Should you flush wipes, toilet papers, and pads into your septic system? Are they septic tank safe?
A lot of the sanitary items used by people usually end up in septic systems. Also, a lot has been said about the safety or otherwise of such practices. So, we beam our searchlight on this topic.
If you’ve wondered whether it’s proper or not to dispose of certain sanitary items in septic systems, this article will be of interest to you.
Is Flushing Wipes, Toilet Papers, and Pads Septic Safe?
When it comes to septic system safety, a lot boils down to items used. There have been a lot of complaints by plumbers about certain sanitary products being the cause of septic issues.
Here, we’ll be discussing each of these products namely wipes, toilet papers, and pads.
Wipes are usually found in sewers and drains and have mostly been pulled out or removed due to the issues caused.
Contrary to what you may assume, these wipes aren’t readily biodegradable. When flushed down the drain, they seem harmless initially.
However, a steady accumulation of these wipes blocks or shuts off a drainage pipe. This is a classic example of clogging due to the indiscriminate disposal of sanitary items down the drain. The elbow regions of such drains get the most accumulation of wipes.
When such an accumulation of wipes results in clogging, people are likely to experience backups. A simple statement that captures or sums up this situation is this; little deeds accumulate over time.
A plumber is always called to come to take a look at the issue.
- How About Flushable Wipes?
Wipes come in different categories.
There are the “flushable” and “non-flushable” types. Still, there are those clearly labeled “septic-safe” Now, when logically considering these, you’d assume that non-flushable wipes are likely to be the problem.
In reality, that isn’t the case. Plumbers have found all wipe categories as having the same issue. Whether you use flushable or non-flushable wipes, they all accumulated to cause blockage of drainage or sewer lines.
As such, none of these can be said to be septic safe.
Are toilet papers septic safe? Most people will answer in the affirmative that they are. However, toilet papers come in different variants. Not all types are septic safe. In other words, not all sewage systems can handle all toilet paper types.
If your home is connected to a sewer system, then chances are that you can use just about any type of toilet paper. Septic plumbing systems on the other hand are known to act or decompose certain toilet paper types over others.
With this understanding, you’ll need to understand what your septic plumbing system can handle.
Luckily, we’ve provided you will all the information you need right here! You’re left to only go for certain toilet paper types considered septic safe and ideal for your system.
Septic-Safe Toilet Papers To Consider
So, what is the septic-safe toilet paper you should get?
There are actually several! You have biodegradable, single-ply, and recycled toilet paper. Let’s discuss the characteristics of each of these as follows;
i. Biodegradable Toilet Paper
Although most toilet papers are biodegradable, not all degrade or breakdown as fast or effectively. It will serve you best to look out for biodegradable toilet papers. These are made from mostly natural materials.
As such, they’re likely to disintegrate easily when they get into your septic plumbing system.
Also, you’ll need less water to ensure a complete breakdown of used toilet paper. This saves you the stress of having to deal with blockages or clogs which are common with other types of toilet papers.
ii. Single-Ply Toilet Paper
Single-ply toilet papers are a better alternative compared to thick ones. In most cases, your septic system will easily handle this type of toilet paper without any issue.
iii. Recycled Toilet Paper
In the case of recycled toilet papers, these have no chemical contents such as formaldehyde and bleach. These two chemicals are mostly found in other types. You should go for those toilet papers clearly labeled 100% recycled materials.
Remember, providing this boring guideline about toilet paper preferences is targeted at helping you.
Are tampons septic safe? It is common knowledge that pads aren’t biodegradable.
These remain the way they are and could end up causing issues to your septic system. However, this is only an issue for septic system users. If your home is connected to a sewer system, this won’t present much of a problem.
Nevertheless, feminine sanitary products are to be excluded from your sewer and septic systems altogether. These used products would be better disposed of in the garbage than your septic system.
You don’t want to be calling for help too often as each visit will cost you money.
List of Items to Never Flush Down Your Drains
In addition to the items listed above, certain items should never be flushed down your drainage as they may end up causing issues. It’s necessary to state this because lots of people dump a variety of things into their drains.
Items to avoid include baby wipes, Q-tips and other cotton products, dental floss, diapers, and condoms. Others include cigarette butts, paper towels & tissues, medications, hair, gum, cat litter, food, cooking grease fish, and bleach.
Take advantage of the waste disposal systems available to you and keep these away from your septic or sewer systems.
Does Avoiding these Resolve My Septic Plumbing Issues?
In most cases, the exclusion of wipes and sanitary pads will limit the chances of plumbing issues arising. However, these aren’t the only maintenance or preventive actions to consider. The condition of your septic tank may be in jeopardy.
When cracks occur, you’re faced with a more complex problem than usual. Solving these would require the intervention of a technician or plumber.
So far, we’ve seen that wipes, pads, and certain types of toilet papers aren’t septic-safe. These would need to be kept out of the system or sewer lines if you wish to maintain a smooth functional and problem-free system.
In summarizing our discussion, certain seemingly harmless actions carried out by most people develop into major faults. You can guard against this by playing your part.
Also advise members of your household to avoid dropping the above items down your septic system or drains.