Four Small Items That Damage the Septic System

septic system damageTrash like diapers and tampons clearly don’t belong in the septic system. However, some homeowners don’t understand that small items can damage the septic system as well. These items seem benign but can wreak havoc on the system.

1. Dental Floss

People tend to toss dental floss down the drain or toilet. After all, it’s just a feather-light piece of string. In reality, dental floss is made from tough nylon and Teflon, neither of which are biodegradable. These materials take an estimated 50 to 80 years to completely decompose. Putting floss into the system unnecessarily increases pumping frequency.

2. Coffee Grounds

Coffee grounds are biodegradable but take time for full breakdown to occur. This is especially the case for non-organic coffee, because it contains chemicals. You can, however, use grounds for compost. They also make great mulch due to their neutral pH balance.

3. Cigarette Butts

Some smokers may think that one or two butts are no big deal. Once you toss one or two, you continue to do so again and again. The white fibers in a cigarette are not cotton. They’re actually a form of plastic called cellulose acetate, which is not degradable, just like most other plastic.

4. Cat Litter

Traditional cat litter is not degradable and may even pose health risks for pets and humans alike. More brands, though, are releasing eco-friendly alternatives. This includes litter composed of natural material like pine wood, walnut shells, and recycled paper. While marketed as flushable, we recommend not doing so just to be on the safe side.

Avoid Small Items That Damage Septic Systems

These everyday items appear harmless by themselves. However, in combination they will damage even relatively new septic system installations. We suggest calling Woodinville Septic Service to arrange for an inspection. Small items that damage septic systems are often underlying causes of premature wear.

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