septic tank

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    • #278446
      MasterPlumbers
      Keymaster

      We bought a lot with a septic tank on it 1.5 years ago. It is ok to just let it sit?
      Is it true the only maintenance a tank needs is to be pumped every 3 to 5 years? Someone told me stuff like RidX is just adding bacteria that is already in the tank naturally.
      Why do people just drain dish water/shower water straight out of the house instead of through the tank? My guess would be the soap does something bad to the tank. Is it harmful to the environment to just dump it on the ground?
      Thanks for all your help!!

    • #298534
      John Aldrich1

      sandj1997, It is ok to let the septic tank sit. When the system starts to get use, the bacteria required to decompose the household sewage will proliferate in the septic tank, and in the soil around and below the leach field. “If you feed them, they will come.” If the sludge depth in the primary compartment of the tank is 1/3 the liquid depth of the tank, then have the sludge pumped by a sewage pumper.

      I have personally used septic tank additives in my septic system, treating the tank monthly for a two year period. I then stopped using additives, and observed over the next 2 years no difference in the rate of sludge accumulation, nor any difference in the rate of scum layer accumulation.

      In regard to your question about why people do the things they do, well the answers numerous.

      Some folks in arid areas, utilize grey water for irrigating the yard, or landscaping plants. These folks are not only violating public health, and environmental laws, but they are also stealing someones water.

      Some falsly believe that soaps and detergents will stop the digestion process in the septic tank. A properly designed, and functioning septic system will treat all of the sewage being generated in a houshold. Every cleaning product sold has an extensive “Directions For Use” label. If these directions are followed, then the septic tank/soil absorption system will remove, or reduce to exceptable levels, all of these contaminants.

      Others attempt to reduce hydraulic loading on the leach field, perhaps in an effort to eliminate surfacing septic tank effluent. If the grey water is not going into the septic tank, then it will not become anaerobic, and odorous.

      The direct discharge of grey water is a threat to public health, and to the environment, and is not permitted in most jurisdictions in the USA.

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