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What Not to Put into Your Septic System

To understand what to avoid putting in your septic system it’s important to first understand how one works. A septic system is a pretty simple system in terms of function. Essentially the wastewater from your home or restaurant (bathroom, kitchen, toilet, etc.) flows into a septic tank where, over time, it separates and is broken down. Solids stay in the tank to dissolve and liquids flow out and into a drain field where microorganisms help break it down as it seeps into the ground.

how does a septic tank work

The fact that liquids eventually make their way to the ground and into the groundwater makes it extremely important to avoid flushing certain things into the septic tank.

Here’s a list of what should never be put into a septic system:
 
  • Pesticide – Pesticides are designed to kill things including the germs that aid in septic tank disposal and the drain field in which liquid flows. Never pour pesticides down the drain. It’s bad news for your septic system, your drain field, and can contaminate groundwater and the surrounding environment.

  • Oil or Grease – When grease cools, it hardens. It doesn’t matter where it is either meaning that cool grease in your drainage pipes produces a clog. Clogged grease can cause a lot of septic tank problems so wait until it cools and solidifies and throw it in the garbage.

  • Paint/Paint thinner – The chemicals in paint and paint thinner are not designed to dissolve properly within a septic system. Just because it’s liquid and can be poured down a drain doesn’t mean it should. The proper disposal of paint and paint thinner is important and should be adhered to properly.

  • Cleaners – Strong household cleaners have the ability to do some serious damage to your septic system. They can erode the pipes and the tank itself over time, plus they are difficult to dissolve. The chemicals in cleaners hinder the function of the system and can poison the ground of the drain field, leaching into the water table and further into the eco-system.

  • Bathroom products – This includes things like women’s hygiene products and diapers. Even if they are labeled “flushable” do not flush them. Not only do you run the risk of clogging the pipes but the materials that these products are made of are not designed to dissolve properly in a septic tank. Don’t risk it and throw these in the garbage rather than flush them and avoid any possible complications from improper disposal.

The main thing to remember is to be gentle with your septic system and have it installed by and regularly maintained by a professional. It’s much easier to maintain a well-functioning system than to fix a broken one for sure.

For more information or to schedule a septic tank inspection, contact Nixt Tank today.

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