Keeping your septic system in good working order largely depends on what you do or do not put into it. For many homeowners, the line between what is acceptable to be flushed and what’s detrimental to your septic system is one that is blurred, which is why we’ve put together a comprehensive guide on what you can flush with peace of mind and what should be kept out of your drains at all costs, unless you want to deal with a septic system cleanup in Ohio.
Do not flush list
The do not flush list is one that could go on forever and ever—especially considering some of the strange things that are fished out of septic system tanks every year. For the sake of brevity, we’ve put together a list of some of the most common items that shouldn’t be flushed:
- Feminine products: Tampons and pads will cause blockages in no time at all, so keep them out of the toilet, ladies!
- Cotton balls and swabs: Cotton products don’t break down in the septic system environment and will also cause blockages if left to accumulate.
- Diapers: Diapers won’t break down even a little bit and flushing even one could completely mess up your septic system lines.
- Medicines: Got some old pills that you no longer need? Take them to your pharmacist for disposal, instead of dropping them down the drain! Old medications could hurt the bacteria in your septic system environment.
- Wet wipes: Even wet wipes that say they’re flushable can be damaging to your septic system, so it’s a good idea to just toss them in the trash.
- Grease and chemicals: Not only do grease and chemicals kill off bacteria in the septic system environment, they can also clog up drain field lines, inciting costly septic system cleanup in Ohio if they’re flushed down your toilet.
- Bandages: Like everything else on this list, bandages live forever in your septic system tank and add to blockages that force backflow into your home.
- Fish: So you found your fish floating belly up… don’t flush it! While this might have been standard procedure when you were a kid, a dead fish isn’t something that should be found in a septic system tank.
As mentioned above, the list for what shouldn’t be flushed goes on and on. Take a look at this next section to see what’s acceptable folly for your septic system tank.
Fine to flush list
We’ve covered the things that are important not to flush—now let’s cover the things that are just fine when they’re sent south:
- Human waste: Human waste obviously is a flushable item, since it’s the sole reason we have septic system tanks! Don’t feel bad flushing whatever comes out of your body—there’s a good chance that your septic system tank is up to the task of breaking it down.
- Toilet paper: Toiler paper is also perfectly acceptable to send down your drain because it completely breaks down in the septic system environment.
- Water: Water is harmless to your septic system system and it’s the primary product that’s found within it!
- Phosphate-free cleaners: When cleaning your toilet, use phosphate-free cleaners, so that the bacteria in your septic system tank remain unharmed.
Pretty short list, huh? That’s because the septic system environment is a very balanced ecosystem—anything outside of these four things within it has the potential to cause trouble: from small blockages caused by cotton swabs, to the need for full septic system cleanup in Ohio, to remove a myriad of items that have been flush over the years.