Social Distancing. Quarantine. In many homes across the world, there are now whole families shutting in for this long haul of a critical safety measure. We at Jack Ward & Sons Plumbing Co. hope this has meant the best for you and your family, spending priceless time with loved ones and getting back to the basics, board games anyone? However, your home itself may not be singing the same tune. The strain on the systems in your home are most likely running overtime with the large increase of usage, such as your plumbing system. More showers, baths, flushes, and loads of laundry means a lot more water, detergents, and waste are being eliminated from the home through all of the piping. The topic of today’s post is meant to inform those of you at home that utilize a septic system to be careful of what you are flushing in such high amounts, most specifically, flushable wipes.
If your home has a septic tank, you may be aware (or at least we hope you are!) that they require special care and maintenance to keep running and doing their job. It is even recommended to have it pumped or cleaned about every three years! So what have your septic senses told you as you have examined a bag of flushable wipes? If they said “They’re too good to be true!” then we say you we’re right. Perhaps you are looking for a more clean alternative for yourself, or have your work cut out for you with a potty training child, and want to increase your convenience of use. The truth is, not all claims are as they appear when it comes to selling a product.
Are Flushable Wipes Really Septic Safe?
Flushable wipes will break down in your system, yes. Unlike regular wipes or other materials used for wiping, they can eventually become a part of the septic’s system of muck and grime that helps it work right. However, that process takes quite some time to do, and increase the amount of flushable wipes being used by many more members of a family for a prolonged period of time- well that can spell disaster. The truth is, these wipes have a higher chance in this situation to cause a clog on their way down the toilet or backing up a septic tank then they do achieving the picture-perfect outcome promised on the packaging. A backed up septic tank isn’t pretty, but rather…smelly.
Now flushable wipes aren’t the bane of your septic’s existence, there are a host of other materials that can also cause trouble. Tossing these items in the trash bin instead of flushing them down will leave you with the benefits of using them, sparing your septic some issues, and your wallet of the costly repairs and cleanings that it would take to fix the problems:
- Certain food items like eggshells and nutshells or coffee grounds
- Fats, oils, and greases
- Scrubbing pads for cleaning toilets, etc.
- Paper products like paper towels or napkins (even cloth ones)
- Other materials like hair or dental floss
- Feminine hygiene products
- Cotton swabs or cotton balls
- Any kind of plastic
- Diapers, both cloth, disposable, and “flushable”
- Pharmaeuticals and medicines
So, now that you have that pile of flushable wipes you made sure to stock up on when all of the toilet paper disappeared, what are you going to do with it all? Here are some ideas for ways to put those wipes to work, just be sure they end up in the garbage can!
- Dusting house plants and certain kinds of furniture
- Cleaning scuff marks from surfaces
- Removing makeup
- Cleaning up tracked mud
- Wiping mess from children’s faces and hands
It is inevitable that even while you’re being cautions that plumbing problems will happen (think a three year old child with a lego sculpture), and when they do, we will be a phone call away to help perform an array of plumbing repairs. Give Jack Ward & Sons Plumbing Co. a call today at (615) 227-2811 to schedule a FREE evaluation of your plumbing system or address any immediate issues you might be experiencing!