Septic tanks are a safe and sustainable way to deal with your wastewater but there a few things to consider to help maintain the health of your tank.

While you can let things like household cleaners, soap, human waste and toilet paper flow into your septic tank in moderation, there are some things that should never end up there.

Kitchen Waste

Washing up liquid is ok but things like food should be disposed of in the bin. Grease and oil can build up and clog septic tanks so they should be disposed of appropriately.

Solid food waste can interfere with the health of the bacteria and may not properly break down so it will continue decomposing in the tank or drainage field.

Make sure you scrape plates thoroughly and get a plug hole waste catcher to stop large food particles from draining into the tank. If your drain becomes blocked, don’t use caustic cleaners or harsh chemicals to try and unblock it — call a plumber.

Bathroom Waste

When you shower or bath, the use of soaps, shampoos and conditioners should be used only as instructed on the label, excess use can disrupt the proper functioning of septic tanks.

When it comes to the toilet, flushable wipes, sanitary pads, tampons, nappies and condoms are a huge no-no. You should only flush human waste and toilet paper into the septic tank to prevent blockages and build up of solids.

The more solid material makes it through, the more often you will have to pump the tank.

Another little thought about waste product is medication. If one of your family is on antibiotics, their urine could carry the medicine through to the tank and kill the bacteria that usually breaks down your waste.

If you have leftover prescriptions, they should be disposed of in the bin and not flushed.

Other Waste


When washing your clothes, try to use eco friendly detergent if possible but standard soaps are fine in moderation too. Try to get a water efficient washing machine if possible as older models tend to uses 50% more water which could overwhelm the system.

Water Softeners

Water softening systems aren’t compatible with septic tanks, they use salt to initiate an ion exchange and the waste overflow then flushes saltwater into the tank. Studies have shown that the brine not only harms the bacteria but also allows more solid material to pass through to the drainage field. Water softeners also tend to flush huge amounts of water through in one go and that can inundate the system.

Burial at Sea

Losing a pet can be traumatic for any family but the tradition of sending fish or small rodents down the toilet to a watery grave can’t be done with septic tanks, opt for a burial in the yard.

If you are interested in septic tanks and maintenance call us on 0428 787 462 for more information.

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Safety Tips For Rainwater Tanks