|In homes with garbage disposals, jetted (whirlpool) baths and/or water softeners that also have a septic or other private on-site sewage disposal systems, special care must be taken to prevent overburdening the system.
- Garbage disposals. A garbage disposal can be a nice feature in any kitchen, but regular use can more than double the amount of harmful grease and solids over what would typically flow into a septic system. While the disposal grinds kitchen scraps into small pieces, they can still contribute to the buildup of scum and sludge in the tank.
Waste materials in a septic tank are normally broken down by bacterial action, but most of the solids must eventually be pumped out of the tank. The extra solid matter introduced into the tank when using a disposal, means it must be pumped more frequently to avoid problems. To help compensate for the presence of a garbage disposal, most codes specify an increase in the minimum septic tank size. But even with a larger tank, limiting the use of the disposal is a wise practice.
- Jetted baths. Another nice addition to any house is a jetted bath. Whether used for relaxation or therapy, the soothing, swirling waters of a jetted bath are welcomed by homeowners. Unfortunately, the water that drains from a large bath can overburden your septic system. Emptying large amounts of water from a draining bath can stir the solids in the tank, carrying them along with the water into the drainfield, saturating and eventually clogging the soil in the drainfield. To minimize problems, drain the bath slowly.