Burton-On-Trent, DE13 9BA info@thewillpowergroup.com

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Can you use flushable wipes with a septic tank system?

Can you use flushable wipes with a septic tank system?

A septic tank system.

In the UK there is around 1 million homes that run on septic tanks. A septic tank system is an on-site sewage system which is within your grounds of your property and accommodates all of your household waste water and sewage. When you run a sink, drain, bath or shower and flush a toilet – the water/waste leaves your house via your drains and travels underground to your septic tank system within your grounds. This waste enters your septic tank system which contains bacteria which enables the breakdown of the solids into sludge which naturally settles at the bottom of your tank. The effluent water level rises in the tank and then leaves the tank via a soakaway or drainage field. Usually on an annual basis the sludge is pumped out and removed by a “septic tank empty” and disposed of at a sewage works.


Flushing away “flushable” wipes.

Just because it says “flushable” on the packaging doesn’t necessarily mean its friendly for your septic tank system! Once you flush a flushable wipe it is pretty certain it will leave your house and travel along your pipes to arrive at your septic tank. Quite often on this journey to your septic tank they can become restricted on the bends in your pipes and stop, which then causes a blockage! If they manage to escape this and arrive at your septic tank there is then a question to be asked. If you were to put a piece of toilet paper into a bucket of water and leave it – it will for sure degrade and breakdown. If you did the same with a flushable wipe it would be a much longer period of time. Eventually they will both degrade but the main problem is the time it takes for these flushable wipes to degrade. Once they are in your septic tank system and haven’t degraded, its very likely that they will float in the tank and leave via your drainage field / soakaway and block your pipes. This results in you now having a blocked soakaway system or blocked drainage field. 


Suggestions on disposing of “flushable” wipes.

It would not be fair to say don’t use flushable wipes. The advice would be to dispose of them correctly. Do not flush them and try to dispose of them in a sanitary bin. Just because it says “flushable” on the packet does not mean they will suit your septic tank system. If you do flush them and they cause a blockage within your pipes then we can offer a drain jetting service to try and remove the blockage. If the blockage appears beyond your tank in your drainage field or soakway then this can become a real problem and seriously affect the functioning of your septic tank. 


What to do if your septic tank is not operating correctly due to blockages. 

At Willpower Environmental we can send an engineer to site to conduct a cctv drain survey. This usually requires your septic tank system to be emptied to enable us to conduct the survey. Once we place the camera and feed along your pipes we can usually identify the blockage. If the blockage has occurred beyond your tank within your drainage field then we can provide engineers to advise of the next steps required to rectify your problems.


For further details please call our sales team on 0330 333 8178