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A Chef’s Guide to Septic Systems – What Can & Can’t go down the drain

Your kitchen is probably the busiest room in the home, and your sink will undoubtedly see a lot of action every single day. Sadly, if you’re not careful, bad habits will cause major damage to your septic tank and waste management system.

While periodically cleaning the septic tank is still advised, prevention is always the best form of protection. Economy Septic provides this handy guide for all family chefs, solo chefs, and DIY foodies with septic systems.

What items CAN’T go down the kitchen drain

The desire to tip items down the kitchen sink is more than understandable. When you’re in the middle of cooking or cleaning, pouring all liquids and small debris down the drain is a quick solution that allows you to get on with the next job. Sadly, it will only pose bigger headaches down the line when septic tank repair or kitchen plumbing services are required.

Firstly, your kitchen sink is not a secondary trash can. While tiny food particles leftover from food can be washed down the kitchen sink, anything bitesize or bigger must be transferred to the trash can. On a similar note, you should be sure to clean larger food particles before putting dishes in the dishwasher.

Perhaps the most common items that people wrongly pour down their kitchen sinks, however, are grease, fats, and cooking oils. While they may rinse down quite easily, they will start to harden and crust inside the pipe and septic systems. This can lead to significant blockages, especially if you allow eggshells and other food items to go down the drain too. Pouring every cooking liquid, grease, or oil down the drain will cause foul smells and slow drainage. It’s very likely that septic tank maintenance will be required as a result.

It is also important to avoid putting anything flammable down the kitchen sink, as well as paints (unless water-based) and harsh chemicals from cleaning products and car fluids.

For most septic systems, water, human waste, and harmless chemicals can go down the drain or into the toilet. Everything else requires a second guess.

What items CAN go down the kitchen drain

Now that you know what shouldn’t be poured down the sink, it’s time to consider what items can safely enter your kitchen drains. It might sound a little boring, but there are only four types of product that should go down the drain. They are;

  • Water, 
  • Water-based cleaning liquids, 
  • Liquids that you can safely drink, 
  • And tiny food particles. 

Whether it’s a commercial kitchen going through large volumes of materials or a busy household doesn’t matter. The above products are the only items that should go down the sink. Even then, you should rinse the kitchen sink with water once you’ve finished to protect your piping and septic tank.

This doesn’t mean that you should panic if a tiny amount of cooking oil remains in the pan when you clean it. Nonetheless, embracing winning habits in terms of waste material disposal will have a huge influence on protecting your septic systems.

For further advice on protecting your plumbing systems, check out our guide to common household items for the bathroom too. Alternatively, for added support in Jacksonville, get in touch with our friendly experts today.

Happy Cooking!

While chef’s attached to sewer systems may send everything down the drain, septic owners have to be careful about what they put into their system. As septic owners, you are responsible for the health, functionality, and longevity of your system. It’s in everyone’s best interest—including you and your family—to exercise a little caution before tipping the contents of the pan into the kitchen sink.

Helpful Advice from Economy Septic

In Alabama, kitchens are the heart of any home. But being too cavalier with your cooking byproducts could cost you a septic tank or untold money in replacements, repairs, and removed clogs. For the benefit of all involved, consider the trash can instead of the kitchen sink the next time you’re washing dishes after a marathon cooking session. To schedule tank emptying, tank service, or system service, call your trusted septic maintenance company today at (256) 435-1086! Economy Septic is here to help all the DIY foodies and master chefs in Northern Alabama!