So Many Products So Little Time
OK, full disclosure; I'm prejudiced in my choice of the best products out there. That being said, I'll try to give my best opinion about the various types of septic system products available to the homeowner on the Internet.
Bacteria products: This category is the most widely sold and the most misunderstood of all the products out there. Sellers make claims like "never pump your septic tank again" or "money back guarantee" or "guaranteed satisfaction". This is one time the adage "let the buyer beware" couldn't be any truer.
First of all, no one product can solve every problem that arises in the drain field. In fact, there are a number of problems that absolutely cannot be solved by dosing with bacteria. One of them is caused by sodium in the wastewater, which, over time, will cause a hardpan condition in the presence of clay. Hardpan is when a waterproof barrier is formed because of the sodium bonding. Do you know if there's clay in your drainage soil? Georgia is renowned for its Red Clay, Florida sits on a shelf of clay, and Missouri is rich in clay deposits. As a matter of fact, clay can be found in almost every region of the country.
Bacteria products can be beneficial to a septic system, but not when applied to the septic tank. The septic tank is designed to catch and hold solid waste until it is pumped. Naturally occurring bacteria in the septic tank break down some solids, which are then passed to the drain field for further treatment. When a low grade bacteria product is added to the septic tank it can partially break down other solids that should remain in the tank. These partially dissolved solids then make their way to the field clogging the soil and contributing to the overgrowth of the bio mat. When the bio mat becomes overgrown it forms an impermeable waterproof barrier around the drain field stopping absorption.
I am always impressed by the amount of money some bacteria product manufacturers spend on, in my opinion, misleading TV commercials. They crow "use our product monthly to avoid septic system failure." You probably have seen the commercial with the back hoe digging up someone's backyard.
Still other companies sell buckets full of bacteria for extraordinarily high prices and guarantee results. My advice to anyone who is considering purchasing a product from a company that makes outlandish claims or guarantees is check with the Better Business Bureau in the area where the company is doing business.
Our bacteria product is Mega Bio. ( www.septicperc.com/megabio.htm) It is an industrial-grade, high quality formulation that is meant to be applied directly to the drain field. One of the selling points used by many of the bacteria sellers out there is the number of bacteria in a bucket, or a package or, the correct measure, by the gram. Mega Bio has a certified 10 billion of the little buggers per gram. Let's see - 28 grams in an ounce, 16 ounces in a pound - oh, you do the math. It's a bunch, to say the least, "buyer compare".
In my next post I'll talk about Lime sulfur solutions and how they're used in the septic system drain field.
Thanks for visiting,