Maintaining a septic tank or sewage treatment plant is essential for the proper disposal of household wastewater. While these systems work diligently behind the scenes, homeowners have a crucial role in their upkeep. One often-overlooked aspect is the choice of cleaning products. In this blog post, we will explore what septic tank and sewage treatment plant owners need to know about selecting cleaning products that won't harm their system.
Before we delve into the world of cleaning products, let's clarify what septic tanks and sewage treatment plants are:
A septic tank is a private wastewater treatment system that typically serves rural and suburban areas. It collects and treats household wastewater, breaking down solids and allowing liquid effluent to flow into a drainage field for further filtration and dispersion into the soil.
A sewage treatment plant is more advanced than a typical septic tank. It treats wastewater on a larger scale, employing various processes to purify the water before releasing it into the environment usually into a flowing water course i.e. river, brook or stream.
Both septic tanks and sewage treatment plants rely on natural processes and beneficial bacteria to break down waste. Harsh or toxic chemicals from cleaning products can disrupt these delicate ecosystems, leading to system failures, costly repairs, and environmental harm. It's essential to choose cleaning products that won't harm these vital systems.
It's important to look for cleaning products labelled as "septic-safe" or "biodegradable." As these products are designed to be gentle on the environment, your septic tank or your sewage treatment plant. Ingredients such as vinegar, baking soda, and hydrogen peroxide are safe alternatives for cleaning various surfaces in your home.
Using homemade cleaners using ingredients like lemon juice, vinegar, and baking soda are excellent options. This is because they are eco-friendly, cost-effective, and do not harm your septic tank or sewage treatment plant.
You also want to think about choosing laundry detergents and dishwashing soaps that are phosphate-free. As phosphates can contribute to excess nutrient build-up in the system, potentially causing water quality issues.
You should avoid using products containing bleach, ammonia, or other harsh chemicals. These chemicals can kill beneficial bacteria in the septic tank or sewage treatment plant.
You should also steer away from antibacterial soaps and cleaners that contain chemicals like triclosan, which can disrupt the natural microbial balance in these systems.
Any solvents, paint thinners, and oil-based products should never be disposed of down drains or toilets. As they can clog pipes and harm your septic tank or sewage treatment plant.
Your choice of cleaning products can significantly impact the health and longevity of your septic tank or sewage treatment plant. By opting for septic-safe, natural, or homemade cleaning solutions and avoiding harsh chemicals, you can maintain a clean home while preserving the functionality of your wastewater treatment system. This responsible approach not only saves you money on repairs but also contributes to a healthier environment for all. So, the next time you reach for a cleaning product, make sure it's a choice that supports your septic or sewage treatment system's well-being.