Knowing the truth about the ways in which septic tanks and garbage disposals interact with
each other can help you keep your septic tank in good working order.
If you have a garbage disposal, will it interfere with your septic tank?
Under certain circumstances, a garbage disposal can create problems for your septic tank.
Your septic tank works by collecting waste water from your home and holding it in a tank. As
the water sits in the tank, solids settle to the bottom. A colony of bacteria inside the tank
breaks down the solid waste, making more room for waste water.
Septic tanks accumulate solid waste too quickly for the bacteria to break down all of the
solid waste on its own, and households with garbage disposals accumulate solid waste
more quickly than they would without the garbage disposal. If the septic tank accumulates
solid waste too quickly without a residential septic tank cleaning, this can cause the
septic tank to become clogged.
Can you have a garbage disposal if you have a septic tank?
Yes, you can. There are even garbage disposals that are specifically designed to work
with septic tanks. These garbage disposals break down food into pieces that are tiny
enough to decompose quickly, and may also treat the solid waste with bacteria to
ensure that the pieces break down more quickly in the tank.
Even if you donít have a garbage disposal that is specially designed to work with a septic
tank, you can still safely use a garbage disposal in your home. The key to using a garbage
disposal and a septic tank together is pumping out the septic tank frequently enough that
the solid waste wonít clog the drain field.
How often should you pump your garbage disposal if you have a septic tank?
This depends on the size of your tank and the amount of waste water your home produces
each month. Most homeowners can get away with having their tank pumped every 2 to 3 years.
However, if your home has a garbage disposal, which produces extra waste water and extra
solid waste each month, your home will likely need your septic tank to be pumped more frequently.
The best way to find out how often your septic tank needs to be pumped is to contact a reputable
company that pumps out septic tanks. Following the recommendation of your septic tank pumping
company, you should be able to have a septic tank and a garbage disposal at the same time.