Pets are loving creatures. And the animal lovers among us gladly open our homes to them. However, while you may be willing to share most things with your pets, your septic system should not be one of them.
Why you should never flush cat poop or litter
Even though it may seem like a good idea, you should not be flushing your cat’s litter or feces down the toilet. It can cause havoc on your plumbing, clog pipes, and damage your septic system. Your septic system operates on a delicate balance of microbes and is designed to process human waste and biodegradable tissue only. Flushing your cat’s litter adds more solid waste load into the biological mix going on in the septic tank. Not only can this extra load disrupt the tank’s microbial balance it can even cause harm to the environment.
Cat waste can contain a nasty parasite called Toxoplasma which can cause some serious health problems to humans. Pregnant women and people with weakened immune systems are particularly susceptible. Wastewater treatment systems are primarily designed to handle human waste and aren’t designed to handle things like Toxoplasma. Unfortunately, wastewater treatment systems don’t remove this parasite from the water before it is discharged back into the environment and into the waterways. The harm can also extend into the waterways where new parasites are introduced, and fish, shellfish, otters, and other marine life can also be affected by Toxoplasma – ultimately resulting in brain damage and even death.
Even if you separate the cat poop from the litter, FloHawks recommends against flushing any of it down the toilet. Adding cat litter, even organic or all-natural kitty litter like corn, pine or wood chips, into the septic system over time puts an undue overburden on the septic system. This could lead to serious septic system failure. Flushing kitty litter is never a good idea.
What’s in your cat litter?
Most cat litters are made from bentonite clay which hardens when it gets wet. Add some water, and you get a cement-like consistency. If you’ve ever waited too long to clean out the litter box, you know how quickly the litter can clump and turn into a solid force that is difficult to deal with. Imagine if the litter solidifies in your pipes – the solution may be costly. Depending on how clogged the pipes are they may require water jetting or, if they are completely blocked, the only solution may be to remove the pipes and replace them.
FloHawks advises against flushing any unsanctioned item down your drains, including your cat’s litter, because it can cause harm to your septic system and to marine life. It’s always a good idea to dispose of your cat’s waste properly. Leaving cat or dog feces in your yard can also spread disease. So, what is a pet owner to do? The best way to discard your pets’ waste is by emptying it into a biodegradable bag and putting it in the trash.
Our pets are not the only ones worthy of our love and affection – your septic tank can use some TLC too. Learn more about how to take care of your septic tank here. The professionals at FloHawks have been taking care of septic systems since 1968. Call us at 1-800-356-4295 or schedule your service today.