Is Your Disposal Damaging Your Septic System? What Not To Put Down The Drain

Construction & Contractors Blog

It's easy to look at a garbage disposal as a catch-all to disintegrate anything you don't want to throw in the trash. What many homeowners don't realize is that garbage disposals have a very specific purpose, and if they're connected to a septic system, misuse can lead to disaster. When you install your first garbage disposal, it's important to understand what you can and cannot put into it. Here are some tips about what not to put into your disposal if you want to preserve your home's septic system and avoid costly repairs.


Grease is one of the biggest threats to a home's septic system. Septic tanks use a balance of enzymes to break down everything that's put into them, but those enzymes cannot easily break down the particles of oil and grease.

In addition, grease can bind with other products, like detergents, and create a paste that will quickly clog your septic system. The presence of this type of paste will cause the tank to fill up quickly, which can lead to an overflow and contamination in your yard.

To avoid these problems, don't put any grease or fat products down the disposal. In fact, you should never put these products down any drain in your home. Instead, seal them tightly and dispose of them in your household waste.

Inedible Items

The garbage disposal is meant to break down food particles. Not only can putting inedible items down the disposal possibly damage the blades, it can clog your pipes and cause an overflow in your sink. Don't put coffee grounds, paper products, cat litter or anything of the sort down your garbage disposal. A good rule of thumb is that if you wouldn't put it on your plate, you shouldn't put it in the disposal.

These types of products are just as bad for your septic system as they are for the disposal. Since the enzymes in your septic tank are designed to deal with organic material, things like cat litter and cigarette butts aren't going to break down. Instead, they'll accumulate in the tank and cause an overflow. Always throw these things in the garbage instead, and remove any plastic wrappers from foods that you do put down the disposal.

Household Chemicals

The chemicals in your household cleaning products, paints and stains are devastating to the bacteria in your septic tank. If you put these things down your disposal or any other drain, you risk killing all of that healthy bacteria that your septic tank needs. Additionally, these chemicals could ultimately contaminate ground water if they seep from the system. Always make sure that you are familiar with the safest disposal methods for chemicals, or call your local waste management facility to find out.

The home septic system is a delicate balance of bacteria and gradually introduced waste. Anything that disrupts that balance can spell disaster for the whole system. With the right perspective about what can and cannot go into your garbage disposal, you'll be able to keep that system healthier in the long run. If you do have problems with your septic system, contact a local company like Moon Septic.


10 January 2015

Let There Be Light: Improving Corporate and Residential Safety

Light is often used in metaphors to suggest goodness, safety, security, and warmth. In literal terms, however, light is even more crucial to daily life, both for the home and the workplace. I used to work as a paralegal for a personal injury firm, and thousands of lawsuits have been spawned by accidents caused by a lack of available light. When people cannot see more than a few inches in front of their faces, they are likely to hurt themselves—and any damages are often the responsibility of the property owner. To help educate home and business owners, I started this blog so everyone would the importance of light fixtures. The more light there is, the safer we all will be.