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Items That Should Never Be Flushed Down the Toilet or Drain

Items That Should Never Be Flushed Down the Toilet or Drain

It's not hard to understand why it is essential not just to flush anything down your drain. Some waste is acceptable, but not everything. There are obvious things, such as hazardous waste, chemicals, and other contaminants, that can damage the environment and impact groundwater. Some things can create serious clogs. 

To help keep your septic system working properly and your plumbing system healthy, we have put together a list of 11 things that should never be flushed down the toilet or drain.


Items That Should Never Be Flushed or Sent Down the Drain

1. Solid Food Waste

You should avoid dumping solid food waste down the drain. It is somewhat acceptable to use a garbage disposal, but if you have a septic system, it's not wise to use it all the time. 

In most cases, their disadvantages outweigh the ease of use when paired with a septic system. Solids tend to accumulate quickly in septic tanks causing them to need to be pumped more frequently.

2. Baby Wipes

Baby wipes, even if they are labeled flushable, should not go down your toilet or drain. Instead, they should always be thrown out in the trash can. Baby wipes break down much more slowly than toilet paper, causing clogs and other plumbing issues.

3. Cotton Products

Much like baby wipes, Q-tips, cotton pads, and menstrual products are not safe to flush. These products tend to clump up and absorb water instead of breaking down. They may end up expanding after flushing, which is terrible for your plumbing.

4. Dental Floss

Not only does dental floss clog pipes, but it also causes environmental damage. Eventually, floss can effectively turn into a net, which will catch and hold on to debris. In some cases, it can wrap around parts of your septic system, causing it not to work properly.

5. Chemicals

Chemicals such as bleach and other household cleaners can kill the bacteria in your septic tank that assists in breaking down waste. It is super important to try and keep harmful chemicals out of your septic tank. In addition, if it seeps out into the groundwater, it can contaminate the environment and cause many problems.

6. Grease and Fat

It is an easy thing to do, but instead of washing grease down the drain, properly dispose of it in the trash can. Grease can cause massive problems for your plumbing as well as the septic system. More often than not, grease or fat will harden in your pipes, causing slowdowns and clogs. It can also overload your septic system.

7. Cat Litter

This should be a no-brainer, but trust us, it happens. Cat litter is very tough on your pipes, even if it is supposedly flushable cat litter. 

Toilets can't handle enough water to move litter through your plumbing system. Because toilets are designed to flush water-soluble waste, cat waste from the litter box should also not be flushed because the litter dehydrates the waste.

8. Paper Towels

While toilet paper is flushable, paper towels are not. Paper towels are not designed to break down quickly and are typically used to absorb liquids. As with other cotton-type products, anything that is made to absorb water should not be flushed as it can cause clogs.

9. Too Much Water

Sometimes you can flush too much water when you have a septic system. Dishwashers and washing machines can dump massive amounts of water, which can overload your septic drain field. Be sure to fill your appliances and don't overuse them; not only does this waste less water, but it also keeps your septic system happy.

10. Septic Tank Additives

There are a variety of additives that are sold in stores that are supposed to improve your septic system and remove solids from your tank. Many of these additives are unnecessary and, in some cases, pollute groundwater. Additives that advertise that they remove solids can cause solids to seal off the disposal area of the system, creating backups in your septic tank.

11. Medication

If you need to get rid of some old pills, don't flush them since the water in the toilet won't break them down correctly, allowing the drug to enter the water and potentially have dangerous environmental impacts.

It is important to understand that everything that goes into your plumbing system doesn't just go away. When things are improperly disposed of in your drains or toilet, it can create major issues that can turn into thousands of dollars of repairs to your plumbing or septic system. At the very least, your septic tank will need to be pumped more frequently.

Viking Septic Services 

If you are in the Asheville area and your septic system is damaged, or in need of pumping, Viking Septic Services is here to help. We provide septic inspection, pumping, and repair throughout Buncombe, Henderson, Haywood, Madison, and Transylvania counties. For further details on how to keep your septic system operating effectively, get in touch with us today!