How Does Your Septic Biomat Affect Septic-System Lifespan?

Septic systems have many integral parts, but perhaps one of the most important is the biomat. Here are some tips on why the biomat is important and how you can protect it. 

What Is the Biomat, Anyway?

The biomat is a layer of bacteria that rests in the soil under your septic tank system. It plays an important role in treating septic tank waste before the waste reaches the groundwater. 

Biomat bacteria are a combination of bacteria that exist naturally in the ground and bacteria that come from initial septic tank waste. They form a thick layer of sludge often referred to as the "slime layer." Biomat bacteria prevent septic tank waste from getting into the groundwater prematurely, and anaerobic bacteria in the slime layer actually feed on the waste from your septic tank and play a critical role in destroying pathogens and making sure that the septic-tank waste doesn't go on to contaminate your property and the bodies of water around it. 

So What's the Problem?

At the same time that a biomat plays a critical role in protecting your septic tank, it is also a potential source of issues. Most notably, if the biomat has trouble processing waste and starts to get clogged, it can affect the flow of waste through the drain field and potentially cause backups and floods. 

How Can I Protect My Biomat?

There are many key parts that go into protecting a biomat to make sure that it does its job without being a source of flooding, but the key is to reduce the number of solids that enter the drain field and encounter the biomat. Regular septic-tank pumping is key to getting rid of excess solids that can get stuck as they flow through the drain field in solution. You may also want your septic-tank inspector to install a filter on the tank that prevents too many solids from entering the drain field in the first place. You could also take steps on your own to prevent solids from entering the tank; doing things like installing a lint filter on your washer and dryer and being careful not to flush any inorganic waste down your drains can help. 

All of these solutions can be discussed with a septic-tank service, such as The Outhouse, and each solution is a great way to extend your septic tank's shelf life by preventing costly backups and floods.