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Avoid Putting These Items into Your Septic System

If you have a septic system in your home, it is important to take care of your system by using household products that are safe and won’t cause issues for your septic system. With so many different products out there, it can be difficult to know which ones to avoid. To better understand why you should avoid certain household products, it is first important to understand how your septic system works.

How Does Your Septic System Work?

Your septic system relies on bacteria to break down wastes and solids. These bacteria require a certain type of environment to survive. Many common household products kill the bacteria in your septic tank, rendering it useless. Once the bacteria in your septic system has been eliminated, it can cause inconvenient and even costly issues including:

  • Clogs
  • Overflows
  • Groundwater contamination
  • Flooded drain fields

What Products Should You Avoid Putting in Your Septic System?

An important part of maintaining your septic system is avoiding harmful household products that can kill the bacteria in your system. Products that you should avoid putting in your septic system include:

  • Medications. It may be tempting to flush leftover medication, but doing so could lead to groundwater contamination that could endanger the environment and even your own drinking water.
  • Laundry Products. Products containing surfactants or chlorine bleach can cause damage to the bacteria colony in your septic tank system. You can use products such as oxygen base bleach for laundry and white vinegar for disinfecting to avoid damaging the bacteria in your septic system.
  • Antibacterial Soaps. Any type of antibacterial product can damage your septic system’s bacteria colony and have also been linked to antibiotic-resistant “superbugs” that pose a risk to everyone’s health.
  • Automatic Toilet Cleaners. Although these cleaners are effective at cleaning the bacteria in your toilet, they also kill the bacteria in your septic tank. Alternative such as baking soda and white vinegar can be used as a toilet cleaner.
  • Drain Cleaners. Chemical drain cleaners may get rid of the clog, but they can also eat away at your pipes, cause severe burns, and kill the bacteria in your septic tank.
  • Dishwasher DetergentsDetergents with phosphates and surfactants can get into your septic system and kill the bacteria. Once through the septic system, they can enter the soil surrounding your tank, leeching into the groundwater and potentially contaminating drinking water.
  • Oils and Solvents. When the oil is washed down the drain it coats everything and will eventually reach the soil in the drain field, causing a clog. Oils, solvents, paints or any other non-organic products should not be flushed down the drain because they can kill the bacteria and can also cause clogs.

It is important to be aware of the products you are using in your home to avoid clogs or other damage to your septic system. At Affordable Sanitation, we can help you with maintaining your septic system with our septic pumping services and we can also perform septic tank repairs and installations. Call us today to learn more about our septic system services!

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