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Some Septic Tank “Don’ts”

Not all homes have a connection to the municipal sewer system. Instead, they must rely on a septic tank to handle waste treatment and disposal. If your house is connected to a septic tank, there’s no reason that you shouldn’t be able to live in the same way as a house that has a connection to a sewer line. You just have to make certain that you keep the septic tank in good condition by avoiding a number of things that can lead to problems. Below is a short list of a few “don’ts” that will help you keep repair issues away from your septic tank.

Don’t put these items down drains

Most of these items are ones that shouldn’t go down any drain, but are especially a problem for a home with a septic tank. Others are more septic tank-specific.

  • Any latex, plastic, or metal object.
  • Coffee grounds.
  • Handi-wipes, paper towels, disposable diapers, and sanitary napkins. These absorb water and will swell up inside the tank.
  • Bandages and Band-Aids.
  • Any type of trash—even if it’s “biodegradable”!

Don’t use a garbage disposal

People are accustomed to the convenience of a garbage disposal in their kitchen. But this is a convenience we suggest you sacrifice for the sake of a healthier septic tank. The problem with disposals is that they allow more solids into the septic tank. If you do have a garbage disposal and don’t want to get rid of it, we recommend that you schedule pumping for the tank more often.

Use softer toilet paper

It’s worth it to pay a bit more for a softer type of toilet paper, which is more likely to dissolve in the tank rather than create clogs.

Don’t use anti-bacterial soap

Bacteria is an important part of how the septic tank breaks apart chemical waste. There needs to be bacteria in the tank! Instead of using anti-bacterial soap, switch to biodegradable soaps. (Also, don’t use any soap listed as “biocompatible.”)

Ken Neyer Plumbing, Inc. works with septic tanks in Cincinnati, OH and throughout the Greater Cincinnati Area.

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