What Not to Flush

Whether you have a home septic tank or rely on the municipal septic system for waste disposal, proper maintenance of that system begins with your very own toilet. You may think that the items you flush simply disappear, but they actually enter a sophisticated chain that starts with raw sewage and ends with safe disposal.

The bacteria in your septic tank break down the waste you flush, using a series of reactions to render the final product harmless. That process protects the environment and the water table, but it also protects you from a big repair bill. If you want to keep that delicate balance running smoothly, you need to watch what you flush. Here are some things that should never enter your toilet tank.

Feminine Hygiene Products

From tampons to sanitary pads, feminine hygiene products should never be flushed down the toilet. These products are designed for a single purpose, and they will quickly clog up any septic tank or municipal sewer system they enter.

When you go out, be sure to put those feminine hygiene products in the container provided. At home, you can set aside a trash can or waste container for them. Whatever you do, never flush them down the toilet.

Paper Towels

You may think that paper towels and similar to toilet paper, but they have a much different consistency. Paper towels are thicker and much more durable, and they do not break down the way toilet paper is designed to do.

Flushing even a single paper towel could clog your septic tank or harm the municipal waste disposal system, so just do not do it. Paper towels belong in the trash can, not the toilet.

Moist Toilet Wipes

Many people are now using those moist toilet wipes for extra cleaning, and it just seems logical to flush them away. But even though they are labeled as toilet wipes, these moist toilettes should never be flushed.

Like feminine hygiene products, moist toilet wipes belong in the trash can or a special container. They should not be flushed, and doing so could cause a harmful backup.

Cat Litter

If you have a cat, you may be tempted to flush away the contents of the litter box, but cat litter is another thing that should never be flushed down the toilet. Even if the cat litter claims to be flushable, you should dispose of it in another way.

The consistency of the litter can cause clogs in the septic system, damage to your drain fields and other serious problems, so do yourself a favor and never flush the cat waste.

Cooking Grease

Cooking grease is another item that should never be flushed. The thickness of the cooking grease can create real problems, and even a small amount could cause a backup or damage your drain fields.

Knowing what not to flush is one of the best ways to protect your septic system and avoid expensive problems. Your septic system has an important job to do, and flushing non-flushable items will make that job difficult – if not impossible.

Image by Andrew Martin from Pixabay

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