Living in a house with a septic tank requires that you are vigilant about controlling what enters the tank, and keeping up with the system's preventative maintenance. By paying attention to what you put into the tank, you can keep the system healthy and flowing well for years to come.
Here are guidelines so you know what to keep out of your home's septic tank to keep the system flowing well:
Septic Tank-Clogging Toilet Paper
Using too much toilet paper is bad for your septic tank's performance, but using the wrong toilet paper will cause even worse issues. Toilet paper that does not easily break up into its cellulose fibers when flushed will clog your tank, and will flow down the leach lines and clog them. Clogged leach lines are expensive to replace because they require digging long trenches with heavy equipment.
You should test your chosen toilet paper brand to ensure that it breaks down easily. To do this, place a few squares of toilet paper into a jar with some water. Put a lid on the jar and shake it up for a minute or so. If the resulting water looks like it has snow in it, then the toilet paper is safe to use with your septic system. If there are clumps of toilet paper still in the water, then you need to choose a different brand.
Leach Line Clogging Grease and Oils
While you may be able to get away with washing cooking grease and oils down a residential sewer system drain, this simple action is very damaging to a septic system. Nothing in your septic tank will digest grease or oils, so the oily substances will all accumulate in the tank and can break off and be washed down the system's leach lines, causing them to fail prematurely.
Instead of introducing oil and grease into your septic system, pour it into a metal container and place it in your household trash after it has completely cooled off.
Septic Tank-Clogging Garbage Disposal Waste
Finally, you should never use a garbage disposal in a home that is on a septic system. While the natural bacteria in the tank can easily digest human waste and paper products, it cannot adequately break down undigested food and ground bones. Like grease and oils, products created by garbage disposals will linger in the tank and lead to expensive problems down the road.
To keep your home's septic system healthy, never put food waste down your drain. Instead, dispose of it in your household trash can.
For more help with plumbing, contact a service like DiRosato Plumbing and Heating.