Farm, Hobby Farm, Subsistence Farm or just plain rural or country living are the people that may or may not find this little jaunt worth considering.  What exactly am I talking about.  The title subject would be a Garbage disposal Unit.  The harmed or endangered party being  the septic system. Something we never think about until we have or start to have a problem with it.

When was the last time you even thought about yours.  It is somewhere out there in the yard.  I try not to run over it with anything heavy for fear of caving in the top if we even think of it then.  It takes all the sh–; let’s make that stuff, we throw at it and just keeps on serving it’s purpose.  There is no operating cost.  No routine or scheduled maintenance.  Nothing to add except one of the products that are designed to help it do what it is designed to do.  And even that is not really necessary if we treat it as it should be for it’s health.  At least I don’t use it.

HEALTH YOU SAY?  What the health are you talking about.  Ok I will quit with the little attempts of word play.

A septic system is just that.  A system designed to hold and  breakdown human waste into a form that nature can safely utilize without it being a health hazard to other living organisms.  Human or animal.

It can do this because it full of live organisms itself that break down the human waste put in it and basically turn them into a liquid form that can then be returned to the soil as more or less a liquid fertilizer.  If you don’t believe me look at your lawn this summer and think about what is under those two green and tall strips of grass in the yard.  Yep you’re right.  The leach field.  This is where the septic system releases the water back into nature.

Now you may be thinking; you said harmful appliance.  This is all good and necessary.  You are right I did say harmful and this function is good and necessary.

The appliance I refer to is the GARBAGE DISPOSAL!  Yep the garbage disposal.  That little noise maker that sits usually in the left sink with it’s own switch on the wall and we put everything we don’t eat or that is left over from the prepping or the cooking right down that little hole and throw the switch and away it goes.  Neat isn’t it?

Well yeah,   kinda.  But what happens then is all this waste food stuff goes into a tank that was devised created and installed to dispose of HUMAN Waste.  But it’s the same stuff we eat right?  So why won’t the system handle it?  It will for a time.  And not as well as it should because it was not designed to handled it.  In a preprocessed form maybe.  It takes a lot less time for that to be processed than say meat scraps or vegetable scraps egg shells or maybe pieces of bone or paper or plastic that isn’t supposed to be in there at all.  The first and only one I have ever had the kids were still at home and I believe they took it to a contest to see who could put the most and biggest pieces down it.  Luckily  I bought cheap and it did not last long.  No harm no foul.

Another factor or source of harm  to this system is grease or cooking oils.  Real killers you might say!  In this case literally.  They form a film on top which stops the tank peculation cutting off oxygen to living organisms in the tank.  They die and the tank dies.

From when I was a kid at home to present day I have pumped a tank twice.  Once due to heavy and prolonged rains.  The ground was full of water and there was no where for the tank to drain to.  I emptied it and it acted as a holding tank for a few days giving the ground a chance to dry out some and no more problem.  The other was grease and oil build up in the drain line from the house to tank that had all but stopped the flow of waste water in a 6″ line.    When the lines were cleaned with hot steam I watched chunks of coagulated grease up to about 2″ thick and 3 to 4 foot long wash out of that pipe.  We were told the system was 5 years old when we bought the house and we had been here  for 13 before the problem developed.  The fault of the previous occupant or ourselves I can’t say for certain.  What I can tell you for certain is that since then grease does not get poured down our drain.  It goes in a container which goes in the garbage in the hope that the organisms in the ground can recycle them better.  The best solution?  Maybe not but the most earth friendly and the best available to us here.w

Anything else?  Well now that you mention it yes.  How about your laundry detergents.  Surprised?  Not a lot is said about it today but a short while back, say twenty years there was a lot of interest in the phosphates in laundry detergents and the harm being done to the ground water and the environment period.  They are still there and some higher than others so we try to be picky.  There are companies that specialize in phosphate free detergents.  You may want to check into those but as to the septic system the best solution is don’t put phosphates in there if it can be avoided.

I know, the law says no.  I will not tell you to take it out of your system, just that it will be healthier and last longer if you do.  Now I know a fella, not me of course, whose laundry water runs down the side of the hill and well away from his house.  Not near neighbors homes either.  The grass grows just fine there and his cows graze that grass and don’t seem to suffer any adverse effects.

The kitchen sink is a different matter.  Food stuffs go out with that and can cause odors, draw flies and other insects and even wild animals such as coins and possums.  Possibly even larger animals depending on where you live.  But watch what you put down it.  Put your table and prep scraps in cans or bags sealed up as well as possible and into the garbage.  If like us there is no garbage service where you live take it off often to avoid odors and garbage raider problems.

ME?  Our dog gets most of our table scraps.  When we have a hog they get it first.  He doesn’t like it when that happens.  I know it is said not to be good for dogs and cats but if you care to read the ingredient list on pet foods it is much the same as ours but often without the preservatives and flavoring or color additives in ours.  So maybe it is not good for them.  Again he seems to like it and we tend to watch his diet closer than we do our own anyway.  The vegetable and pep scraps usually go to the chickens they seem to enjoy it with no adverse effects.  The egg shells give them back what they need to make a good shell.  A compost heap or worm bed.  To me any of these are better than putting it in the garbage for the landfill.



Not our yard! Will it be yours ?

What brought this up?  Yes you are right.  Normally when I write about something there is a recent or ongoing issue I am working on.  Not so this time thankfully.  Just happened to think about it for some reason and over the years I have seen people spend hundreds and in some cases thousands of dollars repairing or replacing their systems.  Sometimes  repeatedly and every time it was the fault of the people that put it in.   Yooou beeeetcha it was.  Hopefully this will help someone avoid that.

Not very exciting I grant you but it is mostly the mundane things in life that make the biggest and most lasting differences in our lives.


Pauline and I have better things to do with our money that put in a poop tank if there is something we can do to avoid it.

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