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What not to put in your wastewater treatment system

What you should never put in your wastewater or septic system

There are a few hard and fast rules about what not to put in your wastewater system which ensure it stays healthy for many years. Whether it’s a septic tank or a more complex wastewater system, some things are definitely better disposed of in the rubbish bin than down the sink or toilet.

The balance of naturally occurring bacteria in your wastewater system is crucial to the system working effectively to treat the water from your home before it is safely distributed back into the surrounding land. A bit of monitoring of the products you use in your home is required to maintain this balance. Many substances can disrupt this delicate equilibrium of bacteria, reducing the efficiency of your system, resulting in bad odors, clogs, and sometimes leading to treatment failure.

Keeping your septic, sewage or wastewater treatment system healthy doesn’t need to be hard work, it just needs a few smart product purchases and correct waste disposal haibits.

What not to put in your septic tank, wastewater treatment, AWTS or sewage system

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If you have a home wastewater treatment system disposing of these products by flushing or washing them down the drain could leave you with a stinky mess. Definitely do not put these items/substances into your septic tank or wastewater system.

  • Paint
  • Oil - car, cooking, hair, beard - no to all.
  • Cooking fat
  • Food scraps
  • Harsh chemicals - including insecticide, bleach, paint thinners, fuel, disinfectant, caustic soda, drain cleaner/clearing products
  • Cat litter
  • Sanitary items - tampons, pads, applicators, liners
  • Dental floss, cotton buds or cotton balls
  • Cigarettes
  • Dead animals or fish
  • Paper towels
  • Wet wipes, baby wipes, antibacterial wipes - even if they claim to be flushable.
  • Nappies
  • Coffee grains
  • Hair - pet or human
  • Condoms
  • Old or expired medicine
Need Maintenance Check of your septic system? Let our septic system experts help you.

Ways to keep your wastewater treatment system healthy

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  • Choose cleaning products and dishwashing liquid which are labeled septic tank friendly. 
  • Opt for toilet paper which breaks down easily.
  • Don’t overuse shampoo, conditioner, and soap.
  • Use laundry detergent which is septic friendly.
  • Find and use a dishwasher detergent/powder/tablet that is septic friendly.
  • Avoid fabric softeners.

If you’re guilty of using your wastewater treatment system as a ‘everything goes’ rubbish bin we recommend a maintenance check by a wastewater professional to ensure your system is healthy and functioning effectively.

What not to put in your wastewater treatment system Let our experts help you.

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Why Use Express Wastewater Solutions?


    Because we are not a manufacturer and not tied to one particular system we can always offer the best solution for your wastewater needs.


    Because we do this every day we have developed a close knit expert team for every step of the process – from plans and council paperwork to excavations, electrical and plumbing. We handle it all to make the whole process as stress free and quick as possible.


    Most people have never installed a home sewerage treatment plant and don’t know the next step, that is why we offer a free 30 minute phone consult with one of our experts to point you in the right direction.


    We handle your wastewater installation from start to finish we can deal with all the trades, council everything so you don’t have to worry about a thing.


    Have peace of mind knowing that Express are licensed, insured professionals that will do your job right the first time.


    Not sure what system is right for you, or want to know if your system is working properly? Just give one of our friendly wastewater experts a call and they will be more than happy to help.


    We will always look to repair your system rather than replace it if it does not need to be, which will generally save large amounts of money sometimes up to and over $10,000.