Septic Tank Questions


I'm new to having a septic tank. This is a new house with a new septic system. The TV commercials would have you dumping in theirs products (enzyme stuff) every week or month. Is this good? Is it required? Can I dump dog poop into the clean out opening? It does go right to the pipe that goes to the tank. I realize I can't dump so much, without water, such that it would plug up the pipe. Thanks.
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Art Todesco wrote:

Considering that septic tanks were around long before either the enzymes or TV, I'd venture they're not required.
Sure, you can put dog poop in the tank.
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Art:
Hi: Make sure the poop goes into the half of the tank that is closest to the house. Pump out the tank at least every 5 years so the drain field does not get clogged. Never dump anthing down the drain - kitchen or bathroom that cannot be dissolved in less than a year. That type of stuff is what will eventually clog the tank.drain field. If it is organic, than it should be ok to flush. I avoid sending dirt, stones, etc, down the line, fingernails, toenails, go down only by mistake. We have been here (you know where) for 45 years and never had any problems. WHen the kids were living here, we pumped every 4 years, now with just two of us we pump every 5 or 6 years.
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Art Todesco wrote:

Yes, it is *very* good...good at separating fools and money thereby enriching the purveyor.

A rose is a rose is a rose and crap is crap.
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Instead of buying enzyme garbage, google a chart for a proper tank pumping schedule based on tank size, occupants, etc. Solids only break down so far.
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Art Todesco wrote:

You do need beneficial bacteria in the tank to break down the solid waste. But once they are established, there should be no need for frequently refreshing the microscopic critters. Annually should be more than enough.
What is much more important is what to not put into the septic system. Little or no bleach. No grease, cooking oil or food scraps (and do not use an in sink garbage disposal). No cigarette butts. No cotton (or cottony) feminine hygiene products. No paint. No strong chemicals or solvents of any kind such as paint thinner, mineral oil or paint stripper. No gasoline, motor oil, or lubricating oil.
Some of the above will kill the good bacteria. Others will not break down and will eventually clog the system.
Wikipedia has a pretty good article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Septic_tank
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The additives are one of the longest running scams going. I recall their ads when I was a kid (me and Jesus went to different schools together).
There is absolutely nothing in those packages that is not already in the system...or in a new system soon will be.
As others have pointed out, a good pumping schedule is a must (and they are getting rather spendy what with EPA regs, etc.) My fee had tripled last pumpout as the company had to build its own disposal/ treatment plant and are not allowed to dump on agricultural land anymore.
Harry K
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Art Todesco wrote:

It's not needed. Just use it normally, have it pumped every 3-4 years and try to limit the amounts of detergents going into it. (IE put the washing machine out somewhere's off the septic).
s
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Steve Barker wrote:

In most jurisdictions that's not allowed...
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dpb wrote:

whos asking? It's not customary to call them up and say "hey i'm dumping my gray water out on the gravel driveway, is that ok?"
duh....
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Steve Barker wrote:

Occupancy permit inspections, neighbors, etc., etc., etc., ...
Doh! :(
In TN (of all places), it was during the buyer's inspection at sale time when I learned a separate dry well wasn't permitted so had to fix it to close...
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dpb wrote:

hmmmmmm... i would never live in a place that was THAT close to neighbors or has "occupancy permits".... <SIGH>
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Art Todesco wrote:

TV commercials are full of crap. I wouldn't put dog poop in a septic tank, they don't even advise that in a regular system. Dog poop should be bagged, trashed and sent to the land fill.
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My last house had a septic system. I lived there 15 years and never added any of the enzymes. It never gave me a problem. I only pumped it when the new buyers requested it. If you call your local health department, they will give you all the info you need for your area.
Yes, dog turds are ok to put in the tank. As long as it is in the first part of the tank.
Remember: Women are like dog turds, the older they get, the easier they are to pick up. (unknown aurthor)
Hank
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