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3 Reasons Why Septic Systems And Cat Litter Don't Mix

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Cleaning your favorite feline's litter box isn't a glamorous job, but you can't count on your cat to do it for you. As you scoop out those telltale clumps, you might be tempted to toss those clumps in the toilet. Some cat litter brands even market themselves as being "flushable." However, the last thing you should do is give your cat litter a one-way ticket down the toilet, especially if your home relies on a septic tank.

The following highlights three good reasons why you should keep cat litter out of your septic system at all costs.

1. Cat Litter Clogs Septic Lines

Whenever your cat does its business, the end result is usually held together by the cat litter's clumping action. Most cat litter is made from clay-based materials that stick together when wet. Whenever you send cat litter through your septic lines, there's a good chance it could stick to the pipe walls or clump up with other debris inside the line.

Septic line blockages caused by cat litter can be a pain to deal with. Clogs of this type may take the use of a powered auger or a hydro jet to break up.

2. Cat Litter Won't Break Down Inside Your Septic Tank

Once cat litter lands in your septic tank, it's usually there to stay. Unlike most other solids, clay-based cat litter does not dissolve or break down over time. Even "flushable" cat litter made from processed newspaper, corn, or wheat can have a hard time biodegrading inside of your septic tank.

The more cat litter you flush down the toilet, the more litter builds up as solid waste inside your septic tank. Cat litter buildup can stress and eventually overload your septic tank, plus it'll need pumping ahead of schedule.

3. Cat Litter Can Ruin Your Leach Field

Once your septic tank separates the liquid waste from solid waste, the liquid is discharged through a series of perforated pipes into an underground leach field. The leach field neutralizes harmful pathogens and other contaminants as wastewater percolates into the soil. Cat litter can clog up the pipes, preventing wastewater from reaching the leach field.   

If you've already made the mistake of flushing your cat litter, don't panic. Having your septic system pumped ahead of schedule can help reduce the likelihood of septic system damage. The next time you need to dispose of your cat litter, use sealed garbage bags instead.

For more information, contact your local septic tank pumping services.


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