How Enzymes Help Septic System Efficiency | Affordable Sanitation

How Enzymes Help Septic System Efficiency

How Enzymes Help Septic System Efficiency

In a properly functioning septic system, bacterial processes naturally break down solid waste before it is dispersed back into the soil.

When the bacterial environment of a septic system is balanced, the bacteria produce enzymes, which aid significantly in the waste breakdown process by converting the waste into simple compounds that can be consumed by bacteria. Enzymes exponentially increase the rate of the waste breakdown process and are critical to the efficiency of every septic system.

When Bacterial Processes Are Interrupted

When the bacterial population inside the septic tank is at an appropriate level, things should be running smoothly; however, certain circumstances can cause a significant decrease in the number of bacteria present in the system.

When this happens, fewer enzymes are produced, and therefore, waste breakdown takes much longer than it should. This is where backups and other problems can occur. Common yet preventable causes of bacterial shortages are:

  • Toxic Chemicals: Items like paint thinner, pesticides, drain clearing chemicals, prescription drugs, and antibiotics, detergents, or chlorine can kill off the very bacteria that are essential to the function of your septic system if they are poured or rinsed down the drain.
  • Antibacterial Cleaning Solutions: They effectively kill bacteria inside your home, and there is nothing that keeps them from killing the bacteria inside your septic system if they are poured or rinsed down the drain on a regular basis. This includes antibacterial hand soap and commonly-used sink and toilet cleaners.

How to Maintain Bacteria and Enzyme Levels

There is really nothing special you need to add or do to ensure that your septic system has the appropriate level of bacteria working to break down waste. There are a few key practices that will help you to avoid inadvertently killing the enzyme-producing bacteria that break down solid waste:

  • Avoid washing toxic chemicals, paint products, medicines, and cleaning products down the drain.
  • Refrain from trying to fix a bacterial issue by using septic tank additives.
  • Have your septic system pumped on a regular schedule (every 3-5 years).
  • Enlist the expertise of septic tank professionals if you suspect your system is failing due to decreased bacterial levels.

Affordable Sanitation is the Pittsburgh area’s top choice for septic system cleaning, service, and installation. If your septic system is not functioning properly or is in need of pumping, call the experts at Affordable Sanitation today!


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