is extremely important to monitor the substances washed down
the drain and into your septic system. The following list of
items should be avoided at all costs:
Oils & Grease
accumulate too heavily on the top layer of the tank, blocking
the inlet and outlet baffles, and can form a thick coating
throughout the plumbing, causing unwanted clogging.
cotton swabs, q-tips, dental floss, paper towels, cigarette
butts, cat litter, feminine hygiene products, contraceptives,
baby wipes, and diapers should be disposed of elsewhere or the
system will rapidly become clogged.
too much undigested food solids to enter the system,
decomposition process and causing overload.
salt to water high in calcium, which in turn, destroys needed
& Cleaning Solvents
pesticides, herbicides, bleach, disinfectants, acids, anti-septics,
paint, medications, anti-biotics, anti-bacterials, waxes or
polish, oil, and other non-water soluble, toxins kill the
bacteria needed to create the proper environment for
Drains allowing wastewater to enter the system should be
equipped with strainers and other filtration devices to reduce
the amount of food particles, hair, lint, and other inorganic,
solid materials that do not decompose or which may clog your
Start a compost pile to discard unwanted food rather than
using a garbage disposal.
Use minimal amounts of toilet paper.
total amount of water and the pattern of water use affects how
the septic system works. For complete and uniform treatment of
wastes, the system needs time to work. Each time wastewater
enters the septic tank, an equal amount of wastewater leaves
the tank and flows to the absorption area. Sudden or large
volumes of water entering the system in a short period of time
may agitate and re-suspend sludge and scum into the liquid
contents. If this happens, suspended solids can be carried
into the absorption area, clogging soil pores and diminishing
the soil’s ability to accept water.
a portable toilet or have your septic tank pumped a few days
before hosting a large party to prevent likely overload.
water use puts an unnecessary load on the septic system.
Allowing faucets to drip, fixtures to leak, and using running
water to wash and rinse dishes, shave, and brush teeth are
wasteful water habits. In most households, toilet flushing is
the largest user of water, followed by bathing, and laundry.
a low-flow toilet which uses only 1½ gallons of water per
flush, as opposed to the 6 gallons per flush of a standard
leaky faucets and running toilets immediately.
toilets less often.
a shower which, in 10 minutes, will use an average of 25
gallons of water, rather than a bath, which uses twice as
low-flow, hand held shower heads with pause control.
only full loads in the dishwasher and washing machine.
use of cleaning solvents by doing more scrubbing with less
off water while shaving, brushing teeth, or rinsing dishes.
liquid detergent, with less than 5% phosphate, in the
dishwasher and washing machine.
a front-loading washing machine, which uses approximately 25
gallons of water per load, as opposed to the 40-60 gallons per
load of a top-loading model.
wash loads evenly throughout the week to avoid overloading the
system with large volumes of water.
your water pipes to avoid wasting water while waiting for a
using running water to thaw meat or other frozen foods.