Do you have a stubborn drain in your home that gets clogged from time to time? Whether it is from hair, toothpaste residue or food debris, it is not uncommon to experience slow drains in your bathroom or kitchen. In fact, there are many drain cleaning products readily available to consumers who need a quick fix for their recurring clogs. Unfortunately, if you live on a septic system, you can’t assume that Drano is for you. In fact, chemical drain cleaners like Drano can end up doing more harm than good when it comes to your septic tank.
Septic Tanks Need Bacterial Balance
Your septic tank may look antiquated or basic, but it is actually quite complex. A septic system involves an intricate system that utilizes healthy bacteria to break down organic household wastewater and releases the treated water through the soil. The process works beautifully – unless there is thoughtless disposal of certain items into your drains.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) instructs septic owners to avoid flushing or putting the following items down the drain:
- Cooking grease or oil
- Non-flushable wipes, such as baby wipes or other wet wipes
- Photographic solutions
- Feminine hygiene products
- Dental floss
- Cigarette butts
- Coffee grounds
- Cat litter
- Paper towels
- Household chemicals like gasoline, oil, pesticides, antifreeze and paint or paint thinners
The Danger of Drain Cleaners
Drano and other similar cleaners operate on a created chemical reaction involving lye, sodium chloride and fine aluminum powder. The reaction is strong enough and toxic enough to dissolve whatever may be blocking your drain. While this may be good news in terms of getting your pipes cleared, it can be detrimental to the health of your septic tank. The chemicals in drain cleaners are potent, and they have no problem destroying the “good” bacteria in your septic tank – which is what helps your system naturally breakdown wastewater. These chemicals can even sterilize bacteria in your leach field.
When using a chemical drain cleaner, you could be trading a clog-free drain for the following costly issues:
- Damaged toilets
- Damaged pipes
- Eroded or damaged glue from the piping joints
- Disruption of delicate ecosystem inside your septic system
- Potential replacement of septic components or drain field
Just because you rely on a septic tank doesn’t mean you have to live with clogged drains. Call Metro Septic today to learn about safe and effective solutions for your septic clogs.