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Thread: Bio Additives/Enzymes for Septic Tanks

  1. #46
    DIY Senior Member Mike50's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vaplumber
    Mike. You have done good with your system. I believe the new tank will probably out last all of us here. I agree with the additives being a waste of time. I have never seen evidence that they help at all. The yeast thing, as I stated earlier is just something that was preached to me over the years by instructors and the older folks. Ironic that at my age I can say older! We were always told to add yeast to a brand new system to help establish it. We were also told that it is not needed in a used system if you have it pumped because enough residual bacteria will remain on the tank floor to establish it self. I honestly do not know if yeast is any good in a new system or not. Kinda one of those things we do even though it has never proven itself. Also soft water does no harm at all to the system. It is really even better than hard water. Water becomes hard from dissolved minerals, and the harder the water is, the more minerals it dissolves and the faster it dissolves them, and the harder it becomes and so forth and so on. Concrete is loaded with limestone, and hard water only sees this lime as another mineral that it can dissolve. The only thing related to a softener that I have really seen evidence of doing damage in the concrete is the salt from the back washing of the softening equipment. I have opened hundreds of very young and short lived distribution boxes which were cracked and crumbling, and my first statement has always been "you have a water softener which discharges back wash into your tank" I almost always get a solid yes. I would direct my back wash line some place other than the septic tank. This makes perfect sense by reason also. If you live in an area where the winters are cold and icey, notice all of the road repairs, cement side walk repairs, and cement bridge repairs after a winter of salting them. Good luck with your new tank. You have done the right thing all the way around.

    Thats the 2nd time Ive heard that about backwash from water softeners...so I'll remember it if I do install one in the future.
    I'm clueless about what a back wash line is to begin with.
    I have seen what salt can do to concrete so I might not even take a chance
    with a new concrete tank..??

    There are always few people that make particular boards worthwhile. I think you are certainly one of those people and I hope you stick around.

    Mike50

  2. #47
    vaplumber
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike50
    There are always few people that make particular boards worthwhile. I think you are certainly one of those people and I hope you stick around.

    Mike50
    Thank you Mike. This board is very well planned, and I feel that every single person here is a great benefit. I dont have time to check in as often as I would like but I will be here as much as I can for as long as I can.

  3. #48

    Thumbs up

    I'm a little late in the discussion, but this has been a very good thread.
    I have been working with onsite sewage programs in county health dept's and state water quality divisions for other 30 years and certainly like what I have seen in this discussion. Very good and reasonable advice given.
    Summary on additives...NONE NEEDED!! The reports from various researchers and USEPA all say the same thing that has been said here; "don't bother.'" Additives will not help and, as pointed out earlier can hurt the system by breaking down the solids and allowing the particles to flow to the drainfield where they begin to plug the soil.

    My only comment now is in regards Mike’s new septic tank. Mike you mentioned that you have a “high water table.” Will the tank be placed in the water table? If so, be completely assured before accepting it that the tank is watertight. Do not assume that concrete tanks are watertight. If it is not watertight, you will be disposing of ground water into the drainfield, not just household sewage.

    As for the extra $ spent on a riser…by all means yes. It’s much easier to get to when pumped and will save you time and money in the long run. It also reminds you of the location during landscaping changes or possible remodeling, deck expansion, or whatever else may occur on the property.

    Sounds like you got it figured out!

  4. #49
    DIY Senior Member Mike50's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maynecoyote
    ...My only comment now is in regards Mike’s new septic tank. Mike you mentioned that you have a “high water table.” Will the tank be placed in the water table? If so, be completely assured before accepting it that the tank is watertight. Do not assume that concrete tanks are watertight. If it is not watertight, you will be disposing of ground water into the drainfield, not just household sewage.
    The tank will replace the old tank in it's original position.. I assume.
    I'm unfamiliar with these installations so I'll be trusting this firm to do the job correctly. I dont know what else I can do other than hire the best guys in town---which I have done. Their reputation is stellar.


    Quote Originally Posted by maynecoyote
    As for the extra $ spent on a riser…by all means yes. It’s much easier to get to when pumped and will save you time and money in the long run. It also reminds you of the location during landscaping changes or possible remodeling, deck expansion, or whatever else may occur on the property.

    Sounds like you got it figured out!
    Oh yea..make no mistkake- I want one. The real issue is money here. I'm probably paying a premium for this entire project and I'm committed and comfortable with it. It depends what the extra charge actually is....and I will have a very small window of time to make that decision.
    I need a high and a low price from you pros to know if I'm getting quoted a good price or not for the riser/manhole.
    ..so far no one has chimed in--so in regard to that I'm pretty much in the dark.
    What is a fair price 100 300 600.....? I'm clueless.

    I don't like making fast decisions on these things....but I have no choice....it's cheaper to have it done during installation.

    I was told that I wouldnt know cost of riser addition until that time. Now....why that is....I have no idea.


    Mike50
    Last edited by Mike50; 05-28-2006 at 10:04 AM.

  5. #50

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    Not knowing your local conditions or the tank design, I'm not going to be much help on costs.

    I would suggest give OSI in Oregon a call. They make the fiberglass risers, lids, tank adaptors, etc. I do not have anything to do with them other than they are well known in the industry.
    http://www.orenco.com/main_index.asp

    I'm not sure I would want a poly riser. Unless the tank is designed for this specific riser, poly may not make a good long term watertight fit.

  6. #51
    DIY Senior Member Mike50's Avatar
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    That would be the deal killer right there. If the riser isn't going to last minimum 8-10 years I'd rather not spend $$ on it. Based on what I know now anyway...
    Last edited by Mike50; 05-28-2006 at 01:57 PM.

  7. #52
    vaplumber
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    We used to use actual concrete manholes as risers cemented to the top of the tank. The reason that they can not give you cost now is because they must know how far below the surface the top of the tank will be. The last one I installed has been several years ago. If I remember right, the tank top was about 24 inches down, and we charged around $350 to install a 20 inch diameter concrete riser and air tight lid. This was also on an existing tank, which made it slightly harder. For safety sake, if they do not put your new tank in the same place as your old one, have the old one pumped out and back fill with dirt. It could be a horror story to have some one walking through your yard in five years just to drop through into an abandoned tank. We had a neighbor several years ago who fell into an 8 foot deep abandoned metal cesspool that had collapsed. Lucky this thing had not been used for ages and was for the most part dried out. The only injury was a broken ankle and a huge scare!
    Last edited by vaplumber; 05-28-2006 at 02:24 PM.

  8. #53
    DIY Senior Member Mike50's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vaplumber
    We used to use actual concrete manholes as risers cemented to the top of the tank. The reason that they can not give you cost now is because they must know how far below the surface the top of the tank will be. The last one I installed has been several years ago. If I remember right, the tank top was about 24 inches down, and we charged around $350 to install a 20 inch diameter concrete riser and air tight lid. This was also on an existing tank, which made it slightly harder. For safety sake, if they do not put your new tank in the same place as your old one, have the old one pumped out and back fill with dirt. It could be a horror story to have some one walking through your yard in five years just to drop through into an abandoned tank. We had a neighbor several years ago who fell into an 8 foot deep abandoned metal cesspool that had collapsed. Lucky this thing had not been used for ages and was for the most part dried out. The only injury was a broken ankle and a huge scare!

    OK Gotcha Vaplumber-makes sense (pricing). As I mentioned.....it is a synthetic riser that they use. Hmmm. Wait and see.
    Funny you should mention someone falling I to the old tank. The tank top failed and was replaced on this unit back in 1999.

    This is a metal tank. They are removing it after pumping then washing and re-pumping before taking it to the scrap metal recycler.

    I had no idea the number of permits required. I think I've had 4 different
    utilities up here marking the street with spray paint.

    I'm learning so much about this-I'll be sure to spread the gospel.
    We will be on septic for a long time-it helps keep the big $$ land developers out of here as long as possible.
    Last edited by Mike50; 05-31-2006 at 11:12 AM.

  9. #54
    DIY Senior Member Mike50's Avatar
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    Tank Installed! 1000 gallon Concrete tank. Old tank out and new one in-only took 2 hours. These guys were some real pros, that's for sure.
    manufacturer of tank FYI: Pyramid
    2 chambers. 2 access ports-very large-octagonal shaped;looks like 2 stop signs on top of tank. Both have double reinforced rebar handles on top.
    Access hole(s) is about a third larger than old tank.

    It's actually not a tank--it's a freakin vault.

    This tank looks like a rectangular bank vault. I was surprised to see that the walls are about 5 inches thick. No signs of leachfield problems.

    The old tank was entirely rusted out. It was on it's way out and I doubt it would have lasted even another couple years max. Not bad for a home built in 1977. 30 years on a metal tank.

    IOW this was truly a little time bomb waiting to happen.

    This crew boss of feels that the amount of laundry loads done weekly is one major variable in the overall health of the tank. Per him:Do Not use chemical drain cleaners as it will in fact eat concrete.

    I'd say this a pretty interesting thread considering that I was just inquiring about Bio Enzymes 21 days ago.
    This is one for the archives for anyone wondering about their septic system. much thanks to all once again...

    I took pictures of location with diagram with all the particulars for the next owner.
    By the time this tank fails we will probably have discovered how to turn sewage into ice cream.

    Mike50

    http://www.shelterpub.com/_shelter/ssom_book.html
    This book was a tremendous resource and helped me make some decisions
    and ask the right questions. Easy read-not dull or boring-lots of pics.
    Comes with free guide/maintenance record file.
    Last edited by Mike50; 06-02-2006 at 12:21 PM.

  10. #55
    DIY Senior Member Mike50's Avatar
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    Default You never know what's down there...

    The colorful Epilog to this story produced a 6 foot Mojave Green Rattelsnake who was retreating from the excavation area. Let me tell you that when you encounter one of these creatures they are just as unhappy to see you as you are them. And even though the bite from this variety may not in fact actually kill you.....I can guarantee you-you are going to have a really bad day.

    Amazingly..one of the crew members chased him like a kitten and picked him up several times by the tail like a crazy
    man. (I hate it when they do that)

    After all the earth vibration I suppose I'm probably critter free for the summer.
    Don't even get me started about little bastard freakin scorpions who will stalk your ass and sting your foot just on general principles.

  11. #56
    DIY Junior Member Steve Langler 101's Avatar
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    Default Best Septic Product to use by Far! Best tip you will get regarding this believe me.

    Read my story below that i posted on anothe blog I believe it answers your questions:
    I used to think like you that all septic tank additves were the way you described but recently I had experienced a totally different thing happened to me. I live in a house that is 43 years old in Connecticut. I have 3 kids and a wife. I had alot of friends over the years come by and visit my house. I have lived there for the past 15 years. Before me there was a family of about 5 as well. For 15 years I relied on pumpouts and used yeast or Rid x (along with other product ) which is basically the same thing except Rid x is bad because they add fillers. Anyhow, one day I noticed odors and backup inside my house so I pumped the tank like I had done for many years once every 3 years, The pumper and local officials told me never to add anything into the tank. When the pumper came this time he pumped the tank but run off came back into my tank from my field. So I ignored it even thought the pumper told me that my drainfiled was saturated, clogged and ruined. I asked him why and he didnt know. I did some research and called a co. which looked more reputable then the other co's which I saw online www.biosafeone.com a field tech there advised me that I needed to shock my system with their patented products that no other products would work. I was very skeptical and decided to wait. 2 weeks later the problems got worse there was a flood on top of my drainfield and black biomat shot up out of the ground as the biosafeone tech said would happen. I was very afraid of getting code enforced by the local health dept. which they would have mandated a new drainfield with a contractor which would have cost me $35,000, I did get three quotes from contractors they each tried to low ball me but I knew better they told me $8K for a new field but my neighbor Jim told me that was baloney that a new septic system would be about $35K. Contractors always quote low and charge high! I tried to first save some money with some cheaper septic products but nothing worked. Then I called back biosafeone is a desapate attempt to fix my septic system. Biosafeone was not cheap but turned out to be worth every penny!

    I called back BioSafeOne to order biosafeone products after all of biosafeone's references that were given to me came back very positive but I was still skeptical because nothing else had worked at this point.Yet all the references spoke highly of the biosafeone products. So I deceided to shock my system using 11 pails of their BIO-112 Heavy Sludge Digester along with their 3 Yr. BOSS product and 1 Biocube . Within 2 weeks all the flood had dried up within 3 days all backups and odors were gone. I was totally amazed in shock!! I could not believe how well the products reversed 43 years of sewage buildup! Just goes to show you the big lie is dont add anything to your septic and everything will be fine just pump it. I found out later that my pumper was directly related to the replacement guy. He was mad that I didnt hire him too. How ironic. My conclusion is that it is one VERY BIG LIE and MISCONSCEPTION TO NOT ADD ANYTHING TO YOUR SEPTIC TANK TO MAINTAIN. Another big lie iis to just rely on pumpouts nothing could be further from the truth. The local government, pumpers and replacement people all profit when the system fails so they tell you this to expect your system to fail in time. The Biosafeone tech explained to me that when their BOSS product is used from day one total and complete digestion occurs of all incoming waste therefore nothing accumulates in the tank or field or pipes so obviously there is nothing to pump out and even better no big replacement bill. I totally refute all other comments on this page if you havent tried these biosafeone.com products then you really have missed something! Thank you so much Biosafeone for saving me a fortune ! You guys are great!

  12. #57
    General Engineering Contractor ballvalve's Avatar
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    Free advertising - please delete.

  13. #58
    DIY Junior Member Steve Langler 101's Avatar
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    Hi Mike,

    Unfortunately I have alot of experience with this type of situation. In reponse to your problem I will say that pumping will not fix the problem. The field gets totally mucked up with sewage eventually and it fails which is very expensive to replace 10-30K or more depending on where you live. If you read what I wrote on another blog you can see the solution is definitely not terralifting and the problem is caused by years of sewage buildup from the lack of digestion. Read below:

    Best Septic Product to use by Far! Best tip you will get regarding this believe me.
    Read my story below that i posted on anothe blog I believe it answers your questions:
    I used to think like you that all septic tank additves were the way you described but recently I had experienced a totally different thing happened to me. I live in a house that is 43 years old in Connecticut. I have 3 kids and a wife. I had alot of friends over the years come by and visit my house. I have lived there for the past 15 years. Before me there was a family of about 5 as well. For 15 years I relied on pumpouts and used yeast or Rid x (along with other product ) which is basically the same thing except Rid x is bad because they add fillers. Anyhow, one day I noticed odors and backup inside my house so I pumped the tank like I had done for many years once every 3 years, The pumper and local officials told me never to add anything into the tank. When the pumper came this time he pumped the tank but run off came back into my tank from my field. So I ignored it even thought the pumper told me that my drainfiled was saturated, clogged and ruined. I asked him why and he didnt know. I did some research and called a co. which looked more reputable then the other co's which I saw online www.biosafeone.com a field tech there advised me that I needed to shock my system with their patented products that no other products would work. I was very skeptical and decided to wait. 2 weeks later the problems got worse there was a flood on top of my drainfield and black biomat shot up out of the ground as the biosafeone tech said would happen. I was very afraid of getting code enforced by the local health dept. which they would have mandated a new drainfield with a contractor which would have cost me $35,000, I did get three quotes from contractors they each tried to low ball me but I knew better they told me $8K for a new field but my neighbor Jim told me that was baloney that a new septic system would be about $35K. Contractors always quote low and charge high! I tried to first save some money with some cheaper septic products but nothing worked. Then I called back biosafeone is a desapate attempt to fix my septic system. Biosafeone was not cheap but turned out to be worth every penny!

    I called back BioSafeOne to order biosafeone products after all of biosafeone's references that were given to me came back very positive but I was still skeptical because nothing else had worked at this point.Yet all the references spoke highly of the biosafeone products. So I deceided to shock my system using 11 pails of their BIO-112 Heavy Sludge Digester along with their 3 Yr. BOSS product and 1 Biocube . Within 2 weeks all the flood had dried up within 3 days all backups and odors were gone. I was totally amazed in shock!! I could not believe how well the products reversed 43 years of sewage buildup! Just goes to show you the big lie is dont add anything to your septic and everything will be fine just pump it. I found out later that my pumper was directly related to the replacement guy. He was mad that I didnt hire him too. How ironic. My conclusion is that it is one VERY BIG LIE and MISCONSCEPTION TO NOT ADD ANYTHING TO YOUR SEPTIC TANK TO MAINTAIN. Another big lie iis to just rely on pumpouts nothing could be further from the truth. The local government, pumpers and replacement people all profit when the system fails so they tell you this to expect your system to fail in time. The Biosafeone tech explained to me that when their BOSS product is used from day one total and complete digestion occurs of all incoming waste therefore nothing accumulates in the tank or field or pipes so obviously there is nothing to pump out and even better no big replacement bill. I totally refute all other comments on this page if you havent tried these biosafeone.com products then you really have missed something! Thank you so much Biosafeone for saving me a fortune ! You guys are great!

  14. #59
    DIY Junior Member Steve Langler 101's Avatar
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    I totally feel you there but I felt the same way until www.biosafeone.com saved my hide. This co. rocks. I would have spent a ton of mony on a new field within a month my drainfield was totally dried up and fixed. No sign of trouble since. I admit it seems to good to be true but I am a living testimony to this! The products are high tech awesome. The same co. with the Exxon Valdez they really know theirs stuff. I tried some others that looked like it to save money but they didnt work then I went back to these people and they totally solved my problem. So I hate to object but I do. Sorry to clash but I urge you to try them out you'll see then let me know. I would love to hear back from you. They charge a good cent but worth every penny. Only way to go in my book.

  15. #60
    General Engineering Contractor ballvalve's Avatar
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    Do you sell books on how to get rich in the real estate market also?

    All the enzymes your tank needs are up ones butt.

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