What NOT to Flush Down the Toilet
Completely replacing a septic tank costs tens of thousands of dollars, and the time and labor is quite a hassle. Plus, if you’re running a business, it’s pretty tacky to have bathroom facilities with an out-of-order sign on the door. Customers like clean and operable facilities while shopping, and so do the employees working there. The best way to ensure fully-functioning toilets is by employing a healthy maintenance regimen. Part of this includes proper toilet habits and knowing what you can flush.
The Bad List
Here is a list of common items we find in septic tanks and wastewater that you should not be flushing down the commode.
- Chemicals – Products like disinfectants, photographic chemicals, gasoline, thinners, paints, pesticides, and varnishes will counteract the septic process and poison ground water.
2. Cigarettes – These contain toxins that can contaminate ground water.
3. Cleaning products (bleach, disinfectants) – When choosing cleaning products, you want to use environmentally-friendly brands that won’t kill the good bacteria in your septic tank. They should be liquid, biodegradable detergents with no phosphates.
4. Coffee grounds – These are not biodegradable.
5. Cotton swabs/balls – The fibers bunch together and cause clogs.
6. Feminine hygiene products – Packaging for some of these products often says they’re safe for flushing, but we have found otherwise when it comes to septic.
7. FOG – Fats, oils, and grease will harden and stick to your pipes causing clogs.
8. Food – It’s better to feed your scraps to an animal or throw in the trash. Garbage disposals are also discouraged when you have a septic tank.
9. Garbage – Garbage is for the garbage, not your wastewater system.
10. Kitty Litter – Even though it may claim to be flushable, it will not break down.Not only is the septic system unable to break down these products but the chemical make-up of certain soaps, pills, and pesticides will actually kill the bacteria found in the septic tank. Without the bacteria to break down organic waste, the septic tank is useless.
An easy rule to remember is that human waste and 1-ply toilet paper are really the only flushable items.
Don’t Get Flush-terated
If you own a business, it’s a bit harder to monitor and control what gets flushed, so you might consider posting signs in the bathrooms. You’ll also want to engage in regular preventative maintenance that involves pump service and inspections. Since you can’t oversee all the activity that happens in the bathroom stalls, at least do what you can to prevent clogs and backups. We’re here to help, so Contact Us!