Killing me softly… antibacterial soaps and your septic system

By
Home Inspector with NCW Home Inspections, LLC

Killing me softly… antibacterial soaps and your septic system Wenatchee Home Inspections

It is the flu season and we should be washing our hands regularly. This is good hygiene but there may be some consequences you may want to consider or at least think about if you are on a septic system.

                                                         Antibacterial Soap Wenatchee Home Inspection

The overuse of antibacterial soaps along with other habits maybe destroying the ability of the septic system to properly function.

To achieve proper treatment your septic system is very dependent on millions of naturally occurring bacteria. Bacteria are the machinery that is responsible for breaking down wastes we put into the system. We add many of these good bacteria through the wastes and materials typically found in wastewater. Anaerobic bacteria in the septic tank decomposes organic materials in the wastewater. Aerobic bacteria in the soil can destroy disease-causing pathogens.

Now with the use of “antibacterial," "disinfectant," or "sanitizing" products so common in many household soaps and disinfectants we can actually be destroying good as well as bad bacteria in the treatment system.

                             Bacteria Chelan Home Inspection

Normal use amounts of these products will destroy some beneficial bacteria but the population should remain sufficient and recover quickly enough to not cause significant treatment problems. Excessive use of these products in the home can cause significant and even total destruction of the beneficial bacterial population. Often the use of a single product or single application will not cause major problems but the accumulative affect of many products and many uses throughout the home may add up to an excessive total and this can cause problems.

Remember septic systems are very dependent on bacterium to do the dirty work as we say. So the limited use of these products in your septic system will help ensure that you do not actually cause harm to the functionality of the system.

Some other helpful ideas for septic system performance:

  • Do not use ‘every flush’ toilet bowl cleaners
  • Minimize the amount of hair, grease, and food particles that goes down the drain.
  • Reduce use of cleaners by doing more scrubbing with less cleanser.
  • Use the minimum amount of soap, detergent and bleach necessary to do the job. Frequent use of detergents with bleach additives can cause excessive amounts of bleach. Detergents should be concentrated, low-sudsing, low (or no)-phosphate, and bio-degradable.  Any type of septic system should use liquid detergents.
  • Spread laundry use over the week rather than many loads on one day.
  • Route chlorine-treated water from swimming pools and hot-tubs outside of the septic system
  • Dispose of all solvents, paints, antifreeze, and chemicals through local recycling and hazardous waste channels
  • Do not flush unwanted prescription or over the counter medications down the toilet



“If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur.”

Red Adair


NCW Home Inspections, LLC  is a Licensed Washington State Home Inspection service located in Wenatchee Washington serving Chelan County, Douglas County, Kittitas County, Okanogan County and Grant County Washington and the cities of Wenatchee, Leavenworth, Cashmere, Oroville, Cle Elum, East Wenatchee, Quincy and many more…  

Your Wenatchee and Chelan Professional Real Estate, Home and Structural Pest Inspection Service
www.ncwhomeinspections.com                                               509-670-9572

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Re-Bloggged 6 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Scott Nowling 02/02/2013 08:19 AM
  2. Susan Emo 02/02/2013 08:41 AM
  3. Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor® 02/02/2013 11:26 AM
  4. Sherry Scales 02/02/2013 04:41 PM
  5. Mark Loewenberg 02/02/2013 07:02 PM
  6. Sarah & Lester Oswald 02/02/2013 07:48 PM
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Topic:
ActiveRain Community
Location:
Washington Chelan County
Groups:
Green Homes Northwest
Puget Sound - WA Real Estate
Ask the Home Inspector
Active Rain Newbies
Professional Home Inspectors
Tags:
wenatchee home inspection
soaps and septic systems
septic systems
antibacterial soap

Comments 29 New Comment

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Rainer
164,011
Robert Butler
Montreal, Canada, Home Inspector
Aspect Inspection

Septic system or not, loose the antibacterial and antiseptic products in your daily life. Soap and hot water work just fine and are 'green'. 'Anti's just make the bug populations stronger and more resistant, something we just don't need. Super bugs wern't just born, we made them.

February 03, 2013 06:40 PM
Rainmaker
341,697
Donald Hester
NCW Home Inspections, LLC
NCW Home Inspections, LLC

Robert, That is true. We have been creating much stronger bugs. They have been at this game a while and learning to cope ;)

February 05, 2013 07:02 AM
Rainmaker
267,882
Kasey & John Boles - Jon Gosche Real Estate
Boise, Meridian, Ada/Canyon/Gem/Boise Counties
Jon Gosche Real Estate, Boise ID

I have lived on a septic most of my life and I haven't really thought about the antibacterial part - I love the other list as well, thanks! -Kasey

February 05, 2013 08:36 PM
Rainmaker
341,697
Donald Hester
NCW Home Inspections, LLC
NCW Home Inspections, LLC

Kasey, Thank you. Yeah it is one of those things that most do not put thought to.

February 06, 2013 06:28 AM
Rainmaker
204,785
Jeremy Wrenn
President, Wrenn Home Improvements
Wrenn Home Improvements

Donald, being on city sewer system I had no idea the things that one must do to maintain a septic system.  Wow!

Good post, and love the song tie-in for the title.  Very nicely done, especially with the "soft" soap.  Bam!

February 08, 2013 08:03 AM
Anonymous
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Rainmaker
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Donald Hester

NCW Home Inspections, LLC
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