Bacteria Is Bad… Right?

Hand sanitizer

When most people think of bacteria, they picture something harmful that causes disease and infection. Bacteria, does however play a very important role in safely treating sewage. Your onsite subsurface sewage treatment system (SSTS) is a very effective way to naturally treat household wastewater and safely recycle it back into the environment. To do this your septic system relies on millions of bacteria that occur naturally in human waste and the soil. Homeowners in Elk River, MN who have private sewer systems may want to think twice about over-use of Antibacterial Soaps and Cleaning Products. The use of these disinfectant products Destroys both Good and Bad Bacteria.

 Antibacterial Products Can Damage Septic Systems

Normal use of antibacterial sanitizers, soaps and cleaners will destroy a portion of Beneficial Bacteria but will not cause significant problems with the treatment process. The accumulative affect of excessive amounts of these antibacterial products may cause noticeable and Very Costly Damage.

Septic Professionals such as Brad Krotzer from Custom Septic, Inc. (CSI) have witnessed an increase in septic system damage due to the popularity and overuse of antibacterial cleansers. It is possible to totally destroy a septic system with an overabundance of bacteria killing products. The jury is still out as to which products are the most harmful and how much is too much for maintaining healthy bacterial activities in your sewage treatment system.

 Products That May Destroy Beneficial Bacteria

There are several different Common Household Products that have the potential to destroy beneficial bacteria and damage a septic system. These products include the following:

  • Antibacterial Hand Soaps
  • Toilet Bowl Cleaners
  • Drain Cleaners
  • Tub and Tile Shower Cleaning Products
  • Laundry Bleach Additive Products
  • Countertop Cleansers
  • Prescription Antibiotics

 Suggestions To Improve Septic System Treatment

Household cleaning products are used to keep our homes and families clean and healthy. We are not suggesting that you stop using these bacteria killing products, simply that they are Used Smartly. Here are suggestions that Elk River homeowners can use to improve your septic system treatment process.

  • Avoid Overuse of Bleach and Bleach Alternative laundry products by washing 1 Load with Bleach per week.
  • Do Not Use toilet cleaners that activate with Each Flush
  • Be Cautious of how much Toilet Cleanser is used for weekly cleaning.
  • Reduce Drain Cleaners needed by avoiding Grease, Food Particles and Hair down going down the drain.
  • Use Only a Minimal Amount of Mild Cleaners when needed.
  • Use only Liquid Detergents – as powders may clog the pipes.
  • Have your Septic Tank Pumped every 2 to 3 years through the manhole – not the inspection pipes.

 Professional Septic System Maintenance

To keep your sewage treatment system healthy for many years, avoid the overuse of antibacterial products such as Soaps, Detergents and Cleansers that kill both good and bad bacteria. Elk River, MN property owners should contact a Septic Professional like Brad Krotzer at Custom Septic Inc. (CSI) for inspections and maintenance. Brad is a septic system professional who is Licensed and Certified with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA). He will inspect your treatment system and help you with septic system maintenance and repairs.


Custom Septic Inc. (CSI) is Licensed, Bonded and Insured. Serving the Twin Cities Metro area and Northern Minnesota.


Contact Custom Septic Inc. (CSI) for a Free Estimate at 763-218-4769

 Custom Septic Inc. (CSI) serves the Twin Cities and Northern Minnesota.