You know what happens inside a septic tank- it collects the human waste from your household and bacteria inside it dissolve the waste and turn those into sludge. In this process, bacteria play the most important part. If it doesn’t decompose the waste, the tank gets full quickly and you have to pump it very often.
This is the reason why it is forbidden to throw too much bleach in the septic tank. But most of our domestic cleaning products come with bleach. So, what to do?
This is the reason you should know how much bleach is too much for a septic tank. Knowing this helps you to stay alert and keep your septic tank safe. Thus you’ll be free from the risk of frequent pumping. Here in this article, I’ve talked a bit about how much bleach is okay for your septic tank.
But before that, let’s see why bleach is not suitable for your septic tank.
Impact of Bleach on Your Septic Tank
Bleach is a chemical substance. We all know that there are bacteria in the septic tank. When bleach is sent to your septic tank, it directly attacks the bacteria and kills them. Besides, it doesn’t let bacteria reproduce.
When the bacteria inside the tank are dead, your waste can’t be decomposed anymore. There is no other way of breaking down the waste. As a result of it, the tank gets full quickly.
As the waste is not broken down into sludge, those are not properly ready for the next step of treatment. This creates a hassle for those who continue the next level of decomposing. Also, as the tank gets full quickly, you have to pump it again and again. This increases the hassle, expense, and waste of time.
So, you can see that bleach doesn’t have a good impact on your septic tank. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t send a small amount of bleach to the septic tank. In most cases, a little amount of bleach every day is not a huge problem.
To completely kill the bacteria in your tank, a certain amount of bleach is needed. That’s the mark from where the danger zone starts. Now, let’s talk about that certain level.
How Much Bleach is too Much for a Septic Tank?
The answer to this question is a bit complex because it depends on several things. For example- the size of your septic tank also matters sometimes. So, instead of talking about an exact amount that is too much for your septic tank, I’m talking about how much you can use.
The Chlorine Bleach we typically use for washing our clothes is only harmful to your septic tank if it is used at an excess amount. According to several sources, if you use a gallon of bleach a day, it starts affecting the bacteria in your septic tank.
One gallon bleach is used to clean around 14-15 average loads of laundry, which is huge. For a typical household, this is an insane number of laundry done in a day. So, maybe your septic tank is safe from such disaster.
However, we still suggest limiting the use of bleach because regular use of bleach can be harmful to the tank. Don’t go for more than 3-4 average loads of laundry per day. This will allow you to stay on the safe side.
Other Things that are Harmful to the Bacteria in your Septic Tank
There are a few more things that you shouldn’t throw in your septic tank. Let’s talk a bit about those too.
1. Antibacterial Soap- Handwash and soap that come with antibacterial properties are not suitable for your septic tank, and you know why. These kill a huge amount of bacteria in the tank and make the decomposing process slower.
2. Automatic Toilet Cleaner- Automatic toilet cleaners that claim to kill bacteria in your toilet also kill the bacteria in your septic system. You know the result.
So go for the cleaners that are calm. A mixture of baking soda and vinegar can help you to get a clean toilet.
3. Dishwasher detergent- Compared to laundry detergents, dishwasher detergents contain more surfactants and phosphates. So, these are comparatively more harmful to your septic tank bacteria. So, limit using such detergents. Go for phosphate-free detergents.
4. Drain cleaners- You shouldn’t use a drain cleaner. A drain cleaner contains some strong ingredients that are harmful to the useful bacteria in your septic system.
Also, it damages your pipes too. So if you find your pipes clogged, take help from a plumber instead of using a drain cleaner. This will secretly save your money in the long run.
5. Bath oils- Bath oils may help you to get softer skin, but these make it hard for the bacteria to do their job. These create a layer of scum around the floating waste. Bacteria can’t penetrate the layer and thus the waste is not decomposed. Thus the tank gets filled faster and you need to pump it frequently.
Also stay away from flushing solvents, paints, any type of oil, or anything inorganic that can kill the good bacteria in your septic system.
You can always put a small amount of bleach in your septic tank that comes with your laundry detergent. Still, you should be careful about it. Try to flush detergents as minimum as possible.
Also, I’ve talked about a few other things that we randomly flush in the septic tank but we shouldn’t. I hope you’ll be careful about the use of those.
Having a healthy septic tank is not so tough. But when it is not in a healthy condition, it’ll make the situation tough for you.