garbage disposals All Clear Septic and Wastewater Services knows that although the majority of septic system owners do not have a garbage disposal, some do, and if it is not used correctly, it can lead to some severe septic problems.  One very important thing to note is that if you have a garbage disposal, the matter going down the disposal has to go somewhere — and when your property has a septic system, it all ends up in the septic tank.  Some of the matter can be broken down by the bacteria in the septic tank, but both the broken-down matter and un-broken-down matter accumulate over time.  Along with causing extra pumpings, a septic tank full of leftovers can overthrow your system’s bacterial balance, making it less efficient in treating wastewater.  Your septic system will not function at its peak.
It is therefore, very important to not overuse your garbage disposal.  Using your disposal daily can have adverse effects on your septic system, but occasional or infrequent use lessens that potential.  Little pieces of food washed off your plate are perfectly okay to go down the drain.  But if you have a large amount of leftovers, scrape most of the food into the trash can, and then rinse the smaller remains in the sink.
When you have a septic system and a garbage disposal:

  • DO act like it’s not there.
  • DON’T use it like a trash can.
  • DO pump out your tank more frequently if the garbage disposal is used heavily.
  • DON’T stuff food, veggie peels, egg shells, etc. down the disposal.
  • DO consider starting a compost pile for peelings, spoiled food, etc.
  • DON’T pour grease or oils down the drain
  • DON’T use the garbage disposal to clean out your refrigerator

When we pump out a tank that has heavy garbage disposal use, it is very obvious inside the tank and often there is literally a pile of food under the inlet pipe of the tank.  If you do have a garbage disposal that is regularly used, we would recommend annual septic pump outs, when other properties without, can usually have septic pumping every 3 – 5 years. Today we have septic pumping appointments in Hudson, Berlin, Clinton, Boxborough, Sterling, Stow, and Bolton, MA.  If you need to schedule septic pumping or if you have any questions, please do contact our office at 508-763-4431 or visit