Five Things You Can’t Put Into Your Septic System

Five Things You Cant Put Into Your Septic SystemThough many municipal sewer systems seem to be able to handle a great many things that shouldn’t be flushed down a toilet or a drain, a private septic system is a different story. The proper functioning of a septic system depends on the health of the colony of anaerobic bacteria that live in it.

Anaerobic bacteria don’t need oxygen to live, and their task is to break down the solid waste that then settles to the bottom of the septic tank in the form of sludge. A layer of liquid rests on top of the sludge and on top of that is a thin layer of scum. The liquid is forced through a pipe to a distribution box and then into a drainage field. There, it either sinks harmlessly into the ground or evaporates. If this system fails, it can be very expensive to fix. Indeed, in some cases a broken septic system can’t be fixed at all and needs to be replaced. This alone can cost thousands of dollars.

Because of this, plumbing contractors recommend that only toilet tissue and human waste be flushed down a toilet bowl. There are at least five other substances that shouldn’t be put into your septic system. They are:

Harsh Drain Cleaners

Though the bacteria can stand an infrequent application of these cleaners, they’re not to be used regularly. Harsh drain cleaners can kill the bacteria. Chlorine bleach that’s used in a washing machine should also be avoided. Oxygen based bleaches are safer for a septic system.


Grease can form great clumps that can clog the pipes that lead to the septic system.


When a person is washing their hair, they should make sure that as little of it goes down the drain as possible. Hair, like grease, can form clumps that can clog the pipes.

Products From a Garbage Disposal

People who have private septic systems shouldn’t install a garbage disposal unit. The ground up garbage can overwhelm the septic system, and some of it can be difficult for the bacteria to digest and break down.

Paper Products Beside Toilet Tissue

Toilet tissue is made to disintegrate in a DWV system while other types of paper aren’t. Paper can also clog the system. Though some sanitary items claim to be able to be flushed down the toilet, they shouldn’t be flushed into a septic system.

For more information about the workings of your septic system, don’t hesitate to call Kamloops Septic Service.

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