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 should you never put in a septic system?
- In an ideal situation, the only thing that would enter a septic tank is what comes out of your body and any very tiny food scraps that might make it past a kitchen sink strainer. That’s all you should ever put in a septic system. Mother Nature then takes over inside the tank.
What should you avoid with a septic tank?
You should not put these items into your commode:
- Cat litter.
- Coffee grounds.
- Cigarette butts.
- Dental floss.
- Disposable diapers.
- 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.
What kills a septic tank?
The most common septic tank failures happen when septic bacteria and enzymes are killed off by harsh household cleaning chemicals. The bacteria can be destroyed by large doses of toxic substances like liquid bleach, disinfectant cleaners, or drain cleaners.
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.
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.
Can I use bleach if I 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 do you know if your septic is full?
Here are some of the most common warning signs that you have a full septic tank:
- Your Drains Are Taking Forever.
- Standing Water Over Your Septic Tank.
- Bad Smells Coming From Your Yard.
- You Hear Gurgling Water.
- You Have A Sewage Backup.
- How often should you empty your septic tank?
How do I keep my septic tank healthy?
Do’s and Don’ts when maintaining your septic system
- Regularly inspect and maintain your septic system.
- Pump your septic tank as needed.
- Keep your septic tank lids closed and secured.
- Be water-wise.
- Direct water from land and roof drains away from the drainfield.
- Landscape with love.
- Keep septic tank lids easily accessible.
How do I increase bacteria in my septic tank?
Flush a packet of brewer’s dry yeast down one toilet on the bottom floor of your house once a month. The yeast will help add “good” bacteria to your septic tank and break down waste.
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!
Is Tide laundry detergent septic safe?
Is Tide Laundry Detergent safe for my septic tank? Using normal, recommended amounts of these products will not disturb the septic system (including aerated systems) or damage plumbing systems with a properly functioning septic tank. All of our cleaning products are safe for use in a properly functioning septic system.
Is Tide powder safe for septic?
According to Procter and Gamble, Tide laundry detergents have been evaluated and are safe to use in homes with septic tanks. When used in recommended amounts, Tide laundry detergent will not disturb septic systems nor will it damage properly functioning septic systems.
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.
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.
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 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.
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 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 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:
- 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
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.
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
- 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!
Many people who have septic tanks are unaware of what they may and cannot flush down their toilets or down their sinks. It may come as a surprise to find just how delicate septic tanks are, and how many common household goods can cause harm to and/or block your septic tank if you don’t know what you’re doing. By keeping these things out from your drains, you can maintain your septic tank in good shape and avoid costly septic repairs down the road. Chemical Cleaners are a type of cleaning agent that uses chemicals to remove dirt and grime.
- You may disturb the bacteria cycle in your septic tank by pouring anti-bacterial cleansers like bleach down your drains and down your toilets.
- Additives Several septic tank additives make the promise that they will enhance the amount of bacteria in your septic system.
- The Environmental Protection Agency and the American Ground Water Trust, on the other hand, warn that chemical additions may cause more harm than good to your tank.
- Using Bath Oils Oil floats to the top of your septic tank, where it congeals and hardens to produce a layer of scum on the surface.
- It has the ability to withstand bacterial activity and embed in the solid waste layer.
- Grease from the kitchen Grease of any kind contributes to the buildup of scum in your septic tank.
- Unless otherwise instructed, you should avoid dumping oil down your sinks.
In addition, dryer papers might jam the entrance baffle.
Over time, the clay will clog your pipes and cause your septic tank to fail completely.
Products Made of Latex The majority of latex-based products are not biodegradable.
If the outlet tee is missing, the latex may clog the drain field on its way out of your septic tank, causing it to back up and choke the tank.
Paints and oils are two types of media.
In order to maintain your soil and groundwater free of diseases, you must have this bacterium on hand.
Prescription medications and chemotherapy medications Even after passing through a patient’s digestive system, powerful medications may still retain active ingredients that are harmful to them.
If possible, avoid allowing drug-contaminated faeces to enter your home’s septic tank.
Some prescription medications have the potential to be harmful to the environment.
Chemicals for Automatic Toilet Cleaning Systems Automatic toilet cleaners release an excessive amount of anti-bacterial chemicals into your septic tank, causing it to overflow.
Instead, choose toilet cleansers that are suitable for septic systems.
Even minute amounts of string, on the other hand, can clog and ruin pump impellers.
In a period of time, it will encircle a pump and cause harm to your septic tank’s mechanical components.
Your tank is only capable of holding a specific amount of domestic water; it cannot accommodate big volumes of water from a pool or roof drain.
Don’t use your sinks or toilets as garbage cans; this is against the law.
Put your trash in the garbage to prevent having to pay extra in pump-out fees.
Young children, on the other hand, may be unable to comprehend how toilets function.
Rather than degrading, the clothing are likely to block your septic tank.
Butts for Cigarettes Cigarette filters have the potential to choke the tank.
For a comprehensive list of potentially dangerous goods, consult your septic tank owner’s handbook or consult with a specialist.
If possible, avoid flushing non-biodegradable goods down the toilet or down the drain. You will save money on costly repairs and you will extend the life of your tank by taking these precautions.
Top 10 products to avoid using when you have a septic tank
What you let to enter your septic tank will have a direct influence on the efficiency and lifetime of the tank itself. Bacteria exist in your septic system, and they perform an important part in the system by digesting the organic waste that enters it. As a result, it is your responsibility to avoid flushing anything down the toilet that might potentially harm the beneficial bacteria. Try to avoid flushing anything that can be disposed of properly in the garbage as a general rule of thumb However, to make it even obvious, here are the top 10 home goods that should be avoided if you have a septic tank.
Fabric softeners are a terrible choice for septic system owners because of the way they operate on a fundamental level of operation. They accomplish this by introducing slimy chemicals into clothing in order to soften the textiles. These slimy molecules are referred to as quats (quaternary ammonium compounds), and they have been shown to be effective against bacteria. Also included in the formulation is an acid-base mixture that is intended to regulate pH levels while washing in order to increase absorption.
Fabric softeners become poisonous to bacteria as a result of the presence of all of these substances, and you should avoid using them.
Latex materials are typically non-biodegradable, and as a result, they should be avoided while flushing the toilet. This implies that latex products will not be digested by the bacteria and will only be eliminated at the time of the next pumping session. In certain instances, the latex may even make its way into the drain field, causing the system to become clogged and ineffective. According to popular belief, latex condoms are only constructed from the material of rubber. Truth be told, certain synthetic components are also added to make them stronger and thinner, although this is not well known.
Medicines are goods that should not be flushed down the toilet if you have a septic system in your home. Never succumb to the temptation of dumping leftover medications down the toilet. Pharmaceutical goods have the potential to disrupt the bacterial equilibrium in a septic tank, resulting in septic tank failure. The compounds included in medications are also capable of leaking through the drain field and harming the groundwater. This is actually a pretty typical occurrence in today’s society.
Instead of flushing your medications down the toilet, take use of accessible take-back disposal services.
Even from the name, it is clear that antibacterial soap is a product that has been particularly created to fight bacteria. If you pour this sort of soap down your drain, it will accomplish exactly what it says on the label – it will destroy the beneficial bacteria in your septic system.
To avoid this, simply wash your hands with regular soap. Natural disinfectants such as lime juice can also be used in place of antibacterial soaps to keep your home clean.
Heavy metals such as zinc, chromium, silver, cadmium, and even titanium are included in the majority of cosmetic items. The septic tank becomes contaminated with some of these metals when you wash these cosmetics off in the sink. The fact that these metals are not biodegradable means that they will ultimately exit the septic tank in their original condition and wind up poisoning groundwater sources. Cosmetics, as a result, are among the most crucial goods to avoid while using a septic system.
Pipe corrosion is a result of the use of drain cleaners, which not only destroy germs in the septic system, but they also erode the pipes themselves. Therefore, drain cleaners should be avoided at all costs, especially in the case of people who do not utilize a septic system. To be on the safe side, utilize a degreaser that is both enzymatic and bacterial in nature. For anyone interested, Bio-Soli is now offering a really decent one. It comes in the form of a liquid and is really effective.
Bleach is extremely poisonous to bacteria and should be avoided or used sparingly in any situation. When it comes to washing clothing, using bleach in modest amounts is OK; but, if you use too much bleach, the bleach may destroy the beneficial bacteria in the septic tank. Furthermore, bleach will exit the septic tank in its original state, resulting in pollution of the groundwater supply system.
Dishwasher and laundry detergent
In most cases, phosphates and surfactants are included in laundry and dishwashing detergents, and these substances can readily enter the drain field. Apart from causing harm to the beneficial bacteria, these phosphates and surfactants have the potential to leach out of the septic tank in a hazardous form, poisoning the surrounding groundwater supply. Always use detergents that are devoid of phosphates to prevent getting into this situation.
It is not recommended to flush food particles down the toilet. Even though they have been crushed, they will not give up. This is due to the fact that food particles decompose at a slower rate than other types of organic waste. As a result, these food particles may find their way into your leach field, where they may cause clogs. All residual food particles should be scraped off the plates and disposed of in the compost bin after they have been used.
Fats, Oils, and Greases (FOG)
In the event that you pour FOG down your sink, you will draw all types of issues. In the first instance, the FOG will cool down and become trapped on the edges of the pipes. In the meanwhile, the collected fog will continue to trap debris, which might eventually result in clogged pipes. Second, bacteria are not easily able to break down fats, oils, and greases, as previously stated. FOG will just float to the surface of the septic tank and contribute to the formation of the scum layer.
As the FOG continues to build up, the septic tank will begin to fill up much more quickly than usual. Before washing greasy utensils, wipe them down with a paper towel to ensure that you are not flushing too much fat down the drain.
Being aware of the items to avoid using in your house can assist you in extending the life of your septic system as well as avoiding avoidable failures in the future. The 10 goods to avoid that we discussed above are some of the most often dangerous products on the market, but the list just scratches the surface of the problem. The number of things that you may be utilizing that are operating your septic system without your knowing is virtually limitless. That’s why we put up a detailed eBook that includes a list of 30 things that you should avoid if you have a septic system.
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.
Do you have any questions about how septic systems work? During the whole time I lived in Cincinnati, I never gave it a second thought. All of the residences I resided in were linked to a municipal sewer system. I attached a sewage connection to nearly every house I constructed throughout my construction career. Only a few of the houses I constructed required their own septic systems. One particular house, on the other hand, stands out in my memory. The land was insufficiently large to sustain a standard leach field setup.
- An engine with a propeller mounted on a shaft that extended down into the septic tank was there.
- This engine would spin for 10 minutes per hour, similar to how a kitchen blender would function.
- Visiting a medium- or large-scale sewage treatment plant will reveal exactly what I’m talking about.
- A excellent method of getting rid of all of the potentially dangerous substances that may be found in wastewater is to introduce oxygen into it.
- Wastewater travels via a 4-inch pipe that links to a big precast concrete tank when you flush your toilet or when water drains from a tub, shower, vanity, or kitchen sink, among other things.
- Septic designers calculate the size of the system depending on the amount of waste that is expected to be generated in the home on a daily basis.
- Within the tank, some tanks have different walls and baffles than others.
As they make their way inside the tank, these creatures are meant to crash into this wall.
Make certain that your tank is fitted properly so that the drain line enters the tank with the drain pipe pointing exactly at this little wall.
The bacteria in the tank begins to work immediately to break down the waste.
For every gallon of water that enters the septic tank, a gallon of water exits the tank in the same manner.
It flows from the tank to the leach field, or it is pushed up a slope to get there.
The pipes are typically set on a thick layer of washed sand to provide a stable foundation.
There’s abundance of oxygen in the sand, as well as innumerable microscopic critters.
It’s a simplistic system that’s time-tested.
Years ago when I lived in Cincinnati, I would put anything I could down my drainpipes.
That was a bad attitude, and municipal sewer plant operators wish more people would care.
I’d emulsify grease from kitchen pots and pans, and it no doubt congealed farther down in the sewer.
The only thing that should go into the tank is waste from your body and toilet paper.
Neverput flushable wipes in a septic tank or a city sewer system.
Go toAsktheBuilder.comwebsite and watch my flushable wipes video!) If you plan to build in a rural area where a septic tank is in your future, install a utility sink in the laundry room or garage that drains directly outdoors.
Many inspectors allow this gray water to flow onto the ground away from your home because they don’t want you to put paint, grease, or who-knows-what into your septic tank.
It’s vital that you pump your septic tank at least every three years.
It can cost thousands of dollars to replace a leach field.
I only pay, in 2021 dollars, $285 to pump out my 1,000-gallon septic tank. You can see why it really pays to do this. The average cost per year is less than $100. Subscribe to Tim’s’ free newsletter and listen to his new podcasts. Go to:AsktheBuilder.com.
Q:Good morning, Tim. According to your profile on AsktheBuilder.com, you’ve been a master plumber for over 40 years. I just relocated from a city home that relied on a city sewer system to a rural retirement home that relied on a septic tank system. What information can you provide me on septic tanks? At my last residence, I experienced clogging difficulties in my main drain pipe, and the drain-cleaning company determined that the cause was grease. In terms of drain lines in a home, what are some best practices to follow and how does one ensure that they are always in proper working order?
- Frank’s situation reminded me of my own 12 years ago when I relocated from a metropolis on a municipal sewer system to rural New Hampshire with a septic tank system.
- The drain lines in any home, whether or whether it is linked to a city sewer or a septic tank, are the first thing to discuss.
- A plumbing drain pipe should have a slope of 3/16 inch every foot of run, in my view, to achieve the best performance.
- This is something you do not want to happen since solid material resting in a drain pipe might begin to pile up and cause a blockage.
- You would do well to use old paper towels to soak up any oil that has accumulated on your cooking pots and pans.
- This includes cleaning grease-covered plates with old paper towels before putting them into the dishwasher.
- If you prefer, you can use flushable wipes, but do not flush them down the toilet.
To see why you should never ever flush these textiles, watch my video about flushable wipes at AsktheBuilder.com.
In addition to being an excellent product, it will prevent grease from clogging septic tank leach fields.
Every month or so, I throw around 15 gallons of very hot water down my kitchen sink.
Every week, I dump 10 gallons of water into the tallest toilet in my house as quickly as I can, and then I flush it.
Trying not to be gross, but the closest comparison I can come up with is to image blowing one’s nose.
Septic tanks are magical boxes, as long as they are used properly, which they are in most cases.
That is the absolute maximum amount of material that should ever be placed in a septic system.
Natural bacteria begin to devour the waste at this point.
Leach fields are usually often composed of a network of pipelines through which wastewater is dispersed to a very well-drained soil that is particularly sandy.
During this process, various bacteria and oxygen work together to filter the wastewater.
It may be almost as clean as rainfall once it has been filtered by the beneficial bacteria and oxygen in the soil.
During its journey to the ocean, the water naturally flows downwards!
This bleach is so potent that it may destroy the bacterium that consumes the waste materials.
The same may be said with paints.
It’s critical to have your septic tank pumped every two or three years to keep it in good working order.
Despite how absurd it may seem, my neighbor’s manhole is buried around four feet beneath his driveway.
That’s a huge blunder on my part! Subscribe to Tim’s free newsletter and tune in to his latest podcasts to stay up to date. Visit AsktheBuilder.com for more information.
How to Care for Your Septic System
Septic system maintenance is neither difficult or expensive, and it does not have to be done frequently. The maintenance of a vehicle is comprised of four major components:
- Inspect and pump your drainfield on a regular basis
- Conserve water
- Dispose of waste properly
- And keep your drainfield in good condition.
Inspect and Pump Frequently
Inspection of the ordinary residential septic system should be performed by a septic service specialist at least once every three years. Household septic tanks are normally pumped every three to five years, depending on how often they are used. Alternative systems that use electrical float switches, pumps, or mechanical components should be examined more frequently, typically once a year, to ensure that they are in proper working order. Because alternative systems contain mechanical components, it is essential to have a service contract.
- The size of the household
- The total amount of wastewater produced
- The amount of solids present in wastewater
- The size of the septic tank
Service provider coming? Here is what you need to know.
When you contact a septic service provider, he or she will inspect your septic tank for leaks as well as the scum and sludge layers that have built up over time. Maintain detailed records of any maintenance work conducted on your septic system. Because of the T-shaped outlet on the side of your tank, sludge and scum will not be able to escape from the tank and travel to the drainfield region. A pumping is required when the bottom of the scum layer or the top of the sludge layer is within six inches of the bottom of the outlet, or if the top of the sludge layer is within 12 inches of the bottom of the outlet.
In the service report for your system, the service provider should mention the completion of repairs as well as the condition of the tank.
An online septic finder from the National Onsite Wastewater Recycling Association (NOWRA) makes it simple to identify service specialists in your region.
Use Water Efficiently
In a normal single-family house, the average indoor water consumption is about 70 gallons per person, per day, on average. A single leaking or running toilet can waste as much as 200 gallons of water each day, depending on the situation. The septic system is responsible for disposing of all of the water that a residence sends down its pipes. The more water that is conserved in a household, the less water that enters the sewage system. A septic system that is operated efficiently will operate more efficiently and will have a lower chance of failure.
- Toilets with a high level of efficiency. The usage of toilets accounts for 25 to 30% of total home water use. Many older homes have toilets with reservoirs that hold 3.5 to 5 gallons of water, but contemporary, high-efficiency toilets consume 1.6 gallons or less of water for each flush. Changing out your old toilets for high-efficiency versions is a simple approach to lessen the amount of household water that gets into your septic system. Aerators for faucets and high-efficiency showerheads are also available. Reduce water use and the volume of water entering your septic system by using faucet aerators, high-efficiency showerheads, and shower flow restriction devices. Machines for washing clothes. Water and energy are wasted when little loads of laundry are washed on the large-load cycle of your washing machine. By selecting the appropriate load size, you may limit the amount of water wasted. If you are unable to specify a load size, only complete loads of washing should be performed. Washing machine use should be spread throughout the week if at all possible. Doing all of your household laundry in one day may appear to be a time-saving strategy
- Nevertheless, it can cause damage to your septic system by denying your septic tank adequate time to handle waste and may even cause your drainfield to overflow. Machines that have earned theENERGY STARlabel consume 35 percent less energy and 50 percent less water than ordinary ones, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Other Energy Star appliances can save you a lot of money on your energy and water bills.
Properly Dispose of Waste
Everything that goes down your drains, whether it’s flushed down the toilet, ground up in the trash disposal, or poured down the sink, shower, or bath, ends up in your septic system, which is where it belongs. What you flush down the toilet has an impact on how effectively your septic system functions.
Toilets aren’t trash cans!
Your septic system is not a garbage disposal system.
A simple rule of thumb is to never flush anything other than human waste and toilet paper down the toilet. Never flush a toilet:
- Cooking grease or oil
- Wipes that are not flushable, such as baby wipes or other wet wipes
- Photographic solutions
- Feminine hygiene items Condoms
- Medical supplies such as dental floss and disposable diapers, cigarette butts and coffee grounds, cat litter and paper towels, pharmaceuticals, and household chemicals such as gasoline and oil, insecticides, antifreeze, and paint or paint thinners
Toilet Paper Needs to Be Flushed! Check out this video, which demonstrates why the only item you should flush down your toilet are toilet paper rolls.
Think at the sink!
Your septic system is made up of a collection of living organisms that digest and treat the waste generated by your household. Pouring pollutants down your drain can kill these organisms and cause damage to your septic system as well as other things. Whether you’re at the kitchen sink, the bathtub, or the utility sink, remember the following:
- If you have a clogged drain, avoid using chemical drain openers. To prevent this from happening, use hot water or a drain snake
- Never dump cooking oil or grease down the sink or toilet. It is never a good idea to flush oil-based paints, solvents, or huge quantities of harmful cleansers down the toilet. Even latex paint waste should be kept to a bare minimum. Disposal of rubbish should be avoided or limited to a minimum. Fats, grease, and particles will be considerably reduced in your septic tank, reducing the likelihood of your drainfield being clogged.
Own a recreational vehicle (RV), boat or mobile home?
If you have ever spent any time in an RV or boat, you are undoubtedly familiar with the issue of aromas emanating from sewage holding tanks.
- The National Small Flows Clearinghouse’s Septic System Care hotline, which may be reached toll-free at 800-624-8301, has a factsheet on safe wastewater disposal for RV, boat, and mobile home owners and operators.
Maintain Your Drainfield
It is critical that you maintain the integrity of your drainfield, which is a component of your septic system that filters impurities from the liquid that emerges from your septic tank once it has been installed. Here are some things you should do to keep it in good condition:
- Parking: Do not park or drive on your drainfield at any time. Plan your tree plantings so that their roots do not grow into your drainfield or septic system. An experienced septic service provider can recommend the appropriate distance for your septic tank and surrounding landscaping, based on your specific situation. Locating Your Drainfield: Keep any roof drains, sump pumps, and other rainfall drainage systems away from the drainfield area. Excess water causes the wastewater treatment process to slow down or halt completely.
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.
- 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.
- Solids, often known as sludge, will begin to accumulate at the bottom of the tank.
- 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.
- 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.
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:
- Whenever feasible, use environmentally friendly and biodegradable household cleaning products. Foodstuffs, fruits, and vegetables that are rotten or perished can be disposed of through the garbage disposal. Take cautious not to overdo your waste disposal, on the other hand. If you have organic leftovers and potato peelings, a compost bin is a lot better option than throwing them away in the trash. Create the practice of scraping dirty plates into the trash and putting a food catcher in your kitchen sink to gather food scraps. Utilize only toilet paper that is thin and specially made for use with septic tank systems. Make an effort to install water-saving showerheads, dishwashers, and washing machines. Showers should be kept short and water use should be kept to a minimum, since this might place an unnecessary pressure on your septic system. When it comes down to it only water, toilet tissue, and human excrement should ever be flushed down your toilet. Anything that cannot be decomposed naturally is never appropriate and will only give you a lot of trouble down the line
- This includes plastics.
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.
What shouldn’t go into a septic tank
Your septic tank is intended to treat sewage and waste water from your home or business. The intake pipe to the tank should be linked to the pipes coming from your home and into the tank. In order for the system to function properly, it is critical that nothing enters the tank that may interfere with the process of bacteria breaking down the contents.
Too much water
Inspect your downpipes and drains to make sure they are not linked to your septic tank, which might cause problems. In addition to causing pollution and health problems, this might wash out the contents of the tank before it is broken down. When washing clothes in the washing machine, wait until the cycle is complete before getting into the shower. There will be no excess water entering the tank at one time and washing away untreated wastes as a result of this. Consider how much water is leaving your home at any one moment, and maintain the flow at a controllable level to avoid flooding your neighborhood.
Too little water
If you want to keep your septic tank’s bacteria population healthy, you need make sure that it receives a consistent intake of sewage or waste water. This increases the amount of air in the liquid and favours the growth of bacteria.
Septic tanks at vacation homes, for example, might become less effective if they are not utilized for an extended period of time. If this occurs, consider allowing modest volumes of waste water to enter the tank on a regular basis at first to help restore the system’s functionality.
Chemicals that stop the bacteria working
There are a variety of common home chemicals that are meant to eliminate any germs that may be present. It is not recommended to allow them to enter a septic tank. As a result of removing the bacteria from the tank, untreated sewage and waste water will leak out of the tank, blocking your pipes and creating an annoyance and a potential health threat. Bleach, paint, disinfectants, garden pesticides, medications, solvents such as white spirit, and drain cleaning and unblocking products that include caustic soda are among the things to avoid using around the house.
Oil grease and fat
These will harden and block the pipes and drains in your home or business. They do not decompose in the septic tank and so float to the top of the tank, forming a thick layer of scum. Fats and oils that enter the soakaway have the potential to clog the outlets and hinder soil microbes from doing their jobs.
Items that won’t break down
Maintain strict sanitation by ensuring that nothing other than toilet paper (which is meant to degrade) and sanitary waste (such as cotton buds, diapers, and other similar items) is placed in the toilet tank.
Detergents that contain phosphates
There are cleaning products available that do not include phosphates, and they are preferable to those that do contain them. The presence of phosphorus in a tank does not result in it being broken down; instead, it passes through and ends up in the soil and subsequently in watercourses. Reduce the quantity of phosphorus in your septic tank outflow in order to assist lessen phosphorus pollution in watercourses, ponds, and lochs, which will help to reduce this problem.
In this Guideline
What septic tanks do and how they operate What should not be disposed of in a septic tank Keeping your septic tank in good condition Fill out a septic tank registration form. What may go wrong with a septic tank is something like this: Waste water and sewage treatment are being planned for new tanks. Treatment of septic tank effluent in situations when there is no possibility of soakaway If you are unable to have a septic tank put on your property, Legislation governing septic tanks