Septic systems aren’t just black holes you can throw whatever you want into and expect it to just go away. Even some cleaning chemicals and other substances pose a threat to the ecosystem that your septic system depends on. Knowing what can and can’t be flushed is vital for every septic system-reliant homeowner needs to know.
Understanding your Septic Ecosystem
Your septic system depends on bacteria in order to function properly. Everything that goes down your drains or gets flushed out of your home goes into a large tank where certain bacteria live and thrive. These bacteria break down biodegradable waste into effluent (liquid) and sludge (solid). When the bacteria are working efficiently, effluent flows out into your drain field and sludge slowly builds up. Bacteria cannot break down plastic, rubber, paper towels and many other substances, though.
But what happens if the bacteria die? Waste doesn’t get broken down, and it builds up, making your septic tank fill up, causing some pretty awful problems. Do you know what household chemicals can kill a septic tank’s bacteria?
Chemicals to Avoid with a Septic Tank
The first chemical to avoid letting down your drains is bleach. Bleach can damage or destroy your septic tank’s bacterial ecosystem. Many drain cleaners are too harsh for a septic tank as well, but most mild soaps and detergents won’t be a problem. If you aren’t sure if a cleaning product is going to harm your septic system or not, check for a “septic safe” label or use the internet to research the product before you use it.
Don’t Flush Solid Objects if you Have a Septic System
Many of the throw-away objects you use every day could either clog your plumbing or take up space in your septic tank. Items like dental floss, cigarette butts, coffee grounds, cotton swabs and paper towels might be small enough to flush, but all they will do in a septic tank is sit there until they get pumped out. To space pumpings apart as far as possible, throw out anything you can instead of flushing it.
Septic System Pumping in Wailuku, HI
If you have been flushing too much, and already know your septic tank needs to be pumped, trust the professionals at Maui Pumping Services. Give us a call today or request a free estimate through our website!