Don’t Let Your Septic System Go Down The Drain!

A septic system may look simple at first glance. Waste goes in, filtered water comes out, and the cycle continues indefinitely.

But as it turns out, there’s a lot going on just beneath the surface. And there is a number of steps homeowners need to take to ensure their system runs smoothly for the long haul.

In essence, a well-functioning septic system requires a delicate balance of varying elements to function properly. It starts with a safe and solidly built tank, like Rotoplas’ new poly tanks. Our tanks are resistant to the cracks, rust and corrosion that can plague concrete septic tanks.

And once you have a great tank and system in place, there are other considerations to keep in mind for septic maintenance. These include especially the waste you deposit into your system.

What you put down your drain can effectively have a big impact on the health and lifespan of your system in many ways. From regulating healthy levels of bacteria, to preventing clogs, a lot of your septic system’s usability depends on what goes into your septic tank.

Want to prevent problems and ensure your septic system runs well for years to come? Keep the following items away from your household drains.

Four Things You Should Never Put Down the Drain to Protect Your Septic System


1. Solids

When it comes to putting solids down the drain, a good rule of thumb is to stick solely to toilet paper.

This is because any other type of solid can easily cause issues in more ways than one. Heavier paper products like paper towels or tissues can get trapped in the drain itself, or not break down properly once they are deposited in the tank. And smaller items – like cigarette butts or even dental floss – can cause blockage issues or build up in the tank without decomposing.

In addition, it’s important to be wary of materials that may seem harmless, but which can cause problems despite their seemingly biodegradable nature. Items like flushable kitty litter or even coffee grounds have been known to cause problems, especially if they are sent down the drains on a semi-regular basis.


2. Food

A garbage disposal is a very handy kitchen appliance, but it can cause issues for your septic system if it’s used too much.

This is because of a combination of some foods’ effects on the bacteria balance in your tank, as well as their ability to properly decompose once in your system.

If you do use a garbage disposal, opt for the best model you can afford. The better ones can grind any waste as finely as possible. This will speed up the decomposition process, while preventing any unintentional clogs in your drains.


3. Certain household cleaners

Your septic tank requires “friendly” types of bacteria to function properly. Yet this can be disrupted by cleaners specifically designed to kill most bacteria.

As such, it’s important to read the labels when it comes to cleaners. This helps determine beforehand what can safely be deposited down the drain.

When in doubt, opt for organic and biodegradable household products wherever possible. Plus, avoid putting drain cleaners into the system when you can. It may sound counterproductive, but unless otherwise stated, drain cleaners often have harsh chemicals that can significantly alter the bacteria in your septic system.


4. Grease, oils, and fats

When it comes to what should never go down your drain, grease, oils and fats are arguably the most important items to avoid.

This is because these items cause problems in multiple ways. And they are responsible for roughly 47% of all drain-related septic system issues.

Fats and shortenings may start in liquid form. But they can harden once they are in your drain and can cause clogs deep in your plumbing system. Meanwhile, grease and oils can be detrimental to your system and your environment. They can pollute the ensuing wastewater that is filtered and released into your yard.

Therefore, avoid putting these materials down the drain at all costs. Opt for other, safer disposal methods instead. After letting them cool, you can put them in an empty glass jar and then in the trash. Or even store some fats from meat, like bacon grease, in the fridge in a glass jar for future cooking of vegetables or eggs. The results are delicious!


Once you install a great septic tank, maintaining the performance of your septic system can be a relatively easy venture, with some precautions. When in doubt, never pour or flush anything other than toilet paper to avoid problems down the road. With care, your septic system can provide years of seamless waste disposal, without affecting your home, your environment, or your budget.

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Don't Let Your Septic System Go Down The Drain!
When it comes to maintaining your septic system, what you put down the drain matters! Avoid these substances which can cause big problems down the road.

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