Green Tip: Maintaining Your Septic Tank Without Chemicals
Green Tips for Maintaining Your Septic Tank
Once you get to know me and the topics of which I write, you will discover I bring you tips for living green that not only preserve the environment, but save you money. I'm big on "going green" in every sense of the word. So now that you know what I'm about, I'd like to help you with your septic system. And believe you me, they were hard lessons learned!
Once a month, perhaps on the same schedule as replacing your A/C filter, flush the contents of one down the toilet closest to your main line. The yeast activates enzymes and promotes the "good" bacteria necessary for your septic to eat away what is being deposited in the tank. Dry yeast can be found in the baking section of your grocery store, in the flour isle; usually found on the top shelf. 1/4 oz packet of active dry yeast
One three-packet strip costs about $1.99. That gives you three months of treatment! So, for about $0.66 a month, you can keep your septic system operating the way it should, eliminating non-scheduled tank pumps.
It is recommended to have your tank pumped every three years. I found that out the hard way, too, never having lived in a home with a septic tank until I moved to Florida and bought my home! Sheesh! Ignorance is definitely NOT bliss!
Keeping Your Septic Mainline Clear
Another tip I'd like to share is how to keep your septic mainline clear. Although I use septic safe toilet paper, my bathroom is closest to the mainline and I'm a "wadder," not a "folder"!
After paying my plumber $150 on a weeknight to clear my mainline after my toilet and shower backed up, he gave me this tip:
- Once a month (yes, our septic systems insist on our attention at least monthly!), fill a gallon jug with 50% scalding water and 50% white distilled vinegar.
- Before going to bed, pour the contents down the toilet closest to the mainline and flush.
- Flush again in the morning.
- The hot water and vinegar will break loose any blockage and "melt" any grease that may have made its way through the pipes.
(By the way, if you are on septic, do not use your garbage disposal! Throw meat scraps in the garbage can and any vegetable scraps in your compost bin. And never, ever throw grease into the garbage disposal! It is not biodegradable and clogs up the main line!)
A gallon jug of white distilled vinegar cost roughly $3.49. That gives you two months of tender loving care for your mainline!
Please take these tips to heart. I learned them the hard way after spending thousands of dollars on drain field rejuvenation, which doesn't work, and mainline replacement. Had I been educated, I could have saved a whole lot of money! I hope these tips prevent you from making the same mistakes as I did!
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
Questions & Answers
How do I use yeast for the cleaning of a septic tank, and is there any material to mix it with?
I'm assuming you're asking if you should mix something with the dry yeast for maintaining your septic tank. The yeast doesn't "clean" the tank; rather it activates enzymes to process the waste in the tank. It's an eco-friendly alternative to using RidX, which is a chemical.Helpful 47
What do you think about bleach in the laundry? I do about one bleach load every other week or less. Will the bleach kill the bacteria in the septic tank?
Bleach is not good for the septic tank; it kills the good bacteria. I use baking soda instead of bleach. Not only is it safe for the septic tank, but it doesn't yellow your clothes after prolonged use. Nor do your clothes become brittle and thread bare. Notice how the armpits and collars of white shirts become yellow after many bleached washings? That won't happen if you switch to baking soda.Helpful 28
I purchased a jar of yeast, not the packets. How much should I use in my septic tank?
I'm assuming you bought dry active yeast, which is what you want. One packet equals 1/4 ounces, which equates to approximately 2 1/4 teaspoons.Helpful 31
I am about to move to a home with a septic tank. I do love the natural ways. I have yeast and vinegar, but have always used Clorox chlorine tabs in my toilets as they do an awesome job. I usually use one tab about every 2-8 weeks. Will it be okay to use with my septic? The company assures me is okay.
I stopped using bleach altogether. I don't even use it in my laundry. I use baking soda instead. Bleach kills the good bacteria in the septic tank. You need to keep that bacteria alive so it will break down the solid waste in the tank.Helpful 18
How much baking soda goes in laundry?
I just eye-ball it. However, I'd say I use about one cup for a large load of laundry. Make sure you add it as the water is running into the washer tub so it dissolves.Helpful 16
© 2011 Shauna L Bowling