Can you have a Garbage Disposal with a Septic Tank?
Normally in homes outside of cities, it is common to find a septic tank. These are excellent for waste management, but the question arises can you have a garbage disposal if you have a septic tank?
Septic tanks are usually out of sight, so when a problem arises it is too late. We should always keep our septic tank healthy, to avoid any kind of inconvenience.
Everything that is put down the pipes in our home will end up in the septic tank. The garbage disposal is no exception, so it is important to consider multiple aspects.
- 1 Is it possible to have a garbage disposal with a septic tank?
- 2 How does a septic tank work?
- 3 Tips for keeping your septic tank in optimal condition
- 4 What to do and what not to do if you have a garbage disposal with a septic tank?
- 5 What are the things that can go in the garbage disposal?
- 6 Is it convenient to buy a septic-assisted garbage disposal?
Is it possible to have a garbage disposal with a septic tank?
Normally you could have it, although it is advisable not to have it. This is because the disposal can cause problems within the septic tank system. Garbage disposals grind up food and organic matter, which increases the amount of solids in the septic tank.
By having a garbage disposal, the septic tank will inevitably fill up faster, requiring more frequent pumping. This will result in higher maintenance costs.
On the other hand, small particles of garbage can be created, which can cause clogs in the septic drain which will lead to problems. It is always best to consult with a professional, and if possible do not install a garbage disposal.
How does a septic tank work?
Septic systems are a type of treatment that will take care of treating wastewater on-site. This means that a septic tank is responsible for the disposal of domestic wastewater.
The complete system, in addition to the septic tank, also incorporates a drain field and a network of pipes connected to the home. The septic tank is usually a large subway tank, where the sewage goes to decompose naturally.
On the other hand, the drain field is a series of pipes that filter and disperse treated wastewater into the soil.
The septic system will remove harmful bacteria and other contaminants. Thanks to this, the treated wastewater is safely released into the environment. Typically septic systems are used in places that do not have a municipal sewer.
Tips for keeping your septic tank in optimal condition
When we have a septic tank, we will have to follow some recommendations for it to work properly:
Use water moderately
In septic systems, water is vital to break down and process wastewater. It is recommended that you use water efficiently in your home so that the tank does not fill up too quickly. This will reduce the risk of overflows and other problems.
Do not use chemical products
Bleach or other disinfectants can damage bacteria and other microorganisms in the septic tank. Without these bacteria, the wastewater will not be able to decompose, so you will have problems with the tank.
Ideally, you should use products that are environmentally friendly. This way, bacteria will not be affected and your septic tank will be kept in optimal conditions.
Use the garbage disposer sparingly
The drawback of garbage disposals is that they increase the amount of solid waste in the septic tank. For this reason, it is recommended that excessive use of the garbage disposal be avoided. Ideally, the waste should be disposed of in the regular garbage to avoid frequent pumping of the septic tank.
Septic tank pumping
Depending on the use of the tank and its size, it will normally need to be drained every 3 to 5 years. Regular pumping will prevent the tank from filling or clogging, thus avoiding clogging and other problems.
However, if you have a garbage disposal and use it frequently, you may need to pump out the tank every 1 to 2 years. This is because solid waste will fill the tank more quickly.
What to do and what not to do if you have a garbage disposal with a septic tank?
There are some things you can do and some things you can't do when you have a garbage disposal connected to a septic tank. Among these are:
- Use the garbage disposal sparingly to avoid overloading the septic system.
- Discard only small amounts of food particles, so that the shredder can easily shred them.
- Let the water run while using the grinder.
- Use biodegradable and non-toxic cleaning products to avoid damaging the septic system.
- Avoid shredding fibrous materials such as corn husks or celery stalks.
- Do not place expandable foods such as pasta or rice in the garbage disposal because it may cause clogging.
- Grease could solidify and create blockages, so they should not be thrown into the grinder.
- Avoid using hot water while using the disposer.
- Do not use chemicals such as bleach or disinfectants to avoid damaging the bacteria in the septic tank.
- Anything other than organic matter is prohibited in the septic system. Do not put materials such as plastic, metal, glass, paper, or cigarettes, among others.
- Avoid shredding too much waste, and do not use the garbage disposal for too long.
What are the things that can go in the garbage disposal?
When using a garbage disposal with a septic tank, certain items should be avoided. For this reason, it is best to limit yourself to putting the following in the disposer:
- Soft fruits, vegetables, or biodegradable food scraps.
- Small amounts of cooked or raw meat.
- Bread and eggshells.
Other than these wastes, it is not recommended that you put anything additional in the garbage disposal. All other waste should always be disposed of in the conventional garbage, so your septic tank will be in optimal condition for a longer period of time.
In many cases, it is ideal not to use a garbage disposal with a septic system. This is because you could end up with a system that will fill up faster, and you could upset the balance of the tank.
Is it convenient to buy a septic-assisted garbage disposal?
There are special garbage disposals that are designed to work specifically with a septic system. These are responsible for shredding into smaller particles and allow waste to be broken down more efficiently than standard disposers.
They may have additional features such as an easy-to-clean grinding chamber. They are usually more expensive than traditional devices but help prevent problems that can be generated by the waste in septic tanks.
Ideally, other methods of waste disposal should be chosen, such as:
- Composting: allows the decomposition of food waste to create a nutrient-rich fertilizer for the soil.
- Trash can: this will prevent organic matter from getting into the plumbing.
- Worm garbage can: this is a container filled with soil and worms, which decompose food and organic matter. It should be kept outdoors and can produce compost for gardening.
- Shredding before disposal: Some food waste can be shredded in a food processor or blender before disposal in the garbage. This will prevent blockages in the plumbing and facilitate disposal.
Ideally, before installing a food disposer in a septic system, you should consult with a professional.
This way, you can prevent clogs and other problems with the septic system.