Will additives improve the efficiency of my septic tank?

Four common types of additives commonly asked about are:

  • Substances added to increase microbial action, e.g. yeast
  • Food products to increase microbial growth and action, e.g. hamburger
  • Products intended to dissolve solids in the septic tank, e.g. lye
  • Products intended to remove scum from the tank walls

There is no significant evidence of the effectiveness of these additives. Use of items 3 and 4 may actually damage your system (changing the pH and killing microorganisms, or clogging downstream pipes). The introduction of any additive to the septic tank is discouraged.

Show All Answers

1. Will additives improve the efficiency of my septic tank?
2. Should I use special chemicals (e.g. detergents) or paper products that are considered better for the system?
3. What kinds of things should never be put into the system?
4. Will the use of a garbage disposal unit adversely affect the septic system?
5. What does the accumulation of lush green vegetation over my leach field indicate?
6. In order to reduce the load on my septic system, can I divert wastewater from my washing machine or other grey water fixtures?
7. What can I do about periodic odors from my roof vents?
8. How often should my septic tank be pumped?
9. How do I inspect my septic system myself? Or how do I know if my septic tank needs to be pumped?
10. I have an alternating drain field system. How often should I alternate my leach lines?
11. Why does my plumbing seem to become sluggish during winter months or when there is increase household water use?
12. Why does the septic tank need to be cleaned and pumped?
13. How can I locate my septic tank?