Tuesday, April 24, 2007


Most of you do not realize this, but there is a “killer” living in your home. If you do not feed and care for him properly, he can kill you, your family and possibly even your neighbors. I know you do not believe me but it is true.
Who is this lurking deadly menace? It is your septic tank. Do not laugh. An improperly maintained septic tank system can not only back-up and fill your home with fetid foul smell of real tai, it can also cause typhoid, cholera, hepatitis A and even polio. It can cost you a loss of precious time and money. It can destroy wells, lakes and streams making them unfit for drinking or fishing. It is vital everyone understand how the septic tank system works and how to maintain it.
HOW DOES A SEPTIC SYSTEM WORK? There are many different types of septic systems but they usually work in basically the same way. Waste is deposited in the first chamber where it separates. Solid particles settle to the bottom where bacteria and enzymes break them down. As the waste moves through the system it gets cleaner and cleaner until it leaches back into the ground. When the bacteria and enzymes get weak or are washed out, waste builds up and clogs the entire system. That is when your troubles begin.
HOW DO YOU MAINTAIN BACTERIA AND ENZYME BALANCE? There are two types of waste water. Black water is created by your toilet or kitchen sink; grey water results from washing clothes or your car. An excess amount of grey water can dilute your septic system and wash away your bacteria and enzymes. Strong detergents, bleach and other cleaners can kill beneficial septic system bacteria.
WHAT SHOULD YOU DO TO KEEP YOUR SEPTIC SYSTEM WORKING PROPERLY? Do not put strong detergents, bleach or cleaners into the septic system. Each month “feed” the system a healthy dose of enzymes and bacteria. There are several commercial products that can be used. ( “Dr Drain”, “Rid-X or “Ridex” etc ). Be on the alert for strange odors or signs of seepage. Plants that grow greener around the septic system can be an early sign of seepage. Having your tank periodically check or pumped would also be a good move and save you money in the long run.

Currently I am told the water table in Dumaguete City is not contaminated. A few thousand clogged septic systems could change all that and endanger everyone. Next time you go to the boulevard peek over the sea wall. Smell that sour odor. See all that green algae. Those are indications of a serious pollution problem. Fortunately the mayor is trying to solve that problem but prevention is ALWAYS better than reaction. Be part of the “prevention”. Be an Everyday Hero.

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