Septic Systems and Medications: What’s the Correlation?

septic systems medicationsOn the surface, septic systems and medications don’t appear to be connected in anyway whatsoever. However, the correlation is actually very strong. We’ll explain why you need to be mindful of your septic system if you, or another household member, take medication.

How are Septic Systems and Medication Related?

When we mention medication, we’re not talking about over-the-counter drugs like Aspirin. For the most part, OTC pills are harmless. We are talking about prescription drugs, such as antibiotics or chemotherapy medications.

Why are these a problem? These drugs contain strong chemical compositions that can kill the good bacteria inside the septic tank. The septic system bacteria are vital for breaking down solid matter. The chemicals of prescription medicines remain active even in fecal matter.

According to estimates, researchers also found that 80% of streams and rivers contain traces of pharmaceutical drugs.


First of all, never dispose of unused prescription pills down the toilet. If you have additional medication you no longer need, see if your city has a medicine take-back program. We don’t recommend disposing of medication in the trash due to the risk of environmental contamination. If you must dispose of it in the garbage, mix the medication with other waste, such as kitty litter.

You should also schedule a septic system inspection. A technician can examine the contents inside the tank and infuse extra bacteria if necessary. You may also need to change the septic tank pumping frequency. The recommendation is generally once every three years. An inspector may recommend a pumping every one to two years if anyone in the household is a long-term medication user.

We Treat Your Septic System

Contact Woodinville Septic Service if anyone in your household has been on medication for more than a few weeks. We can answer questions about your septic system regarding the interactions between your septic system and medications.

Septic Inspection and Waste Pumping

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