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How to Break Up Solids in Your Septic Tank

If you rely on a personal septic tank to filter and treat your wastewater, it is important to employ proper maintenance. Clogged pipes and sludgy tanks are no fun to take care of. One way to maintain your septic system is to make sure that its solids stay at the proper level. If your tank gets too full, it makes for a messy problem. How can you break up solids in your septic tank, and when should you call a professional?

Ways to Break Up Solids in Your Septic Tank

Keep in mind that there is no replacement for regular septic pumpings. We recommend that you let a professional service the system when it comes time. When we refer to breaking up solids in your tank, we simply mean periodically breaking up the bottom layer of sludge to ensure everything flows the way it is supposed to.

If your tank is just due for a quick treatment, try one of the following methods.

Storebought Remedies

You can purchase products that flush down your toilet and eat away at the sludge in your tank. However, it is a good idea to run these products past your septic system service professional as not all tanks are created equal. Some additives are actually harmful to your tank, so it is important to ensure that you only add safe, helpful, products.

At-Home Remedies

Likewise, at-home solutions are often cheaper than storebought ones, but you should still use them with caution. One example of a homemade remedy is to flush ¼-½ a cup of instant yeast down your toilet. The yeast eats away at the sludge and helps loosen it, breaking it down so that wastewater can get through. Whether you use a storebought solution or homemade one, make sure you avoid running your washer, dishwasher, or shower for a while so that the solution can do its job before being washed away.


Backflushing refers to sucking wastewater out of your tank with a wet vacuum, then spraying it back in. The force of the water is often enough to break up some of the solids. Of course, if you don’t have the equipment necessary for this, you might as well schedule a professional septic tank pumping.

Septic Stirring

It sounds gross, but “septic stirring” simply refers to breaking up solids with a stick or other long tool. This solution typically works best for minor buildups. If done regularly, it can prevent your septic sludge from settling in too comfortably, but you have to be devoted.

Regular Tank Pumping

Of course, when all else fails, you should still be scheduling professional pumpings. Removing the extra solids from your septic tank is the best way to maintain your system’s lifespan and prevent expensive problems from occurring.

How Often Should You Have Your Septic Tank Pumped?

Once your tank hits 25% capacity (in other words, ¼ of your tank is filled with sludge), it’s time to start thinking about a professional pumping. The exact time frame depends on the size of your system, how many occupants live in your home, the overall stress on the tank, etc. However, generally speaking, most tanks require a professional septic pumping every couple of years. Definitely don’t let your tank exceed 50% capacity.

You can avoid constant septic pumpings by employing proper maintenance techniques. Make sure you treat the solids in your septic tank as necessary, and never flush anything besides toilet paper down the toilet. Paper towels, feminine products, wipes, diapers, napkins, etc. work together to clog pipes and tanks.

How Can Norway Septic Help?

Norway Septic Inc. is a service-oriented company dedicated to providing excellent septic tank cleaning and septic tank pumping services to homeowners and business owners in the Michiana area. We take pride in doing the job that others leave behind. If you need a new effluent filter or if you would like to schedule a septic tank cleaning by one of our professionals, call us today.

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who should you call for septic issues?

Norway Septic Inc. is a service oriented company dedicated to providing excellent septic tank cleaning and septic tank pumping services to homeowners and business owners in the Michiana area.  We take pride in doing the job that others leave behind. ” Our motto stands, “they pump, we clean!”

Call us if you suspect that there are problems with your septic system or if you need septic replacement parts like septic filters. With over 40 years of experience, we know septic systems and can handle just about any septic emergency.

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