Chemicals for Septic Fields
Septic drain fields (also known as leach fields or leach drains) are primarily targeted at cleaning the fluid, which comes out from the septic tank, from impurities and contaminants. Septic fields consist of an arrangement of pipes and pervious material covered under a layer of soil that helps prevent the wastewater in trenches from being exposed to animals and surface leaching. Leach fields are very useful in disposing organic materials which otherwise are catabolized by microbes.
Different types of septic tank chemicals
Typically, there are two kinds of chemical additives that are used in septic drain fields-inorganic chemicals and organic solvents.
Inorganic chemicals, usually acids (sulfuric acid) or alkalis (caustic hydroxides) are generally employed in septic fields, for opening the clogged drains. Chemicals such as hydrogen peroxide were used to rejuvenate clogged soil absorption system. However, studies now reveal that it excites the soil granules, destroying the soil structure, thereby affecting its permeability.
Additives such as sulfuric acid and caustic hydroxides should not be used to increase the efficiency of the septic system. They are highly corrosive and can be quite damaging in their concentrated forms. They destroy the microbial population in the septic tank and soil absorption systems and can seriously contaminate the groundwater.
Chemicals that hamper excessive anaerobic growth, thus controlling odor, may contain inorganic compounds such as formaldehyde, paraformaldehyde, and zinc sulfate as active ingredients. These chemicals are quite hazardous as they are biocidal (biocide is a chemical substance capable of killing living organisms).
Organic solvents and chemicals
Organic chemicals, often chlorinated hydrocarbons, are known for their ability to break down oils and greases. These solvents and products (primarily include methylene chloride, trichloroethylene, oils, paints, thinners, disinfectants, pesticides or poisons) unfortunately, also pose a threat to beneficial microbes in the septic field. They hamper the wastewater treatment process, pollute the groundwater and also cause a serious public health hazard. The wastewater may also fine solid granules and soap-scums, which further clog the soil absorption system. Homeowners should avoid excessive use of powdered detergents containing non-biodegradable fillers. These products can plug into your septic system, rendering it ineffective.
Recent researches in wastewater treatment and disposal have shown keen interest in this field. While chemicals in septic system can facilitate bio-solid digestion and scum break up, while also enlivening clogged soil absorption system and enhancing settling by coagulation, one does not necessarily need to add any additives to a septic tank.
Further, when sewage starts to collect on the ground surface or the household plumbing system clogs, it is an indication that the septic system has probably failed. Although the failure may be caused by the septic tank, it is generally the septic field that has failed.