can cause significant harm to your tank’s bacteria. Steer well clear of these.
3) Grease – Almost everyone knows that pouring grease down the drain is a bad idea, but also, almost everyone has done it at one point or another.
Grease presents two problems. First, some of it will stay in the tank where it will slowly clog your system, interfering with its basic operation until you have it pumped out. Second, and even worse, some of it will escape your tank.
The reason this is worse is because once the grease hits your drain field, it will float to the surface, then harden, forming a grease cap. Grease caps will prevent your septic system from functioning properly by denying the soil beneath them enough oxygen to do its job.
You may have seen or heard about products that promise to dissolve the grease in your tank so it can percolate harmlessly through the drain field and out of your life. Don’t believe it. Not only do these products not work as advertised, but some of the chemicals they contain can cause serious damage to your tank bacteria.
As we said before, it’s not that the question ‘is bleach harmful to Prince William County VA septic systems?’ is a bad one, it’s just that by asking it, you run the risk of diverting your attention away from one of the more serious issues mentioned above.
All of that brings us back to the topic of maintenance. If you’re not sure how long its been since your septic tank had any TLC, give our office a call and schedule your appointment today.