We often get questions about which shower/bath products are the best to use in a home with a septic system. Here are some quick tips:
- Does shower water go into the septic tank? Yes, all the water that leaves your house through a drain goes into the septic tank. This includes shower water, toilet water, laundry water, and sink water.
- Are long showers bad for septic tanks? That depends. The most important thing to understand is that the size of the septic tank will determine how much use it can handle. Each septic tank is designed to handle a certain quantity of wastewater. Overload it and you can cause problems. Consider factors such as how many loads of laundry have been done, how many people have been using the toilets, has the kitchen sink been used to wash dishes, and how many people are taking showers. When multiple utilities are being used and/or multiple people are using the utilities, you will want to limit the amount of time spent in the shower.
- Are there special ‘septic safe’ shampoos? Yes there are. Shampoos with high ph balances and certain chemicals can cause problems in the septic system by killing the enzymes which eat the waste in the tank. Without these enzymes, the system may get full or backed up. This can result in the drain field not working properly or the tank needing to be emptied more frequently. Look for shampoos that have less chemicals, use natural ingredients and are pH balanced. The good news is that septic safe shampoos typically make hair softer, smoother, easier to manage, and preserves hair colour longer.
- Should I use septic safe body soap when I bathe? Generally speaking, natural and organic products made with biodegradable ingredients are best for use with septic tanks because the tank will be able to efficiently filter them. The most harmful soaps are the ‘antibacterial’ ones. Regular use of antibacterial soap can compromise the efficacy of the bacteria in the septic tank.