What type of bacteria are in septic systems?

Microorganisms: The Heroes of Your Septic System

Photo by CDC on Unsplash

While you probably don’t give much thought to your septic systems and how your waste gets broken down, you’d be surprised to learn that there’s an entire world taking shape down in your tank – a wonderous world of microorganisms that keep our environment clean and green. These microorganisms get far less credit than they deserve (if any), but they are the heroes of waste world and we, at Shadai SA, are grateful for these little helpers.

Let’s talk about heroes such as bacteria, protozoa, and rotifers, and other microorganisms that break down our waste into something that Mother Nature approves of.

Bacteria: The Star of the Show

Let’s start by removing the misconception that all bacteria is bad. Without bacteria, we wouldn’t have a healthy gut, methane, or vitamins! There’s good bacteria and there’s bad bacteria, and the kinds that are found in your septic system are the good guys.

Two types of bacteria are at work in your septic system: aerobic and anaerobic bacteria. Aerobic bacteria lives in oxygen rich environments and is super effective at breaking down organic waste. You’ll find this type of bacteria in your system’s leach field. Anaerobic bacteria are the other critters living in your system. This type of bacteria doesn’t need as much oxygen to survive, and so it’s quite happy to live inside your tank, chomping down your solid waste and decomposing it.

Protozoa: Bacteria’s Sidekick

These are the guys who help treat your wastewater and keep bacteria in check. Protozoa help regulate the amount of bacteria in your system, ensuring everything stays balanced. They also target all the harmful bacteria that’s not supposed to be in your tank.

Rotifers: Small but Powerful

Rotifers (also known as wheel animals) are a puny 0.1-0.5mm long. They belong to a group known as phylum and make up some of the tiniest animals in the world. This microorganism needs oxygen to live and so it loves hanging out in the wastewater in your leach field. Like protozoa they help with keeping the bacterial population in control, but that’s not all they do. These guys are super hungry and also eat the particulates in the water that would otherwise render the water toxic. In addition to this, they keep the effluent oxygenated, helping the aerobic bacteria thrive.

Without these three super important and super helpful microorganisms, we would not have the septic system as we know it today. So, next time you flush, give some thought to these septic superheroes and be thankful for their existence. And remember – don’t flush harsh chemicals like Jik down the drain as this will kill all these friendly critters!

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