Why Papers Matter with Your Septic Tank

July 13 2020

Why Papers Matter with Your Septic Tank

Your septic system is an ingeniously simply designed mechanism built to handle the waste, wastewater, and sewage from your house. It uses the same system of pipes built in your home that the conventional centralized sewer system would use, however. Thus, it should be as carefully maintained, if not better than, a regular sewer system. While it is obvious that fibrous food scraps, corrosive chemicals, and hard objects should not be flushed down your drains, there are some other items that warrant extra consideration and warning: papers.

Though toilet paper can be flushed down your toilet with no worry, this is not true for most other papers. Septic Blue has put together this article to give you a rundown on the threats that certain papers pose for your septic system. Please give us a call if you have any questions or concerns. We are readily available to take your call and even schedule an appointment for a visit.

Multi-ply and Overly Plush Toilet Paper

Okay, maybe not all toilet paper is totally safe to flush. Over-plied and overly plush toilet paper takes longer to break down in your septic tank, straining the waste-eating bacteria housed in your tank and adding significant layers in the sludge. The bacteria and microbes are vital for your septic system’s proper operation, so it’s important to consider their well-being. The fewer bacteria or the slower they decompose the sewage, the quicker your septic tank will fill and require a septic tank pumping.

You would not be the first or the last to make the mistake of flushing multi-plied toilet paper. We often run into septic tanks with accumulated cotton-ball-like debris that take unnecessary space in the tank. We consider single-ply, recycled, or biodegradable toilet paper to be the most “septic safe” toilet papers.


Tissues are mistakenly considered to be as harmless for septic systems as toilet paper, but this could not be further from the truth. Facial tissues are not designed to quickly dissolve in water. In fact, they are able to withstand the pressure that comes with blowing your nose. Sure, they dissolve eventually, but not quick enough to be flushed into your septic system.

Paper Towels

Paper towels are even worse. Many of the paper towel brands even market their product as being able to hold up quarters, even when the towel is wet. Paper towels do not break down in water, meaning they will remain as-is in your septic tank until manually removed.

Baby Wipes

We won’t even dive too deeply into baby wipes. Not only are baby wipes as tough as, if not more than, paper towels, but they also contain chemicals that can threaten the vital bacteria in the septic tank.

“Flushable” Wipes

There are products being marketed as “flushable” wipes, but we urge owners of septic systems to avoid using them. These products have been the culprit in several septic failures and sewage clogs. These wipes never dissolve and, instead, take up considerable room in your septic tank, forcing you to get your septic tank pumped prematurely.

If you have any questions about the information here, then give us a call. We are happy to clarify. If you need professional septic system services or septic pumping, Septic Blue is ready to help with friendly experts, emergency services, and affordable prices.