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Top 5 Things NOT to Flush If You Have a Septic Tank

The easiest way to make something go away forever is flushing it down the toilet. While amusing, that attitude is a great way to damage your plumbing system. If you have a septic tank, how have even bigger worries: since the septic tank contains bacteria that digest and treat waste, chemicals that kill them will ruin the effectiveness of the tank. Then there’s also the fact that the more solids go into your tank, the higher the risk of problems. Below are 10 things you should absolutely not flush if you have a septic tank.

Medicine

When you have leftover medications, on hand it can be tempting to flush them away. But pharmaceuticals can destroy the bacterial balance in your septic system, causing septic failure. They also contribute to the proliferation of “super-bugs”, antibiotic-resistant bacteria that pose a health risk to us all. Improperly disposed medications also contaminate groundwater, endanger the environment, and can even pollute your own drinking water. This is a widespread problem — researchers have found traces of pharmaceutical drugs in the drinking water supplies of 40 million Americans.

Non-Septic Safe Toilet Paper

It is important to only use toilet paper that is biodegradable and will dissolve quickly. When buying toilet paper, look for a “Septic Safe” sticker on the package. Two good brands which septic companies recommend are White Cloud 3 Ply Ultra and Charmin Ultra Strong.

“Flushable Wipes” and other Clogging Hazards

Although sold as being flushable, flushable wipes are anything but. They actually take over 10 minutes to break apart, and are a high clog risk.

Laundry Detergents and Bleach

Most of the laundry detergents that you find at your local grocery store contain some environmental contaminant that will ruin your septic tank’s bacteria. Detergents with a high amount of surfactants, or foaming agents, unfortunately affect cell membranes and microorganisms and will damage the bacteria colony in your septic system. It is important to purchase natural, low-sud soap if you own a septic tank. In addition, never flush bleach down the toilet, as this can also ruin your septic tank.

Antibacterial Soaps

Antibacterial hand soaps and any product claiming to be antibacterial should be avoided due to the harm they could do to the bacterial colony which your septic system needs to function. Antibacterial soaps are also now being linked to the development of antibiotic-resistant “super-bugs.” Good old soap and water works just as well without the risks.

Need a Septic Tank Company in Eastern NC? Give Us a Call!

Remember, your septic tank is not a garbage can, but a system that contains living organisms which digest and treat waste. As a general rule of thumb, do not dispose of anything in your septic system that can just as easily be put in the trash. By educating everyone in your household about what is and what isn’t good for septic systems, you can save a lot of money and headaches, while prolonging the life of your system and the health of your family, property and the environment.

If you need a septic tank company in Eastern NC, call Eastern Septic & Inspection. We’ll clean out your tank and keep everything running smoothly! To schedule an appointment, click here.

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