Most feminine sanitary products are not meant to be flushed down the toilet. Here’s why.
Septic tanks are underground chambers made of concrete, fiberglass, or plastic for storing domestic wastewater for basic treatment. A septic tank is designed to receive human waste and water only, and feminine products are not part of that intention. Listed below are some of the things you should understand before throwing that tampon or pad into your toilet.
While Tampon Tribe products are biodegradable, since they are made of 100% cotton, they are not biodegradable fast enough to stop them from creating major problems in your septic tank. And being flushable doesn’t necessarily mean they are biodegradable.
In fact, almost all non-organic tampons and pads contain plastic parts. When they accumulate, they can easily block the pipe system and make you have to keep emptying your tank regularly. If unattended, your tank will fill up causing solid waste to flow into the secondary treatment tank forcing you to replace your entire system. The waste may even start coming back up into your home-use water.
Tampons are made by compactly packing cotton together to give them high absorbency rates. After absorbing fluids, they become ten times their normal size. This makes it easy for them to fill up the tank and clog your sewer system. If your sewer is capable of holding 10,000 gallons, it will only hold half that amount with tampons.
If you flush pads and tampons into your toilet, they might block shared plumbing systems. This will not only affect you, but it will also affect the lives of others.
Once these products clog your plumbing system or affect your septic tank, you might end up breaking the bank to unclog and clean them out. Yet, eventually, these sanitary products will reach the sewage plants where they are cleaned out physically or chemically and afterward thrown into landfills where they would have landed if you hadn’t flushed them in the first place. Fun fact, America uses about $46 billion every year in public wastewater treatment processes. That’s how much we can save with responsible disposal of sanitary products.
When plumbing systems block or septic tanks fill up, they spill over into homes or streets. This poses major health threats to people living around that area. Diseases such as cholera may come up and cause massive deaths.