PHOTOGRAPH of perscription drug being poured into a toiletThings Should NEVER Be Flushed Down the Toilet
Avoid drain clogs & septic system clogging

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What things should you never flush down the drains and into a septic tank?

What items and chemicals are safe to flush down the toilet and into a private septic system? What may damage the septic tank or leach fields?

This document explains how to extend the life of the septic system by being careful about what goes into it. Discussed: List of chemicals, objects, and trash items that it would be should NEVER be flushed down a toilet Cat litter, dryer sheets, disposable diapers, drugs, coffee grounds, & lots of other stuff should not go into the septic tank nor down a drain into a public sewer.

We also provide a MASTER INDEX to this topic, or you can try the page top or bottom SEARCH BOX as a quick way to find information you need.

List of chemicals, objects, and trash items that should NEVER be flushed down a toilet

a really cute and newest grandson whose mother knows to never ever flush a diaper down the toilet. at TOILETS, DON'T FLUSH LIST we introduce the topic of stuff that should not be flushed down drains and into septic systems, and we explain the sorts of problems that can occur: drain clogging, sewage backups into buildings, costly septic system failure, and environmental contamination.

Here we list items that should never be flushed down a building drain much less onwards into a septic tank.

Here are examples of other things that should not be flushed down a toilet nor down any other building drain (and onwards into the septic tank):

Plumbing drain should not receive these chemical contaminants (C) Daniel Friedman

a really really cute baby wearing a newborn nappy that should NOT be flushed down the toilet.

Photo of spilling cat litter into a toilet

This warning includes those "clumps" of cat litter from special clumping litter that solidifies around cat urine or cat feces.

It's tempting to just toss these clumps of animal waste into the toilet and flush away. But clumps of cat litter or cat litter bound by cat urine add to the solid waste load in the septic tank.

Our photo (left) shows conventional cat litter in a glass of water. There can be no doubt that this material settles to the bottom of a septic tank where it adds to the solid layer just as you see in this lab photograph.

After a month our TEST of KITTY LITTER in the SEPTIC TANK [image] showed that the clay material remained intact, settled on the bottom of our test glass.

Zeolite is the prime ingredient in cat litter. This clay-like material is used in other products and has even been under experimentation for use in capturing radioactive material [at REFERENCES] in ground water near Lake Erie.

What about other cat litter products that are advertised as "flushable" kitty litter? Some of these products, described as biodegradable, are made of processed newsprint, corn cobs, or wheat by-products.

OPINION: with the data at hand we do not believe that these products should be put into the septic tank unless their total monthly volume is absolutely trivial (a cubic foot or less). All cat litter products add solid waste or floating scum layer waste that adds to the septic system load.

Certainly we wouldn't flush newspapers down a toilet in any form. Nor corn cobs nor wheat. It is unlikely that these products dissolve in the septic tank in the same manner that does toilet tissue. Even if such a product does "dissolve", if it is present in volume it may interfere with septic tank bacterial action.

FACT: We don't know how these flushable products actually perform in the septic tank - do they float, settle, or dissolve? Is there independent supporting research by any of the sellers?

Meanwhile, if cat litter of any form has already been flushed into the septic tank it may be useful to open and pump the septic tank ahead of schedule, evaluate the level of solids in the tank, and in the future, open, pump, and inspect more often where these products are in use, until hard evidence shows that there is no discernable increase in the volume of solids, floating scum layer, nor interference with bacterial action in the septic tank. (Research reports are invited.)

The cost to clean out clogged septic or sewer lines tells a the story. We recommend that you dispose of kitty litter waste in sealed garbage bags, not in your toilet.

cat litter test (C) DJ Friedman

LARGER VIEW underpants
being fished out of a toilet drain after a grandson flushed his new underpants down the drain during toilet training.

Don't Flush Disposable Wet Wipes, Diapers, Dryer Sheets, Cloth into toilets

We have moved this information to a separate article now found at DISPOSABLE WET WIPE CLOGS

Watch out: Do not flush "disposable" wet wipes, baby wipes, clothes dryer sheets, sanitary napkins, nor any cloth or fabric waste into toilets anywhere, regardless of whether the toilet is connected to public sewer or private septic system.


Continue reading at BETTER NOT TO FLUSH or select a topic from closely-related articles below, or see our complete INDEX to RELATED ARTICLES below.


Or see NEVER FLUSH INTO TOILETS - FAQs questions & answers posted originally at this article

Or see these articles

Don't Flush Articles for Sewage Grinder Pumps, Toilets, Septic Systems, Drains

Suggested citation for this web page

NEVER FLUSH INTO SEPTICS at - online encyclopedia of building & environmental inspection, testing, diagnosis, repair, & problem prevention advice.


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Publisher - Daniel Friedman