Grease Trap Pumping in Wilmington NC: How Do Cleaning Supplies Affect Septic Tanks?

The holidays can be a particularly problematic time for many homeowners who have septic tank and grease trap systems in their homes. These systems can easily become overwhelmed due to increase of use, such as when family members stay for an extended holiday visit. Add to this the fact that cleaning in the home will also increase and the cleaning agents that go down the drain can create even further havoc for the system. Along with practicing routine septic tank and grease trap pumping in Wilmington NC, a homeowner needs to know which types of cleaning supplies are safe for use with their systems and which ones need to be avoided at all costs.

Modern Cleaning Supplies and Your Septic System

Cleaning agents listed as household cleaners are essentially safe for use if you have a septic tank system on your property. These products are made up of three primary components – surfactants, builders and bleaches.

Surfactants – Surfactants are the majority ingredients in household cleaning agents. These substances are adsorbed by the soil and digested by microorganisms in the drain field. They are broken down into water, carbon dioxide and minerals. According to a study conducted by The American Cleaning Institute, it was found that in a properly sited and maintained septic tank system, there will be no surfactant residues in groundwater. This indicates that surfactants are completely removed before they reach groundwater.

Builders – Builders are comprised of inorganic compounds, such as carbonate and phosphate compounds and zeolites. These substances are shown to either break down in into minerals that are common in nature, such as carbonate, phosphate and silicate; or they settle and get disposed of with the sludge; or they are captured by the soils below the drain field where they remain.

Bleaches – Sodium hypochlorite, sodium perborate and hydrogen peroxide are among the most commonly used bleaches in modern household cleaning products. These ingredients are eventually converted to sodium, chloride and borate salts, which are minerals that are already naturally found in the environment.

What Kind of Liquids are Unsafe for a Septic System?

If you have a septic tank system on your property, then you really have no limitations as to which types or brands of household cleaners you use in your kitchen or bathroom. However, bleaches, disinfectants and toilet bowl cleaners should be used in moderation and in accordance with the instructions on their labels.

Equally as important as this is knowing which liquids to avoid pouring down your drains. These include:

  • Toxic drain cleaners
  • Septic tank “additives”
  • Paints
  • Varnishes
  • Thinners
  • Liquid fuels
  • Waste oil
  • Pesticides
  • Photographic solutions
  • Organic chemicals

These products destroy the beneficial bacteria that reside in your septic tanks system, thus interrupting the natural biological digestion that is supposed to be taking place within your tank.

Schedule Septic Tank and Grease Trap Pumping in Wilmington NC Before Holiday Guests Arrive

If you are anticipating holiday guests this year, then be prepared and schedule septic tank and grease trap pumping in Wilmington NC before they arrive. This will ensure that your system is clean and capable of handling the increased use. Call Lewis Farms and Liquid Waste, Inc. toll-free at 800-624-2979 to schedule an appointment for service. We’ll inspect your septic tanks and grease trap and clean them out if necessary. Or, if your grease trap gets clogged over the holidays or you notice signs of septic tank failure, please call our 24-hour emergency line at 910-604-0049.