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A garbage disposal in the kitchen sink offers convenience by efficiently eliminating food waste. It reduces odors, minimizes trash volume, and prevents clogs by grinding food into smaller particles that can easily flow through plumbing. Many homeowners don’t think twice about installing a garbage disposal, but you should if your building relies on a septic system.


In this brief article brought to you by New Era Plumbing, we explore some considerations when it comes to a garbage disposal in a home with a septic system installed. If your septic system is giving you concern and you are looking for a reliable septic company, then call New Era Plumbing to hire a uniformed septic specialist.

Will the Garbage Disposal Overwhelm the Septic Tank?

A common concern revolves around whether a garbage disposal will overwhelm the septic tank by introducing additional solid waste. Food scraps processed through the disposal add to the organic matter entering the septic tank. While modern disposals grind food into smaller particles, these solids can still accumulate within the septic system, potentially leading to quicker tank filling and increased frequency of septic tank pumping.

How Will the Helpful Bacteria in the Tank React to a Garbage Disposal?

Septic systems rely on a delicate balance of bacteria to break down solid waste into space-saving sludge. Introducing excess food waste through a garbage disposal can alter this balance, potentially disrupting the microbial ecosystem within the tank.

This disruption might hinder the system's efficiency in breaking down waste, leading to clogging, odor issues, and potential system failures. Systemic clogs may require an urgent septic cleaning while system failures can necessitate part replacements or a complete restoration.

The Cost of Frequent Septic Pumping

The additional organic matter from a garbage disposal can accelerate the accumulation of sludge and scum in the septic tank. This overload might necessitate more frequent maintenance, such as septic pumping, to prevent blockages and maintain the proper functioning of the system. The increased frequency of pump-outs could mean additional costs for homeowners.

If You Must…

While the impact of a garbage disposal on a septic system is a valid concern, modern advancements have introduced more septic-friendly disposal units. Some disposals are specifically designed to minimize the load on septic systems. These models feature finer grinding capabilities and enzymes that aid in breaking down waste more efficiently, reducing the strain on the septic tank.

Further, adopting best practices can mitigate potential issues. Proper septic care, such as using septic-safe cleaning products and scheduling routine septic inspections, is crucial. Moderation in the use of the garbage disposal, avoiding disposing of large quantities of waste at once, and being mindful of what goes into the system can significantly lessen the strain on the septic tank.

The Better Way to Deal with Organic Waste

To be frank, garbage disposals have environmental consequences whether you have a septic system or rely on a centralized sewer system. Composting organic waste, or implementing a separate composting system for food scraps, reduces the load on the septic system and offers an eco-friendly way to manage kitchen waste.

If your septic system is giving you problems, then address them sooner rather than later. Residents in the area can call New Era Plumbing to hire a uniformed septic specialist.


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