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The Difference Between Good And Bad Septic Tank Bacteria

Your septic tank is home to trillions of helpful bacteria. These microscopic organisms are responsible for breaking down the solid waste at the bottom of the tank so that it can begin to decompose properly, ensuring proper function and preventing overflow. Part of your septic maintenance routine should include maintaining a sustainable environment for these bacteria can. Here's a closer look at how to do so.

The Types of Bacteria

There are two main types of bacteria in your tank: aerobic and anaerobic. Aerobic bacteria are large and need oxygen to survive. These bacteria eat organic waste, so they do most of the work in breaking down the solids.

Anaerobic bacteria are much smaller and more resilient during environmental changes, such as a lack of oxygen or extreme temperatures. These smaller bacteria consume the broken-down solids and turn them into liquid or gas. The resulting "effluent" is discharged to the drain field, where it's filtered through the ground and safely released back into the environment.

How to Maintain the Right Balance Avoid Harmful Chemicals

Avoid harsh chemicals or antibacterial soaps that would kill the bacteria. Instead, opt for organic cleaning solutions that provide a safe alternative. Harmful cleaning solutions to avoid include bleach, drain cleaners, ammonia, and phosphates.

Keep a Healthy Lawn

These bacteria thrive best in an environment above 40 degrees Fahrenheit, with a pH between 6 and 7.5. Maintaining the grass over the buried tank serves as an excellent insulator to manage the temperature inside the tank. The grass also pulls oxygen down into the soil, giving the aerobic bacteria more of what it needs to survive.

Pump the Tank

As your bacteria work, sludge will build up in the bottom of the tank. Have a septic pumping company clean out your tank once every three to five years. Your contractor can determine your ideal pumping schedule depending on the size of your tank and how much you use the system. This routine septic maintenance will help your bacteria stay ahead of the waste so that the system doesn't back up.

Scorpion Septic offers complete septic maintenance services for property owners in the Woodstock and Dallas, GA, area. This family-owned and -operated company is known for affordable prices and high-quality service. See their full list of services online and call (678) 300-7352 to schedule an appointment.