Toilet paper is likely to be the item you flush into your septic tank the most. But what effect is it having on your septic system? While there are some toilet paper products that are marketed as being safe for septic tanks, are they really? Determining which products are easier on your septic tank can be challenging, especially if you’ve never lived in a home with a septic tank before. Fortunately, there’s help out there. Before you do a search for “septic service near me” check out the information we’ve provided here and call Septic Masters, LLC, if you have more questions about what’s safe to flush.
Don’t Believe Everything You Read
Just because something is marked as “septic friendly” or “septic safe” doesn’t mean that it won’t have any effect on your septic system. Everything you flush will affect your tank in some way and may lead to you needing to conduct a septic system repair in the long run. When toilet paper is flushed, it settles to the bottom of the tank like other solids do. Bacteria does decompose some of this waste, but much more of it simply ends up becoming sludge. This sludge accumulates over time, taking up more and more space in the tank. Eventually, you have to have us come out and pump the tank to get rid of it. If you don’t, your tank will eventually be so full of sludge that it can’t hold anything else.
So how can a toilet paper be made “septic safe”? There are a few different types of toilet paper that is designed to break down quickly or dissolve into small bits and pieces. Here are a few types of toilet paper to consider.
While various brands market toilet paper that as safe for septic systems, it’s not all the same. Ideally, this toilet paper will quickly dissolve in water. However, any company can say that their toilet paper is safe for septic systems. What you really want to look for is the seal of approval from the National Sanitation Foundation. This nonprofit test products for health and safety standards, including septic tank usage. If their logo or seal is on the packaging, the product is safe for septic systems.
Some toilet paper is made out of recycled materials. This toilet paper typically has fewer chemicals in it. Without these chemicals, the toilet paper breaks down much more easily. It will dissolve quickly, which means it won’t take up much room in the septic tank. It’s a good option for use in septic systems.
Toilet paper that was made specifically to be biodegradable will also break down quickly. It disintegrates very fast when flushed, so it’s a good option for your septic system. On the downside, though, it’s not necessarily the softest option, and it can even be priced higher than other options.
The Toilet Paper Test
Want to find out how well a particular brand of toilet paper does in a septic tank? There’s an easy test you can do.
First, pick a few different brands of toilet paper. You may want to pick your favorite brand, one marked safe for septic systems, and a recycled or biodegradable option. Next, tear off about five squares and put them in a large jar or other clear bottle.
Now fill the container with water, leaving about a fourth of it empty at the top. Put the lid on it and shake it for about ten seconds. This is going to mimic the paper being flushed down the toilet and traveling to the septic tank.
Now examine the paper. How much of it is left in one piece? If it’s mostly dissolved or broken apart into small pieces, it will be safe for your septic tank. Repeat this process with the other toilet papers to see how your favorite brand compares.
Need Septic Tank Maintenance?
Regardless of what toilet paper you use, you’ll still need to have your tank regularly pumped and maintained. Septic Masters, LLC, is here to do both. Give us a call today to schedule your next maintenance call.