Don’t believe the label ‘flushable’: Disposable Wipes clog sewers and septic systems around the world.
Grownups are now using the same wipes once reserved for babies, leading to millions of dollars of sewer problems. Unfortunately, the majority of wipes on the market don’t biodegrade quickly enough to avoid clogging the pipes and septic systems.
Do a favor to the environment and your pocket book… dispose of Disposable Wipes properly.
1. Run hot water through the sink after each use….
2. Throw a handful of baking soda into the drain and follow it with hot water….
3. Pour 1 cup of vinegar down the drain and let it sit for 30 minutes; then chase it down with very hot water.
Most people use their garbage disposal like they would a trash can, stuffing veggie peelings, leftover food, and grease down the system. But the matter going down the disposal has to go somewhere — and when your house has a septic system, it all ends up in the septic tank.
Some of the matter can be broken down by the bacteria in the septic tank, but both the broken-down matter and un-broken-down matter accumulate over time. When we pump out a tank that has heavy garbage disposal use, it is very obvious inside the tank; often there is literally a pile of food under the inlet pipe of the tank.
Along with causing extra pumpings, a septic tank full of leftovers can overthrow your system’s bacterial balance, making it less efficient in treating wastewater. Your septic system will not function at its peak.
Garbage disposals can increase the amount of solids in the tank up to 50 percent and should not be used. Eliminating a garbage disposal can greatly reduce the amount of grease and solids that enter the drainfield.
Because a garbage disposal grinds kitchen scraps into small
pieces, once they reach the septic tank, they are suspended in the
water. Some of these materials are broken down by bacterial action, but most of the grindings must be pumped out of the tank.
As a result, use of a garbage disposal will significantly increase the amount of sludge and scum in your septic tank. Therefore, many states require a larger minimum size septic tank if there will be a garbage grinder/disposal
unit in operation in the house.
Some freshwater purification systems, including water softeners, needlessly pump hundreds of gallons of water into the septic system all at once. This can agitate the solids and allow excess to flow into the drainfield. Consult a plumbing professional about alternative routing for such freshwater treatment systems.
Water softeners remove hardness by using a salt to initiate an ion exchange. The backwash to regenerate the softener flushes pounds of this used salt into the septic system. There is some concern that these excess salts can affect the digestion in the septic tank or reduce the permeability in the soil dispersal system.
Do learn the location of your septic tank and drainfield. Keep a sketch of it handy with your maintenance record for service visits.
Do have your septic system inspected annually.
Do have your septic tank pumped out by a licensed contractor, approximately every three to five years, or as often as is appropriate for your system.
Do keep your septic tank cover accessible for inspections and pumping. Install risers if necessary.
Do call a professional whenever you experience problems with
your system, or if there are any signs of system failure.
Do keep a detailed record of repairs, pumping, inspections, permits issued, and other maintenance activities.
Do conserve water to avoid overloading the system. Be sure to repair any leaky faucets or toilets.
Do divert other sources of water, like roof drains, house footing drains, and sump pumps, away from the septic system. Excessive water keeps the soil
in the drainfield from naturally cleansing the wastewater.
Don’t go down into a septic tank. Toxic gases are produced by the natural treatment processes in septic tanks and can kill in minutes. Extreme care should be taken when inspecting a septic tank, even when just looking in.
Don’t allow anyone to drive or park over any part of the system.
Don’t plant anything over or near the drainfield except grass. Roots from nearby trees or shrubs may clog and damage the drain lines.
Don’t dig in your drainfield or build anything over it, and don’t cover the drainfield with a hard surface such as concrete or asphalt. The area over the drainfield should have only a grass cover. The grass will not only prevent erosion, but will help remove excess water.
Don’t make or allow repairs to your septic system without obtaining the required health department permit. Use professional licensed onsite contractors when needed.
Don’t use septic tank additives. Under normal operating conditions, these products usually do not help and some may even be harmful to your system.
Don’t use your toilet as a trash can or poison your septic system and the groundwater by pouring harmful chemicals and cleansers down the drain. Harsh chemicals can kill the beneficial bacteria that treat your wastewater.
Don’t use a garbage disposal without checking with your local regulatory agency to make sure that your septic system can accommodate this additional
Don’t allow backwash from home water softeners to enter the septic system.