If your home has a septic system and you’ve used flushable wipes for a period of time, then you may know firsthand that these products can indeed cause a clog. Just because a product says “flushable” on it, does not mean it is necessarily the best for your septic system.
If your family uses flushable wipes or any other type of personal hygiene wipe, you should throw them in the garbage rather than flushing them. Professionally speaking, anything other than toilet paper shouldn’t get flushed down your toilet.
The Difference Between Toilet Paper and Flushable Wipes
Believe it or not, there is a difference between flushable wipes and toilet paper when it comes to biodegradability and functionality in your septic system.
Although they are marketed as “flushable,” most wipes don’t break down well in a septic tank. Generally, flushable wipes are made from non-woven materials like wood-pulp. The design of a flushable wipe is to stay damp, so that it doesn’t dry out before use. The problem with this is, as flushable wipes accumulate, they stick together and form a clump. When the mass travels down the pipes and into the septic system, it can either cause a backup, or generate excess sludge.
Depending on the brand, most toilet paper is made from some type of recycled paper, tree pulp, or plants. The design of toilet paper follows a weave pattern that easily breaks apart and then breaks down naturally. Organic bacteria that live inside the septic tank help it break down further. These same microorganisms that break down toilet paper have a difficult time breaking down wipe products.
What Else Should I Not Flush?
Even though flushable wipes claim to lose strength and breakdown as they travel into the septic system, we have seen many mishaps in our years of septic tank services. Although it may be tempting, we recommend not flushing anything other than toilet paper down the toilet. Any kind of wet wipe, especially if it is not considered “septic safe” can harm your system. This includes baby wipes, disinfecting wipes, facial wipes, hand wipes, and any other household cleaning wipe. Additionally, please refrain from flushing items like feminine hygiene products, paper towels, tissues, cigarette butts, grease and oil, coffee grounds, and chemical compounds such as hazardous waste.
To preserve the life of your septic tank and drain field, it’s best to have your septic system pumped every three years. You should also have by a reputable company like Quality Septic Inc. regularly inspect your system and conduct appropriate maintenance.
Call Your Florida Septic Experts Today
Since 1994, Quality Septic has provided fast, friendly, reliable, and affordable septic system inspections, repairs, and maintenance in Hillsborough County. Arrange an appointment or get your questions answered by calling us at (813) 576-2546 or use our online contact form.