Can you have a garbage disposal with a septic tank

Septic Tank Dude Author at Septic Tank Dude
Jack has been working all of his life in the septic tank maintenance, cleaning and pumping business. In 2020 when COVID hit he decided to retire from pumping septic tanks and use his knowledge to help out readers of Septic Tank Dude. Jack has a wealth of knowledge to share on septic tanks, leach fields and much more.
Jack Cacy

disposal with a septicA question for people looking to build a new house or renovate their kitchen is can you have a garbage disposal on a septic tank? The answer is yes, they are ok with septic systems. In this article, we will show you why garbage disposals must be used in moderation and some excellent ways to reduce the waste you put in your septic tank.


Why solid waste is bad in your septic tank

A septic tank processes the liquid waste and solid waste from a household or business. The job of the septic tank is to separate out the solids, liquid and scum (including grease) into layers. This allows the liquid to flow out into the drain field and the bacteria in the septic tank to try to break down the solids. As the solid material in a septic system increases or there is too much organic matter in the tank, the tank’s bacteria can’t break it down fast enough. Unless you have a septic tank additive treatment that will break down the solid matter faster, this will lead to more frequent pumping of the septic tank system. Having your septic tank pumped more often can be a costly exercise.


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How to use a garbage disposal unit properly

As we said above, to use a garbage disposal is not a bad thing, it just needs to be in a way that reduces the organic matter going into your septic tank. Here are few things you should never put down a garbage disposal that is connected to a septic system:

  1. Paper towels
  2. Fruit pits
  3. Coffee grounds
  4. Meat
  5. Fibrous materials such as broccoli stalks, corn husks etc
  6. Fish or fish bones
  7. Non food items like cigarette butts
  8. Biodegradable food
  9. Bleach or ammonia-based cleaning products
  10. Pour oil or grease down the garbage disposal


The best garbage disposal with septic systems

insinkerator evolution septic assistThe only septic-safe garbage disposal we have found is the InSinkErator Evolution Septic Assist 3/4 HP Household Garbage Disposal. The septic assist garbage disposal includes an automatic injection of microorganisms that helps break down food waste. Another big benefit of the septic assist garbage disposal is the powerful 2-stage multi grind motor and blade that helps to grind food scraps into smaller particles. The Insinkerator evolution septic assist is made by the garbage disposal manufacturer who invented garbage disposals. Most garbage disposals don’t grind up food because the disposal’s grinding ability is limited. This means larger pieces of food in your septic tank and more solids.


Alternative or accompaniment to a garbage disposal

Instead of grinding unwanted food, a popular alternative is to compost any food waste and turn it into compost for your pottered plants or vegetable garden. When most people think of a compost pile they think of a pit that smells, takes months before food breaks down and looks bad in the yard. A compost pile is a perfect place for coffee grounds, food scraps

Today there are tumbling composters that create healthy compost with no fuss, no smells and take up virtually no area in your yard. Here are two of the best composting equipment at a fraction of the cost of a garbage disposal:

  • VIVOSUN Tumbling Composter – For well under $100 this will handle the kitchen scraps and some of your yard clippings to make rich compost for your potted plants or vegetable garden
  • Stylish Farmhouse Kitchen Compost Bin – If you are going to reduce wastage that goes down your garbage disposal or into your garbage cans or trash can then you will need to slowly accumulate the scraps somewhere. What better than a rustproof, stylish countertop kitchen compost bin.


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Frequently asked questions

Can you have a dishwasher and garbage disposal with a septic tank?

Many households buy garbage disposal machines for their kitchen sink. You are by law allowed to have a garbage disposal unit. Even if you already use a garbage disposal, you can take some of the compostable items and put them in the compost, worm farm or trash can to reduce the solid organic matter going into your septic system.


How do you reduce food waste going into the septic system

The only way to reduce the volume of waste going into the septic system via a waste disposal is to take all food scraps and either put them in the trash can or better, use a composter like the VIVOSUN tumbling composter to break down the food particles into useful compost for the garden or potted plants.


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Can you have an InSinkErator with a septic tank system?

Yes, you can. An InSinkErator is not a special garbage disposal, it is the name of one of the garbage disposal manufacturers.


Are dishwashers bad for septic tanks?

No dishwashers are not bad for septic tanks, infact they use less water than washing dishes. Make sure the dishwasher is not on a very hot setting as this may kill some bacteria in your septic tanks if it is very hot and will not keep your septic system healthy.


Does kitchen sink waste go to septic?

Anything you put down your kitchen sink will go into the septic systems. Waste disposal is located in the kitchen and used to dispose of unwanted kitchen waste that goes into the septic system.


Why is garbage disposal bad for septic?

A garbage disposal can be bad for septic systems if you overuse them putting too much down your waste disposal. Also if you grind fibrous materials or use the disposal regularly. If used correctly then using a garbage disposal with a septic system can be managed, especially if used in combination with a septic tank additive treatment.


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