Septic System Awareness month

By Shelby Stewart
Staff Writer
Ortonville-The village has declared September as Septic System Awareness month.
Prevention is important when caring for a septic system, and one way to prevent a problem is to ensure that harmful products aren’t flushed or sent down the drain.
“Putting chemicals and medications down the toilet or drain are not only bad for the environment but also stop the bacterial action in your system and can lead to early septic failure,” said village manager Bill Sprague.
The EPA also suggests keeping an eye on what is sent down the kitchen sink. Using a garbage disposal can send too much fat, grease or solids into the septic systems, which can lead to a clog in the drain field. Other substances to be avoided would be cooking oils, harsh cleaners and solvents. They suggest unclogging a drain using boiling water and a drain snake instead of a chemical drain opener.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, a good rule of thumb is to only flush human waste and toilet paper. They recommend not flushing:

  • Cooking grease or oil
  • Flushable wipes
  • Photographic solutions
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Condoms
  • Dental floss
  • Diapers
  • Coffee grounds
  • Cigarette butts
  • Cat litter (Even ‘flushable’ litter)
  • Paper towels
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Household chemicals such as gasoline, paint, paint thinner, pesticides or antifreeze

“Everyday household items like baby wipes, cotton balls, feminine hygiene products and even dental floss do not deteriorate and can cause expensive blockages in your septic fields,” said Sprague.