The Role of Microorganisms in your Septic Tank (And why you should take care of them)

Did you know that in the depths of your septic tank system, little unsung heroes are constantly at work? These heroes are microorganisms, and they play a crucial role in maintaining the health of your septic tank systems and ensuring proper septic tank drainage. In this blog, we’ll look at the different microorganisms and the role that they play, as well as the measures you can take as a homeowner to ensure their work goes uninterrupted.

#1 Bacteria

Firstly, let’s debunk the myth that all bacteria are harmful. Within your septic system, two types of bacteria, aerobic and anaerobic, work together to break down organic waste. Aerobic bacteria thrive in oxygen-rich environments and are, therefore, found near the top of the tank. Meanwhile, anaerobic bacteria, requiring minimal oxygen, reside near the bottom of your tank, diligently decomposing solid waste and converting it into liquid and gas.

#2 Protozoa

Protozoa play a vital role in wastewater treatment. The several types of protozoa involved include ciliates, flagellates, and amoeba. These single-celled organisms eat bacteria, helping with bacteria overgrowth and reducing harmful bacteria.

#3 Rotifers

Rotifers thrive on oxygen; these microorganisms find solace in the wastewater of your drainage field. In addition to regulating bacterial populations like protozoa, rotifers exhibit a voracious appetite, consuming particulates that could render the water toxic. Furthermore, they contribute to effluent oxygenation, creating an ideal environment for aerobic bacteria to flourish.

What affects this bacterial population?

All the usual culprits that you may already know… chemical cleaners such as JIK and drain cleaner, as well as oil-based paints, anti-bacterial soaps, flushed medications, and even coffee grounds (these are surprisingly acidic, affecting the pH balance of the tank). Any types of non-biodegradable waste material such as tampons, condoms and cotton wool are difficult to degrade, putting pressure on the bacterial community, rendering them ineffective and ultimately affecting your septic tank drainage.

How can you help?

Eco-friendly cleaners and even natural alternatives such as baking soda and vinegar are not only better for your septic tank but your overall health too. All in all, the collaborative efforts of bacteria, protozoa, and rotifers are essential in the functioning of your septic systems. These microorganisms play a pivotal role in breaking down waste and maintaining the delicate balance required for optimal system performance. To avoid unnecessary blockages and emergency calls to your septic tank services, take the steps you can to look after these tiny microorganisms.

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