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Comprehensive List of Things Not to Put in Septic Tank

Getting to know the intricacies of septic systems, especially the materials that are prohibited from being put into the tank, is essential for maintaining their functionality and longevity. These sophisticated systems demand cautious management and understanding of the elements that can compromise their fragile equilibrium.

This post will delve into how septic systems work and highlight the essential role bacteria play within your septic tank. We’ll also discuss common misconceptions about these systems that could lead to costly repairs or total system failure.

The type of soil surrounding your drain field significantly impacts your system’s efficiency – an aspect often overlooked by many homeowners. Moreover, we’ve compiled a comprehensive list of items you should never flush into your septic tank to avoid clogging pipes or killing beneficial bacteria necessary for breaking down solid waste.

Understanding Your Septic System

Your septic system is like a delicate garden – it needs the right balance of bacteria to thrive. Flushing the wrong things down the toilet can upset this balance and lead to costly repairs.

How does a septic system work?

Wastewater enters the septic tank, where solid waste settles and oil and grease float. The middle layer flows out to the drain field for further treatment by soil-based microorganisms.

The Role of Bacteria in your septic tank

Bacteria break down solids and keep your system functioning properly. Show them kindness, and they’ll repay you in kind.

Consequences of an unhealthy septic system

A disrupted bacterial balance can lead to clogs, backups, foul odors, or even complete system failure. Plus, untreated sewage leaks can pose serious health risks.

Remember, prevention is key. Avoid flushing harmful products down the drain and maintain a healthy bacterial balance for a happy septic system.

Septic System Myths: Debunked.

Don’t accept all that you hear about septic systems without question. Let’s set the record straight on some common misunderstandings.

Myth #1: Anything Can Go Down the Drain

False. Flushing non-biodegradable wipes or cooking grease down the drain can cause serious damage to your septic system. Stick to human waste and toilet paper.

Myth #2: More Water is Better

Not true. Excessive water use can overwhelm your septic tank and lead to premature failure. Don’t drown your system.


Myth #3: Dead Animals Belong in the Tank

Who came up with this one? Flushing dead animals into your septic tank can disrupt its functionality and introduce harmful pathogens. Please stick to the basics and leave the fish out of it.

Soil Type’s Impact on Your Septic System

The dirt around your septic system is a big deal. The right soil can ensure your wastewater is purified and clean water is returned to the environment.

Why the Right Soil Type Matters for Your Drainfield Area

The drain field area, also known as the leach field or disposal field, needs specific soil types to work well. Sandy soils are ideal because they drain well and filter properly. Clay-based soils may not be suitable because they compact and reduce permeability.

A good drainfield eliminates contaminants from wastewater before it reaches groundwater sources or nearby bodies of water. Comprehending the soil makeup when setting up or caring for a septic system is essential.

How Soil Type Affects Wastewater Purification

Soil interacts with wastewater differently, which affects how well pollutants are removed during percolation. Different soil types have different effects:

  • Sandy Soils: Filter well but may lack the organic matter needed for microbial activity.
  • Silty Soils: retain more moisture than sandy soils but may clog up faster due to smaller particle sizes.
  • Clay Soils: Hold onto nutrients well but often have poor drainage properties leading to saturation issues over time.

To keep your septic system working well, schedule regular maintenance checks with professionals like those at New West Plumbing. They can assess whether your current setup aligns with local environmental conditions, including soil type considerations.

Top 10 Products to Avoid Flushing into Your Septic Tank

Your septic system is a delicate ecosystem that relies on a balance of bacteria to break down waste. Here are ten household items you should avoid flushing into your septic tank:

  1. Non-biodegradable wipes – Don’t be fooled by the ‘flushable’ label – these wipes can cause major blockages in your septic system.
  2. Cooking grease or oil – Grease and oil can solidify in your pipes and cause a stinky situation.
  3. Feminine hygiene products – These products are designed for durability, not decomposition – keep them out of your septic tank.
  4. Diapers (cloth, disposable, “flushable”)Diapers should never be flushed – they’ll sit and stink up your tank.
  5. PharmaceuticalsUnused medications can kill beneficial bacteria in the tank, disrupting the natural breakdown of waste material.
  6. Cigarette buttsFilters contain plastic particles that will biodegrade slowly enough for most residential systems.
  7. Cat litter – Clumping cat litter can clog your pipes and cause backups.
  8. Paper towels – These are not designed to break down like toilet paper and can cause blockages.
  9. CondomsCondoms are not eco-friendly and should be disposed of properly to avoid septic system blockages.
  10. Dental flossFloss can wrap around other items in your septic tank and cause clogs.

Need Septic Tank Assistance?

Don’t be a septic system saboteur! Keep your tank healthy by avoiding flushing non-biodegradable wipes, cooking grease or oil, feminine hygiene products, diapers (cloth, disposable, “flushable”), pharmaceuticals, cigarette butts, dental floss, paper towels, cat litter, and household chemicals.

Remember: Your drainfield area’s effectiveness depends on the soil type, so keep harmful waste out of your septic system to prevent costly repairs or replacements and keep your home safe.

If you need any assistance regarding your septic system, contact New West Plumbing for a free estimate. We are available 24/7 providing plumbing services in Burnaby, New Westminster and Coquitlam.

FAQs in Relation to List of Things Not to Put in Septic Tank

What not to flush down your septic tank:

Avoid flushing non-biodegradable wipes, cooking grease, feminine hygiene products, diapers, pharmaceuticals, cigarette butts, dental floss, paper towels, cat litter, and household chemicals into your septic tank.

Is Dawn dish soap safe for septic tanks?

Dawn dish soap is generally safe for septic systems as it is biodegradable, but excessive use can disrupt the bacterial balance. (source)

What can damage a septic system?

Non-biodegradable items and harsh chemicals can kill beneficial bacteria necessary for breaking down waste and damage your septic system. (source)

Is bar soap bad for septic systems?

Most bar soaps are biodegradable and won’t harm your septic system. Choose eco-friendly options when possible. (source)