David Letterman spent his television career highlighting the absurdities of television traditions and everyday life. One way was with his nightly Top Ten—lists such as “Rejected Life Savers Flavors,” “Least Popular Lunch Meats,” and “Signs Santa Doesn't Like Your Kid” that had no order and no purpose, but certainly made us laugh.
We have a top ten of our own, but it’s one we believe will be much more useful than Dave’s “Ways To Get Out of Jury Duty” or “New Diet Pepsi Slogans.” Drumroll, please—it’s the top ten things to avoid flushing into a septic system.
Your groundwater can’t ask its pharmacist whether this medication is right for them. Septic tanks can leach water into the earth around them, and that could mean pharmaceuticals infiltrating your soil and water. Don’t flush those old pills—look for a safe-disposal program.
Bleach is no friend to bacteria, including the friendly bacteria that digest waste in your septic tank. Without that useful colony of microbes, your tank can’t do its job properly. Clean toilets with gentler chemicals instead.
As we told you last month, you should never pour grease down the sink. Don’t flush it down the toilet, either. That grease will congeal and block your pipes, leading to disaster. Think twice about bringing beef tallow into the bathroom. You shouldn’t even think about that once.
All paper products are not created equal. Toilet paper, in moderation, will safely break down. Those heavy-duty paper towels probably won’t. Even if you cleaned up a wet mess, never flush them.
Facial tissue is soft enough for your runny nose, but tough enough to give your pipes problems. See #7 and send them to the wastebasket instead.
We’ve all heard tales of those wonder-cats who learn to use the toilet. Less impressive are the cats’ humans who think they can send the contents of a litter box down the tubes. Cat litter is absorbent. That’s the point. It’ll clump, harden, and block your septic system. Stick to filling up the old grocery bags.
Smoking kills, and it’s not particularly charitable to your septic tank, either. The chemicals in cigarettes can upset your tank’s bacteria colony and clog the pipes.
No one wants to talk about it, but we can’t get around it—and neither can the flow of water. These will wreak havoc on a septic system by blocking pipes and causing backups.
We can’t believe we have to say it, either. Without further ado, #1 on the top ten things to avoid flushing into a septic system:
To call these a misnomer is a gross understatement. These can collect in your tank or in the pipes, causing clogs or upsetting your tank’s balance. Stick to throwing them away. However, if these or any other entries on our list wind up causing trouble, look to Brandon Septic—your #1 choice for septic tank services and maintenance in Tampa-St. Pete.