Garbage Disposal for Septic Systems
Food waste disposal for septic systems or septic tanks
Can you use a garbage disposal if you have a septic system instead of the regular sewer system? A septic tank is a watertight tank that stores domestic sanitary wastewater underground and gets commonly used in areas with no connected sewerage systems. If your wastewater is being stored in a septic tank, then we don’t recommend using a garbage disposal unit. Why is that?
Recommended disposal for septic systems
When you buy garbage disposal for a home with a septic tank, you can’t just buy any disposal. You need to purchase one with a septic assist, which will keep your septic tank healthy with additional enzyme treatment.
This enzyme treatment comes within a cartridge that can be attached to the septic assist garbage disposal, and just like with a printer, this cartridge needs to be replaced ever so often.
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Best garbage disposal for septic systems
The InSinkErator Evolution Septic Assist is a garbage disposal that is optimized for homes with septic systems. This disposer adds an automatic injection of enzyme-producing microorganisms to the food waste that helps break down the food particles much quicker in your septic tank. This InSinkErator is quiet and powerful thanks to the 3/4 HP motor.
- Feed type: Continuous feed
- Horse power: 3/4 HP
- Speed: 1725 RPM
- Weight: 22.6 pounds
- Warranty: 4-year
Enzyme replacement cartridge for septic disposal.
- The bio-charge enzyme treatment is citrus-scented
- Cartridge lasts 3 to 4 months with average use (4x longer than other treatments)
- The cartridge bottle holds 16oz. of treatment fluid
- You can also buy them in packs of 2 or 4 cartridges
A septic tank isn’t meant for breaking down solid food waste.Recycling.com
More about garbage disposals for septic tanks
How do septic tanks work?
A septic tank breaks down matter by bacteria. But these bacteria can’t break down solids properly, and food waste is solid waste, and if you grind up your food scraps in the garbage disposal, you flush the particles into your septic system.
These food scraps will form a sludge inside the septic tank, which grows in volume because the bacteria can’t break down the solid food waste quickly enough. This means that the rate of accumulation of the sludge is much quicker than the rate of decomposition. Besides, some types of food waste can’t be digested, such as coffee grounds, fruit pits, meat bones, and fats.
Wastewater that gets flushed down the drain ends up in the drain field of the septic system. There the water will be filtered down by the soil and flow towards the groundwater. The use of a garbage disposal unit can hurt the septic system’s functionality because food scraps can accumulate in the outlets of the drain field.
This will stop the drainage of the wastewater towards the groundwater. The whole benefit and functionality of garbage disposal dissolve because the septic tank is turning into a food scrap bin, but a costly one.
The food sludge in the septic tank takes up valuable space, which is normally meant for wastewater. In other words, it reduces the tank’s capacity and efficiency. But it also reduces the bacteria inside the tank, breaking down the particles from the wastewater.
Ultimately, letting garbage disposal drain into a septic tank will overwhelm the bacteria, disrupt the tank’s equilibrium, decrease or shut down the entire tank’s effectiveness.
Septic garbage disposals
If you want to use a garbage disposal combined with a septic system, we recommend purchasing a specially designed food waste disposal. The difference between this and a regular disposer is that a septic garbage disposal breaks down food waste while released special enzymes. These enzymes help with breaking down solid food waste inside the septic tank more quickly.
Does this mean that you can use your garbage disposal just like any other disposal unit connected to a shared sewer system? Unfortunately, not. You always need to be extra careful when disposing of food scraps in the garbage disposal if you have a septic tank. This is because you can only dispose of food waste, which really can be broken down well. This means you need to avoid discarding things like coffee grounds, fruit pits, meat bones, oil, and grease to prevent needing extra maintenance and repairs for your septic system. You can also never dispose of objects that aren’t biodegradable at all, like food packaging. But this applies to every garbage disposal.
Garbage disposals for dishwashers, farmhouse sinks, and septic tanks
Sometimes you can’t purchase just any old garbage disposal and install it under your kitchen sink. Situations in which you should consider special types of garbage disposals are when: you have a septic tank, a deep or farmhouse kitchen sink, or when you want to connect your dishwasher to the waste disposal as well.
- Waste disposal for dishwashers
- Waste disposal for a septic system or septic tank
- Garbage disposal for a deep farmhouse sinks
In case you are looking for different types of garbage disposal systems, for instance, the different options for motors, mounts, and feeds. We also have a page about that, which you can explore here.
1. Waste disposal for dishwashers
Yes, it is possible to connect a dishwasher to your garbage disposal if the disposal unit has a connection for the dishwasher hose. But first, why would you want to connect your dishwasher to your food waste processor?
A dishwasher cleans your dirty dishes, cutlery, pots, and pans. And in this cleaning process, a lot of food waste is flushed down the drain. To prevent clogging of your drain pipes it is a good idea to grind the food waste with a food waste disposal.
By connecting the disposal to your dishwasher the discarded wastewater goes through the garbage disposal and gets ground up before it is flushed away. Moreover, it is more convenient and space-efficient to connect your dishwasher hose to the garbage disposal instead of using all kinds of drain connector parts to bypass the disposal unit.
Most garbage disposals today do have a dishwasher inlet but not all of them. So, especially, if you are looking for a budget-friendly disposal and you want to connect it to your dishwasher, don’t forget to make sure that that waste disposal has the necessary inlet.
2. Waste disposal for a septic system or septic tank
Can you use a garbage disposal if you have a septic system instead of the regular sewer system? A septic tank is a watertight tank that stores domestic sanitary wastewater underground and is most commonly used in areas where there are no connected sewerage systems. If your wastewater is stored in a septic tank it isn’t recommended to use just any normal garbage disposal unit. Why is that?
3. Garbage disposal for a deep farmhouse sinks
If you have a deep sink farmhouse sink in your kitchen it can be difficult to find a garbage disposal that fits in the limited cabinet space. Deep sinks or farmhouse sinks take up a lot of the cabinet space already so you need a compact garbage disposal that isn’t very tall.
So how tall or short does the disposal need to be? A garbage disposal (including the mount) should not be taller than the space between the lowest part of your sink and the floor of your kitchen cabinet, plus about 4 inches of clearance. This is so the disposal can be installed easily and so you can reach the bottom of the waste disposal system in case you need to unclog is manually with an Allen wrench later on.
What type of garbage disposal do most people buy?
Don’t need a special waste disposal system after all? Most people buy a continuous feed garbage disposal that produces 3/4 to 1 HP, check our recommendations for powerful food waste disposals here. These types of high-powered waste disposals can handle most food waste and can be used for medium to heavy use for an average household.
The garbage disposals from InSinkErator and Waste King are very popular, because of the quality and ease of installation. Also, people tend to buy disposals that can be connected to a dishwasher, since most people use a dishwasher in their kitchen. See our comparison between Waste King and InSinkErator disposers here.
Want to see which garbage disposals are best sellers at Amazon? Check out this link to see Amazon’s best sellers.
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By Recycling.com/ 1 January 2021