Savvy Tips & Helpful Hints

The Ultimate Guide to Garbage Disposal for Septic Tank Owners 

Whether you buy or rent a home in the US or in rural parts of the UK and Europe, there is a high chance that you will have a septic tank installed. If you’re a septic tank owner, you may have questions about how to use and maintain your garbage disposal properly.  

So, here’s a quick guide to help you navigate this topic, as it can become a bit complicated. 

Do They Work Together? 

Firstly, it’s important to know that not all garbage disposals are suitable for use with septic systems. Look for a garbage disposal that is specifically designed to work with septic tanks. These disposals are typically labeled as “septic-safe,” and they will break down waste in a way that won’t harm your septic system. 

Next, it’s important to be mindful of what you put down in the garbage disposal for septic systems. Only dispose of biodegradable food waste, such as fruits, vegetables, and eggshells. Avoid disposing of non-food items like plastic, metal, or glass, as they can damage the blades and clog your pipes. Grease, oils, and fats should also be avoided as they can cause buildup in your septic system. If you still aren’t sure, seek out the advice of the experts who regularly fit and work with septic systems.  


Regular maintenance is essential for septic tank owners with garbage disposals. To prevent clogs and buildup, run cold water before and after using the garbage disposal. This will help flush any food particles down the pipes. Also, aim to avoid using harsh bleach-based chemicals or drain cleaners, as they can damage your septic system. Instead, opt for natural, non-toxic cleaners like vinegar and baking soda. 


Periodic inspections of your septic system are also important. You should aim to hire a professional to inspect your tank and provide recommendations for maintenance. Having your septic tank pumped and inspected by a professional every 3-5 years is a good idea.   

When you have a smaller septic tank, you may want to have it inspected more regularly, as well as have it pumped more often. Of course, if you have a septic tank that seems to be slow to drain, as well as causing bad smells in your home, then it will likely be worth calling in an inspection as soon as possible. 

Bits To Use 

There are a few other points that you need to keep in mind when you are using a septic tank that has a built-in garbage disposal. You should consider using a strainer in your sink to catch any large food particles and prevent them from going down the drain. It is also a good idea to try and compost food, as this will prevent the amount that goes into the septic tank and will keep it ticking over nicely. 

You should also try to reduce the amount of water that gets flushed into your septic tank, as this can cause it to overrun. So, only aim to do 1 load of laundry a day, and aim to take showers rather than baths. Some people even put water-saving devices and caps on their taps so as to ensure that more water is saved when they are using taps. This will not only prevent your septic tank from overflowing, but it will also save you money too.  

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