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randalg 03-20-2008 03:43 PM

Question about septic system......
Is it ok to install a garbage disposer with a septic tank system? Are there any issues that I should be aware of? I am replacing our sink and the wife wants a garbage disposer. Thanks for any help!


perpetual98 03-20-2008 03:57 PM

Most people will tell you that it's not ok. Some people will say that if you have it pumped every year you'll be ok. We just moved to a house with a septic and it's the first place we've lived in a long time that didn't have a disposal, and at first it really sucked. After a while, you just get used to dumping stuff in the trash instead of down the drain. Do I still WANT a disposal? Of course. Do I feel like running power down under the cabinets and possibly damaging my septic tank? Not really.

Bondo 03-20-2008 06:28 PM


Fats,+ Grease are what Kills a leach field,....

I Don't have 1 either....

doggofast 03-20-2008 07:25 PM

There isn't really a "yes" or "no" answer to this question. If you have a modern, well designed, well maintained septic system than can more than adequately handle your wastewater requirements, and you wish to add a garbage disposal for occasional use.....then that would probably be alright and not effect the performance of the system. If, on the other hand, you have an old, out of date septic system and you overuse a disposal, then its likely going impact your system in the long run and shorten the life.

randalg 03-20-2008 07:41 PM

The system is 10 years old. It passed the inspection when we bought the house. The previous owners had 4 kids and never had it cleaned in the 10 years they lived there. I guess it's safe to say the system works. I'll try and do some more research on it. Thanks for your comments.


majakdragon 03-21-2008 11:24 AM

My feeling is that, although a disposer chops solids up, they are still solids going to the tank. Insinkerator has one that adds enzymes to the discharge when the disposer is used. Proper use of a septic is what extends the amount of time between pumping. I had one for 11 years that was never pumped and worked fine. We were vigilent about what we sent to it. No heavy use of bleach or caustic chemicals. Pots and pans were wiped out to remove grease and oil before they were washed. No feminine hygiene products. If a drain cleaner is absolutely necessary, use an enzyme type such as Draincare by Zep. It used to be the standard rule that "if it didn't go through you, it shouldn't go through the septic". This is overkill but has it's merits.

randalg 03-21-2008 01:24 PM

I think we are going to skip with the disposer. After doing some reading, along with what I read here, it probably makes more sense to just leave it as it is. It will take the wife some time to get used to not having a disposer. At least that's one less thing to worry about on my honey-do-list!:thumbup:

Have a great weekend!

Mike Swearingen 03-21-2008 01:43 PM

My home has been on a septic system for 30+ years.
The only "maintenance" required, according to NC State University which has conducted extensive research on the subject, is to pump out the tank at least every five years for normal usage. (More often for heavy usage.) I have our tank pumped out in every year that ends in a 5 or 0 to make it idiot-proof for me. LOL. We have never had any trouble.
Additionally, since there are a lot of trees and shrubbery either near or over parts of our septic drainfield, I flush a cup or two of copper sulphate down about three times a year to keep roots out of the lines.
As a matter of routine, we have no disposal, and try to limit the amount of chemicals, bleach, grease, solids of any kind, etc. that go into the system.
Good Luck!

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