When On Chemotherapy Will It Affect Your Septic Tank? (TOP 5 Tips)

Chemotherapy drugs can kill the friendly bacteria in the tank. This can lead to sewage backups and even system failure. If you receive chemotherapy on a temporary basis for cancer treatment, plan to have the tank pumped soon after your scheduled treatment end date.

  • When high concentrations of chemo drugs enter the tank and surrounding soil, they kill the friendly bacteria, interfering with this natural process. If an excessive amount of good bacteria dies from exposure to chemotherapy drugs, the septic system can no longer function efficiently.

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.

Do you have to flush the toilet twice after chemo?

For 48 hours after receiving chemotherapy, patients and caregivers should follow these precautions: Flush toilets twice each time they are used. If possible, patients should use a separate toilet from others in the home. Always wash hands with soap and water after using the toilet.

What should you avoid with a septic system?

It’s important to protect your septic system by avoiding harmful household products. Here are the Top 6 items that you should NEVER put into your septic system. Don’t flush!

  • Disposable diapers.
  • Sanitary napkins or tampons.
  • Paper towels or bandages.
  • Dental floss.
  • Condoms.
  • Hair.
  • Cigarette butts.
  • Coffee grounds.

What causes septic tank problems?

Causes of septic system problems and potential failure: Roots in disposal field. Settling of septic tank. Driving over or parking on the disposal field. Animals on disposal field.

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?

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.

Do chemo patients smell?

Chemotherapy drugs have an odor. Some of them have a stronger odor than others. That odor may seem to follow you around because your own sense of smell is more sensitive than it normally would be. Other people may not be aware of an odor.

What should you not do after chemo?

9 things to avoid during chemotherapy treatment

  • Contact with body fluids after treatment.
  • Overextending yourself.
  • Infections.
  • Large meals.
  • Raw or undercooked foods.
  • Hard, acidic, or spicy foods.
  • Frequent or heavy alcohol consumption.
  • Smoking.

How long do chemo drugs stay in your body?

It generally takes about 48 to 72 hours for your body to break down and/or get rid of most chemo drugs.

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.

Can you pour milk down the drain if you have a septic tank?

If not the trash. A man who has a septic tank service told us to buy a gallon of whole milk and let it go bad a few days and flush it into the septic tank to feed the bacteria. He said to do this about once a month.

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!

How do I keep my septic system healthy?

Do’s and Don’ts when maintaining your septic system

  1. Regularly inspect and maintain your septic system.
  2. Pump your septic tank as needed.
  3. Keep your septic tank lids closed and secured.
  4. Be water-wise.
  5. Direct water from land and roof drains away from the drainfield.
  6. Landscape with love.
  7. Keep septic tank lids easily accessible.

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.

Septic Tanks Can Hold Dangerous Levels of Chemo Drugs

Receive articles, news, and videos about Systems/ATUs sent directly to your email! Now is the time to sign up. Systems/ATUs+ Receive Notifications Editor’s note: This piece is a direct sequel to “Could Your Septic Job Make You Sick?” published earlier this year. “The Problem With Medications and Septic Systems” is also linked to this topic. We’ve all heard about the dangers of secondhand smoking, but what about the dangers of secondhand chemotherapy? Cytotoxins are the medications that are used in certain types of chemotherapy to kill cancer cells.

Cytotoxins are toxic substances that can cause significant disease and even cancer in anyone who comes into touch with the bodily fluids of someone who is receiving chemotherapy.

In addition, the International Society of Oncology Pharmacy Practitioners has compiled a list of 34, and the World Health Organization recommends that human waste be collected for 48 hours after chemotherapy treatment is completed.

What happens, though, when patients return home after undergoing chemotherapy?

  1. In most cases, courses of therapy are administered at three- to four-week intervals.
  2. Following therapy, the patient excretes rather large levels of the cytotoxin in his or her urine and feces, as well as in vomit and perspiration, for two to three days after treatment.
  3. This trash may still contain enough of the harmful substance to destroy growing cells and/or induce mutations in all of the people who have come into contact with it.
  4. Patients can also acquire secondary tumors that don’t manifest themselves for several years after their first diagnosis.
  5. In a recent study of two cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, urine samples were obtained from their family members throughout the course of the first 48 hours following treatment.
  6. There is also a possibility that these cytotoxins will find their way into our drinking water supply.
  7. Another potential hazard is that the cytotoxins might reach significant concentrations in septic systems owing to a lack of dilution, causing the beneficial bacteria that are essential for the system’s normal operation.

The United States Pharmacopeia (USP) 800, a new federal rule on hazardous medication handling, will become effective in December 2019.

To do this, it will be necessary for patients undergoing certain types of chemotherapy to have their body fluids collected and properly disposed of rather than having them flushed down the toilets of households across the United States.

In situations where you will be working directly with sewage, such as when sampling or cleaning septic tanks, it is preferable to err on the side of caution and presume that the tank is potentially polluted.

She holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and a master’s degree in environmental science.

Her responsibilities include serving as the education chair for the Minnesota Onsite Wastewater Association and the National Onsite Wastewater Recycling Association, as well as serving on the National Science Foundation’s International Committee on Wastewater Treatment Systems.

Send an email to [email protected] if you have any concerns concerning septic system care and operation. Heger will respond as soon as possible.

The Problem With Medications and Septic Systems

Get articles, stories, and videos about Systems/ATUs delivered directly to your email. Make your registration right now. Systems/ATUs+ Receive Notifications. This post is a straight follow-up to “Could Your Septic Job Be Making You Sick?” published earlier this year. “The Problem with Medications and Septic Systems” is also linked to this topic. The dangers of secondhand smoking are well known, but what about the dangers of secondhand chemotherapy? Cytotoxins are medications that are used in some types of chemotherapy.

  1. Those who come into touch with the bodily fluids of someone who is having chemotherapy may suffer from significant disease, and in some cases cancer.
  2. In addition, the International Society of Oncology Pharmacy Practitioners has compiled a list of 34, and the World Health Organization recommends collecting human waste for 48 hours after chemotherapy treatment.
  3. When individuals return home after undergoing chemotherapy, however, what occurs is unclear.
  4. Treating patients in three- to four-week sessions is the standard procedure.
  5. A significant amount of the cytotoxin is excreted by the patient in their urine, feces, vomit and perspiration during the first two to three days following therapy.
  6. If this trash is still contaminated with the deadly substance, it has the potential to destroy growing cells and/or induce mutations in all those who come into contact with it.
  7. There is a possibility that patients will get other tumors that will not manifest for several years.

Two chemotherapy patients were studied recently, and the urine obtained from their family members was studied over the course of 48 hours following treatment.

These cytotoxins may potentially find their way into our drinking water supply, which would be a disaster.

Another potential hazard is that the cytotoxins might reach high concentrations in septic systems owing to a lack of dilution, causing the beneficial bacteria that are essential for the system’s normal operation.

A new federal rule on hazardous medication handling, known as USP 800, will go into effect in December of this year.

This will need the collection and correct disposal of body fluids from persons who are undergoing certain types of chemotherapy, rather of having them flushed down the toilets of houses across the United States and Canada.

In situations where you will be working directly with sewage, such as when sampling or cleaning septic tanks, it is best to err on the side of caution and assume that the tank is contaminated.

Sara Heger is an engineer, researcher, and instructor in the Onsite Sewage Treatment Program.

in civil engineering and works in the Water Resources Center.

Her responsibilities include serving as the education chair for the Minnesota Onsite Wastewater Association as well as the National Onsite Wastewater Recycling Association, as well as serving on the National Science Foundation International Committee on Wastewater Treatment Systems.

Send an email to [email protected] with your questions for Heger about septic system maintenance and operation.

  • In the previous 30 days, 48.9 percent of the population has used at least one prescription medication. It is estimated that around 23% of persons have taken three or more prescription medicines in the last 30 days. The usage of five or more prescription medicines in the last 30 days was reported by around 12 percent of persons.

Chemotherapy medications are effective and lifesaving therapies for cancer patients suffering from a variety of cancers. Chemotherapy interferes with the biological activities of rapidly developing cells and, when feasible, causes cell death in these cells. Fast-growing cells in a cancer patient are more likely to be cancer cells, hence they are the cell types that are most adversely affected by these medications. Other rapidly developing cells (for example, hair) are also impacted by this condition.

  • Many genotoxic medications are administered to cancer patients at near-lethal doses, either alone or in conjunction with other cytotoxic treatments, in order to cause overwhelming DNA alterations and, as a result, cell death.
  • According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, medicines are concentrated in the urine after being injected into patients.
  • There is no effect on the effectiveness of these medications whether they are found in the patient’s perspiration, vomit, urine, or feces.
  • The majority of biological waste is discharged into wastewater treatment facilities or septic systems, where it is partially decomposed and may cause harm to the beneficial bacteria in the treatment system.
  • Cytotoxic medicines are not limited to cancer treatment.
  • This implies that these medications are unable to discriminate between the patient and anybody else, even potentially helpful bacteria in our septic systems, when administered.
  • Many medications, including over-the-counter treatments, will not affect your septic system if used as directed by your doctor.
  • Due to the fact that chemotherapy medications are not studied for their effects on wastewater treatment, we are unable to predict which chemotherapy drugs may be troublesome.
  • Anaerobic bacteria are essential for the correct operation of the system because they digest part of the organic debris that enters the septic tank throughout its operation.
  • If the bacteria in the septic tank are decreased, sediments will collect in the tank more quickly, which can cause difficulties in the soil treatment area.

Pretreatment and soil treatment systems require aerobic bacteria to complete the treatment process; nevertheless, these bacteria might be negatively affected by the treatment process.

Steps to take

It is envisaged that a member of the household will be taking pharmaceuticals on a short-term basis (less than three months) following the treatment, the septic tank should heal. It will recover more rapidly if the tank is cleaned when the therapy is completed. Here are some recommendations for homeowners to consider if their medications, including chemotherapy treatments, will be taken for an extended period of time in order to maintain their septic systems. 1. Medications that have been used should never be flushed.

  • In recent years, many additional takeback initiatives have sprung up around the United States, frequently in conjunction with law enforcement, pharmacies, or hospitals, who would then dispose of the medications.
  • Reduce the use of other chemicals that kill bacteria, such as antibacterial soap, drain cleaners, quaternary ammonia, cleansers, and bleach, because these compounds cause the bacteria in the system to become more stressed.
  • Following the implementation of a new treatment program, the septic tank should be inspected to ensure that it is running normally.
  • There is no clear zone or visible solids in the clear zone, which indicates that the bacteria in the tank is in a state of disruption.
  • a septic tank with three levels, as well as an effluent filter with a warning system 4.
  • Due to the loss of helpful bacteria in the septic tank, it may be necessary to pump the tank more often in order to eliminate particles that are building quickly.
  • A holding tank may be required in the event that the septic tank becomes too toxic to use while the prescribed treatment is being carried out. After pumping, fill the septic tank with clean water to dilute the amounts of the medications when the system is restarted. It may be required to make certain design alterations in order to safeguard the pretreatment or soil treatment area. These modifications might include the installation of an effluent screen, which is installed on the outflow of the septic tank in order to minimize the amount of particles that depart the tank. If the septic tank is in distress, it will be necessary to clean the effluent screen on a regular basis. Because it will alert you when the filter needs to be cleaned, an alarm is an essential component of your effluent filter installation. The use of an effluent screen is particularly beneficial in the case of anticipated hair loss since it prevents hair from being washed into the septic system. Hair has the potential to remain suspended in wastewater and be transported to the drainfield, where it might clog the soil and cause the drainfield to collapse. Other possible design modifications include the inclusion of more septic tanks or the installation of a pretreatment equipment in order to attempt to break down the pollutants through increased detention time or aeration.
See also:  Why Do Mushrooms Grow Where A Septic Tank Is?

a little about the author: Sara Heger, Ph.D., is an engineer, researcher, and lecturer in the Onsite Sewage Treatment Program at the University of Minnesota’s Water Resources Center. She holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and a master’s degree in environmental science. She has given presentations at several local and national training events on topics such as the design, installation, and administration of septic systems, as well as research in the related field. Her responsibilities include serving as the education chair for the Minnesota Onsite Wastewater Association and the National Onsite Wastewater Recycling Association, as well as serving on the National Science Foundation’s International Committee on Wastewater Treatment Systems.

Send an email to [email protected] if you have any concerns concerning septic system care and operation. Heger will respond as soon as possible.

Can medications harm my septic system?

If someone in your household has been taking drugs for a lengthy period of time, you may want to consider having your septic tank pumped more frequently to keep it running smoothly. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, 25 percent of all residences in the United States are equipped with a septic system, a decentralized cluster system, or some comparable non-municipal onsite wastewater facility. It is estimated that 1.6 million Michigan houses, or 43 percent of the state’s total, are equipped with a septic system or are connected to an onsite wastewater system.

  • Consistent maintenance and frequent inspections are the most effective ways to keep a septic tank or other onsite wastewater system in good working order.
  • Chemicals used in the home on a regular basis might interfere with the biological action of your home wastewater treatment system.
  • In order to properly decompose organic waste and clean the water that is discharged into the soil for filtering, both anaerobic and aerobic bacteria must be present in the tank or field.
  • These chemicals can interfere with the biological function in your tank and drain field, causing the tank and drain field to fill with solids at a faster rate.
  • Some precautions to take in order to avoid an expensive failure and probable replacement are as follows:
  • Only human excrement and toilet paper should be flushed down the toilet, period. Cleaning with home chemicals should be kept to a bare minimum. Avoid using chlorine bleach in your washing machine or just use little amounts of it. If someone in your home is undergoing chemotherapy or antibiotic treatment for a lengthy period of time, you should have your tank pumped more often. Inquire with your pumper about refilling your tank with new water to neutralize any remaining drugs after it has been pumped. Take any surplus or unused chemicals, cleansers, or prescriptions to your local household hazardous waste or medication collection program, and dispose of them properly.

‘It is vital to remember that most general prescriptions and normal over-the-counter medications would not impact our septic or wastewater system,’ writes Sara Heger, Ph.D. in thePumper Magazine. Some chemotherapy medications, on the other hand, either do not break down quickly or can cause harm to any creature, or they concentrate in the urine. Increasing the amount of water used or increasing the number of flushes can help dilute the medicine in your septic system. In order to obtain further information on Michigan Septic System Education, please contact Beth Clawson, an MSU Extension Educator.

By searching for “Natural Resources” or “Water Quality” in the “Find an Expert” search function on the MSU Extension website, you may get in touch with an educator.

Additional resources:

It is vital to highlight that the majority of general prescriptions and normal over-the-counter medications would not impact our septic or wastewater system, according to Sara Heger, Ph.D. in thePumper Magazine. Some chemotherapy medications, on the other hand, are either difficult to break down or have the potential to harm any creature. It is possible to dilute the medicine in your septic system by adding more water or flushing it more often. MSU Extension Educator Beth Clawson can provide further information about the Michigan Septic System Education program.

The terms “Natural Resources” and “Water Quality” can be used to locate an educator using MSU Extension’s “Find an Expert” search engine.

What the Literature Says

According to the Chemotherapy and Immunotherapy Guidelines and Recommendations for Practice, patients should flush body waste down a toilet that is linked to either a sewer or a septic tank for 48 hours after having chemotherapy while the lid is down to prevent infection. There is no distinction made between septic tank disposal and other methods of disposal. All drugs, including chemotherapy agents, have a terminal half-life (i.e., the length of time it takes for chemicals to effectively lose half their potency), which may be used to estimate how long a treatment will be effective before it begins to decline in effectiveness.

Most agents will have enough time to degrade and lose their efficacy in a septic system’s filtering and separation process before they are discharged into the soil.

As water gently rises from the subsurface to the surface of the earth, the soil eliminates dangerous pollutants, germs, and viruses from the environment.

What This Means for Oncology Nurses

Oncology nurses are not required or expected to be knowledgeable with the workings of septic systems or sewage lines, at least not in the short term. Nurses, on the other hand, may share knowledge and recommendations with patients, allowing them to be more protected against unintended contamination as frontline resources. As a reminder, if patients or family members are concerned about safety issues related to chemotherapy waste in a septic system, oncology nurses can remind them to flush appropriately, leave the toilet lid closed for 48 hours after receiving chemotherapy, wash their hands as well as any potentially contaminated areas and make sure that any pregnant women, children, or pets do not come into contact with chemotherapy or potentially contaminated waste.

Your Septic System is Affected By Medications, Chemotherapy and Prescriptions.

Our bodies contain a plethora of bacteria, some of which are beneficial, some of which are harmful, and many of which have no impact on us at all. However, despite the fact that these minuscule organisms rule and alter our environment, we seldom give them a second thought. That is, until something goes terribly wrong. This holds true for both the bacteria found in our bodies and the microorganisms found in our septic systems. And many people forget that everything travels through your body will unavoidably enter your septic system, where it will have a significant impact on the efficiency with which your system functions.

We seldom consider or even realize that the human body does not entirely break down prescription medicines, which means that these chemicals might wind up in your septic system if not properly handled.

What happens when prescription drugs enter my septic system?

The understanding of what occurs when prescribed medications enter a sewer system begins with an understanding of how prescribed medications operate in the first place. In 2016, over one million Canadians sacrificed empty shopping bags and cooler homes in order to pay for prescription medications. In late 2017, academics from the University of British Columbia and the University of Toronto collaborated with scholars from a number of other schools to perform a study that revealed the findings.

Of particular importance is the fact that many of these prescription drugs function by combating alien germs and viruses.

Let’s take a deeper look at chemotherapy, which is one of the most effective therapies available:

Chemotherapy and your Septic System

Chemotherapy is the use of medications to the treatment of cancer in humans and nonhuman animals. The majority of chemotherapy treatments make use of a class of medications known as cytotoxic agents. These include compounds that are poisonous to cells, preventing them from reproducing or growing properly. As cytotoxic medications circulate in the bloodstream, they either halt the growth of rapidly developing cells or, when feasible, completely eradicate these cells. This may be a very good thing in cancer patients since quickly developing cells are frequently cancer cells, which makes this a very good thing.

  • As chemotherapy medications circulate through the bloodstream, a significant amount of them is broken down by the patient’s body.
  • Beyond the great harm that pharmaceuticals like those in the cytotoxic subclass may cause to the body of their patients, one of the major problems is that these prescription treatments are not cancer-specific.
  • This is terrible news for your septic system, which relies on the assistance of bacteria to break down the sewage from your home as well as other sorts of organic debris that makes its way into the holding tank.
  • However, the presence of these anaerobic bacteria is critical to the proper operation of a septic system.

In more complicated systems, such as aerobic septic systems, the aerobic bacteria that are required to complete the treatment process might be adversely affected as well.

Can all prescription drugs affect my septic system?

It is inevitable that we will all become ill from time to time, and let us be honest: when you become severely ill, there is nothing that you desire or care about other than to get better. The health of your septic system is probably not the first thing that comes to mind when you think about it. Antibiotic usage by one or two persons in a family dwelling on a periodic basis will not cause any damage to your septic system or drain field, which is fortunate in this case. So if you’ve caught the flu or have an infection and have been prescribed medication for a few days, there’s no reason to get too worried about it.

  1. The most important factor here is potency.
  2. In fact, this holds true regardless of whether we’re talking about bleach, detergents, or prescription medications.
  3. We’ve concentrated our attention in this article on chemotherapy treatments – specifically, on a subset of medications known as cytotoxic drugs – since these sorts of therapies aggressively seek out and kill rapidly developing cancer cells.
  4. Furthermore, it is highly typical to be prescribed a chemotherapy treatment or antibiotic in an exceedingly high dosage, but other prescription prescriptions are only ever used in little amounts (for example contraception or medication to ease anxiety or depression).
  5. Occasionally, both are true.
See also:  What Should You Do With An Abandoned Septic Tank? (TOP 5 Tips)

What steps can I take to reduce the effect?

A few days of high-potency medicine every now and then will not put an undue strain on your septic system’s ability to function properly. However, if someone in your household is required to take very effective medications for a period of several weeks or months, it’s critical to start thinking about other ways of septic system maintenance. The quickest and most straightforward thing to do right now is to contact your local septic system specialist and inform them of the problem. They will almost always be able to introduce more bacteria into your system in order to maintain it running smoothly.

According to standard operating procedures, septic systems need to be pumped once every three years.

When the bacteria are not able to break down solid waste as quickly as they should, the system will need to be pumped more frequently: every two years, for example, in order to keep it running properly.

  1. Be cautious about how you discard any unused drugs. If you no longer require your drugs, first and foremost, congratulations! In addition, avoid dumping or spilling your remaining drugs down the toilet or down the sink. Get in touch with your local pharmacy instead
  2. They should be able to take them off your hands and dispose of the medications properly.
  1. Keep in mind that your septic system is a live environment for creatures.

As a result of pharmaceutical medicines making their way into your system, you may already be dealing with restricted bacteria. The last thing you want to do is destroy even more of these beneficial germs. So be mindful of what you’re flushing down the toilet or washing down the sink. It has already been established that chemicals and toxins such as bleach and disinfectants may have a significant negative impact on the health and amount of bacteria in your septic system.

Some Great Household Tips To Keep Your Septic System Running Efficiently:

Wastewater discharge has been identified as a significant source of a variety of medicines, including their metabolites, that end up in aquatic habitats. Depending on the physicochemical features of the pharmaceutical and the type of treatment technology used, pharmaceuticals can be removed at rates ranging from less than 10 percent to over 100 percent in wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs). In addition to patient usage in the community, discharges from hospitals and, in certain situations, effluent from pharmaceutical manufacture are also potential sources of human medicines in the sewage.

  • According to estimates, the Yangtze River in China conveys sewage from 400 million people out to sea while also releasing an estimated 152 tonnes of medicines every year into the watershed.
  • Ships, including cruise liners, are permitted to discharge treated sewage into the sea up to 4 nautical miles from the nearest shore (under Annex IV of MARPOL 73/78 ships) and up to 12 nautical miles from the nearest land (under MARPOL 73/78 ships).
  • However, sewage effluents from tiny boats may not be treated prior to being discharged because of the little space available.
  • Kookana and colleagues (Kookana et al., current issue) describe how many big cities in Asia continue to rely on septic tanks with poorly managed septage, which can contaminate surface and groundwater with pharmaceuticals and ultimately be released into coastal waterways.
  • In a coastal aquifer in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula that has been injected with municipal sewage discharges, pharmaceuticals have been found to be present.
  • Septic tanks and small decentralized systems for sewage treatment and disposal are used in rural and peri-urban locations across the world, including major seaside vacation destinations.

These systems, depending on their treatment efficacy and the capacity of the local soils, have the potential to be a source of pharmaceuticals in coastal waters through leakage into ground and surface waters. In addition,

How Do Chemotherapy Drugs Affect Septic Systems? – A-­1 Pumping Service and Drain Cleaning

Many chemotherapy medications are classed as cytotoxins, which means they cause cell death. The drugs are intended to increase the effects of radiation and surgery, to remove tumors, to reduce metastases, and to alleviate cancer symptoms; nevertheless, they have the potential to make patients unwell as well. In addition, large quantities of cytotoxins in solid and liquid waste, as well as vomit, contribute to the development of septic system complications. Whether you or a loved one has recently begun a chemotherapy drug regimen and you rely on a septic tank at home, you should understand how the medication affects this fragile system and what you can do to safeguard it.

How Do Chemotherapy DrugsSeptic Systems Interact?

Sludge is formed in your septic tank as a result of the natural breakdown of solid waste by bacterial enzymes in the tank. Additionally, beneficial bacteria are found in leach field soil, which helps to enhance natural wastewater filtration and, as a result, groundwater preservation. In the tank and surrounding soil, when excessive quantities of chemo medicines enter, they kill the beneficial bacteria, interfering with this naturally occurring process. If an excessive quantity of beneficial bacteria dies as a result of exposure to chemotherapy medications, the septic system will be unable to operate properly any more.

If the amounts of cytotoxins are high enough, they may even pollute groundwater.

What Can You Do to Protect Your System?

Remove cytotoxins from the soil and septic tank as soon as possible once your treatment is completed to lower the quantity of cytotoxins in the tank and soil, especially if it has been more than two years since the tank was last cleaned. Maintaining a healthy level of tank bacteria requires caution when flushing items down the toilet. Contaminants such as coffee grounds, household chemicals, and cigarette butts can all impair the enzymes’ ability to perform their functions. If it’s time to have your septic tank serviced, call A-1 Pumping Service and Drain Cleaning to ensure that this vital system continues to operate at peak performance levels.

More information may be obtained by contacting the BBB®-accredited company at (706) 272-3352 or by visiting the team online.

Chemo drugs and septic tanks: Pollution or covered loss?

Chemotherapy drugs are prescribed. (Photo courtesy of Shutterstock) FC S Expert Coverage Interpretation, the acknowledged authority on insurance coverage interpretation and analysis for the professional services industry, provides this report. For more information — or to discover how to obtain answers to YOUR coverage questions — please visit this page. Question: In his all-risk policy, our insured asserts that after his wife completed chemotherapy, his septic system was rendered inoperable.

  • The adjuster feels that the following general exclusion applies in this case: “We do not pay for loss coming directly or indirectly from.
  • What are your opinions on the matter?
  • After conducting some study, it was discovered that chemotherapy medications discharged in human waste are a well-known concern that can have a harmful impact on the operations of septic tanks.
  • So the remaining chemo medicines that made their way into the septic tank and killed the beneficial bacteria, resulting in the tank no longer functioning, would be excluded as a cause of loss under the pollution exclusion.

I’m not sure if wear and tear would be included as well; it would all depend on the state of the tank itself, I suppose. Related:

  • Pollution liability coverage and exclusions might be difficult to understand. An examination of the environmental dangers that property owners face
  • Putting the deceased to rest

Impact of Medicine, Antibiotics and Chemotherapy on Septic Systems

Medications are an inescapable and crucial element of contemporary living, and for many of us, they are a part of our regular lives. Despite the fact that pharmaceuticals, particularly antibiotics, can cause damage to wastewater systems, we now have simple and proven methods of preventing this damage.

How medications impact septic systems

Due to the fact that our bodies are incapable of completely metabolizing drugs, they are transported through our body waste and end up in wastewater treatment systems. These aren’t as dangerous in an urban setting with a big wastewater treatment plant, but they might cause problems in your home’s onsite wastewater treatment system if you continue to use medications on a regular basis. Antibiotics and chemotherapy treatments are among the most powerful pharmaceuticals available. Some antibiotics and chemotherapy pills are either especially intended to kill germs or contain cytotoxic chemicals that kill or prevent bacteria from multiplying.

Antibiotic drugs and chemicals in high quantities can kill or limit the growth of beneficial microorganisms in your system, which are essential for its normal operation and health.

Medications that impact septic systems

When it comes to cold, flu, and cough drugs purchased over-the-counter, the vast majority will not have a significant influence on your wastewater treatment system. Medications and treatments that will have an influence on your system include the ones listed below.

  • Antibiotics, antibacterials, chemotherapy medications, dialysis effluent, and other such substances

How to safeguard your system when using medication

Having to be concerned about your septic system when you’re sick and getting medical treatment is the last thing you want to be thinking about. The following are a number of simple actions you may take to help minimize the negative impact of medical treatment.

  • Having to be concerned about your septic system when you’re sick and getting medical treatment is the last thing you need. Simple efforts you may take to reduce the negative effects of medical therapy are outlined below.
  • Having to be concerned about your septic system when you’re sick and getting medical treatment is the last thing you need. Here are a number of simple actions you may take to reduce the negative effects of your medical therapy.
  • Increase the amount of upkeep. Depending on your medical treatment, you may need to pump out your tank more regularly or bring a pump out forward once your therapy is completed. To offset the effects of medicine while using EcoCare Activator, you can increase your normal dosage by a factor of two.

Please get in contact with us if you would like to learn more about how we can assist you. Here’s what some of our satisfied, long-term clients had to say about us. We have been using the product in our septic system for more than 15 years. We have only had our system pumped out once during that time period, and the pumping company stated that our system was the cleanest they had ever seen. Gerry Kelly is a well-known Irish actor. It’s fantastic, and I use it to clean everything. As a result of being assured that it was really healthful, we have been using it for 11 years and have only pumped it once.

EcoCare is used on both of our septic systems, which are both in good working order.

This is a fantastic product.

Provides the solution that we desire in a timely and straightforward manner. There is no mess, no trouble, and no smell; in fact, the odour from our grease trap is completely eliminated. It has been a decade or more since our system has been pumped. Larry Greetham is a well-known actor.

Chemo, Septic Systems and Superfund Sites

Probably the last thing anyone wants to think about while through chemotherapy is their sewage system. If you reside in a rural region, on the other hand, having advice on how to properly care for your septic system can be quite beneficial. Because I live far away from metropolitan facilities such as sewage systems, I have always made an effort to take good care of my septic system, which includes anything from flushing just a little quantity of biodegradable toilet paper to utilizing septic-safe cleaning products.

  • One issue I did not investigate as well as I should have was how to care for a septic system while undergoing chemotherapy.
  • The staff in the chemo unit were completely unconcerned the first day I was injected with chemotherapy.
  • The following is what I wrote in my journal: “Close lid, flush three times.” “Get out of the plumbing business!
  • Once I regained consciousness, though, I began to be concerned about the consequences of chemotherapy on septic systems.
  • Is the yard the same as it was before?
  • Near where I live, there is an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Superfund site where a company had been active in the town for a long period of time before being shut down.
  • Over the years, most of the damage has been mitigated, but not completely.

When I observe wild ducks paddling in a creek on the other side of the fence, I’m always concerned about their well- being.

These crows are already flying into the Superfund site.

I’m concerned about the wild grapes that have sprouted on my side of the boundary fence.

No, it is not the case.

There is no sign that the yard has been harmed.

While septic systems produce their own bacteria, it is possible that additional supplements will need to be added to the mix.

In the event that the chemo has an adverse effect on the ecology, further pumping may be required.

See also:  Where Is A Septic Tank Dosing Tank? (Solution)

To make sure you don’t forget anything when surviving cancer, make a list of all the things you need to do before you finish anything else on your list.

Make yourself available to the people that do septic system maintenance. Inform them of your chemo treatment. The bottom line is that if you live in a rural region like I do, you should be a little more proactive in your upkeep.

Body fluids & chemotherapy

It’s possible that the last thing anyone wants to think about during chemotherapy is their toilets and drains. For those who reside in rural areas, however, seeking assistance on how to properly maintain your septic system might be beneficial. Because I live far away from metropolitan facilities such as sewage systems, I have always made an effort to take good care of my septic system, which includes anything from flushing just a little quantity of biodegradable toilet paper to utilizing septic-safe cleaning supplies.

  • When it came to caring for a septic system while undergoing chemotherapy, I did not do the research I should have.
  • When I arrived at the chemo unit, the staff were completely unconcerned.
  • It was written in my journal: “Close lid, flush three times.” “Exit the plumbing business immediately.
  • My septic system is serviced on a regular basis, however throughout chemotherapy, I did not consider seeking extra guidance.
  • I still find myself staring at the drain field on some days, even now.
  • How well are the trees doing in terms of growth?
  • Walking along a rails-to-trail path through the land, which is still gated off from the rest of society, usually draws my attention to the deserted acres.

It is nevertheless recommended to avoid certain activities such as fishing in a nearby river.

The wild turkeys that do not understand how to read signs that state “Keep Out” are a source of concern for me.

In the overgrown woods, I’m concerned about all of the creatures that scrounge for food.

Are the conditions in my yard comparable to those of a Superfund facility?

True to its name, wildflowers are abundant in the woodland region.

But, even though my traditional techniques proved to be beneficial, I still wish I had spent more time researching the effects of chemotherapy on septic systems.

While undergoing chemo, I unwittingly erred on the side of caution because that has always been my approach.

Professional advice is required to determine what should be done and when.

Give your septic system’s service technicians a chance to work on it. Share your experience with them regarding your chemo treatment. The bottom line is that if you live in a rural region like I do, you should be a little more proactive when it comes to maintaining your property.

  • For the first 7 days following the conclusion of therapy, gloves should be used when emptying pans and urinals. When disposing of waste (urine, vomit, feces), flush it down the toilet with a full flush to eliminate the waste. It is recommended that colostomy bags be double bagged and deposited immediately into the wheelie bin. Wearing gloves and wiping the area off with either a flushable toilet wipe or paper towels that can be placed directly into the trash is recommended if pee or vomit has been spilled on the floor. Using water and a neutral detergent, thoroughly clean the area. Regularly clean the toilet, and if any bodily fluids come into touch with any surface, follow the instructions below:
  • Make certain that you are wearing a pair of gloves (preferably disposable gloves)
  • Use toilet paper to wipe up after yourself, and then flush the contents down the toilet with a complete flush
  • Using a disposable sponge, clean the area well with water and household detergent. Place the used gloves and sponge in two separate plastic bags. Tie the bag’s ends together to keep it closed. Place the bag in the wheeled trash can

Put on a pair of disposable gloves to protect your hands from any harm. After cleaning up with toilet paper, flush the contents down the toilet with a full flush. Disposable sponges should be used to clean the area once it has been cleaned with water and household detergent. Close and seal two plastic bags with the discarded gloves and sponge; By tying the bag’s ends together, it will be secure. Place the bag in the wheeled garbage can.

  • When working with infected clothing or linen, put on a pair of disposable gloves. If you are unable to wash the things right away, store them in a plastic bag for a brief amount of time. Place the clothes in the washing machine with the detergent, separate from the other linen, and wash for one complete cycle. Placing old gloves inside two plastic bags is a good idea. Tie the bag’s ends together to keep the contents inside. Place the bag in the wheeled trash can

When handling infected clothing or linen, put on a pair of disposable gloves. Place your belongings in a plastic bag for a few hours if you are unable to wash them right away. Separate the clothes from the other linen and wash them for one full cycle in the washing machine with detergent. Use two plastic bags to store your used gloves. By tying the bag’s ends together, it will remain sealed. Place the bag in the wheeled garbage can.

  • Place the goods in two plastic bags. 2.Seal the bag by tying the two ends together. Place the bag in the wheeled trash can

Septic tankscomposting toilets

Septic tanks can be used to dispose of cytotoxic waste, which is permissible under certain conditions. Maintenance staff who do septic tank maintenance should be made aware that cytotoxic waste has been disposed of in the tank. If you are still unclear, please consult with your tank manufacturer. If you have a composting toilet, it is recommended that you speak with the manufacturer for more instructions.

How do drugs affect an on-site septic system?

The home in question is an older one that has been in the same family for more than two decades and has been occupied by a single lady. The house was passed down to her son, who moved in after her death from cancer a few years ago. The septic system broke not long after, and it was necessary to replace it. Several individuals feel that the woman’s cancer drugs, which she took and subsequently flushed, contributed to the septic system’s failure by speeding up the process. Experts in the industry believe that the medications were not the only cause of the incident, particularly given the fact that the same drain field had been in use for many years.

  • The average lifespan of a home’s roof is around 30 years.
  • Septic systems, like all other systems, have a limited lifespan.” The waste disposal option of choice for thousands of houses is the soil absorption septic system.
  • Because to the presence of bedrock, sandy soil, and high water tables, only 32 percent of all septic systems in existence satisfy the criteria for sufficient soil absorption.
  • The septic tank serves as a holding tank for solid waste, allowing it to settle out.
  • The comparatively clean layer in the center of the water column is referred to as effluent.
  • When wastewater reaches the drain field, it percolates down through the gravel bed and is killed by a huge percentage of the pathogens.
  • As the effluent departs the drain field, it is treated by the natural soil, which completes the process.
  • In Knopf’s opinion, “what occurs in the septic tank is a lovely thing.” “Everyone of these small creatures is collaborating on something great.

Everything going on in there is quite robust, and it will continue to exist.” When it comes to septic systems, Jim vonMeier, the owner of the helpful website septicprotector.com, recommends that homeowners have their septic contractor inspect the system in the beginning to establish a baseline of how the system is operating because they can tell when a system is “cooking” properly.

  • “Take, for example, antibiotics.
  • Whenever you go to the bathroom, you are flushing those antibiotics down the toilet and into your septic system, where they destroy the ‘good’ bacteria in the tank and the surrounding soil.
  • To give an example, Kitsap County mandates that every developed property with an on-site sewage system have the system examined and assessed by the Kitsap County Health District before the land may be transferred to a new owner.
  • “It’s basic knowledge that dilution is the most effective way to combat pollution,” Knopf added.
  • Patients undergoing renal dialysis in Washington State, for example, are permitted to construct a tiny drain field specifically for that purpose.

It corresponds to a recent CNN report on the advantages of living in the country, which includes improved rental opportunities.

Chemo Drugs and Your Septic Tank

The insured is covered under an all-risk insurance. He asserts that after his wife completed chemotherapy, his septic system was rendered inoperable by the treatment. It is his contention that the chemicals discharged in body fluids destroyed the bacteria in the system, necessitating the replacement of the system. As a general exclusion, according to the adjuster, “We do not pay for loss that is directly or indirectly caused by: Chemical or Biological.” It doesn’t matter how much damage or loss is inflicted; this exclusion applies to all losses that are carried out or produced by the dissemination or application of pathogenic or dangerous biological or chemical materials,” which means that the loss isn’t covered by the insurance policy.

He also considers that the exclusion for wear and tear and degradation applies.

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Tom Kelly: How do drugs affect an on-site septic system

One of my friends has an older home in his lakefront neighborhood that has been occupied by a single woman for more than two decades. I’d want to see it. The house was passed down to her son, who moved in after her death from cancer a few years ago. The septic system broke not long after, and it was necessary to replace it. Several individuals believe the woman’s cancer drugs, which she took and subsequently flushed, contributed to the septic system’s collapse by speeding up the process. Experts in the industry believe that the medications were not the only cause of the incident, particularly given the fact that the same drain field had been in use for many years.

  • The average lifespan of a home’s roof is around 30 years.
  • Septic systems, like all other systems, have a limited lifespan.” According to the Environmental Protection Agency, a soil absorption septic system is used to dispose of waste in around 30% of all houses.
  • Because to the presence of bedrock, sandy soil, and high water tables, only 32 percent of all septic systems in existence satisfy the criteria for sufficient soil absorption.
  • The septic tank serves as a holding tank for solid waste, allowing it to settle out.
  • The comparatively clean layer in the center of the water column is referred to as effluent.
  • When wastewater reaches the drain field, it percolates down through the gravel bed and is killed by a huge percentage of the pathogens.
  • As the effluent departs the drain field, it is treated by the natural soil, which completes the process.
  • In Knopf’s opinion, “what occurs in the septic tank is a lovely thing.” “Everyone of these small creatures is collaborating on something great.

Everything going on in there is quite robust, and it will continue to exist.” Jim vonMeier, the owner of the helpful websites septicprotector.com and septicprotector.net, advises homeowners to have their septic contractor inspect the system at the start of the season to get a baseline of how the system is operating.

“Some of the medications that patients take might have a bad influence on their septic system,” vonMeier explained.

Whenever you go to the bathroom, you are flushing those antibiotics down the toilet and into your septic system, where they destroy the ‘good’ bacteria in the tank and the surrounding soil.

For example, some counties require that any built property with an on-site sewage system be examined and reviewed by the county’s health agency prior to the land being conveyed to a new owner before the property may be transferred.

“It’s basic knowledge that dilution is the most effective way to combat pollution,” Knopf added.

Patients undergoing renal dialysis in Washington state, for example, are permitted to construct a tiny drain field specifically for that purpose. Simply said, it all depends on where you are and what you’re up against.”

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