How Much Bleach Is Too Much For A Gainesville VA Septic System?

How long has it been since you last had your septic tank pumped and had your system inspected?  If you can’t recall the date, it’s probably well past time, and we can help with that.  We’ve been proudly serving the region for more than thirty years, and in that time, have grown to become the area’s top-rated, most respected septic tank service company.

Your home’s septic system is one of the most rugged and robust systems you’ll ever own, but like all systems, it requires routine maintenance in order to do its job well and effectively.  We recommend having your tank pumped and your system inspected every three to five years.

Doing so will enable us to send one of our experts out to put eyes on your system at regular intervals, which will enable us to catch problems while they’re still small and both easy and inexpensive to repair.  That saves you money and gives you tremendous peace of mind.

If you’ve never experienced a backflow of raw sewage into your home, count your blessings.  If you have, you know what a nightmare it can be, which is why routine maintenance is so important, and why those services are among the most widely used that we offer.

One question we get quite frequently from the customers we serve is ‘how much bleach is too much for a Gainesville VA septic system?’

It’s easy to see where that question comes from.  After all, many popular cleaning products are bleach-based, and on the face of it, bleach seems like it would be devastating to your tank.  Bleach kills bacteria, and your septic tank needs bacteria to do its work.  It seems like a bad combination.

You might be surprised then, to learn that the answer to the question ‘how much bleach is too much for a Gainesville VA septic system?’ is a lot more than you think.  You’d have to pour up to two gallons of bleach straight down the drain for it to do significant damage.  As long as you avoid that, you’ll be just fine, which means you can keep right on using those bleach-based cleaners.  They won’t introduce enough bleach to cause any damage.

The thing is though, asking the question ‘how much bleach is too much for a Gainesville VA septic system?’ can be a bit of a distraction.  By that we mean that if you spend too much time worried about or obsessing over bleach, you might ignore other hazards that are potentially much more damaging to your septic tank.  Here are a few examples of what we’re talking about:

Too Much Water In The System

At first blush, this one might leave you puzzled.  After all, you’ve got water flowing into your septic system every time you flush a toilet or turn on a faucet, so how can too much water be a bad thing?

The answer lies in your drain field.  When your drain field gets too much water in it, the ground gets supersaturated.  When it reaches the point where it can’t absorb any more water, it can’t percolate, which means it can’t process waste.

There are two main culprits here.  The first are the downspouts connected to the gutters on the outside of your home.  Check them and be sure they’re angled well away from your drain field, and you’ll eliminate this as a potential problem.

The second takes the form of dripping faucets or toilets that run constantly.  You’d be amazed at how much water even a slow drip can introduce to your system.  As soon as you see problems like this, call your plumber or break out your tools and fix them right away.

Chemical Drain Cleaners

While the answer to the question ‘how much bleach is too much for a Gainesville VA septic system?’ is an amount measured in gallons, as little as a teaspoon of chemical drain cleaner can utterly devastate your tank’s bacteria.  Avoid these like the plague and save yourself the headache and expense.


Most people know that pouring grease down the drain is a bad idea, but few know the exact reason why.  It’s problematic in two ways.  First, some of the grease will remain in the tank, where it will slowly build up over time until you have the tank pumped out.  Less room in the tank means less efficiency in terms of waste processing.

Second, some of the grease will leech out into the drain field, where it will float to the surface and harden, creating a problem known as grease capping.  This prevents your drain field from processing waste effectively.  Both are potentially ruinous problems.

Note that grease isn’t thing you can pour down the drain or flush down the toilet that can cause you problems.  Basically, anything that’s not biodegradable shouldn’t be flushed or sent down the drain because it’ll just build up in the tank over time.

Again, it’s not that asking the question ‘how much bleach is too much for a Gainesville VA septic system?’ is a bad idea, it’s just that doing so runs the risk of diverting your attention away from other potential issues that could be every bit as harmful, if not more harmful to the integrity of your septic system.

In any case, we can help ensure that your system gives you years of headache- and hassle-free service.  Give us a call today.

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