Septic tanks present some special challenges for those who use them.
If you are among the 25 percent of the population that still relies on septic tanks for waste disposal you have to be very careful about what you flush down your toilet. The wrong items can cause drain inlet and outlet clogging, sewage back-up, septic pump damage and environmental contamination. Too much abuse and neglect could ultimately lead to septic system failure, leaving you with repair and replacement bills running into the thousands.
Septic Tank Flushing No-No’s
Obviously the number of items you can safely flush down a toilet is limited in the best of circumstances. But if you have a septic tank it is critically important you avoid flushing any of these items in particular …
- Baby wipes and disposable diapers
- Latex gloves or condoms
- Cat litter
- Coffee grounds
- Used cooking oil
- Toxic or caustic chemicals (paint, paint thinner, oil-based
- lubricants, pesticides, etc.)
- Cigarette or cigar butts
- Dental floss
- Sanitary napkins
- Plastic bags of any size
- Cotton swabs
- Hand wipes or other disposable wipes
- Fabric softener sheets or cling-free
- Dirt or potting soil
- Prescription drugs
- Paper towels
- Polluted or contaminated waste water
Do not be fooled by any product labeled as flushable, especially if it’s a flushable version of the products listed above. Precious little testing has been done to see how something like flushable cat litter, for example, will react if released into a septic tank. Will it actually break down or will it muck up the whole works? Honestly, no one knows for sure.
Better Safe than Sorry
Common sense should tell you that if it wasn’t made to be sent down a toilet it’s probably not a good idea to flush it. Septic tanks are designed to process a limited range of items, and if you push them beyond their “comfort zone” catastrophic malfunction could be the result.
Of course no matter how cautious you are problems with your septic tank may still crop up from time to time. If you live in the Wilmington area and your septic system does need repair or maintenance work, don’t hesitate to contact us here at the William G. Day Company. We will dispatch a trained professional to your home at lightning speed to assess the situation and offer a workable and affordable solution.
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