Liquids and Their Impact on Your Septic System

A big part of a lift station or septic tank’s overall health is directly related to what you put into it. There are plenty of substances and things that can damage your system and result in poor performance. 

Today, we’re going to focus exclusively on liquids. Liquid waste can have a significant impact on how well or poorly your tank operates and learning about which to think about and which ones to avoid can sometimes mean the difference between a healthy septic tank and expensive maintenance bill – or perhaps even worse. Let’s jump right in. 


Bleach is a common cleaning agent that almost everyone uses. It helps remove grime, germs, surfaces, and the like. However, you need to be careful about how you dispose of it -particularly if you own a septic tank. Bleach kills bacteria – and in the case of a septic tank – bacteria is what helps break down solids and turn them into manageable wastewater. When bleach gets into your system – it kills that bacteria and makes your tank less efficient. 


Soda might be an inclusion here that would surprise you. It’s just another beverage right? Well, it’s important to know that soda includes a very high level of sugar and acid – both of which can impact the pH balance of your septic tank. When the pH balance gets thrown off, it can significantly impact the way and manner in which solids are broken down. The other double-downer to Soda and septic tanks – is that it doesn’t matter how you dispose of it – it won’t take the edge off. That means you can flush it down the toilet, dilute it with water in your sink, etc and it’ll still have the negative impact. 

Instead, use soda in your composting bin. It’ll actually have a little more benefit there as it’ll help break down and decompose other waste you have. 


Speaking of composting, folks often look to coffee as a great fertilizer for their garden and they’re right to think that. However when it comes to your septic tank – they can cause a myriad of problems. The grinds themselves can buildup over time and decompose at a far slower rate than other solids do. Coffee also has a high level of acidity in it – much like soda – and can cause similar pH level issues within the tank itself. 

Drain cleaner

Try your best to stay away from drain cleaners unless they’re absolutely necessary. They come with an incredibly high level of antibacterial chemicals and are almost more potent than bleach when it comes to the potential for a significant wiping out of bacteria with the tank itself. In addition – while the clog might go away, it could create significant issues with your tank in the long run – with those chemicals lingering and causing contamination dangers. Whatever you do – stay away if you own a septic tank.

Hopefully you found today’s blog helpful. If you have any questions about how your lift station or septic tank works or need maintenance, give us a call today and we’ll be happy to help. Until then – good luck!