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  #1  
Old 07/21/06, 09:54 AM
 
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Location: Kentucky
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Yeast & Septic Systems

I put 2 packets of yeast into my septic system monthly in summer time, somewhat less in winter since not as much is going through disposal. Is this enough to keep things working properly? Too much? Is there any real benefit to using Rid-X over yeast? Should Rid-X be used in lieu of yeast a couple of time a year? I've always believed in "An ounce of prevention is worth............." but want to do it correctly. Thanks very much for your responses, Stephen

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  #2  
Old 07/21/06, 10:02 AM
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Cabin Fever must not have seen this yet. You do not need to put anything in your septic to keep it working. Good old human manure is all it takes to make it work.

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  #3  
Old 07/21/06, 10:06 AM
 
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When we install a new septic system we dump a few packets into the system to get things started but other than that it really does not seem to need much else. I use alot of bleach at our home and I will add some yeast every 6th month or so.

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  #4  
Old 07/21/06, 10:32 AM
 
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It is supposed to start the bacteria growing so that they can do their job. Does it work??? I am not sure, it is supposed to.

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  #5  
Old 07/21/06, 10:36 AM
 
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You do not need to add anything. There are over 400 bacteria types that are found in septic systems. Just make sure you keep the air going to it or those 400 types of bacteria start dying and make the stuff smell bad.

Save the yeast for wine. Save your money on Rid-x.

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  #6  
Old 07/21/06, 11:15 AM
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Do you hear that sound? That’s me smacking my Norwegian forehead! First of all, yeast is a fungi (mold) not a bacteria. Bacteria do the decomposition in septic tanks. Bacteria also do the digestion in the human gut. It’s the same bacteria that do the digestion in your tummy that does the decomposition in your septic tank. Consequently, you do not have to add anything to the septic tank…not even to “get things going.” Save your money on additives and use it to pay the septic tank pumper to come out about every five years. Let’s see, about $100 to $150 to have you tank pumped every five years equates to less than $2.50 per month….not a bad deal!

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  #7  
Old 07/21/06, 12:46 PM
 
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septic tank treatment

If it makes you feel better go out in the pasture or a neighbors (ask first and expect to be laughted at) get a fairly fresh cow patty and drop it in your commode and flush. Plenty of all the bacterier (sp) you would ever need. Better than rid-x or any additives but does smell a little like cow poop

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  #8  
Old 07/21/06, 01:54 PM
 
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Wendy, VTfarma and rwinsouthla, thanks for the timely and useful responses, I sincerely appreciate them.

caballoviejo, thanks for asking a question that helps explain why yeast may be of no use and consequently a waste of time & money.

CabinFever, Hope your forehead is okay, sorry to have asked a question that you obviously think is ridiculous, I'll try to refrain from bothering folks with stupid questions in the future. Thanks very much for your answer, Stephen

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  #9  
Old 07/21/06, 01:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen in SOKY
CabinFever, Hope your forehead is okay, sorry to have asked a question that you obviously think is ridiculous, I'll try to refrain from bothering folks with stupid questions in the future. Thanks very much for your answer, Stephen
Your question was NOT ridiculous! It's just that in the past this forum has gone around and around about the benefits (or lack there of) from septic tank additivies. You asked a very good question that is brought up on this forum about every two months or so.

Please don't be afraid of asking ANY question on this forum.
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  #10  
Old 07/21/06, 02:29 PM
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Another way to look at it is that poop doesn't need bacteria to break down because it already is bacteria breaking down.

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  #11  
Old 07/21/06, 03:47 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen in SOKY
CabinFever, Hope your forehead is okay, sorry to have asked a question that you obviously think is ridiculous, I'll try to refrain from bothering folks with stupid questions in the future. Thanks very much for your answer, Stephen
Stephen, in all these years I've never seen Cabin Fever get put out or snippy at an honest question. No way!

Honestly, I didn't know any of that information either, I'm glad you asked (yes, that means I've missed - let's see, a thread every two months or so makes about 6 a year, times the amount of time I've been here - well, probably somewhere between 25 and 30 threads on this topic!).
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  #12  
Old 07/21/06, 04:07 PM
 
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Yep, this question keeps coming up. Ask 5 different people and chances are you will get 5 different answers!!!!! (However, I tend to take CabinFever's advice as truth, because he is the poop/septic tank/cesspool expert - no offense!!!!!)

I was brought up to believe (probably due to the tv commercials) that Rid-X will solve EVERYTHING. However, if you grab a box and read it, even they say it needs pumped out every once in a while!!! Which only makes sense - as poop goes into the septic tank, it breaks down. But the breaking down is still solids of material. If the tank is never pumped out, eventually it will fill up with solids which will then let the solids flow right into the leach field pipes. Once those get filled up and eventually clogged, you got problems!!

It doesn't matter what you do or DON'T put down the septic tank, it DOES need pumped out from time to time.

I've had experience!!!! I moved into my wife's family's house. The septic tank had last been pumped out YEARS ago - no one knew for sure. Since we didn't have any problems, I figured "why fix it if it ain't broke". While having a gas line put in, the backhoe found the septic tank - completely full with the leach lines starting to fill up. We had the tank pumped out (which was an event as all the solids had solidified into one large hard hunk of poop!). The clogged line was removed and replaced and all is fine. However, that happened 6 years ago, so sometime in the very near future, I'll be calling the "honey dipper" wagon!

I'm still trying to convince father-in-law that his septic tank needs cleaned out. He has bought into the Rid-X "facts" and doesn't think his septic tank needs/or will ever need pumped out!

Not a ridiculous or dumb question at all. If you would have done a search, you would see that we've gone around about septic tanks before! No harm done in adding another - besides things can get boring from time to time.

So now you know - your septic tank WILL need pumped out!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  #13  
Old 07/21/06, 09:14 PM
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He does seem to know his poo.

He is number one in number two.

He ... [never mind, you get the idea].

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  #14  
Old 07/21/06, 09:39 PM
 
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Michael,

Your experience sounds a lot like ours. 3 years ago we moved into the house I grew up in. The house is about 60 years old. My 85 year old dad lives by "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" and pinches pennies. The septic had been pumped once around 15 or 20 years ago--dad wasn't sure when but it was when grandma was still alive. All my adult life my husband and I had lived places with city water and sewer. I had NO idea that septics were supposed to be pumped out as regular maintenance. It had never been done in my youth. (Dad did put Rid x down it--thought that was good enough). So of course, the septic backed up and we have had to put in a new one. Turns out the old one was home made out of wood. Amazing that it held up as well as it did. My husband says that until we moved back here and has had to do maintenance and repairs on things my dad, grandpa and uncle built he always thought that building codes were unnecessary govt. interference, because why would any one want to do something that wouldn't hold up and wasn't sensible. (the septic tank is the least of it--it lasted a good long time --I could go on and on!!)

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Old 07/21/06, 10:51 PM
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Cool, I can save on Rid-X, I didn't know that the poo will take care of itself, Thanks! Oh, and I guess I'll get this thing pumped in a few years too (it was pumped when we moved in 2.5 years ago and looked good this spring when we had to replace the whole house worth of DWV lines...but thats a story for another day!)

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  #16  
Old 07/21/06, 10:52 PM
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DEFINITELY USE RID-X!


Sorry people but I'm gonna disagree a little bit. It is a good ideal to use rid-x every once in a while. Not for the sake of the septic tank but for the sake of your sink traps! Place a tablespoon full of rid-x in your drains every once in a while to help eat up accumulated hair, boogers, fat, vegetable matter, etc. and let set for a while before flushing with water. If your going on a weekend trip somewhere pour some rid-x in your drains before leaving and then when you get back you can run water through them. This should help keep your traps from glogging up so often.

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  #17  
Old 07/21/06, 10:57 PM
 
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using yeast in the septic system

The wife uses yeast to make bread rise, I use it in makeing wine. In both cases it turns sugars to alchold which is great to kill bacteria , don't think I want to make alchol in my septic system. Thats chemestry according to Shadow

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  #18  
Old 07/21/06, 11:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ET1 SS
He does seem to know his poo.

He is number one in number two.

He ... [never mind, you get the idea].

lol.

actually yeast is only one phase of a biphasic fungus. And a yeast like saccromyces or candida has the forms not forming a mold or a sporulating phase. They multiply by cell division, and thus break utilize sugars to make alcohol usually. but in the mix of a septic tank with bacteria probably only add a bit in the conversion of organic matter. So, yeast isn't totally not useful and might benefit marginally if mixed with a sugar added to the tank, but I'd probably not bother as CF suggests.

The main question I have that might sound stupid is what causes the need for having the tank pumped if everything is composted into the liquid to be diverged into a leach field. Shouldn't a 'complete' process not have anything left if the bottom of the tank (sludge, I presume)? Maybe yeast, or something else, can help to break that 'sludged' into a more biodegradable liquid form that wouldn't require periodic pumping. Why is all that.?
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  #19  
Old 07/22/06, 02:09 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moonwolf
The main question I have that might sound stupid is what causes the need for having the tank pumped if everything is composted into the liquid to be diverged into a leach field. Shouldn't a 'complete' process not have anything left if the bottom of the tank (sludge, I presume)?
A short answer - look at a fire. You start with a big pile of wood, paper, etc. Burn it, & it all burns away. But look closely, & there is a bit of ash left over. Not much, compared to what you started with. But, there are some bits that just don't burn away. As well, we all find a little metal at the bottom of a fire ring. And so forth.

Here in MN all water waste has to go to a septic - no grey water systems.

So, the fibers from your clothes washer, and the grime you clean out from under your finger nails, and the cotton fibers from the Klennex/ etc that get flushed down - all this 'little bit' of stuff will slowly build up at the bottom of your septic tank. Bacteria can't break down bits of wood, cotton, sand particals, and so on.

This is what builds up at the bottom of your tank.

Grease, on the other hand, builds up at the top of your tank. Bactera only very, very, very slowly break down grease. Most folks put more grease (fat, not from your car...) down the drain than what the bacteria can handle, and it too slowly builds up.

So, it _really_ depends on what goes down the drains. If no one ever puts a Klenex (or worse) down the toilet; your laundy water goes to a grey-water setup or you only wash 1 load a week (mom did, even with 4 of us, with the wringer washer - she washed 6 loads maybe, but started with whites, ended with the farm clothes, all the same water), never dump any cooking grease down the drain, and otherwise are real careful what goes down the drain. Maybe. Maybe you don't need to pump the septic for 20 years. Maybe the 'ash' won't build up on the bottom, and maybe the grease won't build down from the top if you are very careful.

But that wouldn't be most people. Most families put enough 'ash' & undigestable stuff down the drain that a pumping is needed every 2-8 years.

--->Paul
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  #20  
Old 07/22/06, 08:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rambler
... Here in MN all water waste has to go to a septic - no grey water systems. ...
We have a Motorhome, and we participate at RV.net forums, where many RV'ers discuss topics.

Motor-homes separate black-water and grey-water into two tanks. Pretty much everywhere coast-to-coast black-water must be dumped into septic systems and to accommodate this most campgrounds have one and offer a dumping station, where we can easily drive by usually on our way out of the campground, to empty our black-water tanks.

However emptying grey-water tanks can be done into any field, or storm drain.

I was not aware that MN requires that grey-water must be dumped into black-water dumping stations. I can ask around and see if anyone else has heard of this.

Motor-homes as well as live-aboard boats also have these separate tanks, since most areas only require that black-water be treated.

In a homestead, separating your grey-water sources and draining them out into a field, certainly does reduce how much total effluent goes into your septic system. Since black-water is a small fraction as compared to grey-water.
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