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What is the proper disinfectant to use in Aerobic Septic Systems? Use of proper and approved septic effluent disinfectants (Calcium Hypochlorite) is required for aerobic septic systems. What problems ensue if we use the wrong type of disinfectant in an aerobic septic treatment system? This article, contributed by a company which produces aerobic septic system disinfectants, describes the issue and identifies the proper aerobic septic system disinfectant to be used.
Citation of this article by reference to this website and brief quotation for the sole purpose of review are permitted.
Use of this information at other websites, in books or pamphlets for sale is reserved to the author. Technical review by industry experts has been performed and is ongoing - reviewers welcomed and are listed at References. Readers of this page should also see Disinfection of Septic Effluent, Swimming Pool Chemicals for Septic Effluent Discharged from Aerobic Septic Systems. This article is part of our series: Inspecting, Testing, & Maintaining Residential Septic Systems an online book on septic systems.
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A common concern of owners of onsite aerobic waste treatment septic systems is why they should not use pool chlorine tablets for their systems instead of the proper chemical, calcium hypochlorite. There are three primary reasons pool chlorine tablets should not be used for this purpose - legal requirements, safety issues, and environmental issues.
Under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) it is unlawful for anyone to use a registered pesticide (includes chlorine tablets) in a manner that is inconsistent with its labeling. For septic systems, enforcement of the law is primarily left with the states. In Texas and some other states enforcement is passed on to the counties.
For onsite aerobic septic systems, use only calcium hypochlorite tablets that have been certified by the EPA for this use. In EPA regulated areas, if the container is not labeled as such, it cannot be used for this purpose. In Texas, the use of swimming pool chlorine in aerobic septic systems carries a fine of about $500 for the first offence, and the fine increases for subsequent violations.
Use of Swimming Pool Chlorine Tablets in Aerobic Septic Systems
Besides legal, there are safety issues that need to be considered. Swimming pools tablets, such as Trichlor (trichloroisocyanuric acid or trichloro-s-triazinetrione), are designed for immersion in water. In an aerobic septic system feeder, the tablets are primarily above the water line. Under this condition the tablets will release nitrogen chloride, an explosive gas.
Under no circumstance should you allow Trichlor to come in contact with calcium hypochlorite or bleach. These chemicals react violently with each other. If you have been using Trichlor, completely remove the tablets from the chlorine feeder. Next, using water, rinse the Trichlor residue completely from the feeder section of the waste treatment system. Only after doing so is it safe to fill the feeder with calcium hypochlorite tablets that are approved for use in domestic wastewater systems. Never operate your system without the proper chlorine tablets such as the ClorMor brand of 2 5/8 inch chlorine tablets approved for use in onsite aerobic waste treatment septic systems.
If you have been using swimming pool tablets for a period of time, you have probably noticed a browning or dying of grass and other plants in the area where the sprinkler system sprays it. The chlorine in pool tablets is stabilized so it doesn't readily breakdown by sunlight as does the chlorine in calcium hypochlorite that is approved for aerobic waste treatment systems. Over an extended period of time, the applications of stabilized chlorine will not only kill the vegetation, but it can kill the beneficial bacterium that is natural to the soil.
Proper aerobic septic system maintenance
Proper maintenance and care of your septic system is essential to keep the system working properly. If you need additional information, you can contact the manufacturer of your aerobic septic system, your local permitting authority, or you may contact the original author of this article.
Continue reading at AEROBIC SEPTIC DISINFECTANTS - Pool Chlorine or select a topic from the More Reading links shown below.
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AEROBIC SEPTIC DISINFECTANTS - Calcium Hypochlorite at InspectApedia.com - online encyclopedia of building & environmental inspection, testing, diagnosis, repair, & problem prevention advice.
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