Many don’t realize that certain types of toilet paper are the only things that should be flushed down your toilets and into your septic system. While many products have been developed that appear to be eco-friendly and even labeled as flushable, those things are not easily processed by a septic system and can eventually cause back ups in your pipes, malfunctions in your drainfield, and inevitably costly repairs. Even certain types of toilet papers are common culprits for frequent backups and system malfunctions. In order to keep your system running efficiently, it’s important to make your family aware of what items are flushable and which toilet papers are not septic system friendly.
Products treated with chemicals or unbleached toilet paper.
We’ve discussed many times why it’s important to avoid putting artificial chemicals down your drains. The natural biological balance of a septic tank is extremely delicate and is what allows your system to function properly on a day to day basis. Messing with that biology by flushing papers that include chemicals can throw your system off balance. Chemicals can also prevent the papers from being broken down, resulting the paper being caught in the effluent filter or screen. On the other side of the equation, its important to use bleached toilet paper, as it breaks down more easily than non-bleached toilet paper, which can result in your system requiring more frequent pumpouts.
Wipes, Napkins, Paper Towels and more…
Run out of toilet paper? Make sure that you don’t flush paper towels, napkins or baby wipes if you use them. The fibers of these are not meant to easily break down in your septic system. Even wipes manufactured by toilet paper companies that read “flushable” should not be flushed – as they can case serious issues with your septic system and have even been known to cause issues in centralized sewer systems.
Feminine Hygiene Products & Diapers.
Because these products are specifically made to be extreme absorbent, these items are among the toughest to break down. Some biodegradable diapers are compostable and the companies even go as far as suggest you can rip them open and flush them down your toilet. In order to test items that can be flushed down your drains, put them in a glass of water and shake the glass. If the product appears to immediately break down, it should be safe to flush down your drain. Feminine hygiene products and diapers belong in the trash and not in your septic system.
For the health of your septic system, be sure to shop for paper products that are labeled quick dissolving or biodegradable in order to choose the best products for your septic tank. Be sure that any products that you use on a regular basis that don’t have that label or that you haven’t personally tested with the break down test are thrown in your trashcan.
For more information on septic system maintenance or to schedule a septic inspection, contact us.