2020 has been the year of, among other things, toilet paper! Back in the spring you were lucky to find anything, let alone have some kind of selection. But as the supply chain has recovered and we once again have choices, what exactly is the best toilet paper for your septic system? Note we are only talking about toilet paper. NOTHING except waste and toilet paper should ever be flushed into a septic system. That list of forbidden items includes tissues, cigarette butts, condoms, diapers, and even those “flushable” wipes that are only flushable if you want to slowly wreck your plumbing and your system.
- Septic vs Sewer – A household waste system attached to a sewer line is able to handle much more than a septic system. On the other end of that sewer line is a robust network designed to filter, clean, and otherwise deal with the multitude of items that end up in municipal wastewater. On the other end of your septic system however, is a delicate ecosystem that must be maintained to avoid creating problems literally right outside your door!
- What To Look For – All toilet paper will break down and dissolve eventually. However f]or a septic system, you need to utilize paper that disintegrates quickly and efficiently. This minimizes the chance for it to build up and cause problems down the road. Biodegradable paper requires less water and breaks down rapidly. Recycled paper, while not necessarily biodegradable, is natural enough to promote a healthy septic system. Some toilet papers will even be marked “septic-safe” or “RV-safe” meaning they will break down almost on contact with water.
- What To Avoid – Triple and quadruple-ply toilet papers are thicker and therefore take longer to break down. Any toilet paper marked “quilted” implies that there is adhesion between the layers, increasing the paper’s durability and the time it takes to break down. To keep the chemical structure of your system in balance, avoid using any toilet paper marked “scented”.
- What Does All This Mean – Simply put those thick, soft, plush toilet papers most of us love are in fact the worst for your system, while the thinner, less comfortable papers are the best bet. In other words, some compromise between your comfort and your system’s health is required. Of course the other option is to use what you want and not flush any of it. Throwing your used toilet paper away instead of flushing it means you can wipe with literally anything you want!
Keep your system working its best! And when it’s time for service call the experts at Got-A-Go.