How much bleach is too much for a Loudoun County VA septic system? It’s a question we get from our customers on a regular basis, and it’s easy to understand the concern. After all, many, if not most of the cleaning products on the market today contain bleach. Since bleach is deadly to bacteria and your septic needs bacteria in order to do its job, it seems like a potentially devastating combination, and one to be avoided at all costs.
While it’s true that bleach kills bacteria, the reality is that it would take a significant quantity to do serious harm to the bacteria living in your septic tank. You’d literally have to go to the store, buy a couple of gallons of the stuff and pour it straight down the drain. As long as you avoid doing that, you’ll be just fine.
It’s not that the question ‘how much bleach is too much for a Loudoun County VA septic system?’ is a bad one, it’s simply that there are other things that can potentially cause much greater harm to your home septic system and by focusing or worrying too much about bleach, your attention is drawn away from those other hazards.
What are those other potential hazards? Here are a few examples:
Too Much Water In Your System
At first glance, this one almost seems counterintuitive. After all, your plumbing system is connected to your septic tank and every time you turn on a faucet or flush a toilet, it’s got water flowing into it. How can that be a bad thing?
The problem is that too much water will cause your drain field to become supersaturated. When the ground gets too wet, your drain field can’t process wastes efficiently, which is bad news. The two most common ways that excess water winds up in your drain field are as follows:
First, the downspouts connected to the rain gutters on your house could be contributing to the problem. Check them and make sure they’re angled well away from your drain field. That way, when it rains, you won’t have to worry that they’re contributing to the problem.
Second, dripping faucets and constantly running toilets. You’d be amazed at how much water these things can introduce to your home’s septic system. The moment you see them, give your local plumber a call and nip them in the bud.
Chemical Drain Cleaners
While the answer to the question ‘how much bleach is too much for a Loudoun County VA septic system?’ is measured in gallons, it takes as little as a teaspoon of chemical drain cleaner to devastate the bacteria in your tank. These should be avoided at all costs. They’ll do much more harm than good.
Most people know that pouring grease down the kitchen sink is a bad idea, but it’s something that happens on a regular basis anyway. Here, the problem is two-fold:
Some of the grease gets stuck in the tank, leaving less room for solid waste processing. The only way to get rid of it is to have your tank pumped out at regular intervals.
Another portion of it will escape the tank and leech into your drain field. Once there, it will float to the surface and harden, creating a problem known as grease capping, which prevents your drain field from processing waste effectively. Both of these problems are bad news.
You may have seen late night infomercials selling products that promise to dissolve the grease and get rid of it without having to resort to tank pumping or a repair of your drain field. Don’t believe the hype. Not only do these products not work as advertised, many of them can cause serious harm to the bacteria in your tank.
A surprising variety of stuff winds up in your tank, especially if you have small children, who seem to delight in watching odds and ends flush down the toilet. Most of this stuff isn’t biodegradable, and gets stuck in the tank, which is yet another reason to have it pumped out at regular intervals.
Again, it’s not that the question ‘how much bleach is too much for a Loudoun County VA septic system?’ is a bad one, it’s simply that by spending too much time focused on, or worried about bleach, it will cause you to lose sight of the other potential dangers your septic system faces.
We’ve mentioned having our tank pumped a few times in the examples above. Our recommendation is that you have the tank pumped and your system inspected every three to five years. Doing so will give us an opportunity to put expert eyes on your system at regular intervals, which enables us to spot problems while they’re still small and easy/inexpensive to repair. That’s a big win for you and gives you tremendous peace of mind.
Your home septic system is incredibly robust and durable, but like any system, it needs regular maintenance in order to provide you with hassle- and headache-free service. As the area’s top rated septic service company, we can help with that.
If you’re not sure how long its been since you had your system looked at, it’s probably overdue. Just give our office a call and schedule your appointment today. We can hardly wait for the opportunity to exceed your expectations!