bacteria and enzymes in septic systems


septic systems bacteria and enzymes
Septic Systems and How They Work

septic systems
septic tanks
drainfields
leachfields
soil absorption fields
cesspools
drainfield soil
hardpan soil
clay soil
soil percolation
bacteria and enzymes
septic system maintenance
septic system care
septic system failure
wastewater
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Bacteria and Enzymes Living In Septic Systems

It is safe to say that without the billions of naturally occurring microscopic critters living in a septic system, the septic system would not work properly. These organisms are responsible for a major part of the three-stage treatment that processes wastewater in a septic system.

The wastewater separates into layers in the septic tank. This is where the process of decomposition begins. Bacteria, which are naturally present in all septic systems, begin to digest the solids that have settled to the bottom of the tank, transforming up to 50 percent of these solids into liquids and gases.

Most experts agree that it is unnecessary to add bacteria, enzymes or activators to the community of organisms that naturally occur in a septic system. In rare cases high doses of cleaners, bleach, antibiotic drugs, or a sudden change in the Ph of the system can temporarily kill off a large number of beneficial bacteria, however, it is difficult to kill off all bacteria. A system’s biological community can recover, through reproduction, and replenishment in a matter of hours.

Another important part of the process performed by bacteria and other microscopic organisms occurs when the effluent from the septic tank enters the drainfield and comes into contact with the biomat. Organisms living in the biomat further digest organic matter contained in the effluent before it reaches the soil where the last part of the process is completed, with the help of bacteria naturally occurring in the soil. Many of the bacteria living in the biomat and in the soil are aerobic or oxygen dependent. When water floods drainfield soil many of these bacteria die off and cannot be replenished until flooded soils can be relieved.

Please read this informative note about adding one of the thousands of brands of bacterial digester products to your septic tank.

From the Agricultural Engineering Department of Michigan State University newsletter:

Q. Should I use commercially available additives in my septic system?

A. There are numerous additives on the market that claim to improve the biological activity in the septic system and some suggest that if you use a particular additive you may not have to pump your septic tank. Research has shown that there is little if any benefit to be gained by using additives in a septic system that is regularly used and where the solids that accumulate in the septic tank are removed every few years. Additives that advertise reduction in septic tank pumping may actually result in solids that are intended to be removed and kept in the septic tank, washing out into the drainfield. We do not recommend the use of any additives in septic systems.

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