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toilet paper should I use for septic tanks

toilet paper should I use for septic tanks

Ordinary toilet tissue does no harm to a septic system. When the system and drain field are working properly, toilet tissue is held in the septic tank by the baffles of the septic tank. However, certain types of toilet tissue are more conducive to the health of your septic system than others. Find out what is the best type of toilet-paper and why.

Biodegradable paper

All toilet tissue 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 being used, such as on a boat or RV For a normal home with a standard septic field, this tissue is an ideal choice as it clears from the toilet system quickly and breaks down through the faster; however, the content of biodegradable toilet paper makes it less harsh and more abrasive than other toilet fabrics.

Recycled paper

Recycled paper is an option that has become increasingly available to homeowners. This toilet tissue is made from non-virgin wood pulp, conserving forests. Since recycled toilet paper contains less chlorine than standard bathroom tissues, this type of paper is a good choice for maintaining the health of a septic system and for groundwater supplies. The light volume of this fabric means fewer septic pump sessions are required to maintain the tank, lengthening the life of your septic system.

Padded paper

Many brands of padded toilet-paper are marketed for your convenience, but these options are ideal for a septic system and the environment. Quilted 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 the septic tank more quickly, leading to clogs and additional pumping. Bleach and softener additives contaminate groundwater supplies, making these papers less than ideal for a septic homeowner.

Single-Ply toilet paper

If you must opt for traditional toilet paper, choose single-ply. Also known as 1-ply, this tissue paper is made with one layer of paper. Two-ply tissue, on the other hand, consists of two layers. (And 3-ply has three.)

Since single-ply tissue paper is thin, it dissolves like a charm in a septic tank. Meanwhile, multi-ply tissue takes longer to break down, which can quickly fill up your tank. It’s also more likely to clog your pipes.

Talk to the Professionals at Paradise Valley Septic

In general, the best toilet paper for septic systems is thin and contains few chemicals. But if you’re not sure what to look for, check the labels on the packaging of #toilet_paper. Keep an eye out for words like “septic-safe” or “septic-friendly.” While you’re at it, try to use just one or two sheets during each bathroom trip. This significantly limits how much paper enters your tank, which reduces how fast it fills up.

Septic-Safe Toilet Paper

There are numerous types of toilet paper available which are marked “septic-safe.” Generally, this designation is intended to indicate that the toilet paper will dissolve rapidly. If you’re skeptical of manufacturer labels, look for toilet papers that have been certified septic-safe by the National Sanitation Foundation, a nonprofit organization that tests products related to health and the environment.

Repeat with the other jars.

This comparison will show you how quickly and thoroughly different types of toilet paper dissolve, and can help you decide which is best for your septic system. If different types pass the test, then it’s up to you to decide using other factors–brand, comfort, or even convenience–what’s available at your local store for the right price.

Still uncertain?

Take matters into your own hands! If you’re particularly attached to a certain brand of toilet paper, there is a simple experiment you can conduct at home to compare brands.

Choose 3-4 brands of toilet paper to test.

Place 4-5 squares of each into a large mason jar or other clear container.

Fill the first jar about ¾ full with water. Replace the lid and shake vigorously for 10 seconds. This will mimic what happens to toilet paper after it is flushed and travels through the pipes and into your septic tank.

Have a look! If the #toilet_paper has fallen apart into tiny pieces, you’re in luck–it’s a better choice for your septic system.



The best wash cloths for a septic system break 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 provide a balance of comfort and quick breakdown. Finding the right paper prolongs the life of your tank and saves you money on maintenance.

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