Homeowner pressing down handle to flush toiletA properly maintained septic system is extremely reliable. Maintenance involves controlling what you put in your drains and what you flush down your toilets. Homeowners with septic systems can save themselves frustration — and money — by knowing what not to put down their drains. Here, the plumbing specialists at Arrow Sewer & Drain, serving throughout north and central New Jersey, discuss what homeowners should avoid putting in their septic tanks.

Things That Should Never Go Into Your Septic System

Your septic system is designed to break down organic waste. Items that do not decompose efficiently can stress the septic system, causing a host of problems for the property owner. To prevent this, homeowners and residents should never put the following items down the drain or toilet:

Non-Biodegradable Materials

You should never flush non-biodegradable items down the toilet or into a drain. These belong in trash cans. The following items can wreak havoc if they reach your septic system:

  • Diapers
  • Dental floss
  • Teeth whitening strips
  • Band-aids
  • Bandage wraps
  • Kitty litter
  • Cigarette butts
  • Rags
  • Plastics
  • Cotton balls

Here’s a good rule for you to follow: if it’s not toilet paper, it does not belong in your septic system.

Harsh Chemicals

Hazardous chemicals such as paint, paint thinners, gasoline, motor oil, nail polish remover, pharmaceutical drugs, and solvents have no business being in your drain or toilet. If these kinds of chemicals get into your septic system, they will kill the bacteria responsible for breaking down organic material in the wastewater. Even worse, harsh chemicals can pollute nearby groundwater.

Sanitary Products

It’s easy to imagine that one or two sanitary products down the toilet won’t do too much harm. However, these products can collect in your septic tank over time, leaving waste nowhere else to go. The resulting clogs and build-up create the need for repairs and maintenance. Therefore, it’s crucial to throw away sanitary bathroom products, such as facial wipes, baby wipes, and tampons, in the garbage.

Cooking Grease and Oils

Disposing of fats, oil, and grease down the drain or toilet may seem like the ideal solution. However, doing so can be disastrous. These substances can cause clogs, which can then cause a backup in your septic system. This issue requires repairs from a professional sewer and drain specialist.

Heavy Paper Products

While paper is biodegradable, it can still put extra stress on your septic system. That is especially true for heavy paper products such as bags or wrappings. To protect your septic system, refrain from flushing these types of products down your toilet.

Excessive Water Usage

Believe it or not, too much water can be problematic for your septic system. Septic systems are designed to process water at a slow rate. That allows the bacteria inside the tank to break down waste completely. If a system experiences excessive water usage, it can become overloaded. When this happens, waste exits the system, which creates a nightmare situation for everyone.

Consult the Pros at Arrow Sewer & Drain

If you are concerned about your septic system, consult the residential and commercial plumbing pros at Arrow Sewer & Drain. Serving clients throughout north and central New Jersey, we specialize in keeping your plumbing system in proper working order. Our knowledgeable team members can provide a wide range of helpful information. To learn more about your system or our professional plumbing and septic tank removal services, contact us today.

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