The Role of Microbes in Your Septic System

Apr 19, 2024

The Role of Microbes in Your Septic System

When we talk about microbes, most people think of germs and diseases. But the truth is, not all microbes are bad. In fact, microbes play an active role in maintaining septic systems. They are the ones responsible for breaking down and liquefying the organic waste in the septic tank. If there aren’t enough microbes in your septic tank, the organic matter in the tank will not be broken down. That means the solid waste will accumulate faster, hence requiring more frequent septic tank pumping.

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At Septic Blue of Charlotte, we understand the important role that microbes play in septic systems. Our team of septic technicians is dedicated to providing a full range of septic services, including septic tank installation, septic tank repair, septic system maintenance, and more. If you’re looking for a trustworthy septic company, look no further than Septic Blue of Charlotte.

Types of Microbes Present In Your Septic System. Explain their roles in septic systems


These are the most numerous and important microbes in a septic system. There are two main types of microbes:

  • Aerobic bacteria: This type of bacteria requires oxygen to function and break down complex organic matter into simpler compounds most effectively. They thrive in the leach field, where oxygen is more readily available.
  • Anaerobic bacteria: This type of bacteria does not require oxygen and is the dominant decomposer in the septic tank itself, where there's little oxygen. They break down waste through a process called anaerobic digestion, producing gases like methane and hydrogen sulfide.


These are single-celled organisms that feed on bacteria and other organic matter. They help to control bacterial populations and keep the system in balance.


Fungi also break down organic matter in septic tanks, but they are not as abundant as bacteria or protozoa. They help to decompose complex organic materials like cellulose and lignin that bacteria have difficulty with.

Rotifers and nematodes

These are small, multicellular animals that can be found in septic tanks, but they play a minor role in wastewater treatment. These microorganisms regulate bacterial populations in a septic system and create an ideal environment for aerobic bacteria to flourish.

How to Maintain Bacteria in Your Septic System

  • Schedule Regular Septic Tank Pumping

This is the most crucial step when it comes to keeping your septic system in top shape. Septic tank pumping and septic tank cleaning remove accumulated solids that can suffocate bacteria and hinder their function. Ideally, septic tank pumping should be done every 3-5 years, depending on usage.

  • Use Water Efficiently

Excessive water usage can harm your septic system. Reducing the water strain on your septic system gives the bacteria more time to break down waste effectively. Opt for water-saving appliances and avoid letting faucets run unnecessarily.

  • Dispose of Waste Properly

Never pour grease, oil, or medications down the drain. These substances can kill beneficial bacteria and disrupt the balance in your septic tank.

  • Know What to Avoid

Avoid using antibacterial soaps, bleach, or harsh chemical drain cleaners, as they can kill off microbes in your septic system.

Contact the Septic Professionals at Septic Blue of Charlotte

Welcome to Septic Blue of Charlotte! We are a top-rated septic company that’s committed to solving septic system issues for homeowners and commercial customers. We have the expertise and experience to install, repair, and maintain different types of septic systems. If you’re in need of septic tank installation, drain field installation, septic tank repair, or septic system maintenance, give us a call.