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Along the same lines of proper tank maintenance, it is also important that homeowners know what not to put in their septic systems. When these items are avoided in the sink and toilet drains, the septic system can operate correctly without eliminating good bacteria that live in the system as well as eliminating the chances of a back-up.

Things that homeowners should avoid discarding down their drains include grease, fats, wax, pesticides, paints, coffee grounds, and excess food waste. These items do not break down easily and can potentially cause a back-up. Chemicals like pesticides can also harm the good bacteria in the tank which is essential to the performance of the septic system.

Things that homeowners should avoid discarding into their toilets include wrappers, paper towels, baby wipes, medicines, feminine products, condoms, kitty litter, and cigarette butts. Many products like baby wipes are listed on the package as “flushable”; however, they should not go into a septic system. The reason for this is that baby wipes and other “flushable” items cannot breakdown like toilet paper can when flushed into the septic system. They can cause clogging and back-ups to occur. The items above should always be disposed of in a trash can and not into the toilet.

 It is also important that homeowners are aware of drain cleaning products on the market that are used in toilet and sink and shower drains. Most of these products, like Drano® and Liquid Plumbr® are labeled as “plumbing safe” but do not make mention of being “septic safe”. Homeowners must make sure that the product is labeled “septic safe” before buying. For an even more efficient, septic friendly method of unclogging drains, homeowners can easily make their own drain cleaner. For ingredients and instructions on how to make this natural drain cleaner, click here.