What Can I Not Put Down My Septic Tank? (Solution found)

Do not put cigarette butts, paper towels, sanitary tampons, condoms, disposable diapers, anything plastic or similar non-biodegradables into a septic tank system. Avoid washing food scraps, coffee grinds, and other food items down the drain.

What can’t you put in your septic system?

  • “This can be very hazardous to your septic system as toys can get stuck in a pipe and block the waste flow, therefore causing everything to back up,” Parry says. (Hint: A toilet seat lock might be a wise investment.) 6. Paper towels “Even though these items may seem flushable, they don’t break down in the septic system,” Parry cautions.

What you should never put in a septic tank?

Don’t put things that aren’t biodegradable into your septic tank system such as:

  1. Cigarette butts.
  2. Disposable diapers.
  3. Paper towels.
  4. Plastics.
  5. Sanitary napkins or tampons.

What will ruin a septic system?

Any paper products like tissues, paper towels, tampons, or sanitary products, even some heavier toilet paper, will clog your system if you flush enough of it. Wet wipes are another product that you should never flush into a septic system.

Are long showers bad for septic systems?

Washing frequent, small loads of laundry or taking exceptionally long showers every day is all it takes to overload your septic system with too much water. The primary treatment tank needs time to break up solids before partly-treated water can enter the drain field.

What happens to poop in a septic tank?

The inlet pipe collects the water waste in the septic tank, long enough that the solid and liquid waste is separated from each other. Inside the tank bacteria from the wastewater breaks down the solid waste. These bacteria decompose the solid waste rapidly allowing the liquids to separate and drain away more easily.

How do you know if your septic is full?

Here are some of the most common warning signs that you have a full septic tank:

  1. Your Drains Are Taking Forever.
  2. Standing Water Over Your Septic Tank.
  3. Bad Smells Coming From Your Yard.
  4. You Hear Gurgling Water.
  5. You Have A Sewage Backup.
  6. How often should you empty your septic tank?

Are dead animals good for septic tanks?

This is false. Rotting meat just adds unnecessary and foreign bacteria to your septic tank. At best, this will do nothing. At worst, bones and fur from a dead animal will clog up your system.

What happens if you never pump your septic tank?

What Are the Consequences of Not Pumping Your Tank? If the tank is not pumped, the solids will build up in the tank and the holding capacity of the tank will be diminished. Eventually, the solids will reach the pipe that feeds into the drain field, causing a clog. Waste water backing up into the house.

Is Dawn dish soap safe for septic systems?

One of the best know is commercials for Dawn dish soap. The ability for the cleaner to disperse oil and grease is better for cleaning, as it helps to break it up. The reason these are bad for septic systems is because if you use too much they can leach out into the environment without being properly treated.

Can you use bleach if you have a septic tank?

You might consider bleach to be a great cleaner to use for your septic system. Unfortunately, that mindset is a dangerous one to have because it’s usually recommended to avoid using bleach in your septic system. The chemicals within bleach can kill the bacteria that your septic tank relies on.

How many loads of laundry a day are safe to do with a septic tank?

Spread Out Laundry Loads These use less water which puts less stress on your septic system. Regardless of the type of appliance you have, you should still spread out your loads. Instead of doing several loads in one day, consider doing 1 load per day or space out 2 loads if you must do more in a single day.

How do I clean my septic tank naturally?

You can mix about a 1/4 cup of baking soda with 1/2 cup of vinegar and 2 tablespoons lemon to make your own natural cleaning agent. The baking soda will fizz up to help get the dirt and grime in your tub and drains. It’s a great cleaner and your septic system will thank you!

What to do after septic is pumped?

After you have had your septic tank pumped by a trusted septic company, there are some things you can and should do as the septic system owner.

  1. 1) Get on a Schedule.
  2. 2) Take Care of the System.
  3. 3) Know the Parts of Your System.
  4. 4) Check Other Possible Issues.

How long do septic tanks last?

A septic system’s lifespan should be anywhere from 15 to 40 years. How long the system lasts depends on a number of factors, including construction material, soil acidity, water table, maintenance practices, and several others.

Things You Should Never Put in a Septic Tank

  1. What is the significance of maintaining a healthy septic tank
  2. And What Goes Into Your Septic Tank
  3. Septic Tank Do’s and Don’ts
  4. How Do Things Get Into Your Septic Tank
  5. What Cleaning Products Can Be Used in the Home That Are Septic Safe
  6. How to Dispose of Garbage for a Healthy Septic Tank
  7. How to Use the Toilet for a Healthy Septic Tank
  8. How to Tell If Your Septic Tank Is Full
  9. The Importance of Keeping Your Septic System in Good Working Order

If your septic system is properly maintained, it should provide you with no problems; nevertheless, you must be extremely cautious about what you put down your drains. Knowing what should and should not be flushed down your septic tank will help you avoid costly septic tank problems in the future. This is also true for your waste disposal system. To provide an example, a frequently asked topic about the waste disposal is whether coffee grounds are harmful to septic systems or not. Is it harmful to a septic system to use coffee grounds?

In general, the most often asked questions by homeowners are: What should I put in my septic tank and what should I not put in my septic tank?

Why Is It Important to Maintain a Healthy Septic Tank?

Your septic system is an extremely important component of your property. While it frequently goes unseen, it is operating around the clock to dispose of the garbage generated by your household. The fact that many homeowners do not notice their septic tank on a regular basis leads to a high rate of failure or forgetting to schedule basic septic tank repair. The failure to maintain your septic system can result in a variety of problems, including:

  • Leach fields and septic tanks that are overflowing or oozing
  • A disagreeable sewage odor
  • Overflowing toilets leading in the accumulation of harmful waste in your home

Maintenance of your septic tank on a regular basis is necessary for a variety of reasons, including the following:

1. Property Value

Maintenance of your septic tank on a regular basis is vital for a variety of reasons, including the following:

2. Good Health

There are a variety of reasons why regular maintenance of your septic tank is necessary, including the following:

3. Protects the Environment

On a daily basis, wastewater is disseminated below the surface of the earth in an amount of over 4 billion gallons. Groundwater contamination can occur as a result of untreated or inadequately treated domestic wastewater, and this can be harmful to the ecosystem. A faulty septic system may cause the release of viruses, bacteria, and hazardous chemicals into local waterways, as well as into the ground, streams, lakes, and rivers, among other places, causing devastation to local ecosystems and the death of species.

4. Financial Savings

Routine cleanings of your septic tank are less expensive than replacing it. You may have your tank inspected by a service professional to verify that it has been properly cleaned and to check for indicators of structural deterioration such as leaks, cracks, and other issues. Make Contact With A Septic Expert

How Do Things Get Into Your Septic Tank?

Septic systems remove floatable debris such as fats and oils from solids and digest organic stuff in the wastewater they process. In a soil-based system, the liquid waste from your septic tank is discharged into different perforated pipes that are buried in chambers, a leach field, or other particular components that are designed to gently release the effluent into the ground. The following are examples of how objects can get into your septic tank:

  • Waste such as diapers, cigarette butts, and coffee grounds that degrade slowly or are not entirely flushed down drains
  • Lint from synthetic fibers is emitted by washing machines. There are no bacteria in the drain and tank septic field to break it down
  • Therefore, it is not broken down. When garbage disposers are used often, they might discharge an excessive amount of solid waste into your septic system. It is possible for shrubs and tree roots to obstruct and cause harm to a drain field

Septic Tank Do’s and Don’ts

What you put in your septic tank will have a significant impact on its capacity to perform its function. Coffee grounds, for example, are not compatible with septic systems. It is possible to save yourself a lot of headaches and money by educating everyone in your home about what is and isn’t acceptable for your septic tank.

You can also extend the life of your septic system and protect the health of your property, family, and the environment by educating everyone in your home.

Things You Should Never Put In Your Septic Tank

You should never put the following items in your septic tank, and you should avoid the following items in your septic tank as well.

1. Do Enlarge Your Septic System If Needed

In the event that you intend on adding an addition to your house that will increase the floor area of your home by more than 15%, increase the number of plumbing fixtures, or increase the number of bedrooms, you may need to consider expanding your septic system to accommodate the increase in space.

2. Don’t Put Hazardous Waste Into the System

Do not, under any circumstances, introduce harmful chemicals into the system. Never dump paint, paint thinners, gasoline, or motor oil down the toilet or into the septic tank. A septic tank receives what is known as the “kiss of death.”

3. Do Limit the Number of Solids

A large amount of solids flushed down the toilet will cause your septic tank to fill up extremely quickly. You should not flush the following objects down the toilet:

  • Cat litter, coffee grounds, cigarette butts, dental floss, disposable diapers, earplugs, sanitary napkins or tampons are all acceptable substitutes for these items.

If you have a septic tank, you should never dump coffee grinds down the toilet. It is recommended that you avoid introducing materials into the system that do not degrade fast as a general rule.

4. Don’t Put Anything Non-Biodegradable in Your Septic System

Don’t put materials into your septic tank system that aren’t biodegradable, such as the following:

  • However, cigarette butts, disposable diapers, paper towels, plastics, sanitary napkins or tampons are prohibited.

5. Do Install an Effluent Filter

Make certain that an effluent filter is installed on your septic tank. This will assist to reduce the amount of particles that exit the tank and will extend the life of your system.

6. Don’t Put Grease or Fat Into the System

Perhaps to your surprise, grease and oil can cause a septic system to fail by clogging up the drain field and contaminating the soil around it, causing it to fail. Soil that has been polluted will be unable to absorb and assimilate liquids from your system. If you have major problems with your septic tank system, you may be forced to replace it.

7. Do Run Full Dishwasher and Washing Machine Loads

Dishwashers and washing machines should only be used when they are completely loaded. Alternatively, select the appropriate load size for your washing machine. It is inefficient to wash tiny loads of clothing with huge amounts of water since it wastes both electricity and water.

8. Don’t Put Any Chemicals Into Your System

Don’t flush chemicals down the toilet, such as the following:

  • Gasoline, insect or weed killers, oil, photographic chemicals, paint thinners, solvents, and other compounds

If you have one of these, it has the potential to pollute your septic tank, endangering the water supply for your entire area. Make a Time for Consultation

What Household Cleaning Products Are Septic Safe

It is possible that they will contaminate your septic tank, putting your entire neighborhood’s water supply at risk. Make a Time for a Meeting

1. Safest Bathroom and Toilet Cleaners

Your bathroom may retain a lot of germs, so it’s important to clean it on a regular basis. However, you will require septic-safe cleansers such as:

  • Green Works 99 percent naturally derived toilet bowl cleaner
  • CLR Calcium, Lime, and Rust Remover
  • CLR BathKitchen Foaming Action Cleaner
  • CLR BathKitchen Foaming Action

It is not recommended to use crystal drain cleaners to unclog plumbing blockages in your toilet or sink since they might be hazardous to your septic system.

See also:  How To Repair A Septic Tank Pump? (Best solution)

2. Safest Floor Cleaners

It is not recommended to use crystal drain cleaners to unclog plumbing blockages in your toilet or sink since they might be harmful to your septic system.

  • BISSELL Advanced Professional SpotStain + Oxy
  • ECOS PRO Neutral Floor Cleaner Concentrated 1:128
  • BISSELL Pet Stain and Odor
  • BISSELL Advanced Professional SpotStain + Oxy

3. Safest Dishwashing Detergents

Regardless of whether you’re using the dishwasher or cleaning your dishes by hand, the following are some safe options:

  • A few examples include: Dropps dishwashing pods, Amway Home Dish Drops automatic dishwashing powder, Aldi Foaming Dish Soap, and more.

4. Safest Kitchen, All-Purpose and Glass Cleaners

A few examples include: Dropps dishwashing pods, Amway Home Dish Drops automatic dishwashing powder, Aldi Foaming Dish Soap, and Amway Home Dish Booster.

  • Cleaners from Amway include L.O.C. Multi-Purpose Cleaner, Green Works 98 percent Naturally-Derived GlassSurface Cleaner Spray, ECOS Glass + Surface Cleaner Vinegar, and ECOS Glass + Surface Cleaner Vinegar.

5. Safest Odor Removers

Here are several odor-killing options that are safe for septic systems:

  • In addition to Fresh Wave Odor Removing Spray, ECOS Pet Kitty Litter Deodorizer, and Earth Friendly Products Everyday Stain and Odor Remover are also recommended.

Garbage Disposal Tips for a Healthy Septic Tank

Many people are unaware of this vital piece of septic tank knowledge, but you should avoid using your garbage disposal more than necessary. If you absolutely must have a trash disposal, choose for a top-of-the-line type that grinds waste finely, as this will aid in the decomposition of waste materials and the prevention of septic tank problems by reducing the amount of time waste takes to disintegrate. You may also set up a kitchen waste compost bin so that you don’t have to throw potentially hazardous products into your garbage disposal system.

1. Don’t Pour Coffee Grounds Down Your Drain

Are coffee grounds beneficial to your septic system? You might be wondering if this is true. or “Do coffee grinds in a septic tank pose a problem?” When composted in the ground, ground coffee beans ultimately break down, but they do not dissolve in the septic system, even when employing an enzyme-rich septic tank activator, as is the case with most other organic waste. Is it true that coffee grounds are detrimental for septic systems? The texture of coffee grinds is coarse. As a result of pouring these grounds down your garbage disposal, they will accumulate in your septic tank like gravel, and you will ultimately need to pump them out of the tank because they do not breakdown quickly.

This layer will need to be pumped out and hauled away by a professional.

Please do not dump coffee grounds down the sink drain once again.

2. Only Dispose of Rotted Soft or Unconsumed Perishables Into Your Garbage Disposal

Bananas, tomatoes, and oranges that are over a year old are OK. However, avoid using your trash disposal for anything that might cause sludge to build up along the inner walls of your sewage pipes or clog a drain.

3. Consider an Alternative to Your Garbage Disposal

Consider making a compost pile in your backyard out of your outdated vegetables as an alternative to throwing it away. Rather from ending up in your septic tank or landfill, decomposing vegetables and fruits may nourish and feed the soil, accomplishing a more beneficial function than they would if they ended up in a landfill.

Toilet Tips for a Healthy Septic Tank

Consider making a compost pile in your garden out of your outdated vegetables as an alternative to throwing it away. Rather than ending up in your septic tank or landfill, decomposing vegetables and fruits may nourish and feed the earth, accomplishing a more beneficial function.

  1. Decrease the number of times you flush the toilet. Using the toilet numerous times before flushing is recommended. Make use of toilet paper that is designed for use with a septic tank. When it comes to toilet paper, the type that breaks up easily when wet is the best choice. It is not recommended to use a disinfecting automated toilet bowl cleanser, such as those containing acid compounds or bleach. Using these products, you may destroy the bacteria in your septic tank that is important for a productive operating system with a gradual release, ongoing action. Tampons should not be flushed into the toilet. Tampons in a septic system is an issue that many individuals have and are perplexed by the answer to. This is due to the fact that there are now tampons available that are so-called bio-degradable and can be flushed down the toilet. Tampons, on the other hand, are among the items that should not be flushed down the toilet or into a septic tank. If you want to be on the safe side, never dump tampons down the toilet
  2. This is the greatest rule of thumb here.

How to Tell If Your Septic Tank Is Full

When properly maintained, your septic tank is an efficient means of disposing of the wastewater generated by your household.

Septic systems must be pumped out on a regular basis in order to work effectively. Many people are unsure as to when this type of action is required in their situation. The following are some indications that it is time to pump your septic tank:

1. Pooling Water

If you notice huge pools of water near your septic system’s drain field, this might signal that the system has overflowed, especially if it hasn’t rained recently. When your tank reaches capacity, the solid waste in the tank might block the drain field of the field pipe system, causing liquid to rise to the surface. If you see this, your tank will need to be properly pumped out.

2. Odors

In addition to garbage, your septic tank collects gray water from sources such as the following: The odor-causing gasses that can emanate from your drains, toilets, drain field, and outside septic tank area can begin to emanate as the septic tank begins to fill up. If you begin to notice unusual scents outside or inside your house, it is possible that your septic tank is overflowing and has to be drained.

3. Sewage Backup

The odor-causing gasses that can emanate from your drains, toilets, drain field, and outside septic tank area can begin to emanate when the septic tank begins to fill up with waste. A foul stench coming from outside or inside your home might indicate that your septic tank has been overflowing and needs to be drained.

4. Slow Drains

If you discover that your home’s drains and toilet flushes are still slow after you’ve tried to clear them, it’s possible that you have a clogged septic system.

5. Gurgling Water

Another symptom that your septic tank is overflowing is gurgling sounds pipes coming from your drains or toilet bowl. This is something that you would definitely want an expert to come in and check.

6. Lush Lawn

If your grass looks unusually lush or green, especially near the drainage field, it might be an indication that you have a clogged septic tank that needs to be drained.

7. Trouble Flushing

An further sign that your septic tank needs to be cleaned is if you’re experiencing difficulties flushing your toilet or if the water you’re trying to flush is not being absorbed by the toilet.

Maintaining a Healthy Septic System Is Important

The plumbing and septic systems in your house play an important part in the overall comfort of your home. It is critical that you pay some consideration to these issues and that your septic tank is kept in good working order. The proper upkeep of your septic tank is essential if you want the plumbing in your house to function properly. Unattended septic systems may result in serious obstructions, backups, and even wastewater pouring into the surrounding area. You’ll want to engage in regular septic system maintenance in order to avoid these kinds of problems.

Contact Mr. Rooter of Syracuse, N.Y., Your Septic System Professionals

Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Syracuse, New York, is comprised of a group of qualified specialists that are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to attend to your septic tank problems. Septic tanks are something that our skilled team at Mr. Rooter has a lot of experience with. Once we’ve been in and completed the cleaning, maintenance, or repairs to your septic system, we’ll provide you instructions on how to keep up with the best upkeep of your system when we’re not there to help you. It is critical to understand the principles of your home’s septic tank and how it operates in order to recognize problems as they occur.

In addition to video drainage inspections, we have sophisticated diagnostic equipment that allow us to discover and correct issues before they become expensive repairs. Please contact us right away if you require assistance with your septic tank issues. Request an Estimate for the Job

Top 10 Items To Avoid Putting In Your Septic System

Submitted byRobert Robillard on Home Repairs, Plumbing, and Electrical

Caring for Your Septic System

If you have a septic system in your home, you must exercise extreme caution when it comes to the household goods that you use. Septic systems rely on bacteria to break down wastes and sediments, but in order for these bacteria to live, they must be in a certain environment. If you use the incorrect type of detergent in your washing machine or the incorrect drain cleaner, you may wind up destroying the microorganisms in your septic system, leaving it inoperable. Overflows, obstructions, flooded drain fields, and even groundwater pollution can result as a result of this.

Medicines

When you have unused prescriptions on hand, it might be tempting to flush them down the toilet to eliminate them. DON’T. Pharmaceuticals have the potential to disrupt the bacterial equilibrium in your septic system, resulting in septic system failure. They also contribute to the spread of “superbugs,” germs that are resistant to antibiotics and represent a threat to the health of the entire population. Improperly disposed of drugs damage groundwater, putting the environment and, more importantly, your own drinking water at risk of contamination.

In a countrywide survey conducted in 2000, pharmaceuticals were discovered in 80 percent of the rivers and streams examined.

To safely dispose of medications

Find out if there is a medication disposal program near you. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) organizes National Prescription Drug Take-Back activities, which involve setting up collecting locations in towns around the country to ensure that prescription medicines are properly disposed of. A pharmaceutical take-back program sponsored by your local police department may also be available. If you are unable to locate a pharmaceutical take-back program in your area, you should contact your local waste management authority to learn about drug disposal choices and requirements in your region.

After removing pills out of their original containers and combining them with a “undesirable item” (such as cat litter or old coffee grounds), the FDA suggests placing the combination in a Ziploc bag or a container with a lid and tossing the entire package in the trash.

Non-Septic Safe Toilet Paper

The only item that should be flushed into your septic tank is human waste, and that should be done using a septic safe toilet paper. A toilet paper that is biodegradable and dissolves fast is essential.

On the packaging, look for the words “Septic Safe.” After evaluating 21 brands for softness, strength, and ripping ease in March of 2014, two brands stood out: White Cloud 3 Ply Ultra and Charmin Ultra Strong, however the Charmin did not disintegrate as rapidly as the White Cloud.

“Flush-able Wipes” and other Clogging Hazards

Flushable wipes, despite the fact that they are advertised as such, are anything but; they can take up to 10 minutes to break up and provide a significant clog danger.

Laundry Detergents

It is possible that your laundry contributes a significant portion of the volume in your septic system. It is likely that the majority of the laundry detergents available at your local grocery shop include some form of environmental contamination. Look for the following:

Low Suds or Biodegradable:

Surfactants, which are foaming agents, are found in all soaps and detergents, and they are used to create foam. They work by lowering the surface tension of fluids, letting them to flow more freely between solids and so remove dirt from the surface of objects. Unfortunately, they have a negative impact on cell membranes and microorganisms, and they will harm the bacteria colony in your septic system. Fortunately, they decay rapidly and do not constitute a significant hazard to groundwater.

Low or no phosphorous and nitrogen:

We are fortunate in that nutrient pollutants such as phosphates and nitrates are now being phased out of the detergents we use since they encourage the growth of algae and weeds that choke out fish and wildlife in our ponds, lakes, streams, and rivers.

Chlorine free:

Chlorine bleach is extremely hazardous and should be avoided if possible, or used in small amounts when necessary. Unfortunately, chlorine bleach is included in a variety of cleaning and disinfecting products. Alternatives that are more effective include oxygen-based bleaches for laundry and white vinegar for disinfection.

See also:  How To Add A Cleanout To My Septic Tank? (Perfect answer)

Antibacterial Soaps

Avoid using antibacterial hand soaps and any product that claims to be antibacterial. This is not only due to the obvious harm they could do to your bacterial colony, which is required for your septic system to function, but it is also due to the fact that they are now being linked to the development of antibiotic resistant “superbugs.” The good old-fashioned soap and water will suffice.

Automatic Toilet Cleaners

In addition to killing the germs in your toilet, the antibacterial compounds in automated toilet cleaners destroy the microorganisms in your septic tank as well. These toilet cleansers have the potential to result in a septic tank that is overflowing with blue water and a large amount of dead bacteria. A mixture of baking soda and white vinegar, used to clean the toilet, will provide similarly effective foamy results that are completely safe.

Dishwasher Detergents

Dishwasher detergent is more likely than laundry detergent to include phosphates and surfactants, both of which are toxic to the microorganisms in your septic tank and should be avoided. They can also move through your septic tank to the drain field, where they can eventually seep into the soil and leak into ground water, putting your family at danger of drinking polluted water. Look for and use detergent that is free of phosphates.

Drain Cleaners

Drain cleaners should not be used by any homeowner, including those who do not have septic systems in their homes. Chemical drain cleaners not only have the potential to harm beneficial bacteria in your septic tank, but they may also eat away at your pipes! The caustic soda or lye employed in them is a potent oxidant and can result in serious burns if ingested or handled improperly. If your drains are blocked, it is far preferable to spend a little extra money to call a plumber to unclog them rather than using a chemical drain cleaner to clear them.

If there is a problem, you will wind up having to pay a lot more for the damage than you would have if you had hired a professional to do the job.

DIY Drain Cleaner:

  1. Add 1/2 cup baking soda to the drain and let it sit for a few minutes before adding 1/2 cup white vinegar mixed with extremely hot water to the drain. Allow for a few minutes of resting. This will trigger a chemical reaction, resulting in a lot of foaming, therefore stop the drain or cover it with a towel. The combination will begin to operate immediately, breaking down any lipids into salt and inert gas. Boiling water should be used to flush

Bath Oils

Bathing with some baby oil may provide you with silky-soft skin when you get out, but it’s not a good idea for your septic tank’s performance. Once the oil has been washed into your septic tank, it produces a layer of scum on top of the floating waste, preventing it from settling. As a result, the bacteria are unable to penetrate the oil, preventing them from decomposing the waste. Additionally, the oil might obstruct your drain field.

Solvents

Don’t flush anything inorganic down the toilet such as paints, solvents, insecticides, oils, or anything else that might kill the bacteria.

Other UnsafeSeptic Items – Things not to flush include

  • Disposable diapers
  • Sanitary napkins or tampons
  • Paper towels or bandages
  • Dental floss
  • Condoms
  • Hair
  • Cigarette butts
  • Disposable diapers
  • Disposable diapers Coffee grinds
  • Kitty litter
  • And so on.

Author’s Bio:Steve McGonagle, proprietor of Septic Genie, assists homeowners in diagnosing and resolving their septic system problems. The Septic Genie method, which was first patented in 1995, has assisted hundreds of households in restoring their damaged septic systems while avoiding the expensive cost of “dig and replace.” is a website dedicated to providing trouble-free septic systems for life. ​

Household Products That Will Ruin Your Septic Tank!

About the Author:Steve McGonagle, owner of Septic Genie, assists homeowners in diagnosing and resolving septic system problems. After being patented in 1995, the Septic Genie device has assisted thousands of homes in restoring and avoiding the expensive cost of “dig and replace” septic systems that have failed. is a website dedicated to providing trouble-free septic for life. ​

What NOT to Put in Your Septic Tank

When septic systems are operated in the manner intended, they perform optimally. It’s easy to fall into the trap of believing that everything you flush down the toilet or wash down the drain will just disappear. When your home is connected to a sewage system, you may be pretty certain that your water waste is at the very least transported away from your home. The contents of your toilet bowl either remain on your property or in your septic tank until you have it removed from the system.

Being kind to your septic tank pays dividends

Your septic tank is a biological system that decomposes organic waste, primarily human waste, in a controlled environment. The use of this method for disposing of other organic (and inorganic) waste products is not recommended. There are a few items that you should never put into your septic tank in order to avoid this situation. Food. Food should not be flushed down the toilet, and if at all possible, avoid using a garbage disposal. Grease and oil contribute to the formation of the scum layer on the surface of the tank, but they have no effect on the biological activity occurring there.

  • Consider starting a compost pile for food waste that is derived from plants.
  • Facial tissues, sanitary napkins and tampons, disposable diapers, baby wipes, paper towels, cigarette butts, kitty litter and other waste from the toilet should be disposed of in the garbage.
  • If you didn’t create it and it isn’t toilet paper, you should avoid flushing it altogether.
  • Drain cleaners are quite damaging to your plumbing system, as well as to your septic system as well.
  • Drain cleansers should not be used!
  • Cleaners for the home.
  • Bacteria-killing products such as bleach, toilet bowl cleansers, and home cleaners are also available.
  • The use of household cleansers, which do not discriminate between harmful and healthy bacteria, should be minimized to the greatest extent feasible.
  • Paint, varnish, paint thinner, antifreeze, expired prescription prescriptions, antibacterial soap, pesticides, gasoline, kerosene, oil, or anything else of a similar kind should not be flushed down the bathroom sink.
  • These chemicals will kill the microorganisms in your septic tank, and worse than that, they will damage the groundwater in the surrounding area, which includes your well.

For information about hazardous household waste disposal locations in your area, contact your local county offices. In order to arrange service or drain cleaning, please call Clear Drain Cleaning at (330) 343-7146 for any and all of your drainage and drain maintenance requirements.

Aeration Septic – The Top Five Items to Keep Out of Your Septic System

Despite the fact that there are several alternative ways to dispose of trash within the home, some people just opt to use their toilet or garbage disposal for materials that do not belong in these pieces of equipment – which may put their septic system at risk. There are certain things that a toilet is supposed to handle and rid of, such as body waste, particular paper products, and the occasional spider that gets tangled in toilet paper, but there are other items that people flush that can cause far more harm than good.

You might believe that “if it flushes, it’s alright,” but this isn’t always the case, even when it comes to goods that are advertised as safe to flush as a form of disposal.

What is a septic system?

As previously stated, a septic system installed within a home serves as a waste disposal system, processing and eliminating wastewater generated within the residence. For those who have an anaerobic or aerobic septic system in their house, this implies that they are not reliant on the city or town’s sewage system to transport and treat their waste water. As with all other systems and components of the home, a septic tank system is composed of several moving parts and features, all of which must be properly maintained in order to perform at peak performance.

The most reliable approach to determine whether or not your septic system is completely operational is to hire the services of a septic tank inspector, who can (and will) supply you with a thorough septic tank inspection report following each visit to your property.

The more you understand about your system and how it should operate, the less likely it is that you will suffer difficulties such as braking, clogging, or backups into your house.

While there are a variety of items that might create problems when they are flushed down the toilet or placed through the trash disposal, some of the most prevalent are items that people do not think twice about flushing or putting through the garbage disposal.

Here’s a list of the top five things you should avoid introducing into your home’s septic system:

  • Coffee grounds: While coffee grounds are not flushed, they frequently make their way into a garbage disposal and, ultimately, into the septic tank. Because of their texture, bacteria have a tough time breaking them down, which can put your septic system in risk over time as they accumulate. One excellent comparison is to think of these grounds as if they were gravel, despite the fact that they are far smaller. In the long run, the number of coffee grounds that do not decompose will contribute to an increase in the amount of solids (or sludge) present in the system, which might cause it to malfunction. Strong disinfectants, such as bleach: Because a properly functioning septic system relies on beneficial bacteria to break down waste, introducing these sorts of chemicals into the system in excessive quantities can be detrimental to the system. The weekly cleanings and the introduction of these chemicals into the toilet bowl insert in tiny amounts per flush are both perfectly acceptable practices
  • Nevertheless, the use of excessive amounts is not encouraged. A decrease in the quantity of bacteria present in the holding and treatment tanks, which is a “living system,” might lead to an increase in the amount of solid waste accumulating in the system, which may necessitate more regular visits from a septic services specialist. Contrary to popular belief, condoms, disposable diapers, flushable wipes, and tampons are not as safe to flush as you may assume. Due to the fact that rubber does not degrade within the system, flushing condoms may put a septic system at risk of failure. Although the materials that are used to manufacture disposable diapers and tampons are termed biodegradable, this does not imply that they are beneficial to the general health of the system. However, while they will ultimately fail within the system, it may take a long time for them to do so, resulting in these objects remaining in the system for extended periods of time and causing further problems. Is it one of these other problems? These huge things have the potential to block pipes or become caught around the motor of a septic system, leading it to fail. A septic motor is a high-priced device that will normally cost upwards of $600 to repair or replace. Is taking this chance worth it? Grease and oil derived from the cooking process: Despite the fact that it may appear simple to simply drop these items down the drain while cleaning pots and pans, they may cause more harm than good. Although some oil and grease can unavoidably enter a septic system, an excessive amount of this will undoubtedly cause difficulties over time, especially in older homes with older septic systems. What is the explanation behind this? Over time, these materials have a tendency to harden and solidify, making it more difficult to break them down. The particles may also become attached to the sides of the pipes and walls of the septic tank, as well as to the moving mechanisms within it, causing backups, blockages, and overflow – or even a breakdown of the aerator or any other affected sections. Medications: Additionally, drugs have the potential to kill the bacteria that must be present in a septic system when they are flushed, and in some cases, they do so. This does not just apply to unused tablets
  • Liquid drugs should never be flushed down the toilet too. Many of these prescriptions contain high amounts of antibiotics, and when these pills are flushed down the toilet, the chemicals in these medications will disrupt the delicate balance that must exist in the tank. Another item to take into consideration? If there is a problem with your septic tank – such as an undiscovered leak – these chemicals will be released into the environment as well, and this is harmful.
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Though not flushed, coffee grounds frequently find their way down a garbage disposal and, ultimately, into a septic tank due to their high concentration of nitrogen. Because of their texture, bacteria have a tough time breaking them down, which can put your septic system in risk when they accumulate in your system. These grounds might be thought of as gravel, which is an excellent comparison, despite the fact that they are somewhat smaller. Over time, the number of coffee grounds that do not decompose will contribute to an increase in the amount of solids – or sludge – in the system, which might cause it to become less efficient.

  • The weekly cleanings and the introduction of these chemicals into the toilet bowl insert in tiny amounts every flush are both acceptable practices; however, the use of excessive amounts is not.
  • However, these goods are not as safe to flush as you might expect.
  • Although the materials used to manufacture disposable diapers and tampons are considered biodegradable, this does not imply that they are beneficial to the overall system.
  • Suppose you have one of these extra concerns.
  • Repairing a septic motor is a high-priced equipment that can cost upwards of $600 in some instances.
  • The balance of a septic system is delicate, and while some oil and grease may unavoidably enter the system, an excessive amount of this will undoubtedly cause difficulties over time.
  • Over time, these materials have a tendency to harden and solidify, making it more difficult to break them down completely.
  • If you have any leftover pills, don’t flush them down the toilet.
  • Due to the fact that many of these prescriptions include large doses of antibiotics, the chemicals contained inside them will cause harm to the delicate balance that must exist within the tank when flushed down the toilet.

One more thing to think about: There is a possibility that these chemicals will be released into the environment if there is a problem with your septic tank — for example, an undiscovered leak.

Avoid Putting These Items Into Your Septic System

Residents of residential properties with septic systems must exercise caution while flushing toilet paper or other toilet paper down the toilet. Eventually, anything you flush down the toilet or down the drain will wind up in the septic tank, and not everything will be suited for the tank. Here are some objects that should never be dumped into your septic system, as well as instructions on how to properly dispose of them. Products for Feminine Hygiene Place the trash in the garbage can. A septic tank is safe to flush down with toilet paper that has been intended to decompose fast in a septic tank; nevertheless, this is about the only paper product that should be flushed down a toilet that is connected to a septic system.

  1. Tampons and some wet wipes are appropriate for municipal water systems and will flow through pipes, but they will cause difficulties in a septic tank because they contain chemicals that are toxic to bacteria.
  2. Using more of these goods, the available capacity in your tank will decline until you are forced to have your tank pumped out completely.
  3. The number of times you’ll need a service depends on how many individuals are flushing these things, but even if only one person is flushing these items, your tank’s service period will be reduced.
  4. If people are uncomfortable with the idea of seeing items in the garbage when they use the restroom, you may purchase a tiny covered trash bin for the room that keeps its contents hidden from view.
  5. Coffee grounds are a type of soil that is rich in nutrients.
  6. For two reasons, coffee grinds should never be allowed to enter your septic tank.
  7. When this occurs, the entire system stops to function as it is intended to do.

The bacteria survive best in a pH range between 6.5 and 7.5, with a preference for pH values between 6.5 and 7.

This is more acidic than the microorganisms in a tank are capable of withstanding.

Although the liquid in the tank will not be transformed into anything like a cup of coffee, the chemicals that drain from the grounds will acidify the tank in the same way that tap water does when coffee is brewed in a coffee pot.

If you flush coffee grounds down the toilet on a daily basis, they will build and make the tank too acidic for the bacteria to survive.

Useless coffee grounds are best disposed of in a compost pile, which you can simply create if you don’t already have one.

To compost coffee grounds if you don’t already do so, simply toss them in a heap and they’ll begin to decompose on their own as nature takes its course.

Ticks, which may transmit a variety of deadly diseases, should not be flushed down the toilet or into a septic tank – but not because it is harmful to the tank.

Ticks do not drown while submerged in water, therefore flushing them down your home’s plumbing and into your septic tank will not result in their death.

If the creature resurfaces after a period of time, it will still be alive and will be able to reproduce, make its way to your yard, and attack animals or people once more.

Ticks are poisonous to alcohol and will die if they come into contact with it, therefore most people have a bottle of rubbing alcohol in their home.

Even with the finest maintenance, a septic system will require service from time to time. Contact Walters Environmental Services if you need to have your septic tank pumped out.

What should not go in a septic tank?

If you live or operate a company in a remote or rural region without access to a modern sewer network, the likelihood is that your house or business is equipped with an aseptic tank system. Water septic tanks are an excellent way to dispose of wastewater on your property, since they use a combination of basic technology and biological processes found in nature to do the job. However, extreme caution must be exercised in determining which items, garbage, and chemicals are permitted to be flushed down the different drains on your premises.

If the improper materials and liquids are flushed down the toilet, they can cause a septic system to malfunction, necessitating the arrival of a professional to your home to undertake very expensive repairs and cleaning.

The purpose of septic tanks will be discussed in detail, as well as what may be safely placed in them and what should not be placed in them, in this tutorial.

What Are Septic Tanks Used For?

Homeowners and business owners who do not have access to a centralized sewer system might opt for septic tanks as an alternate method. Their most common placement is a subterranean area directly outside the main structure, in a region where human activity generates the need for wastewater to be flushed down a sewer. This wastewater can come from a variety of different sources, including the kitchen sink, dishwasher, bathtub, laundry room, and the toilet seat. The majority of the time, this effluent is more than 99 percent liquid.

The wastewater is cleansed inside the tank and then disseminated deep into the surrounding soil through a network of pipelines, where nature can naturally break down the organic pollutants in a safe and environmentally friendly manner.

How Do Septic Tanks Work?

Briefly stated, a septic system is composed of two major components: a holding tank and a soil absorption area. All of the flushed water from your house, school, or place of business finally finds its way into a single final pipe that empties straight into the septic tank. This end pipe has a downward sloping surface and is powered entirely by gravity. In most cases, an aseptic tank is a waterproof receiving vessel that is buried beneath the surface of your land. It is often built of concrete or specialized plastic.

  1. When left to its own devices, the organic matter in this runoff water will begin to split into three distinct components inside the tank’s internal environment.
  2. Solids, often known as sludge, will begin to accumulate at the bottom of the tank.
  3. Over time, naturally occurring bacteria already present in the tank will begin to degrade the biodegradable material and prepare it for future distribution by breaking down the substance.
  4. However, it is the bulk of the effluent water that is directed out of the septic tank and onto the neighboring drain field after that.

It is really the microbes in the surrounding ground that begin to filter and destroy the germs in this discharge, thereby neutralizing any lingering foul odours and toxicity. It is both cost-effective and ecologically friendly.

What Should Go in Septic Tanks?

A few substances can be accepted and broken down within the septic tank system, but the majority of things cannot. Your best practices are mentioned in the next section:

  • A few substances can be accepted and broken down within the septic tank system, but the majority of them cannot. The following are examples of best practices:

What Shouldn’t Go in Them? (And Why?)

When moving from a region that is served by a centralized sewer system, a house or property owner will need to make significant adjustments to their mentality and waste disposal practices. When you’re first starting out, it might be difficult to adjust to the changes, but after a while you’ll realize that it’s actually no more difficult than sorting your recycling. The most important thing to understand is that your septic tank is not a garbage disposal system. Do not flush anything that is not biodegradable down the toilet or down the drain.

Septic tanks may handle a significant amount of the regular effluent that would normally be flushed away in a contemporary city, but there are few exceptions that should be avoided, as detailed below:

  • Surprisingly, coffee grounds are a major source of contamination that goes unnoticed. In spite of the fact that they are processed via a waste disposal unit, coffee grounds degrade too slowly and might cause obstructions in your plumbing system. Toilet paper, cigarette butts, cat litter, kitchen towels, tampons, prophylactics, diapers, and anything else that is thick or made of plastic should never be flushed down a toilet
  • Toilet bowl cleansers containing acidic chemicals or bleach are prohibited. These chemicals have the potential to destroy beneficial microorganisms deep within the septic tank. Instead, make an effort to utilize organic, ecologically friendly cleansers. Any type of hazardous chemicals (for example, paint thinner, gasoline, solvents, weed killers, insecticides, and so on) should be separated and transported to authorized waste disposal facilities in your region. It is never a good idea to flush them down the toilet
  • Grease, fats, and drippings are also exceedingly harmful. Bacon grease and other frying oils should be collected and disposed of in the same manner as regular garbage. Additionally, installing a grease trap between your kitchen sink and your septic tank is a smart idea as well. These oils lead to the formation of a scum layer within the tank, which ultimately pollutes the soil drainage region surrounding it. The bacteria that have been spread into contaminated soil are unable to be organically processed by the soil
  • Medications are also an issue. Antibiotics and antibacterials have the potential to disrupt the delicate community of microorganisms that digest your organic discharge and pollute the environment. Even human waste from persons who are taking prescription medications might have an impact on the effectiveness of your septic system. All of your unused drugs should be returned to your local pharmacy.

Looking After Your Septic Tank

As you may have known by now, septic systems are basic yet innovative machines that handle wastewater from your property when there is no local sewer connection available. They remove oils and particles from liquids, and they discharge the effluent water into the soil surrounding your home or business property. Organic sewage treatment is completed by naturally existing microorganisms present in the septic tank and the surrounding soil, which consume the most offensive odors and harmful germs, finishing the process organically.

The property owner must carefully regulate what is flushed down their bathrooms, sinks, and drains in order to preserve this delicate equilibrium.

Despite the fact that the above instructions should avoid any unintended incidents, you will still want a septic tank specialist to come to your property and do an inspection and cleaning once every 3-5 years, depending on the size of your septic tank.

Get Your Free Quote Today

OMDI has more than two decades of expertise in the construction, drainage, and maintenance of septic tank systems. Our subject matter specialists are available to answer any inquiries you may have at any time. We will be delighted to discuss your septic tank requirements in detail with you and to offer you with a free, no-obligation quotation. For more information about putting a septic tank on your property, septic tank maintenance, or if you feel there is an issue with your system, call OMDI now.

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