Regular Septic Maintenance and Septic Tank Treatment Prevents Environmental Hazards
Septic tank systems are small on-site waste water treatment facilities that are used in homes where municipal sewage connections are unavailable. Almost 25% of the homes in the US use a septic tank system to treat their waste water. While septic systems are cost efficient alternatives to larger sewage treatment facilities, they are also the largest contributors of waste water to the ground and unfortunately, the main source of ground water contamination. When neglected a septic system can pose serious hazards to the environment and to the health of people closest too it.
The waste water that enters a septic system contains dangerous pathogens, bacteria, viruses, parasites (worms and protozoans), and fungi. When maintained properly, a functioning septic system contains microorganisms that will effectively filter, decompose, and remove harmful pathogens before it is returned to the ground. However, when a septic system fails untreated sewage can contaminate ground , surface waters, and pollute environment.
80% of all infectious disease world-wide are water related. Every year diseases caused by contaminated water kill approximately two million people and cause 90 million episodes of illness. Children and elderly adults are most effected because the contaminated water usually causes dehydration. There are hundreds of water related diseases that can result from a septic tank polluting the environment and drinking water such as
Caused by Bacteria : Typhoid, Paratyphoid, Bacillary dysentery, Gastroenteritis, Cholera Caused by Viruses: Hepatitis A, Polio, Viral gastroenteritis Caused by Parasites: Amebic dysentery, Mild-Severe Diarrhea, Parasitic Worms(Tapeworms, Roundworms) Caused by Fungi: Skin, Eye, and Respiratory Infections quickly transmitted by drinking contaminated water or coming in contact with contaminated surface water ( pooling water)
Pollutants in the environment effect us directly and indirectly. A septic tank system that is stressed or failing will contain large amounts of bacteria and viruses that can contaminate the surface of the ground and nearby surface waters. Ground and surface water is closely linked because base flow of streams is primarily groundwater. Nitrates and phosphates are byproducts of a septic system, these gases can also contaminate drinking water. High concentrations of nitrate are toxic to humans. When nitrates migrate with groundwater to larger bodies of water, they have have effects on the ecosystem. Leaking septic systems can also damage the pH and absorptive capacity of the soil in the drainfield.
What causes a septic system to fail?
Most homeowners overlook their septic tank system until it is full or they have a problem. Improper septic maintenance is the leading cause of a failing septic tank system. Another cause of septic failure is overloading the system with a dramatic increase of water use. When the drainfield cannot absorb all of the water, it backs up into the septic tank. When chemicals (paints, solvents, cleaners, disinfectants, antibacterials) get into the septic system, they poison the microorganisms that break down waste. Contaminating the system with these chemicals adversely affect the septic system. Most of the problems can be corrected with some typical maintenance work immediately. A septic tank treatment containing bacteria and enzymes will help to balance the system and degrade the build up of solids and sludge.
Septic tank systems are very effective at treating waste water sufficiently, when properly used and maintained. Preventing water contamination can be achieved by regularly inspecting, maintaining, and treating your septic system. Monthly septic tank treatment will increase the bacteria in the septic tank that decompose solid waste and remove pathogens. Using septic tank treatment product that contains bacteria and enzymes will enhance the quality of effluent that is discharged from the septic tank. When solids or biomat clog drainfield pipes or soil, effluent cannot be absorbed or treated. The use of a septic tank treatment product will break down the build up of biomat in pipes and soil.
Septic systems can create a public health hazard, environmental pollution, and water contamination when they are not used or maintained properly. Regular septic maintenance and monthly septic tank treatment will eliminate and prevent septic tank problems that indicate a system failure. Knowing the damage a failing system can cause should make every homeowner want to protect their septic systems and their environment. Monthly use of a septic tank treatment and regular septic maintenance are important steps toward environmental safety and health.