Additives – Should you use them in your Septic System?

Most people who have a septic system have seen various additives and treatment options that promise less maintenance and improved performance. The questions that need to be answered about these additives: 

Do they work? Are they necessary? Are they harmful? 

Do Septic Additives Work

Manufacturers promise that their additives will help you reduce maintenance requirements on your septic, requiring less pumping, improving the breakdown of material and clearing out clogs. While these promises may be true in a technical sense, in that they are describing what biological or chemical additives do, they’re not actually giving homeowners what they need. The truth is that the natural bacteria within the septic system does all the work. Nature does the job that the additives promise to do. In fact, nature actually does it better!

Do septic additives reduce the frequency of needing to have your septic system pumped? 

The short – and probably obvious – answer to this question is “No.” There is no additive that can replace septic pumping. If you notice a foul smell or pooling water in your drain field, it’s time for a maintenance call. Adding manufactured treatments to your septic can actually work against the natural process of breaking down the waste and separating the solids from the effluent. 

Are chemical additives in your septic harmful?

These additives — particularly the chemically-based products — do more harm than good. Not only does their presence interrupt a naturally occurring process, but their synthetic makeup introduced to a natural environment is harmful. The chemicals build up in pipes and various components of the septic system itself. They end up being dispersed into drain fields, contaminating soil, working their way into our food and water supplies as well as wildlife. 

At best, septic additives are unnecessary. At worst, they’re damaging. If you’re unsure of what to do or how to maintain your septic system or address a specific issue, let us know. At Septic Check, we’re committed to helping you maintain the life of your septic, to make good choices that will protect you, your home, and our environment.