Your septic system takes the place of a regular sewer hookup, but unlike a sewer, your septic tank relies on a very delicate interior environment in order to process the waste that passes through it. Clogs in your plumbing, debris that is unable to biodegrade, and various other complications can cause all sorts of significant problems for your septic system and your property's plumbing. In the worst-case scenario, sewage and wastewater could leak out of your septic tank and into your lawn or even back up through the pipes and into your home. Understanding some of the more common items that you may have in your home that could cause these sorts of complications can help you dispose of them in the garbage or in an alternative manner to prevent septic system damage.
Foods and cooking supplies can contain a large amount of fats and oils, which can turn into a solid sludge when cooled and can quickly clog your plumbing and prevent your septic system from properly draining. They also break down very slowly within your septic tank even if they do not cause a clog in your pipes, which can eventually lead to an overflowing tank that requires pumping ahead of its normal maintenance schedule. You should compost or simply throw out food waste, and make use of a can or another container to pour cooking oil and fat into so that you can simply throw it out once it cools.
You should also always avoid flushing any sort of paper product down the drains of your home and into your septic system that is not toilet paper. Anything else, including paper towels or baby wipes, are simply too durable to properly drain. They will ball up, cause clogs, and remain in your septic system for a long period of time. Further, baby wipes and other common bathroom paper products are sometimes infused with cleaning chemicals that can disrupt the delicate balance of bacteria in your septic system, which can negatively affect how well your septic tank is able to break down regular waste.
As already mentioned in the above point, chemicals can cause damage to your septic system by killing off bacteria that break down the waste in your septic tank. This means that you should avoid draining any cleaning chemicals, such as bleach, commercial floor cleaners, and even home cleaning remedies like vinegar which are naturally anti-bacterial, lest you kill off your system's bacteria.
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