If you live in a home that uses a septic tank, it is important to understand that you can’t just flush anything down the drain. Your septic tank is a delicate ecosystem that relies on bacteria to break down waste. If anything happens to that bacteria, it could have big consequences for your septic tank (and your wallet!) In today’s blog post, our Fayetteville septic tank contractor will explain why septic tank owners should never flush expired medicine.
Why You Shouldn’t Flush Medication Down the Drains
As mentioned above, your septic system is a living entity, full of helpful bacteria which consumes and breaks down waste. When chemicals such as antibiotics, anti-bacterials, chemotherapy treatments, and other medicines enter your tank, it causes an imbalance in the ecosystem, weakening or killing the bacteria in the septic tank. This causes solid waste to build up in the tank much faster, leading to issues in the drainfield and/or mound surrounding your septic tank.
Many household cleaners and products are unsafe for your septic tank bacteria. Anti-bacterial soap, bleach, ammonia, glass cleaners, and drain cleaners are all things to avoid using or flushing. Even excess salt water can harm your septic bacteria.
Other Issues with Flushing Medications
In addition to issues with the septic system, medications and chemicals can also eventually lead to groundwater contamination as well—not just on your property, but the surrounding environment. Studies have found that medicines flushed down the drain can contaminate our lakes and streams, which can hurt fish and other aquatic wildlife, and end up in our drinking water. Therefore, even people who don’t have a septic tank shouldn’t flush medicine—it’s just the right thing to do!
Protecting Septic Systems from Medication and Chemicals
Aside from avoiding flushing medications and chemicals, you can also consider adding an effluent screen to your septic tank to reduce the waste entering your drainfield. Be sure to have the screen maintained regularly, per your septic contractor’s instructions.
Note also that medications can enter your septic system through normal human waste as well, as the body does not always fully metabolize medications. If you have a sick family member residing in your home who requires high dosages of antibiotics, or who is receiving chemotherapy treatments, up the time in-between septic pumps. Consult a licensed septic tank cleaning company to determine how often you should schedule your septic pumping. To schedule a septic tank cleaning in Fayetteville NC, call Eastern Septic & Inspection today!