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.
What not to put in your septic tank, wastewater treatment, AWTS or sewage system
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.
- 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
- Dead animals or fish
- Paper towels
- Wet wipes, baby wipes, antibacterial wipes - even if they claim to be flushable.
- Coffee grains
- Hair - pet or human
- Old or expired medicine
Ways to keep your wastewater treatment system healthy
- 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.