How Garbage Disposal can harm your Septic Tank


How Garbage Disposal can harm your Septic Tank

A garbage disposal is a convenient appliance used to discard unwanted kitchen scraps and other food items. While the handy appliance seems like a good way to discard those unwanted items, it actually uses energy as well as freshwater to dispose of items that could easily be put into the trashcan. Aside from that, folks who depend on a private septic system to treat their household waste and effluent should think twice before using one. The following post will discuss why a garbage disposal is not a good idea for a septic system and ways you can use the appliance, although sparingly, if you just cannot live without one.

Your Kitchen Sink is not a Trashcan
Many homeowners dispose of kitchen waste—vegetable peelings, grease and leftover food—by grinding it up in the garbage disposal and washing it down the drain without ever giving it a second thought. They have no idea their actions could lead to costly septic tank and drain field repairs.

Septic systems rely on microorganisms within the septic tank to break down and consume waste. What is not consumed will settle and accumulate in the bottom of the tank forming the sludge layer. As the sludge layer grows, your tank’s ability to treat the wastewater diminishes. In addition to more frequent septic tank pumping, the kitchen waste could upset the bacterial balance inside the tank. A diminished population of microorganisms could have an adverse effect on the overall health of your septic system by reducing its ability to treat wastewater efficiently and allow solid waste particles to enter your drain or leach field. If this happens, you could incur costly drainfield repairs or replacement as its ability to absorb the wastewater will decrease.

Garbage Disposal Tips for Septic Tank Owners
Septic tank owners who depend on their garbage disposals can use the following tips to reduce the burden the appliance places on the septic system.

  • Use the appliance sparingly
  • Do not dispose of leftovers that could easily be placed in the trash
  • Do not place egg shells, vegetable peelings or other inert materials in the disposal
  • Never pour used oil or grease down the drain
  • Consider starting a compost pile

By using your garbage disposal responsibly, you lessen the chance of costly septic system and drain field repairs. In addition, you help the environment by using less water and electricity, which reduces your carbon footprint.

For answers to your questions, contact The Pink Plumber today.