The Coronavirus seems to have impacted just about every part of our lives recently. When you first read this headline, you might be wondering, how could coronavirus affect my septic system and even cause damage? So the virus itself can’t infect your septic system. The problem is when any kind of an emergency takes place people have a tendency to panic buy. You know what goes first. Milk, egg and toilet paper. When there is no toilet paper available people start to turn to alternatives. Unfortunately some of the substitutes can cause serious problems, even causing damage to our septic tank. Now while this article focuses on septic systems, municipal or public sewer systems are also affect. Please follow the suggestions below!
While it might look like they are flushable, and let’s be honest, some of the cheap brands seem to disintegrate in your hands. The truth is paper towels do NOT break down like toilet paper. When they get to your septic tank, or the processing center they can form a thick sludge and stick to walls of the tank. With a normal pump out of your septic tank, they might not all be removed either. Whats more is that by the time you notice a problem or they are causing damage, they are difficult to clean out and your service costs more. If you feel the need to use paper towels as a replacement for toilet paper, please do not flush it. Dispose of it with your regular garbage service.
This one is a little less clear. There are many different “wet wipes” in the market place. Some are labeled as flushable, some have limitations and others look ok too flush, but are they? The best rule to follow is don’t flush anything but human waist and toilet paper. The companies that manufacture flushable wipes need to adhere to a number of standard to be qualified as flushable. In a number of independent tests these did break down and work as they should. With a septic system you need to be careful. Since flushable wipes do not breaks down and dissolve as fast as toilet paper you run the risk of creating a clog. First this could occur in the piping in your house. Second once the flushable wipe gets into your tank, its could clog a pump, valves, floats or other components before its breaks down. Even if they are labeled as flushable, we advise against it. One of the worst are baby wipes that are not flushable, yet many people still do flush them.
The coronavirus septic system effect is in full force! Under no circumstances should T-Shirts be used for toilet paper and then flushed! Yes, there are people in California using T-Shirts as toilet paper. Obviously fabric of any sort, no matter how desperate should never be flushed. Also to keep in mind is the use of disinfecting wipes recommended by the CDC. Many of us are using more of these to keep touch surfaces clean. Please do not flush these as well!