When you have your septic tank pumped and inspected, it might never cross your mind that the technicians actually can see some of the things that get flushed down the toilet that aren't supposed to be. For instance, some of these things float. You probably figure once something is flushed, it's gone. However, septic system technicians across the country find many objects in the tanks that shouldn't be there, ranging from humorous to disturbing.
What Should Go in a Septic Tank?
Ideally, only white, septic-safe toilet paper and organic bathroom waste would go in a septic tank. Of course, septic systems can also handle a reasonable amount of laundry and dish washing detergent, toilet cleaning products, and ground-up food waste from the garbage disposal. Beyond that, nothing else should go in the system.
Weird Things Found in Septic Tanks
The kids never admitted to you exactly how they lost those toys. Maybe they wanted to see whether the action figures could swim their way back to the top.
This may not be the strangest object in a septic tank, but it does make one wonder why someone would flush the cigarette remnant rather than put it out in an ashtray, soda can or other appropriate receptacle. Does someone want to hide smoking from other people in the house?
As with cigarette butts, it may make you wonder who's trying to hide something if he feels that he can't wrap up the condom in toilet paper and throw it in a wastebasket.
Plastic Bags of Contraband
Now there's something that somebody was obviously trying to hide, and probably in a hurry.
It probably seems convenient to scoop poop from the litter box and toss it in the toilet, but any bits of clay, wood shavings, corn or other litter materials get flushed too. They sink to the bottom of the tank and accumulate there. You can make a mess of your septic system by routinely dumping these particles into it.
A toilet might seem like a good place to dispense of a dead mouse, chipmunk or even a possum, but those animals don't decompose thoroughly. The technicians may find their hairy skeletons in the tank.
Of course, there are many more common items tossed in toilets, such as paper towels, dental floss, sanitary wipes and tampons. If you've been flushing items that shouldn't go down the sewer pipe, it's probably time to get the tank pumped and inspected. Afterward, you can start over with a resolution to treat your septic system with the care it needs and avoid potential backups or even system failure.