Will Baking Soda Clean Lateral Lines?

Will Baking Soda Clean Lateral Lines?

A lateral line is underground pipeline, which connects sewage from residence and directs it to sewage treatment plant. Here, the pipe plays an important function in cleaning the sewage waste as it acts as a conveyor, which connects your house and the drainage line. The lateral saves human effort in transporting waste from one place to another since it would be a tedious task of transporting an entire cities waste from one location to other without such lines. Periodically, lateral lines clog due to various reasons and there exists a multitude of products and techniques formulated to free up such clogs. One of these techniques includes the use of baking soda to help clean out the lines. Whether or not baking soda is effective? That’s up for debate.

Materials for Lateral Lines:

Most sewage lines use duct-iron metal. It is one of the apt materials used for conducting sewage which is installable at a low cost compared to other potentially suitable materials. In addition, PVC (Poly Vinyl Chloride) sewage lines are also widely popular in residential and commercial settings. Apart from cutting the cost of metal, PVC helps in transporting sewage waste without adding to transportation costs since PVC weighs much less than metal. Unlike duct iron, PVC lateral line requires no maintenance and is comparatively easy to install. In addition, its high strength to weight ratio gives good materialistic properties. Both materials are suitable and both are subject to clogging.

What Is Clogging?

Clogging is an ancient sewage pipeline problem, which creeps in whenever you have clogging media infesting the lateral lines. There are a variety of clogging material that could result into blockage within the line – effecting performance and straining other components. Sometimes, even the smallest of sludge or waste can give rise to clogging such as a bunch of used tissue paper, used food and leftovers or even an old newspaper is enough to trigger the event. In fact, any fibrous substance can trigger clogging and chock the lateral line. Similar to paper, which contains wood pulp, unused fibrous food ingredients and indecomposable particulate may too affect clogging.

Chemistry Explained:

If you are still wondering on what has baking soda to do with clogging, then you are at the right place. In fact, backing soda is an anti-clogging agent, which acts as a media to remove binding and clog issues. Owing to its distinct chemistry, it is used along with vinegar and salt to remove old clogs and open backed up sewage lines. It works best when used with vinegar in a 1:1 ratio along with a pinch of salt. This mixture will instantly attempt to clear the blockages within the lateral line and if successful, work forward towards the deeper areas of the field.

The chemistry behind this is simple, as when baking soda (Sodium bicarbonate) reacts with Vinegar (Acetic Acid), it generates carbonic acid by liberating tons of carbon di-oxide. The carbon dioxide erupts almost instantaneously, as two ingredients encounter each other. In addition, salt enhances the effect by catalyzing the carbon dioxide generation. This carbon dioxide gas being less dense than air tries to escape in air by making pores in the blockages, which it encounters during its course and clears the clogging. Thus, baking soda plays a vital role in cleaning a chocked lateral line.

So, this is the perfect remedy right? Well, not exactly. You see, baking soda has very strong anti-bacterial properties which directly affect the fine tuned ecosystem within your septic system. The addition of baking soda will drastically reduce the active colony count within your system; leading to decreased breakdown of solids and more clogging “gunk” forced into your lateral lines.

While the effects of baking soda can be promising at first, the long term consequence is very detrimental to the system. A better approach would be to utilize bacteria and enzymes to not only free up the clog, but also digest the clog itself. This leaves little by-product to further restrict lateral line flow while enhancing bacterial activity within the lines and the system as a whole.