As more people move from urban to rural communities, they are often also moving from sewer systems to septic systems. From our point of view as an on site sewage system installer, there is a need for education for those unused to thinking about how waste is treated.
A septic system relies on bacteria to digest solid waste not unlike our own digestive systems. Care must be taken when disposing of materials in the sink or toilet. Excessive use of bleach and cleaning chemicals can kill the bacteria in your septic system causing it to fail. Similarly, oils and fats of any sort have a tendency to bind things up and slow or stop digestion. High use of papers…toilet paper, tissue, and other hygiene items or non-biodegradable materials also slow or stop the digestion process. Only toilet paper approved for septic systems should be used. Tissue paper and other items should not be put into the system.
Paints, solvents, and other chemicals should never reach the septic system. In addition, we now have the effects of additional “Covid Cleaning” and the increased use of strong cleaning agents, particularly in our vacation rentals and where there is high occupancy turn-over. We think it’s a good idea to educate painting contractors, cleaning and maintenance staff, as well as the guests on the what should and what should not go down the drain.
Septic systems on the islands can be extremely expensive to install due to imperfect soils, lack of soil, space considerations, and proximity to critical areas. It makes sense to take good care of your septic system. If you have any questions, we are happy to talk to you-Orcas Excavators (360) 376-2319.