Eljen Septic Systems

Are Septic Tank Additives and Enzymes Useful?

As a company that specializes in plumbing and septic repair and installation, we get asked this question quite often. Most of the time, customers have heard that they should put additives and enzymes into their septic system regularly to keep everything running properly. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case, as these products can cause harm to your system. We’ll dive into why this is below.

Doesn’t the Bacteria Die?

Usually, bacteria can manage themselves. Their colonies will grow when there are a lot of solids in your tank, and shrink when there isn’t. This is really great for a system people don’t want to have to maintain regularly.

Although the bacteria colonies don’t die, liquid bleach, disinfectant cleaners, drain cleaners, non-degradable detergents, solvents (such as paint thinners), insecticides and some prescription drugs such as antibiotics or strong medications can severely hurt them, and nearly wipe out all of them. While bacteria are resilient and able to handle the occasional chemical, large quantities, or commonly putting these products down the drain can kill the colonies over time.

Why Shouldn’t I Add Enzymes and Additives?

Long story short; mother nature knows best.

Specifically, they are linked to pollution from septic systems, there’s a lack of evidence to back up the claims from manufacturers of them, and they have the possibility of destroying your septic system’s natural bacteria.

Most of these products contain organic chemicals. This means that these chemicals are extremely good at moving through the soil, eventually getting into the public water supply. Furthermore, some of these chemicals are suspected carcinogens that the EPA has issued health advisories for.

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Posted on July 09, 2019