If you have septic tanks in Napa, CA, you have probably been warned about what you can and cannot flush down into the system. However, there are certain medications that can have an impact on the system and that may not have been on your radar. Pills are small and flushing them away is a simple way to get rid of an expired bottle. However, you need to pay attention to pharmaceuticals that are being flushed, just like any other substance. It’s standard practice to get rid of prescription drugs if you have leftover and no longer need them by flushing them. But there are new standards that can help protect your septic tanks. You could, for example, mix them into coffee grounds or kitty litter and throw them away. You could participate in a medication take-back program. But if you have a septic system, you should not flush them. Even if you heed this warning, you also need to think about the medication that reaches the system through waste.
Medications Natural Path To The Septic Tank
When you get a prescription for a certain medication, you may never get rid of it down the toilet by pouring it in and flushing it. However, you ingest it and then process it and the waste you create and then flush still takes some of the prescription’s power with it. It’s hard to know how much of the prescription remains that way because that can vary from person to person, but you are still flushing prescription medication into the system when you use the toilet for its intended purpose.
Septic systems are unlike sewage treatment plants in that they operate on a much smaller scale. Because of that, the impact of anything on them is much larger. You don’t want to flush chemicals down the toilet and that is why you need to pay attention to medications. Antibiotics, for example, kill off bacteria within the body to help you to get well. However, they can also kill the bacteria in the septic system, which is bad for the tank. The bacteria there is what breaks down the waste within the tank.
What To Do
Medications can be life-saving and they are miracles of modern medicine that can really help you. You need to take what your doctor prescribes, but there are things you can do to counteract them. If you are taking something short-term, like three months or less, your septic system can recover on its own. You can have a tank cleaning after the medication is complete, if you chose. IF you take something for longer than three months, minimize other products that are used to kill bacteria to reduce further stress on the system. Have the system evaluated after you start your medication to see how it is affecting the ecosystem in the tank.