Standard household bleach may be considered the most handy and useful household product because of its countless uses. Most commonly used for whitening whites and removing stains, bleach is more than just an ordinary laundry detergent. It is also used to kill germs and sanitize just about everything. Most toilet bowl cleaners, various household cleaners and disinfectants also contain bleach. It is so versatile that it is also an effective pesticide and fungicide. This means that it kills bacteria and viruses as well as fungi, and many other germs. Some may say that chlorine bleach is the ultimate household necessity.
But what happens when bleach gets into your septic system? Different kinds of bacteria throughout the septic system decompose and treat the waster water from your home. Since standard household bleach is so widely used throughout the home it isn’t very hard for it to wind up in the septic tank. Bleach kills bacteria, live bacteria inside the septic system are what breaks down and treats waste properly. When bleach kills the bacteria in the septic tank, or causes a bacteria “die-off”, waste builds up in the septic tank with now where to go. Grease , oils, and other solids are then pushed out of the septic tank into the drain field. This may cause blockages and a failed drain field system. Some signs that the drain field may be failing are slows drainage and flushing drains and toilets; standing water on the grass over the drain field; A backed up drain field may also cause a back up to the house.
Can I still use bleach if i have a septic system? Good news septic tank owners, you do not have to stop using bleach to clean your house. Moderate use of bleach will not throw your septic system out of balance. Moderate use is the amount of bleach used in one normal size load of laundry ( 3/4 cup) or the amount used in an application of toilet bowl cleaner.
When doing laundry that requires bleach, spread loads over a couple of days, so not to overwhelm the septic system with bleach or excessive water. Another way to make sure that too much bleach does not go into the septic tank is to have your washing machine drain into a separate line away from the tank.
Excessive use of chlorine bleach can cause a complete septic system failure. The effects of using bleach regularly , even moderately will accumulate in the system. That means while huge amounts of bacteria won’t die at once , the amount of bacteria that die each time you use bleach will add up. That it is why it is extremely important to use a septic tank treatment product that contains a high count of bacteria and enzymes. In order to ensure a properly functioning septic system, use this type of septic tank treatment within 48 hours after using chlorine bleach. This will replenish and replace the bacteria that is killed. This will also put your septic system back in balance. Instead of calling a plumber who will temporarily fix the problem with a pump out ( that will only through off the balance of your system more by removing more bacteria) A septic tank treatment that is enriched with a high count of bacteria and enzymes is a more effective septic tank cleaning. It will add bacteria through out the septic system so it can start to break down waste in the drains, pipes, tank, and drain field.
How much is too much bleach? According to a study done by Mark Gross 1.85 gallons of bleach is enough to cause a complete bacteria “die-off.” This is a complete failure of your septic system.
A failing system can result in public health and pollution issues., as well as costly repairs. Putting an effluent filter in the outlet of the septic tank will prevent solids from clogging the drain field. The filter and the regular use of a bacteria and enzyme fortified septic tank treatment will ensure that solid waste will not leave the septic tank. The bacteria will be replenished and your system will be back in balance.
Anytime and every time you use bleach, the ecological system of waste degradation is disrupted, and your septic system is left out of balance. The best way to balance and clean your septic system after using bleach is to add a septic tank treatment with bacteria. By replacing the bacteria that is destroyed by chlorine bleach , you will increase the efficiency of your septic system.