Your septic system is a complex underground wastewater treatment system that is responsible for managing the wastewater generated by your home. Without proper maintenance, your system can become clogged or damaged, leading to costly repairs and potentially harmful environmental consequences. Regular maintenance and proper use can extend the life of your septic system and ensure that it continues to function effectively and safely for years to come.

What Are Septic Tank Enzymes?

Septic enzymes are additives designed to improve septic systems’ performance and efficiency. They boost the beneficial bacteria in your septic tank and make it easier for it to break down organic matter. Many enzyme treatments also include additional nutrients and beneficial bacteria to aid the breakdown process. The beneficial bacteria convert organic waste into gases and liquids that can be safely absorbed into the soil in your drainage field. By improving the bacterial activity in the septic system, enzymes can help prevent clogs and backups and reduce the need for excessive pumping and contribute to a healthy septic system.

Septic enzymes for consumers are available in liquid or powder form and are added directly to the septic tank. They are safe to use and do not harm the environment or the septic system. It’s important to note that the use of septic enzymes is not a substitute for proper septic system maintenance. Homeowners should still follow best practices for septic care and maintenance, such as regular pumping and inspections. A quality septic service company will include enzyme treatment as part of their routine maintenance visits.

How do Septic Enzymes Work in Your Tank?

When septic enzymes are added to your septic system, they provide an additional source of bacteria and enzymes to help speed up the breakdown process. The enzymes work by breaking down the organic material in the wastewater, such as fats, oils, and grease, into smaller particles that the bacteria can more easily digest in the septic tank.

What Type of Enzyme Is Best for Your Septic System?

The type of septic enzyme that is best for your septic system depends on several factors, like the size of your septic tank, the number of occupants in your household, and the condition of your septic system. There are many different types of septic enzymes available on the market, and each one is formulated to address specific issues with septic systems. Some enzymes are designed to break down solids like toilet paper in the septic tank, while others are formulated to reduce odors. Enzymes like Protease, Lipase, Amylase, Cellulase, Urease, and Xylanase are helpful in degrading waste like fecal matter, fats, oil, grease, starch, urea, and other waste.

When selecting a septic enzyme, it’s important to choose a product that is specifically formulated for your type of septic system. For example, some septic enzymes are designed for aerobic septic systems, while others are formulated for anaerobic systems.

It’s also essential to choose a septic enzyme that is safe and environmentally friendly. Look for products that are biodegradable, non-toxic, and free from harmful chemicals. These more natural formulas won’t compromise the environment of your tank or pose a danger to fresh water supplies on your property. For many homeowners, it may be best to consult with a professional to decide what type of product to use with their system or select a septic service company that includes enzyme treatment as part of regular maintenance.

How Often Should Septic Enzymes Be Used?

The frequency with which septic enzymes should be added to a septic system depends on several factors, such as tank size and the system’s condition. In some circumstances, the bacterial flora in a homeowner’s system may have become destabilized by toxic substances such as cleaning products, disinfectants, or certain soaps. When this happens, enzyme treatments with new bacteria may help you re-establish a healthy septic system. Consulting with an expert can help you decide what kind of treatment will benefit your system.

Generally, in a healthy system, septic enzyme manufacturers recommend that their products should be added once a month to maintain a healthy system. When used in combination with a scheduled repair and maintenance plan, you can significantly improve your septic system performance and prevent issues like clogs, backups, and slow-draining plumbing and fixtures in your home by treating your system with enzyme treatments.

Other Ways to Keep Your Septic System Healthy

Proper care and maintenance for your septic system are essential steps to ensure its continued function and longevity. You should have a basic knowledge of what it takes to properly care for your septic system and educate fellow household members on its proper use.


Your septic system should be pumped and inspected by a licensed professional every 3-5 years, according to the EPA. Pumping may need to be performed more often, depending on the size of your household and usage. This will remove any accumulated solids and prevent clogging. Having your tank serviced and pumped on a regular schedule will prevent an overflow.

Mindful Flushing

It is important only to flush toilet paper and human waste down the toilet. Avoid flushing things like baby wipes, feminine hygiene products, and cooking oils, as these items can quickly clog up your system.

Avoiding the Use of Harsh Chemicals

Pouring harsh chemical cleansers such as drain cleaners and bleach down your drain can damage the natural balance of your system, killing off beneficial bacteria that keep your tanks functioning as intended. Switch to non-toxic cleaners and other gentle household products to keep your system optimized.

Responsible Water Use

Excessive water usage can overload the system and cause it to fail, possibly causing wastewater to back up into your home. Use low-flow fixtures and spread out laundry and dishwashing throughout the week to avoid overloading the system. Immediately repair leaking plumbing fixtures or running toilets to prevent your leach field from being overwhelmed.

Regular Inspection

Regularly inspect your septic system and look for signs of trouble, such as foul odors, standing water, or slow-draining sinks and toilets. If you notice any of these issues, it may be time to get a professional involved. A problem caught early is almost always less costly to fix and can help you avoid large repair bills.

Keeping Maintenance Records

Keep a record of all inspections, pumping, and repairs performed on the system, as this will help you keep track of its maintenance history and identify potential issues. Even something as seemingly insignificant as adding enzymes to your tank is noteworthy, as it will be useful to a professional if you even have a septic system problem.

Professional Service and Quality Results

It’s always a good idea to consult with a licensed septic professional before adding any new products or making changes to your septic system. The professionals at Express Septic & Drain Cleaning have been proudly finding solutions for valued customers in Nampa, ID and the surrounding areas since 2006. With services such as septic repair, pumping, inspections, tests, preventative maintenance, and enzyme treatments, we optimize your system so you don’t have to think twice about its function and performance. Trust the professionals at Express Septic & Drain Cleaning to handle all of your septic needs. Contact us today to make your next maintenance appointment.

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