People rarely think about their septic tanks until odd noises and disgusting scents start floating up through the pipes. They don't realize that many seemingly innocuous substances, such as antibacterial soap, are seriously damaging and even killing their septic tank.
Antibacterial soaps contain chemical ingredients that are designed to kill bacteria and sterilize your body while you clean. Usually, these soaps contain a chemical called triclosan, a substance that has been shown to alter your body's metabolism of hormones.
In fact, many studies have shown that antibacterial soaps may not work better than non-bacterial soaps and could actually contribute to serious health risks, such as altered hormone levels, and even cause infections. But, what in the world do antibacterial soaps have to do with septic tanks?
What Do They Have to Do With Septic Tanks?
When hand soap is washed down the drain, it ends up where all water in your ends up: the septic tank. Once here, it sits on the surface of the septic water, until the waste material is broken down and the soap residue can be washed away with it. However, while its sits in the tank, it may actually be subtly ruining the tank.
How Do They Kill Septic Tanks?
Septic tanks work by breaking down human waste matter, primarily through heavy doses of natural bacteria. That's where that nasty stench comes from; it's literally the smell of your septic tank's bacteria destroying your waste.
While that sounds disgusting, it's actually one of the healthiest and safest ways to deal with human waste. However, if your septic tank is filled up with the residue of antibacterial soap, it can actually cause the bacteria in the tank to die. And if the bacteria in your septic tank dies . . . well, it becomes practically unusable.
Are There Any Other Surprising Septic Tank Killers?
There are plenty of other chemical substances that interfere with the operation of your septic tank. Some of the most strange and surprising septic tank killers include
- Chemotherapy drugs
- Toilet bowl cleaners
- Bath oils and body oils
A good rule of thumb is to avoid flushing any kinds of chemicals down your drain. Although they may not directly kill your septic tank, they may cause cracks in your pipes, leaks, and even severe clogs that can negatively impact the way your entire system operates.
If you've been flushing antibacterial soap down your drain, it's not too late to reverse the damage. Stop using those kinds of soaps to give the bacteria in your tank some time to recover and naturally reproduce. However, if you feel like your septic tank needs serious help, call a septic system repair specialist like Lutzky Contracting as soon as possible.