How Much Bleach Is Too Much For A Prince William County VA Septic System?

How much bleach is too much for a Prince William County VA septic system?  It’s a great question, and one we get on a regular basis from the clients we work with.  Since it’s come up more than once, we thought it would be a good topic to write an article about.  The answer might surprise you!

Your home’s septic system is probably the most rugged and robust piece of equipment you’ll ever own.  It was built to handle just about anything and to provide years of hassle-free service.  As rugged as it is though, it requires care and regular maintenance like everything else, and if you don’t take care of it, it won’t take care of you.

At first glance, you might think the answer to the question ‘how much bleach is too much for a Prince William County VA septic system?’ is pretty close to zero.  After all, bleach kills bacteria, and your septic tank relies on bacteria to do its job.  It doesn’t seem like introducing one to the other would be a good idea.

Even worse, a lot of cleaning products contain bleach, which seems like a disaster waiting to happen.  The good news is that the answer to the question ‘how much bleach is too much for a Prince William County VA septic system?’ is:  A lot more than you probably realize.

The reality is that small amounts of bleach aren’t going to do anything at all to your system.  You’d have to literally go to the store, buy a couple of gallon containers of the stuff and pour it straight down the drain before you introduced enough bleach to the tank to become problematic.  Don’t do that, and you’ll be just fine.

The catch, however is this: ‘How much bleach is too much for a Prince William County VA septic system?’ is the wrong question.

Asking that question diverts your attention to the subject of bleach, when there are a lot more things that are significantly more dangerous to your home’s septic system, and if you’re focused too intently on bleach, then odds are that you won’t pay enough attention to those other dangers.

So what kinds of things are we talking about?  Here are some examples:

  • Excess water – It might seem strange, given that water is a necessary component of a properly functioning septic system, but too much can cause problems. Excess water can be introduced in one of two ways:  If the downspouts connected to the rain gutters on your home are angled toward the drain field, or if you’ve got dripping faucets and toilets that run constantly.
    The problem is that the excess water will ultimately flow into your drain field.  Once there, it will supersaturate the ground and when that happens, your drain field won’t be able to percolate waste as efficiently, which will cause you no end of trouble.
  • Grease – Almost everyone knows it’s not a good idea to pour grease down the drain, but it happens more often than most people care to admit. Unfortunately, when it does, there’s really only one solution.  You’ve got to pump it out.
    You’ve probably seen late-night infomercials that promise to break it up so you can avoid that step, but don’t believe the hype.  Not only do these products not work, but as often as not, they’ll cause serious damage to the bacterial colonies your tank needs to perform its job well.  In other words, they wind up making the problem even worse than it was before.  Not good.
  • Chemical Drain Cleaners – While it takes up to two gallons of bleach to harm your tank’s bacteria, it only takes a teaspoon of chemical drain cleaner to do serious damage. These are to be avoided at all costs!

Again, it’s not that the question ‘how much bleach is too much for a Prince William County VA septic system?’ is an inherently bad one, it’s just that it’s a distraction that tends to pull your attention away from other issues that are potentially much more harmful.

While we’re on the topic of your home’s septic system and things that can hurt it, let’s talk for a moment about maintenance.  Our recommendation is to have your septic tank pumped out and your system inspected every three to five years.

Doing both of those things at that interval will keep any potentially harmful materials from building up in your tank in sufficient quantity to cause problems, and having a trained professional put expert eyes on your system at regular intervals will give us the opportunity to spot problems while they’re still small.  All things being equal, small problems are much easier and less expensive to fix than big ones, which means that your septic system will provide you with years of hassle and headache-free service.

At the end of the day, that’s what everybody really wants, because dealing with serious septic problems that lead to a backflow of sewage into your home is a nightmare no one wants to experience.

If you can’t remember the last time your home septic system was inspected, or you had your tank pumped, it’s probably been too long.  We can help with that.  Give us a call and schedule your appointment today.  You’ll be very glad you did, and we can hardly wait for the opportunity to exceed your expectations!

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