Indoor plumbing is truly one of the marvels of the modern world. Its invention has made the discard of waste an afterthought and helped control the spread of disease and undesirable conditions. However, it’s such an afterthought that many have no idea where their waste goes after they’ve flushed—it truly is out of sight, out of mind. However, this laissez-faire approach to flushing means that we’re not really thinking about what we’re putting into our sewer or septic system. Furthermore, many products can cause serious damage to your system and may even put your water supply in danger. Here are a few thoughts on flushing to think about before your next trip to the loo!
What’s Okay to Flush?
While it may seem like flushing things down the toilet gets rid of them for good, this is most certainly not the case. In fact, they could linger in your septic system long after you’ve heard the whoosh of rushing water when you hit the lever. Furthermore, you shouldn’t be putting anything in the toilet that isn’t human waste or toilet paper. While you may be able to flush other things with, seemingly, no consequences; it only takes one item to cause a system backup or other expensive problems.
What’s Not Okay to Flush?
Refer to the section above. Pretty much everything that’s not waste or toilet paper should be discarded in some other fashion. While it has become common practice to send sanitary napkins, tampons, and other substances twirling in a downward spiral, it’s not recommended to put anything else down there. The list of Don’ts includes cat litter, any chemicals, cigarette butts, dryer sheets, coffee grounds, any oils, cotton pads, dental materials, disposable wipes, drugs, hair, food, alcohol, or solid items such as toys and small game pieces. I know what you’re thinking, “who would do those things?” Read on for more details.
Stranger Things have been flushed.
With all the toilets in all the homes in all the world, some things get flushed down the toilet. A quick Google search shows that people will flush anything and everything that they can including jewelry, money, false teeth, needles, trash, 15-ton lumps of food fat, and much more.
How to Avoid Septic Problems
The first and easiest way to avoid problems with your septic system is to refrain from flushing anything but waste and t.p. This will save you a lot of headaches and should keep your system running smooth. Additionally, regular inspections by a certified professional ensures that small problems don’t become large catastrophes.