Avoid These Four Things To Extend The Life Of Your Septic System

Posted on: 10 May 2016


If your home has a septic system, because it is out of sight, it is often easy to ignore. Because of this, you may make poor choices about what is flushed or poured down your drains. When you place the wrong things in your system a few times, you may not even realize the damage that you are causing. Unfortunately, if you continue to do this, over time, these materials can cause your system to back up and fail. Knowing what things should not be placed in your system is one of the first steps to making sure that this is not an issue. Here are a few of the most common offenders.

Baby Wipes

You may think if baby wipes are convenient and easy for cleaning the baby, they may be good for cleaning you. Unfortunately, while that may be true, you'll have to make sure that you deposit the used baby wipe in the trash and do not flush it down your drain. 

Most types of baby wipes are non-biodegradable. This means that the enzymes and bacteria that breaks down human waste in your septic system will not be suitable to break these down. Even those wipes that are marked to be flushable may still require an extended period of time to break down, and it is not advisable to flush them into your septic system. 

Certain Types Of Toilet Tissue

Even certain types of toilet tissue could pose a problem with your septic system. If your toilet tissue does not break down, it remains and builds up in your septic tank. It has been shown that some of the lower cost tissues break down better in your system than some of the higher priced brands. This is especially true of ultra-soft tissues that have softening additives applied.

While you may be committed to using the brand that you have used for years, if you are willing to consider changing tissues, consider choosing one that is made from recycled paper. Not only will these be safe for your septic system, but you will be doing your part in saving the lives of trees.

Tampons And Sanitary Napkins

Many brands of tampons are designed from a blend of cotton and rayon to make them extra absorbent. Because it takes time to break these materials down, they should never be flushed into your septic system. In addition to the time required for them to biodegrade, they also run the risk of clogging your lines prior to reaching your septic tank.

In addition to educating your family about never flushing these products, consider placing a small sign in your bathroom asking your guests to abide by this rule as well. This may keep you from having to call a plumber during a party or from having to have your septic system drained more often.

Chlorine Based Cleaning Products

Septic systems operate through the use of beneficial bacteria and enzymes. Unfortunately, chlorine based cleaning products can kill off this beneficial matter when you are cleaning your toilets. Even if your product is not clearly labeled chlorine, look for sodium hypochlorite, because they are one and the same. 

Consider using oxygen bleach as a part of your cleaning routine. This uses sodium percarbonate in the place of the sodium hypochlorite. Not only will this disinfect and remove stains; it is also odorless, colorless, and not corrosive or toxic. Although, it may have difficulty with heavy duty stains, it can be a great addition if you clean your bowls regularly. Oxygen bleach is a great eco-friendly option that your septic system will benefit from.

Remember, the best rule of thumb when it comes to your septic system is to only flush bodily waste. Following this rule will help to ensure your system has a long and healthy life. For more information and tips, contact a local septic service company like Martin Septic Service Inc