Let’s admit it, we’ve all flushed something down the toilet that we probably shouldn’t have. While the occasional piece of food or bit of small trash probably won’t kill your septic system, there are a few items that you should really avoid flushing.
These items can cause serious problems for your septic tank, leading to the dreaded backup.
Feminine Hygiene Products
Tampons and pads are bulky and non-biodegradable and therefore are a big culprit of septic system clogs. Some people make a habit of flushing these due to embarrassment, especially when in a public bathroom or another person’s home. For this reason, make sure you keep a dedicated, closed-lid waste basket near the toilet at all times for the disposal of these items - your guests and septic system will thank you!
Don’t pour caustic chemicals down your toilet, period. Bleach is the most common chemical we see as some people think it’s ok to use it to disinfect their toilet bowl. These products can cause serious damage in two ways. First off, harsh chemicals can damage the physical components in your tank. Secondly, the chemicals can kill off the healthy population of bacteria in your tank responsible for breaking down your solid waste. Paints, solvents, and herbicides are all examples of inorganic compounds that will harm the organic matter in your tank. If you’re trying to clean your toilet, make sure you choose a cleaning product designed to work with your septic system. These products usually have a “Septic Safe” logo, a quick google search will give you lots of options, which you can view here.
Grease should never be poured down any liquid drain. There’s a reason restaurants have dedicated grease traps! While liquid at higher temperatures, cooled grease congeals into a solid at cooler temps, which can clog even the most robust plumbing. In general, avoid tossing food of any sort down the drain. Your septic system isn’t designed to handle the additional bulk that food creates. Stick to the garbage disposal for non-greasy food.
This one might come as a surprise to some, but think twice before flushing heavy duty paper waste. While toilet paper is A-OK, paper towels, disposable hand towels, wet wipes (even those that say flushable!), and napkins are all off limits. Plumbing systems tend to struggle moving large amounts of bulky cotton-based materials. General rule of thumb: don’t treat your toilet like a trash can and you’ll be ok.
This one we see a lot alongside sanitary pads. People often want to avoid using the trashcan for privacy’s sake, and assume flushing their condom is more discreet. While this might work in the short term, over time these products can back up your system and cause very pricey repairs. As for avoiding embarrassment, imagine your plumber finding a ball of condoms stuck in your septic system. Suddenly, the thought of wrapping used condoms in a paper tower before throwing them in the trash doesn’t seem so bad.
ADB Septic | Septic System Maintenance in CT
If you do accidentally flush something you shouldn’t, we’re here to help. A.D.B. Construction & Septic Corp. is a septic services business in Manchester, CT. We proudly serve residential and commercial customers all over Hartford County and beyond with a full slate of services. With over 20 years of experience, we have completed countless projects of all scopes and sizes. Needless to say, there is nothing we can’t do when it comes to septic tanks, sewer systems, drains, and more.
If you have held off on getting your septic system pumped due to cost, don’t wait any longer. Call ADB Septic for a free estimate to discover how much it will cost to get your septic system back in tip-top shape.