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Septic Tank Advice

Posted by ejf-189755 - Created: 13 years ago
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We've just moved to a house with a septic tank, having no experience of these before I was just wondering if there were certain types of cleaning products, washing powder, etc we should be using??

Could anyone suggest brands we could buy from the supermarket?






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4 replies (Showing replies: 1 to 4)

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Posted by MCM-205037 - 12 years ago

There is a company who provide information and support on this subject

look under house and home improvements

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Posted by ejf-189755 - 13 years ago

Thanks!  This is a great help!


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Posted by dublinmike-182617 - 13 years ago

It's very doubtful that your 'grey' water (showers, sinks, washing machine  etc.) are going into your septic tank with the black water (toilets). usually a side by side tank (bac a graisse) will cope with the grey, otherwise the bacterial action of the tank doesn't work. The soaps kill the beneficial bacteria. Some tanks are combined, as in two tanks in one, but grey water and black are NEVER mixed.

Anyway some practical advice, don't allow female sanitary products EVER, these will cause major headaches as they can take 10 years to break down and you'll have to have it pumped every 2 years if you allow them. Provide a seperate bin for these.

Never clean the toilet with bleach and look out for the cleaners as mentioned by Humptydingo.

By way of quick explanation your septic tank takes in waste with a lot of water. The solids dissolve and the clearest water moves to the top and flows off to a 2nd internal chamber, and finally a 3rd before being allowed out into your soakage pipes.

By this time the bacteria will have broken down the solids into something like a water with a bit of earth in it and is totally harmless. In the old days they used to throw a few dead rats, cats, dogs, rotting meat etc into the tank to start the bacteria breakdown. Now we use the products like Eparcyl.

Problems occur when the bacteria is killed off by detergents put down the toilet. Then the septic tank becomes a holding tank and preserver for the solid waste, which builds up and up until the tank is full of solids and any water introduced simply flows across the top of the chambers and out, leaving the waste behind until it works its way up the pipes and into the house, or explodes in the middle of the garden as a result of gas buildup after the vent is blocked by rising solids. Nice!

Likewise the sanitary products eventually physically clog up the system and there's no room for the water/waste/bacteria interaction if you have a busy household. Remember 10 years to break down. You must also BAN certain brands of trendy wet wipes in pretty boxes that are very popular with the girlies these days, many of these are specifically banned by law for septic tanks. It's usually written on the box as described by Humptydingo. Not only do they not break down, but they have strong anti bacterial agents impregnated.

Not only in that case do you have to have it pumped, but the contaminated water expelled into the soakage area is too high in some critical elements like nitrogen and phosphates which will ultimately damage the ground and risk contaminating any groundwater.

Use a decent comfy budget loo paper like Auchan own brand. The luxury papers are not good for the tank. when you buy these things think of breakdown as you feel them.

If you are careful about the above, you will never ever have trouble with your tank.

I've never seen a woman clean septic tank mess, has anyone??

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Posted by Humptydingo-180377 - 13 years ago

You can use any products for the toilet which state on them (usually on the back label) "Sans danger pour les fosses septiques".  No bleach products (although I use them VERY occasionally) unless it states the above on them.  You should also use a special product from the supermarket which you put down one of the toilets in the house to activate the process, eg Eparcyl - as advised on the packet - i.e weekly, monthly, sometimes six monthly or according to the number of people using the toilets.  Most toilet products these days are septic tank friendly.