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Septic Tanks Do’s and Don’ts

Septic Tanks Do’s and Don’ts

What you put in your septic tank will affect its ability to do its job considerably. For instance, coffee grounds and septic systems don’t mix. By educating everybody in your home about what’s acceptable and what’s not for your septic tank, you can save yourself a lot of headaches and money, prolong the life of your septic system and protect the health of your property, family and the environment.

Here are some things you should never put in your septic tank, and some do’s and don’ts for your septic tank.

1. Do Enlarge Your Septic System If Needed

If you have plans to add on an addition to your home that will add over 15 percent to the floor area of your home, will increase the number of plumbing fixtures or increase the number of bedrooms, you might need to enlarge your septic system.

2. Don’t Put Hazardous Waste Into the System

At all costs, do not put hazardous substances into the system. Never put paint, paint thinners, gasoline or motor oil into your septic system. This is the “kiss of death” to a septic tank.

3. Do Limit the Number of Solids

Too many solids flushed down your toilet will make your septic tank fill up very fast. You should not put these items into your commode:

  • Cat litter
  • Coffee grounds
  • Cigarette butts
  • Dental floss
  • Disposable diapers
  • Earplugs
  • Sanitary napkins or tampons

Never flush coffee grounds down your toilet if you have a septic tank.

As a blanket guideline, avoid placing items into the system that don’t quickly decompose.

4. Don’t Put Anything Non-Biodegradable in Your Septic System

Don’t put things that aren’t biodegradable into your septic tank system such as:

  • Cigarette butts
  • Disposable diapers
  • Paper towels
  • Plastics
  • Sanitary napkins or tampons
5. Do Install an Effluent Filter

Make sure you install an effluent filter on your septic tank which helps decrease how many solids leave the tank and increases your system’s lifespan.

6. Don’t Put Grease or Fat Into the System

It may surprise you, but grease and oil can spoil a septic system by clogging up the drain field and polluting the surrounding soil. Polluted soil cannot absorb and process liquids from your system. You could have to replace your septic tank system if you incur serious issues.

7. Do Run Full Dishwasher and Washing Machine Loads

Run dishwashers and washing machines only with full loads. Alternatively, choose the right washing machine load size. You’ll waste both energy and water if you wash small laundry loads with large quantities of water.

8. Don’t Put Any Chemicals Into Your System

Don’t put chemicals down the drain such as:

  • Gasoline
  • Insect or weed killers
  • Oil
  • Photographic chemicals
  • Paint thinners
  • Solvents

These can poison your septic tank, potentially threatening the water supply for your entire neighborhood.

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