When you stroll down the aisles at the store, you might wonder why there are so many different types of toilet paper. How do you know what you’ll like best? And perhaps equally important, how will you know what works best for your septic system? If you live on a property that uses a septic system, then there are certain things to keep in mind that can help support its functioning. In addition to scheduling regular septic tank services, there are many things that homeowners can do to properly maintain the septic system and extend the lifespan of the septic tank. Understanding more about your toilet paper and how it affects a septic system can help you take better care of your home.
How Types of Toilet Paper Affect Your Septic Tank
The various types of toilet paper can sometimes be overwhelming and you might just look for what’s on sale. Or you might be the type of person who chooses one brand and sticks with it forever. Here’s what you need to know about your toilet paper and how different types can affect your septic tank differently.
Plush Toilet Paper
You’ve seen the commercials and may even swear by the soft cushion and comfort of plush, thick toilet paper. While it certainly has its benefits, it can also create problems for a septic system. The thicker the toilet paper, the more likely it is to get stuck in the pipes and eventually lead to a clog. Plush toilet paper also tends to not break down as well in the septic tank, which means it builds up along with solid waste over time.
A septic tank service must be regularly performed in order to remove the solids from the tank that have nowhere else to go. If everyone in the home regularly uses thicker toilet paper, then that can end up building up sooner than you may think you need septic tank pumping. Unlike sewer systems, septic systems can’t always transport that type of thicker, solid waste as easily and it can end up causing more problems than it’s worth.
Biodegradable Toilet Paper
There are a number of products that market their toilet paper as biodegradable, but that can be misleading. While all toilet paper will eventually break down over time, that time period can be years depending on what the toilet paper is made of. The more synthetic properties used to make the toilet paper, the longer it will take to break down. On the other hand, toilet paper made out of more natural products may disintegrate quicker and easier.
True biodegradable toilet paper will be made of natural materials that will be able to successfully break down in the septic tank. This also means this type of toilet paper is less likely to build up in unwanted places, like the pipes under your home, and cause a clog or backflow. Biodegradable toilet paper also doesn’t come made with as many additives and other materials that can build up and take too long to disintegrate.
Recycled Toilet Paper
More toilet paper these days is marketed as being made of recycled materials. When toilet paper is made of recycled paper, it typically involves fewer chemicals like bleach and chlorine that can be found in other types of toilet paper. That means you are introducing fewer chemicals to the septic tank contents that may impact its ability to effectively process waste. Some people also prefer recycled toilet paper due to its better impact on the environment.
Other Products Marketed as Flushable
In addition to toilet paper, it helps to understand more about what is considered flushable what’s not safe to flush down your toilet. When you have a home on a septic system, you should only ever flush human waste and toilet paper. Even though some wipes may be marketed as flushable, too often these products end up clinging to pipes or other solid waste and causing faster buildup, which can eventually lead to clogs or the need for a septic tank service sooner than you planned.
Proper Septic System Maintenance
There are certain things you can do to help maintain a properly functioning septic system. Paying attention to the type of toilet paper you use can help reduce the amount of solid waste that builds up in the septic tank over time. If you can’t live without that soft, plush toilet paper, then be sure to avoid using large amounts at once. And always schedule septic system services with professionals who offer regular and emergency septic tank service, like with Septic Masters, LLC.