Three Ways You Could Be Hurting Your Septic System Everyday

Because the septic system is largely unseen each day, it's not unnatural that it wouldn't be a topic that your family discusses regularly. Perhaps that's the reason that you could be doing some damaging things which could over time affect pipes, drains and the entire system. Take a look at these three common ways you could be making trouble.

1. You're Cleaning with Anti-Bacterials and Bleach

Cleaning the home is a regular task in many households. You might pride yourself in using bleach and other chemical products that claim to be antibacterial in an effort to ensure that you get rid of germs. However, these chemicals could end up disrupting the bacterial balance way down in your septic tank.

A certain amount of so-called beneficial bacteria is required so that all the solids that make their way to the tank can be degraded. Without this process and the bacteria, solids will amass and you could experience an overflowing or backup into the house of tank contents. The chemicals in the cleaners don't avoid the good bacteria--they kill whatever bacteria they come into contact with,  By the time they reach the tank they're of course diluted, but over time there could be a real problem with lack of beneficial germs in the tank.

2. You're Always Using Dry Powder to Wash Your Laundry

For whatever reason, if you're using dry powder as your laundry detergent, it's likely something you've been doing a long time. Just know that many companies use special solids, such as clay, which may eventually block up the pipes. You might consider it a good idea to switch over to liquids exclusively, if you can.

3. You're Not Careful With What Goes Into the Toilet

Even though you know what should be going down the toilet drain, if you're like many people you'll sometimes toss in cotton swabs, and other small household items that aren't really supposed to go in there. As long as the toilet flushes, it's easy to think there's not a problem. However, you've got to know the pipe which leads out to the main septic line isn't too long; as time passes, the cotton swabs and items that don't dissolve could build up and block that pipe. Depending on the location of that clog, you may not be able to reach it with an auger and need more intrusive work to get it taken care of.  A septic camera may need to be used to find and address that clog, for instance.

When you realize that you're doing a number of things outlined in this article, you might start to feel worried about the status of your septic tank and pipes. Contacting a plumber or another expert in the field can help you identify issues and perform necessary septic repairs. For more information, visit a website such as