Many homeowners have a “set it and forget it” attitude to their septic systems as long as they seem to be functioning correctly. It’s an easy mindset to get into, especially since modern septic systems are quite long-lived when they receive proper maintenance and regular pumpings. Before letting your septic system turn into an “out of sight, out of mind” feature of your home’s function, though, it is important to realize that your toilet tissue choice might have a much larger impact on its health than you estimated.
Toilet tissue that does not break down properly, that is too thick and takes a long time to anaerobically degrade, or that contains heavy dyes and artificial components can be damaging to your home septic system. In fact, sometimes it can even float above the rest, which ensures that future additions clump together, making it harder to remove as it accumulates. If left unattended for too long, it can cause system issues, but even when you take care of it, an untimely choice of toilet tissue can increase the cost of your regular tank maintenance by several times.
In theory, finding the best toilet tissue for your septic system should be easy, because there are plenty of brands that are marked as safe for septic tanks. In practice, though, there are several septic-safe brands that still take longer to break down than you would probably prefer, and since maintenance is only done every couple of years, it’s a good idea to know how to get the best results. Still, starting with something labeled as “septic safe” is a great way to go, because it helps to narrow down your choices.
From there, you want to stay away from anything that is heavily quilted or plushy, because the extra density and thickness of the material that gives it the texture and the strength that it advertises is the same thing that makes it take longer to break down. Sticking to white tissue also helps, because it ensures that you are steering away from dyes and other artificial additives that can affect the speed at which it biodegrades.
There are still a lot of great choices left, especially when you look past the major national brands and consider your own local, regional companies too. Avoiding the few overly processed, heavy brands of toilet tissue won’t be hard, and once you are in a routine where you understand what works best, it gets easier. Just remember: saving money on your tissue won’t do a lot of good if it costs you a repair later.
To learn more about septic system maintenance in Santa Cruz and how you can keep yours in top shape, click here.