If you live in the country or a rural area, you probably use a septic system to dispose of your waste water and sewage. This type of system uses microbes and organic filters to process the water you use for washing dishes, doing the laundry and flushing the toilet, among other things. A septic system works on a delicate balance. To avoid upsetting this equilibrium, it's important to be careful what you flush, rinse and otherwise dispose of.
What not to put down your drains
1. "Flushable" products. Just because a product says that it's "flushable" doesn't mean that you should send it down to your septic system. So-called flushable diapers, hygiene items and paper towels will not only clog your plumbing, but can fill your septic tanks with products that take a long time to dissolve. The only thing you should flush other than waste is toilet paper.
2. Cleaning products. Common household cleaners, such as drain cleaner, bleach, tile cleaners and other solvents, can destroy the bacteria in the septic tank that helps to dispose of your household waste. Use these sparingly, if at all.
3. Coffee grounds, cereals and other food scraps. Although you can use a garbage disposal when you have a septic system, the best policy is to dispose of all food items in the garbage rather than down the drain. Cereals are especially troublesome, as these substances absorb moisture and expand, clogging the system.
4. Oil and grease. Not only will oil and grease solidify in your pipes, but these substances will add an oily, rancid scum to the top of your septic tank.
5. Paint and paint thinner. Even a small amount of latex or oil-based paint can destroy the balance in your septic system. Make sure to squeeze any excess paint into newspapers and clean your paint brushes with paint thinner or water disposed of outside of the drains.
6. Cigarette butts. Dispose of cigarettes in the trash rather than flushing them. Contrary to popular belief,cigarette filters take a long time to dissolve.
7. Anti-bacterial soaps. You may not consider that while these soaps kill bacteria on your hands, they also destroy the helpful bacteria in your septic system. it is best to use regular soap and (non-rinseable) hand sanitizer if you must.
Keeping your septic system healthy requires diligence. Be careful not to dispose of anything like cleaning products, cigarette butts or kitchen grease that will compromise the workings of that eco-system. if your septic tank needs to be cleaned, contact a local company like Kulp and Sons.
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