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What products can I use? New house has a septic tank!

(27 Posts)
Runningtrainers Mon 17-Feb-14 16:16:17

We will be moving next week and the new house will have a septic tank, going to get it emptied ASAP as it hasn't been done in two years.

A friend in work today was saying that I can't use bleach shock as it will clog up the workings of it. Tbh I don't use much bleach anyway but I do like the toilet bleached every week.

What environment friendly things do you use? Happy to make up my own cleaning materials if needed? Fairy liquid safe?

specialsubject Mon 17-Feb-14 18:04:44

we have one, not been emptied in about 8 years. No smell, no overflow in the two years we've been here. This is a no bleach house, we have a dishwasher though and there is bleach in dishwasher tablets. All seems fine, we've checked drains.

we don't use bleach and survive without dying horribly. I have disinfectant spray which is used with jif to clean the toilet, sinks are cleaned with vinegar and bicarb. Washing up is done with normal washing up liquid (Not fairy, budget stuff, all the same anyway).

nothing goes down the toilet except body waste and toilet paper, but that's the same as anywhere in the UK.

if you use lots of bleach your tank bacteria stop working and you have a cesspit, just a storage vessel for waste. Lose the bleach!

Runningtrainers Mon 17-Feb-14 19:53:55

Thanks for your reply. Bleach is a thing of the past then...must use it all up before we move! Vinegar and bicarb...do you mix it into a solution or just put a bit of both on and away you go?

Sorry loads of questions but I really haven't a clue. Does the water from the wash up go into the cesspit too?

maudpringle Mon 17-Feb-14 19:58:16

We are on a septic tank and I use tesco thin bleach( value) sparingly eg if the toilets start to look manky.
Also, try not to use excessive amounts of washing powder,softener etc.
Cheaper water bills though grin

SquidgersMummy Mon 17-Feb-14 20:47:09

Bleach and other cleaning products are fine but you just have to check first - eg you can't use domestos but tesco brand bleach fine - cleaning products will say on the label if suitable for use with a septic tank. If it does not say it is suitable just assume it isn't. Take a look next time you go shopping - you just won't have noticed it before. Septic tanks deal with loos - my understanding is that most newer built houses have a diff drainage for dishwasher and showers etc. Also helps to nick some sanitary disposal paper bags....polite way of requesting and reminding guests that you can't flush anything 'extra' down the loo. HTH x

Runningtrainers Mon 17-Feb-14 21:17:59

Thank you all.

It is an old cottage 120 yrs old so not sure if all water goes into the septic tank?

I have been reading up on white vinegar and bicarb so will try to use these as much as possible. As for the washing machine we already use Indian soap nuts, no fabric softener here as DD had severe eczema as a baby.

Will check the back of bottles before buying anything from now on... Can I still use disinfectant?

fussychica Tue 18-Feb-14 17:58:09

When I had a sort of septic tank in Spain I always used Ecover toilet cleaner and it worked fine. However I did use ordinary dishwasher powder and washing powder rather than Ecover range and never had an issue. We used nappy sacks for all our paper etc waste though many of our friends flushed it, we preferred not to take the risk.

Nocomet Tue 18-Feb-14 18:16:24

Never thought about it, bleach and lime scale remover go down our loo by the gallon. Dishwasher and washing machine just go to soakaways not into the tank.

PigletJohn Tue 18-Feb-14 20:59:41

"Dishwasher and washing machine just go to soakaways "

well they shouldn't

Only rainwater can go into the ground. It is quite usual for gutters to go into soakaways, but not washing machines or sinks.

Lizzylou Tue 18-Feb-14 21:08:48

We moved into this house in October and gained a septic tank, I use Ecover products for loos/sinks/dishwasher and non-bio washing stuff. Don't pour fat down the plug.
All ok so far smile

I panicked too. I am probably over cautious atm grin

Runningtrainers Tue 18-Feb-14 21:16:33

lizzylou so glad it's not just me! wink

It's a minefield and really don't want to pay a fortune if I block it up!

Does all your house water waste go in to the septic tank?

specialsubject Tue 18-Feb-14 21:36:28

in this house (mostly built 1980 with some older bits) everything goes to the septic tank.

sink drain cleaning: chuck down some bicarb, spray with white vinegar, leave a bit, rinse with hot water. I am very careful to use a filter cover on the plughole to catch as much food waste as possible from washing up.

no-one should pour fat down the plug anyway. Another one to avoid is coffee grounds - I leave the cafetiere upside down in the sink to drain, then spoon the grounds into the food waste caddy.

oh, if you are decorating don't rinse brushes in sinks either. We designate a point in the garden out of sight, wash brushes in buckets of water and tip the waste on the garden. Try to minimise wasted paint.

and yes, repeat nothing down the toilet except body waste and toilet paper. Provide a bin with a lid and have a word with guests on first visit.

specialsubject Tue 18-Feb-14 21:36:42

ps Wilkinsons is your friend!! :-)

Lizzylou Tue 18-Feb-14 21:39:46

I believe so Running. If you clean your oven with Oven pride or whatever, don't rinse that off in the sink.
Trying to remember what previous owner told us...
Gawd knows what they did about fat, from the state of the oven/extractor all they did was fry stuff hmm

Ghostsdonttalk Tue 18-Feb-14 21:47:29

Both oven pride and domestos are septic safe. See thier websites FAQ

Mum has had her septic for years and uses both.

Lizzylou Tue 18-Feb-14 21:50:22

Is it ovenpride I am thinking of? The one where you put the racks in bags of the stuff?
I just remember previous owner saying she hosed them off in garden. Well away from the drain field I hope shock

Lizzylou Tue 18-Feb-14 21:51:57

And no anti-bac stuff apparently.
But sounds like I may have been told loads of guff grin

specialsubject Thu 20-Feb-14 11:19:44

you can use all this bleach etc - if you want to be emptying the tank frequently. If you want to reduce those bills, chuck less down the drains.

Runningtrainers Thu 20-Feb-14 21:08:09

There is so much to take in and remember! shock

Going to try and be as environmentally friendly as possible. In the long run this will be better for the DCs too.

Will take a trip to wilkinsons over the weekend and stock up ready.

Nocomet Fri 21-Feb-14 00:47:48

Jesus, life is just too short for all these complications.

PigletJohn Fri 21-Feb-14 10:38:03

I've had a septic tank, and didn't worry much. No fat down the sink, nothing down the WCs except human waste and bog roll; modest, but not overgenerous, use of cleaning materials (most are septic-tank safe if you check the labels), don't tip brush-cleaner or paint down the drain .

There are people who use large amounts of bleach and other cleaning materials, I can imagine that could be a problem. The odd egg-cup-full down the loo or in the washing won't matter.

If you have a multifuel or similar (I did) then you can, if you want, dispose of some items in there, including tealeaves, coffee-grounds, and the pieces of kitchen roll that you have wiped the grease out of your roasting pan with before washing. They're also good to get it started, as they burn well.

Nocomet Sat 22-Feb-14 00:45:16

Coffee grounds go on the garden and grease is poured off into containers that are going in tbe bin.

My kitchen drain throws tantrums at the faintest excuse.

specialsubject Sat 22-Feb-14 12:52:32

good for you, nocomet. Drain not bin!

Runningtrainers Sat 22-Feb-14 19:27:23

Thank you all for your helpful replies. I will probably be back for more once we move...... blush

Although we won't have any internet until April, so it will be a while!!

MillyMollyMama Sun 23-Feb-14 10:45:24

PigletJohn. Unusually, you are wrong about washing machine and dishwasher water discharge. If a house has a septic tank and soakaway, where else do you think the washing machine and dishwasher water will go? There is nowhere else. DH is a Fellow of the Institute of Civil Engineers and this was his response. You can rainwater harvest, but unless you have some other form of water harvesting for appliances, and most houses do not, then the appliance water will soak away like every other water waste from the house.

It is also best to get the tank emptied once a year. Do not leave for years and years as this will guarantee far more trouble than using a bit of bleach.

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