The Worst Things to Flush Into Your Septic System

September 16, 2020 Published by Leave your thoughts

Your septic system is a delicate ecosystem unto itself, which is why it’s important to pay attention to what goes down your drains and toilets. A septic system relies on healthy bacteria to “digest” the solids in the tank, pushing treated effluent out into the drain field, where it’s further purified and sent into the ground. If you use harsh chemicals, you can disrupt that balance; if you send too many solids into the tank, you might see clogs and backups.

Here are the worst things to flush into a septic system in Cleveland, TX:

  • Grease, fats, oils and food scraps: Are you pouring your cooking oil down the drain? Stop—fats, oils and grease will solidify, especially at cooler underground temperatures. This can clog your pipes before the substances even reach the tank. Plus, they don’t break down the same way water and food scraps do, adding to the solid waste. Collect your cooking oil in an old coffee can and dispose of it safely when it’s full. If you have a garbage disposal, make sure you use it only when necessary, and be sure that all food scraps are ground thoroughly.
  • Feminine hygiene products and baby wipes: The only things you should be flushing down your toilet are human waste and toilet paper. Tampons and baby wipes often clog the plumbing, leading to nasty backups—and if they make it all the way to the septic tank, the bacteria will likely have issues breaking them down. Toss used products in the trash.
  • Cat litter: Keep in mind that even if your kitty litter says it’s flushable, that only means it’s biodegradable. When you have a septic system, you run the risk of the cat litter adding to the solid waste in your tank—this causes you to have to pump the tank more often. It can also clog your plumbing even if you don’t have a septic tank, so the moral of the story is to avoid this no matter what kind of wastewater system you have.
  • Harsh household chemicals: As noted earlier, your septic tank relies on a population of helpful bacteria to break down solids and treat the water. Putting household chemicals down the drain (including drain cleaner, cleaning solutions and more) may kill the bacteria and prevent the tank from treating the water. Always check your owner’s manual for tips on picking septic-safe cleaning products.
  • Non-flushable objects: If you have or spend time around children, you’re probably familiar with how solid objects mysteriously end up in the toilet—but adults do it, too. Never flush your cigarette butts, coffee grounds and other garbage, unless you’re just dying to see your friendly local septic system service provider.

Keeping up with your septic system maintenance is key, but so is knowing how to avoid damaging a septic system in Cleveland, TX. If you need help identifying a problem or keeping up with maintenance, get in touch with the team at Cleveland Septic today to schedule an appointment.

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