Septic Safe Products And The Ones To Avoid
June 01, 2018 Posted In:
What does it mean to be “Septic Safe”?
If you’re raised in a city, chances are you have little knowledge of Septic Systems. To answer all the questions you’ve never had, Septic Systems are an alternative drainage system for rural homes without centralized sewage piping. They bring waste and water from a home into a specialty septic tank which uses bacteria to separate waste from water. These tanks use perforated pipes which then release the water into a patch of soil called a drainfield. The drainfield then naturally cleans the water using different layers of rock and allows it to return to the ground water systems.
Septic Systems are a closed loop system and contribute to the efforts of the Zero Waste Movement. Learn how you can shrink your own footprint and begin a Zero Waste journey.
WHY PEOPLE CHOOSE SEPTIC SYSTEMS
The advantage of a septic tank is that they are far cheaper and durable than sewage pipes. Because it is a closed system that requires no external energy, it does not generate a monthly bill and can last for decades without needing replacement.
Environmentally, septic systems create a positive contribution to the health and wellness of the local ecosystem. When the water is being pushed through the drainfield it helps nourish local bacteria and microorganisms which in turns stimulates plant and bacteria growth. This nourishment leads to a supply of food for the local birds, insects and mammals.
Because of this, if products which contain toxins are introduced to these systems, it can have major repercussions not just for the mechanisms of the tank, but for the entire ecosystem. Septic Systems are not designed to protect ground water from the chemicals found in certain household products and may pose a significant risk to human health and the environment. If these products are introduced to a septic system, it can kill the bacteria within the tank which will stop water separation, and worse, could poison the surrounding waterways.
There are many natural options for say, disinfectants, that exist which will not harm a septic system. For some of the stronger natural disinfectants such as Hydrogen Peroxide and Thyme Oil, their strength will still require them to be diluted with water before being introduced to the system.
PRODUCTS TO AVOID
- Water Softeners can harm the bacteria within the sepic tank and release greater concentrations of waste and grease into the drainfield
Oil, gasoline, paint thinners, solvents, photographic chemicals, weed or insect killers
- These materials will poison Septic Systems and threaten the water supply
- Thick cooking grease, like from bacon, can solidify in the tank and clog incoming and outgoing pipes
Chemical Drain Cleaners
- Unclogging the drain with these materials will kill the bacteria in tank and necessitate costly repairs
- While these oils feel great, they can clog the drainfield and coat the waste within the tank making it unable to break down
- Most kitty litter is clay based and can clog pipes
WHAT YOU CAN DO
Natural products for the most part are safe for septic systems. When looking at products for use in Septic Systems, its best to take the guesswork out of it. Products that are safe for Septic Systems state “Septic Safe” on their labels. These products are usually natural and biodegradable, and they will properly breakdown within the tank without affecting the bacteria.
One of the biggest culprits for endangering Septic Systems are household and cleaning products. The natural DIY road is a safe one, and you can even look at some of our resources, like how to clean areas of your home with your own natural cleaning products, like the bathroom.
Creating products which are safe for septic tanks is about being responsible for what you put in the water and in the earth. Contribute to that by purchasing septic safe products, even if you currently do have centralized sewage.
We’ve taken the plunge to be 100% septic safe in all our products.