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Septic systems work best when they’re used as intended. It’s tempting to think that what you flush down the toilet or wash down the sink will just go away. When your home is attached to a sewer system, you can be reasonably sure that your water waste at least moves off of your property. With a septic system, what you flush either stays on your property or in your septic tank until you have it removed.

Being kind to your septic tank pays dividends

Your septic tank is a biological system that breaks down organic waste, specifically human waste. It’s not a good way to dispose of other organic (and inorganic) waste items. With that in mind, there are a few things you shouldn’t ever put into your septic tank.

Food. Don’t wash food down the drain, and avoid using a garbage disposal if at all possible. Grease and oil add to the scum layer on the top of the tank, but they don’t contribute to the biological action there. Other kids of food waste like coffee grounds, meats and produce scraps will just remain in the tank until they’re pumped out. For plant-based food waste, consider creating a compost pile.

Bathroom trash. Use the trashcan to dispose of facial tissues, sanitary napkins and tampons, diapers, baby wipes, facial tissues, paper towels, cigarette butts, kitty litter, plastics, condoms, dental floss, hair and other waste that comes from the bathroom. Basically, if you didn’t make it yourself and it isn’t toilet paper, don’t flush it!

Drain cleaners. Drain cleaners are insanely hard on your plumbing, and on the septic system as well. They kill the bacteria in your septic tank, which effectively shuts the tank down. Don’t use drain cleaners! If you cannot manually dislodge a clog, contact us and we’ll be happy to clear your drains safely and completely.

Household cleaners. This isn’t a total ban on regular household cleaners, but use them conservatively. Bleach, toilet bowl cleaners and household cleaners are also designed to kill bacteria. While bacteria on surfaces in your home is bad, bacteria in your septic tank is good. Household cleaners don’t distinguish between bad and good bacteria, so limit your use of them as much as possible.

Household chemicals. Don’t put paint, varnish, paint thinner, antifreeze, old prescription medications, antibacterial soap, pesticides, gasoline, kerosene, oil or anything similar down the drain. Ever! These chemicals will kill the bacteria in your septic tank, and worse than that, they’ll pollute the nearby groundwater – including your well. Contact your county offices to find local hazardous household waste disposal sites near you.

To schedule service or drain cleaning, please contact us at Clear Drain Cleaning at (330) 343-7146 for all of your drain cleaning and drain maintenance needs.