SwopNet.com logo

Don't Poison Your Septic Tank Friends

Your septic tank is home to trillions of friendly micro-organisms whose job is to eat the stuff that your body doesn't want. It's pooh to you, but it's their bread and butter. So long as their environment is stable and un-polluted, your little friends will keep doing their job and so will your septic tank.

There are some common materials that will make your little septic system friends sick, or even dead. You should avoid putting those into your drains.

The list of chemicals that can poison, or seriously slow down, your little friends in the septic tank includes:

1. Pesticides, herbicides, rat poison, insecticides, weed killers
Your little friends may be tiny, but still they are living creatures with metabolic systems. Any chemical that is intended to kill living things is not going to be good for them.

2. Drugs, medicines, antibiotics
Many medicines are designed to change something about metabolism, which means bad news for your septic-tank friends. Dispose of excess medicines in the trash,if permitted in your area.

3. Drain cleaners (unless they say septic-tank safe on the label)
Some drain cleaners can cause sharp changes in the pH of a septic tank, which will shock the microorganisms into a state of suspended animation. Until they recover, wastes pass through your tank untreated.

4. Photographic chemicals
Silver is a component of the rinse water from photogrhic processing, and it is a very effective poison to micro-organisms. Keep it out of the septic system.

5. Paint, Kilz, thinner, oils, shellac, varnishes, water sealants.
Breathing the fumes from these products can make you ill, and the same thing happens if your little micro-organism friends have to swim in them. You should never put these down the drain. Also, don't clean your paint brushes in the sink.

If you keep these poisons ou of your sewer system, your little microorganism friends in the septic tank will keep happily munching and you will continue to be a happy homeowner.

Anything else to add to this list? Please email to webmaster -at- swopnet.com. Thank you.

Caveat: Check with your local authority before using any of these ideas.

Return to Septic Tank Page, which has lots more information.