This article discusses what you shouldn’t put in a septic tank.
More often than not, people misuse their septic systems. They throw in stuff that shouldn’t be there in the first place.
This is more like using the septic system as a garbage dump which should not be so.
When flushed down the toilet, they create several problems that affect the normal functioning of these systems.
So, if you just had a septic system installed in your home, you’ll find this article handy as we’ve discussed the dos and don’ts of waste disposal and how this can benefit your tank’s longevity.
What Should not Go into a Septic Tank
The proper functioning of your septic system depends heavily on your actions.
Millions of microorganisms or bacteria help with the breakdown of waste and whose survival is paramount for the system’s proper functioning.
With this reality, what you flush down your toilet matters.
There are tons of household products considered harmful to the normal functioning of septic systems.
These can kill helpful bacteria, which leads to issues, including groundwater contamination, clogs, flooded drain fields, overflows, and the like.
Here is a list of what not to put in a septic tank.
List of Things Not to Put in Septic Tank
Persons with septic systems need to be extra cautious about what goes into their toilets as it ends up in the septic tank. The septic tank is a crucial part of the system where the waste breakdown happens.
Things that shouldn’t find their way include drain cleaners, food, excess water, and paper towels.
Others include toys, paint, coffee grounds, cat litter, paint thinner, gasoline, cigarette butts, motor oil, earplugs, dental floss, disposable diapers, plastics, sanitary napkins, oil, tampons, grease, fat, weed killers, insect killers, photographic chemicals, and solvents.
Unfortunately, many people form the habit of disposing of these in their toilets.
What results from improper use of your septic tank includes several situations such as trouble flushing, slow drains, and gurgling water, amongst others.
Let’s discuss some things to avoid throwing into your septic tank.
i. Drain Cleaners
As mentioned earlier, the health of beneficial bacteria in your septic tank matters. Drain cleaners may give you the cleaning results you seek. However, they’re deadly to these beneficial bacteria in your septic tank.
When using such cleaners, you do more harm to your system than intended.
People have little idea about the volume of food they dispose of in their septic system over the long term. This is mainly caused by garbage disposal systems which make it convenient to dump unwanted food down the drain.
You might have to use less of your garbage disposal system.
iii. Excess Water
You might be surprised to learn that excess water isn’t suitable for your septic tank. There are multiple reasons why you shouldn’t. First off, your septic tank could get filled up pretty fast.
This, in turn, could result in more sludge finding its way to the drain field.
iv. Paper Towels
Aren’t paper towels safe for septic tanks? Unfortunately, they aren’t.
Although flushable, paper towels don’t easily break down. Instead, they affect the system’s normal functioning, thus causing all sorts of problems, including difficulty in pumping out the tank.
If you have kids, you know extra attention needs to be given to them to avoid. They could quickly drop things like toys into the toilet and flush them away.
This could take its toll on the system by acting as a clog or simply affecting the normal functioning of the septic system.
Pain is non-biodegradable and shouldn’t be flushed down your toilets as it could only affect proper functioning.
Plus, beneficial bacteria get killed while further production of new bacteria becomes almost impossible due to the presence of such non-biodegradable material.
vii. Coffee Grounds
Contrary to what many believe, coffee grounds do not break down or dissolve in septic tanks. Because they hardly decompose, the steady accumulation of these in your tank will likely affect its normal functioning.
You’re better off disposing of coffee grounds in your garbage can than flushing them down the drain.
viii. Cat Litter
Strange as it may sound, cat litter should be excluded from your septic tank as it’s difficult to break down.
There are many ways you can dispose of such outside of your septic system. You may want to have it dumped in your trashcan or allow the cat to move out for such.
ix. Paint Thinner
Like paints, paint thinner is also a chemical product that kills beneficial bacteria in septic tanks.
It’s non-biodegradable, affecting further bacteria production for the system’s proper functioning. This ends up causing several problems.
Like all oil products, Gasoline doesn’t break down when flushed down the drain.
It would be best if you understood that whatever finds its way into your drain ends up in the septic tank where the waste breakdown occurs. This harmful action eventually takes its toll on the system.
xi. Cigarette Butts
Cigarette butts do not break down and should never find their way into your septic system. Instead of disposing of such into your septic system, consider throwing them into your garbage or trashcan.
xii. Motor Oil
Motor oil shouldn’t get into your septic tank. Understand the vital actions of microorganisms within your septic tank and the need to ensure their continued existence.
Earplugs are among tons of non-biodegradable material that end up in septic tanks. This shouldn’t be as it only harms the normal functioning of your septic tank.
xiv. Dental Floss
Dental floss is made of plastic-like earplugs and won’t degrade no matter how long it stays in the tank. It’s never an ideal way to dispose of your trash as you could throw such into your trashcan.
xv. Disposable Diapers
If you have kids, the use of disposable diapers will be frequent.
It would be best if you avoided the temptation of throwing the same down on your toilet. It could lead to clogging issues, plus it isn’t biodegradable.
These are several items that you shouldn’t put in a septic tank. Septic tanks are meant for human waste alone and not for these items.
There are right ways of disposing of these.