A septic system is typically installed on property where large spans of land run between houses, usually found in rural areas, and it would be more costly to run a sewer line between them. Septic systems are self–contained wastewater treatment systems set underground. They are simple and efficient systems for treating and disposing of your household wastewater onsite. Septic systems are typically set up in the backyard and work by using a natural process to treat and dispose of the wastewater your household puts out.
How a septic system works
Septic systems are designed with two main parts: the septic tank and a drainfield. The tank consists of a watertight box that is made of either fiberglass or concrete. It has both an inlet and outlet pipe for the wastewater to enter from the home and after the treatment process, which ends with partially clarified water, which exits into the drainfield where it is evenly distributed through drain distribution device into the disposal field – trenches, bed lined with gravel or sand.
Wastewater forms three layers in the septic tank: Greases and oils, which float to the top and form scum. Solids that sink to the bottom and the middle layer which is the partially clarified water. The scum stays in the tank and the natural bacteria help to break solids down. What cannot be broken down will stay in the tank until the tank is pumped. Eventually the partially clarified water drains through to the drainfield and is distributed through the drain pipes into the disposal field.
Septic tanks have different requirements for properly maintaining them to keep them working properly. They differ greatly from the traditional sewer line system and special care needs to be given to what goes into, or flushed into the septic system otherwise you may disrupt the natural biological system happening down there and may wind up with nasty clogs in the lines or pipes. The most important items that should never be flushed in a septic system include:
- Coffee grounds
- Disposable diapers
- Sanitary napkins or tampons
- Kitty litter
- Hair combings
- Dental floss
- Cigarette butts
- Fat grease or oil
- Paper towels or bandages
You can also never flush chemicals into the septic: Paints, paint thinners or varnishes. Never flush pesticides or photography solutions. Many times it will take common sense too, to analyze something before just flushing it. Teaching your children early on about the do’s and don’ts of they can flush may help save you some trouble as well.
Knowing all that can affect your septic system, you’re probably wondering about toilet paper. Does certain toilet paper affect your septic? The answer is yes, there are certain toilet papers that are recommended, while others are discourage from using due to the same result; trouble with your system. We’ll review some of the different types of toilet papers and tell you what the best choices are to use if you own a septic system.
- Scott Rapid Dissolve
Scott Rapid Dissolve is specifically designed for RVs, Boats and your septic system. Scott Rapid Dissolve toilet paper dissolves 4x faster than traditional toilet paper which means less getting into your tank or causing backups along the lines or pipes.
- Natural Value 100% Recycled Bathroom Tissue
This tissue is 100% recycled made with a minimum of 80% post-consumer recycled content. It does not contain chlorine bleach, no inks, dyes or fragrances and is safe for all septic tank systems.
- Nimbus Echo Extra Soft 100% Bamboo Toilet Paper
This toilet paper is extra strong and soft but does not contain bleach or dyes and is flushable and biodegradable, which makes it a perfect tissue to use in your boats, RVs and your septic system. When a toilet paper is biodegradable it means you will not have it sit in your tank or clog pipes or lines. It will dissolve through the natural process of degradation.
The more you know and understand what your septic system is, how it works and what you can and cannot put in your toilets that will eventually try to make their way to your tank. When you take care of your septic system right, you will not experience trouble. Only when you get complacent or don’t follow the recommendations will you start to see the problems develop and they can be costly.