Things to avoid include bleach, paint, disinfectants, garden pesticides, medicines, solvents like white spirit and drain cleaning and unblocking liquids that contain caustic soda. There are cleaning products that have been specially designed for use with septic tanks.
What should you not put in your septic system?
- If you flush or pour some of the items we mention in this article into your septic system, you risk clogging the system. Bacteria Harm: The second group of items that you want to avoid putting into your septic system should be avoided due to the harm they can potentially play on the bacteria in the system.
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 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.
Does hair break down in a septic tank?
Why Hair is a Such a Problem It’s composed of tough strands of proteins similar to those in your fingernails, and it’s not easily broken down by bacteria. Even if it doesn’t for years in your septic tank, it’ll almost certainly last for longer than the 24-48 hours that it sits in your septic tank.
What is the most common cause of septic system failure?
Most septic systems fail because of inappropriate design or poor maintenance. Some soil-based systems (those with a drain field) are installed at sites with inadequate or inappropriate soils, excessive slopes, or high ground water tables.
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?
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.
Does Pee stay in the septic tank?
The urine is diverted to a small holding tank, usually located in a basement, while feces still get flushed into a septic tank. Others use small portable urinals to collect urine, Nace says. Moreover, the average person uses more than 3,000 gallons of clean water every year just to remove urine from toilets.
Can I take a shower if my septic tank is full?
Only the water would get out into the leach field in a proper system unless you run too much water too fast. The thing to do is to run your shower water outside into it’s own drain area, but it may not be allowed where you are. Used to be called gray water system.
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!
Can toilet paper go into septic tank?
Toilet Paper – should be single-ply toilet paper because it breaks down in the septic system faster and better than higher ply count toilet paper. Use toilet paper labeled biodegradable, recycled or septic-safe. Most all-natural cleaners are septic safe.
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.
Can you use a dishwasher if you have a septic tank?
DON’T. use your dishwasher, shower, washing machine and toilet at the same time. All the extra water will really strain your septic system. put items down your sink or toilet that can easily be thrown into the trash.
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 these 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
The solidification of these will cause your pipes and drains to get clogged. In the septic tank, they do not decompose and instead accumulate at the surface, forming a thick layer of scum. Incoming fatty acids and oils can clog drainage outlets, preventing soil microbes from doing their jobs.
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
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.
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 pouring grease down your sinks.
In addition, dryer sheets can clog the inlet 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 your 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 clog the tank.
Paints and oils are two types of media.
In order to keep your soil and groundwater free of pathogens, you must have this bacterium on hand.
Prescription and Chemotherapy Drugs Even after passing through a patient’s digestive system, powerful drugs may still contain active chemicals that are harmful to them.
Consider keeping drug-contaminated excrement out of your septic tank.
Some prescription drugs could also harm the environment.
Automatic Toilet Cleaner Chemicals Automatic toilet cleaners release an excessive amount of anti-bacterial chemicals into your septic tank, causing it to overflow.
Instead, utilize septic-safe toilet cleansers.
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.
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.
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:
- It is not necessary to spend a lot of money on septic system maintenance because it is not difficult. There are four main components to upkeep:
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:
- A few substances can be accepted and broken down within the septic tank system, but the majority of them cannot. The following are examples of best practices:
What Shouldn’t Go in Them? (And Why?)
When moving from a region that is served by a centralized sewer system, a house or property owner will need to make significant adjustments to their mentality and waste disposal practices. When you’re first starting out, it might be difficult to adjust to the changes, but after a while you’ll realize that it’s actually no more difficult than sorting your recycling. The most crucial thing to understand is that your septic tank isnot a rubbishbin. 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 experience 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.
Septic System Do’s and Don’ts – Septic Tank and Septic System Services, Repairs, Installations in New Jersey
Skip to the main content MenuClose Take note of these suggestions on what to do and what not to do if you have a septic system for waste management at your residence or place of business. A decent rule of thumb is: if you haven’t eaten it, wouldn’t eat it, or couldn’t eat it, don’t put anything in the septic system.
Septic System Do’s
- Spread out your laundry usage over the course of the week rather than doing many loads on one day. However, while it may be handy to dedicate a whole day to laundry, doing so would place a significant strain on your septic system. Consider connecting your laundry trash to a separate waste disposal system to save money (dry well or seepage pit). While it is not generally essential, it will minimize the pressure on the regular system and allow a mediocre system to survive. Laundry loads should be spaced out and only complete loads should be washed. In order to complete one load of laundry, 47 gallons of water are required. It makes a significant difference to your septic tank if you just do one load every day rather than seven loads on Saturday. In addition, front-loading washers consume less water than top-loading washers
- Liquid laundry detergent should be used. Clay is used as a ‘carrier’ in powdered laundry detergents to transport the detergent. This clay can expedite the building of sediments in the septic tank and perhaps fill the disposal area
- Reduce the number of home cleaners (bleach, strong cleansers, and similar harmful compounds)
- And reduce the amount of fertilizer and pesticides used. Home sewage treatment systems are not adversely affected by the presence of detergents, food waste, laundry waste, and other household chemicals in reasonable proportions. Don’t forget to keep a permanent record of where the most important sections of your septic system are situated in case you need to do future maintenance (such as septic pumping service or field repairs)
- Schedule septic pumping service on a regular basis. Every two to three years, or if the total depth of sludge and scum surpasses one-third of the liquid level of the tank, the contents of the septic tank should be drained out. It is possible that the sediments will be transferred into the absorption field, or leach field as it is more frequently known, if the tank does not receive regular cleaning. A rapid blockage ensues, which is followed by a premature failure, and eventually the leach field must be replaced. In comparison to rebuilding your leach field, pumping your septic tank is less costly. Instead of using the inspection ports located above the inlet and exit baffles, insist on having your septic tank cleaned through the manhole in the center of the top of your septic tank. Don’t forget to keep track of your septic pumping service and septic system maintenance. When at all feasible, conserve water by using water-saving gadgets. Reduced flush toilets and shower heads are readily available on the market. Install water fixtures that consume little water. Showerheads (2.5 gallons per minute), toilets (1.6 gallons), dishwashers (5.3 gallons), and washing machines are all examples of high-volume water users (14 gallons). A family of four may save 20,000 gallons of water per year by putting fixtures such as these in their home. Inspect any pumps, siphons, or other moving elements in your system on a regular basis
- And Trees with substantial root systems that are developing near the leach field should be removed or prevented from growing there. Planting trees around your leach field is not recommended. Branches and roots from trees in close proximity to the absorption lines may clog the system. Check your interceptor drain on a regular basis to verify that it is free of obstructions
- And Run water routinely down drains that are rarely used, such as sinks, tubs, showers, and other similar fixtures, to prevent harmful gases from building up and producing aromas within
- All drainage from the roof, cellar, and footings, as well as surface water, must be excluded from the drainage system. It is permissible to discharge drainage water directly to the ground surface without treatment. Check to see that it is draining away from your sewage treatment facility. There should be no drainage of roof downspouts into the leach field. When water softeners are used, the backwash contains salt, which might harm your leach field. In order to protect your well and precious plants, you should discharge this waste into a separate system or to the ground surface. Make sure that swimming pools (above-ground or in-ground) are kept away from the leach field.
Septic System Don’ts
- Garbage disposals should be avoided. In addition to increasing the accumulation of solids in the septic tank, garbage grinders also increase solids entering the leach fields and pits, which are both detrimental to the environment. Their downsides exceed the convenience they give, and they are thus not suggested for houses that have their own sewage treatment systems in place. If septic tanks are utilized, the capacity of the tank should be raised, or the discharge should be routed via a separate tank first, known as a garbage tank. The system should discharge into the septic tank or into a separate leaching system rather than straight into the current leaching system once it has been installed. For those who have a garbage disposal, make sure to pump it more frequently– or, better yet, compost your kitchen wastes altogether. Disposals result in the accumulation of fats, particularly from meat and bones, as well as insoluble vegetable particles. Here are a few items (this is not an exhaustive list) that should never be dumped into a septic tank or leach field:
- Cigarette butts, disposable diapers, sanitary napkins, tampons, handi-wipes, pop-off toilet wand scrubbers, garbage, condoms, hair, bandages, and so forth
- Ragstrings, coffee grounds, paper towels, anti-bacterial soaps – biodegradable soaps only
- No “biocompatible soaps”
- Ragstrings, coffee grounds, paper towels Dead fish or small animals
- Rubber, plastic, or metallic things
- Hard toilet paper – soft toilet paper is preferable for the tank.
- Excessive use of chlorine and chemicals should be avoided – (1 part chlorine to 5 parts water makes an effective bacteria cleaning spray)
- Allowing water conditioning backwashes or outflow from water softeners, purifiers, sanitizers, or conditioners is not recommended. Dehumidifiers and air conditioners release moisture
- Discharges from hot pools and jacuzzis Water from leaking devices, such as toilets that are difficult to detect. Make a habit of color testing the toilet on a regular basis to look for septic system issues. Keep dirt and inert materials to a minimum. Clothes, fruits, and vegetables that have been soiled should be dusted off before washing. Even diluted, do not dispose of chemicals from x-ray equipment since they will condense and harm the subsurface environment, which is against the law. Avoid using hair conditioners that include heavy oils – if you do, please let us know so that we may make adjustments to compensate with more or alternative bacteria (or avoid using them totally if they are not biodegradable). Keep grease from the kitchen OUT of the septic system. It is difficult to break down and might cause a blockage in your drain field. In order to dissolve these oils, there are currently no known solvents that are safe for use in groundwater. Chemical additions for septic tanks are not advised. Household systems cannot function properly if additives are used. In addition, excessive use of these chemicals may cause the waste from your toilet to be released into your septic tank, causing your system to fail prematurely. It is possible that some additives will damage your groundwater. In order for your septic system to function properly, no extra additives are required. Many of those that market their services as “solid waste removal” really deliver on their promises. During the solids removal process, the solids are transported to a disposal field. When the solids reach the disposal area, they shut up the space and cause the system to malfunction. Furthermore, although it is not harmful, it is not required to “seed” a new system with yeast or other organisms. Even routinely disposed of human waste includes enough bacteria to populate the septic tank, and other microorganisms are already in the soil and stones of the disposal region
What You Can And Can’t Add To Your Septic System
Toilets make it simple to flush and then forget about it. However, flushing nearly anything other than toilet paper down a toilet can cause difficulties in any bathroom, and especially in septic systems, if done repeatedly. There are a variety of home things that should never be flushed. Don’t flush cleaning products down the toilet. Among the most often encountered goods that might trigger septic system failure are cleaning chemicals. Because your septic system relies on anaerobic bacteria to work correctly, cleaning agents will almost always cause your septic system to fail because they are designed to kill bacteria in general.
Don’t let these common household products come into contact with your septic tank.
- Toys, garbage, diapers, sanitary napkins, kitty litter, dryer sheets, coffee grounds, dirt, motor oil, and drugs are all acceptable.
While you should avoid flushing any of these things down the toilet in general, you should avoid flushing them down a toilet that is linked to a septic system in particular since they might cause significant harm. Reduce the amount of food that is thrown away. Despite the fact that food is biodegradable and appears to be readily flushed down the toilet and into your septic tank, food may nonetheless cause your septic tank to fill up more quickly than usual. Reducing the amount of food that goes down the drain or down the garbage disposal will help to reduce the frequency with which your septic tank needs to be flushed.
Reduce the amount of waste you generate by disposing of these items. There are however some objects that should only be flushed down the toilet on very rare occasions. These goods are as follows:
- Oil for frying
- Lint from the washing machine
- Detergent for washing clothes
oil used in the preparation of food The lint from your washing machine Tampons; Alcohol; detergent for laundry; Hair;
Avoid Putting These Items Into Your Septic System
Residents of residential properties with septic systems must exercise caution while flushing toilet paper or other toilet paper down the toilet. Eventually, anything you flush down the toilet or down the drain will wind up in the septic tank, and not everything will be suited for the tank. Here are some objects that should never be dumped into your septic system, as well as instructions on how to properly dispose of them. Products for Feminine Hygiene Place the trash in the garbage can. A septic tank is safe to flush down with toilet paper that has been intended to decompose fast in a septic tank; nevertheless, this is about the only paper product that should be flushed down a toilet that is connected to a septic system.
Tampons and some wet wipes are appropriate for municipal water systems and will flow through pipes, but they will cause difficulties in a septic tank because they contain chemicals that are toxic to bacteria.
Using more of these goods, the available capacity in your tank will decline until you are forced to have your tank pumped out completely.
The number of times you’ll need a service depends on how many individuals are flushing these things, but even if only one person is flushing these items, your tank’s service period will be reduced.
If people are uncomfortable with the idea of seeing items in the garbage when they use the restroom, you may purchase a tiny covered trash bin for the room that keeps its contents hidden from view.
Coffee grounds are a type of soil that is rich in nutrients.
For two reasons, coffee grinds should never be allowed to enter your septic tank.
When this occurs, the entire system stops to function as it is intended to do.
The bacteria survive best in a pH range between 6.5 and 7.5, with a preference for pH values between 6.5 and 7.
This is more acidic than the microorganisms in a tank are capable of withstanding.
Although the liquid in the tank will not be transformed into anything like a cup of coffee, the chemicals that drain from the grounds will acidify the tank in the same way that tap water does when coffee is brewed in a coffee pot.
If you flush coffee grounds down the toilet on a daily basis, they will build and make the tank too acidic for the bacteria to survive.
Useless coffee grounds are best disposed of in a compost pile, which you can simply create if you don’t already have one.
To compost coffee grounds if you don’t already do so, simply toss them in a heap and they’ll begin to decompose on their own as nature takes its course.
Ticks, which may transmit a variety of deadly diseases, should not be flushed down the toilet or into a septic tank – but not because it is harmful to the tank.
Ticks do not drown while submerged in water, therefore flushing them down your home’s plumbing and into your septic tank will not result in their death.
If the creature resurfaces after a period of time, it will still be alive and will be able to reproduce, make its way to your yard, and attack animals or people once more.
Ticks are poisonous to alcohol and will die if they come into contact with it, therefore most people have a bottle of rubbing alcohol in their home.
Even with the finest maintenance, a septic system will require service from time to time. Contact Walters Environmental Services if you need to have your septic tank pumped out.