Toilets make it easy to flush and forget. But flushing almost anything besides toilet paper down a toilet can cause problems for any bathroom and especially for septic systems. There are many household items you must never flush.


Don't Pour Down Cleaning Products


Cleaning products are some of the most common products that can cause a septic system to fail. Because your septic system relies on anaerobic bacteria to function properly, cleaning products will usually kill the septic system because they usually kill bacteria. Only use cleaning products that are listed as safe for septic tanks.


Don't Let These Household Products Touch Your Septic Tank


Common household products that cause damage when flushed down a septic system include

  • Toys
  • Garbage
  • Diapers
  • Sanitary napkins
  • Kitty litter
  • Dryer sheets
  • Coffee grounds
  • Dirt
  • Motor oil
  • Drugs


While you shouldn’t flush any of these products down any toilet, you should especially not flush them down a toilet that is connected to a septic system as they could cause serious damage.


Keep Food Disposal to a Minimum


Although food is biodegradable and seems like it would easily go down the drain into your septic tank, food may still cause your septic tank to fill up more quickly. Limit the amount of food that you send down the drain through the garbage disposal so that your septic tank won’t need to be pumped as often.


Minimize Your Disposal of These Items


There are also items that you should only pour down the drain on rare occasions. These products include:

  • Cooking oil
  • Washing machine lint
  • Tampons
  • Alcohol
  • Laundry detergent
  • Hair


Rather than pour cooking oil down the drain, place it inside of a jar and allow the oil to cool. Once it has solidified, you may toss the jar into the trash. If you must dispose of alcohol, don’t pour more than two bottles down the drain in a week. Everything else can simply be disposed of in the garbage.


Use Products Designed for the Septic Systems


The best items to flush down the drain are items that are designed specifically for a septic system, such as toilet paper designed for septic systems. Septic-friendly toilet paper dissolves more quickly, allowing the septic drain to remain clear. Regular toilet paper is usually not a problem for your septic tank, but septic-friendly toilet paper is an extra precaution. 


Septic Tank Additives


Septic tank additives are designed to help your bacteria levels in your septic tank and system. Before adding any additives you need to be sure what is in your additive. Many additives have fillers in them that will not do any good to your bacteria levels while some additives are highly effective. You should only buy an additive from your local septic pumper and not from a store. Your local pumper will know why their product is better and have done the research on their product and why to use it and how often.  


Know When to Pump Your Septic Tank


Being proactive with your septic tank will save you more money. When your septic tank becomes damaged, the repairs will be more costly. However, pumping your septic tank too frequently will also be expensive.

The frequency at which you should pump the septic tank is based on how large your tank is and how many occupants are in your home. For instance, if your home has 10 people, a very large septic tank may last two years without a pump, while smaller tanks would need to be pumped multiple times per year. 

Eventually, you will need to pump that septic tank. You might need it sooner than you think. Contact us at Walters Environmental Services and we will pump, clean, repair or excavate your septic system as needed.  Even if you only dispose of the right products, you must pump your tank every couple of years.