Your septic tank is an integral part of your home's wastewater removal system, breaking down organic matter and separating solids from liquids before discharging the effluent into a leach field. To avoid overloading or clogging your septic tank, you should be careful with what you put down your pipes. Learn about some items to avoid flushing below.

4 Items You Shouldn't Flush if You Have a Septic Tank

1. Feminine Hygiene Products

Your septic tank breaks down organic matter through a natural microbial process driven by bacteria. Feminine hygiene products and the biodegradable components, like cardboard tampon applicators, can't be broken down by these organisms. The items will simply build up in your septic tank, impeding its functionality. You'll then have to prematurely schedule a septic tank pumping and cleaning before other components in the tank break down.

2. Food Waste

septic tank

Some items, like coffee grounds, can't be broken down by the bacteria in the tank and will simply sit there. Meanwhile, biodegradable food scraps may break down in the tank but at a very slow rate, and your system will require premature pumping. Meanwhile, cooking grease, fat, and oil can congeal and cause clogs, either in the septic tank itself or in the pipes; if this is the case, you may need a new system installed if the damage is too severe.

3. Flushable Wipes

They may say, "flushable" but single-use wipes don't break down in the way that toilet paper does. They will simply overload the bacteria in your septic tank and cause clogs. In the worst-case scenario, a clog can cause sewage to back up into your home, causing not only an inconvenience but also a potential hygiene hazard.

4. Paper Towels

Although paper towels are technically biodegradable, they are thicker and more robust than toilet paper and take longer to break down. Further, used paper towels may be contaminated with potentially toxic products, like household cleaners, which can upset the septic system's microbial balance. With fewer bacteria in the system, your unit will start to overfill with sludge.


If you need a new septic tank in south-central Kentucky, trust Wilson & Roy Construction Inc. in Nancy to install the system. These professionals have more than 50 years of experience, and are fully insured and bonded, so you can confidently trust them. Visit their website to review their services and call (606) 636-6457 to request an estimate.