I just moved to a house that has no garbage disposal unit. The builder
said that it's not advisable for a house on a septic system. Is he
"pulling my chain"? If what he is saying is true, how do folks handle
garbage without a septic tank? I can see a lot of flies and roaches
There are disposals made for septic systems, but I'd not have one myself.
Very little has to go down the drain. Vegetable stuff can go on a compost
pile, the rest can go in the trash.
Some people have them and have no problems, others have to have the septic
pumped more often. If you do get one, at least have your system pumped once
in a while rather than wait for a backup.
The builder is right. I have a disposal on my kitchen sink but use it
sparingly whcih means food scraps go in garbage and only dish and pan
washings go down disposal. Be advised not to overfeed your septic
which includes not dumping a lot of fatty food waste, using liquid
detergents and not flushing facial tissues or a lot of household
chemicals. Septics can handle these things but more frequent pumping
will be needed and there is more potential for expensive drainfield
Your builder is F.O.S. and cutting corners. Disposals have been installed
with septic service for over 50 years without problems. My first new home
(1955) had septic and disposal, 3 others including my current home (Built in
1994) with never a problem.
Garbage disposals are something of an invented need (as in, invent something,
then market to the populace as a necessity.) Few folks around here, where most
have septic and a well, have garbage disposals. Food scraps should be few,
really, and those that need to be thrown out just mean quicker trips to the
outside garbage can. I wrap things like turkey carcasses and potato peelings in
a plastic grocery shopping bag first.
I've had garbage disposals while growing up and in some of the rental apartments
I lived in. But I never missed it in the 14 years I've been without.
No good reason to have a garbage disposal, particularly on a septic
system. They can be used on a septic system if you're careful, but they
can also cause problems if you keep sending junk that isn't readily
degradable down them.
The comment about flies and roaches just isn't an issue for most people
who have covered garbage cans in their kitchens, empty and seal the
garbage on bags regularly so they are ready for garbage collection day,
and generally keep their homes clean.
Garbage disposals make more sense in a city environment, where they are
on a city sewer system, and people don't have indoor storage space to
keep the bagged garbage safe from rats and other vermin until garbage
we have one, but don't put food scraps down it. I've never had flies and
roaches. I just put the junk in the trash and take it out when the can gets
full. Put the bags in the poly cart and the trash guys pick it up on
friday. You shouldn't run food scraps down a disposal on a septic. Your
builder is right.
It's an urban legend that you're not supposed to use a disposal with a
septic system. Pure BS. Google septic pumping schedule chart
I wouldn't tolerate kitchen without a disposal. They're great.
Having a septic system doesn't make one knowledgeable on the subject.
You'd be surpised at how many people with septic systems are unaware
that they need to have the solids pumped out on a regular basis....
and then when something bad happens they blame it on food scraps,
cleaners, toilet paper, antibiotics or some other silly claim that has
no basis in fact.
As far as a septic system is concerned, food and turds are the same
I've had neighbors go as long as 20 years and I've gone maybe as long as
5 but eventually they all need to have undigested sludge removed.
With cost of pumping and even having to install an alternate drain
field, I figure it's only cost me half of what friends paid for county
sewer service over the years.
Also wanted to add that septic aids like Ridex (sic) are not needed.
Human waste provides sufficient bacteria.
Plus, lot of argument in this tread is to how garbage disposal use is
defined. To me it is getting rid of food scraps that are inconvenient to
get into trash. Unless someone has a super garbage disposal machine
that handles paper, bottles, cans, etc., you're going to have to put out
the trash ;)
The sludge does build up. And they should be pumped every 3 years. But most
people don't bother until something won't drain. Then they find the sludge
has crept out the outlet into the lateral field. Best to pump them at least
every 5 years. If a person were to be stupid enough to put food scraps down
a septic, i'd pump at least once a year. The grease is not being consumed
as fast as you are adding it if you put scraps down it regularly.
Septic will function with a garbage disposal. You will just have to have it
pumped more often, and there is a chance of leach field lines plugging up
and you having to dig the whole thing up. Other than that, no downside to
garbage disposals on septic. A lot of people who are on septic either put
out garbage to the street or compost.
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