Regular toilet paper does no harm to a septic system. When the system and flow field are functioning properly, the toilet paper is held in the septic tank by the baffles of the septic tanks. Certain types of toilet paper, however, are more conducive to the health of your septic system than others. Find out is what the best type of toilet paper is and why.
If you have a septic tank at your home, you have probably wondered whether those ‘Septic Safe’ toilet paper claims are really true. Are all toilet papers created equal? Or is there a secret to what makes toilet paper safe for your septic tank? Just like those ‘flushable’ wipes, most of which shouldn’t really be flushed. What the packaging says may not hold true in practice.
When you flush your toilet, the contents travel to your septic tank. There, solids like toilet paper sink to the bottom and contribute to the layer of ‘sludge’ that builds up over time. Natural bacteria will decompose some of the sludge, but the accumulation is the reason you need to have your septic tank pumped at regular intervals.
All toilet paper is biodegradable because it is made from the same natural materials as paper-like wood pulp. But biodegradable toilet paper is different because it dissolves faster which makes it naturally septic safe as well.
Obviously, we are looking for toilet paper that easily degrades in the septic tank. “Biodegradable” toilet paper will break down faster. This is mainly because it easily comes undone once in the water.
The enzymes will attack the cellulose and the bacteria will appreciate it!
All toilet paper is biodegradable, but special biodegradable papers are available. Biodegradable toilet paper dissolves quickly, requiring less water than standard toilet paper. This is ideal for situations where a chemical toilet is used, such as on a boat or in a motorhome. For an ordinary house with a standard leaching field, this item is an ideal choice as it clears the toilet system quickly and breaks down the fastest; however, the content of biodegradable toilet paper makes it less strong and more abrasive than other toilet tissue.
Recycled paper is an option that has become more and more available to homeowners. This toilet paper is made from virgin wood pulp-free, conserving forests. Since recycled toilet paper contains less chlorine than standard toilet paper bleach, this type of paper is a good choice for maintaining the health of a septic system and groundwater supply. The lighter volume of this fabric means fewer septic system pumping sessions are required to maintain the tank, extending the life of your septic system.
Many brands of cushioned toilet paper are marketed for their comfort, but these choices are not ideal for a septic system and for the environment. the cushioned paper contains virgin wood pulp. The cellulose fibers in this type of paper break down more slowly. In turn, this increases the volume of waste in your septic tank faster, leading to two clogs and extra pumping. Softening additives and bleach contaminate the soil water supply, making these papers less than ideal for a septic homeowner.
What thickness should we choose?
How nice the 3 ply is it’s thick! But the thicker it is, the harder it is to break down once in the septic tank.
From the 1 fold? I don’t know many people who are willing to make this sacrifice. It comes apart very easily (sometimes too much) except that it is definitely not the most comfortable one.
We, therefore, recommend opting for toilet paper with a maximum of 2 plies. By making this choice, we hope that the toilet paper:
- will come apart easily when flushing the toilet;
- will be delicate enough for you;
- will decompose easily in the pit.
Use organic additives to more easily break down toilet paper in the septic tank. The human digestive system is not designed to break down cellulose. That’s why we cannot eat toilet paper!
The best toilet tissue for a septic system breaks down quickly with little water. Since biodegradable papers can be expensive or difficult to obtain on a regular basis, try local store brands to see which papers offer a balance between comfort and quick breakage. Finding the right paper extends the life of your tank and saves you money on maintenance.