5 Things You Should Never Put in Your Septic Tank

Emptying household septic tank. Cleaning and unblocking clogged drain with vacuum pipe.

No one wants to deal with septic tank problems. A misused septic tank system can lead to unpleasant smells, safety hazards, toxic sewage inside your home, or even a permanently ruined backyard. Fortunately, there are simple steps you can take to avoid these unpleasant experiences.

Your septic system shouldn’t give you any trouble if you manage it properly. Careful attention to what you flush down your drains, including your garbage disposal, can keep your family and your septic tank happy.

Here are Five Things you Should Never Put in Your Septic Tank.

1. Toxic Materials

Household chemicals should never be flushed down the drain or toilet if you have a septic tank. These include pesticides, gasoline, motor oil, antifreeze, paint, paint thinners, and more.

Hazardous waste will leach into the soil around your septic tank and potentially leave your yard damaged beyond repair.

2. Detergents

Dish Soap detergent

You might be surprised to know that a household cleaning product can lead to clogged septic distribution pipes.

While liquid and gel detergents are typically fine, powder detergents contain phosphates that can break down and promote algae growth in your septic tank. These algae could eventually block parts of your septic system and keep waste from adequately draining.

3. Excess Solids

If you flush too many solids down your toilet or sink, your septic tank will quickly fill up. Some of the most common examples of solids clogging up drains are paper towels, tampons, and diapers.

Anything that doesn’t decompose fast is bad news for your septic tank. Don’t flush disposable diapers, tampons, sanitary napkins, pharmaceuticals, cat litter, or anything other than human waste and toilet paper down your toilet. Similarly, never flush coffee grounds or cigarette butts down your sink drain.

4. Excess water

Excess water can also be a problem for septic systems. When there’s too much water in your system, solid materials won’t properly decompose. The material will then rise to the distribution pipes and cause the pipes to clog. It’s all about maintaining a workable balance between solids and liquids.

too much water in your septic tank

To avoid sending too much water to your septic tank, use water-efficient appliances like high-efficiency toilets and shower heads, running full dishwasher loads, and selecting the correct load size when you use your washing machine. Make sure to get leaky appliances fixed as soon as possible.

5. Grease and Fat

Grease and fat can clog up the drain field. From there, these insidious liquids will pollute the surrounding soil, which cannot absorb or process them.

You don’t want to have to replace your septic tank just because you poured too much used cooking oil down the drain.

What to do if you have septic tank problems

If you think your septic tank might need maintenance or repair, contact Ace Acme for more information. We’ll take care of your septic pumping system as quickly as possible using the best equipment for each job. As a family-owned company, we have been servicing Snohomish, Skagit, Island, and northern King counties for years.