Putting Paint in Your Septic System Is a Bad Idea

April 28, 2021 Published by Leave your thoughts

If you have a septic tank, there are some precautions you should take when doing any painting around your home. These two things may not seem like they are related, but one can have a major effect on the other.

Paint can wreak havoc on a septic tank. There are many problems that can arise with septic tank ownership in Lancaster, NY, and extra care must be taken when painting to ensure that no paint gets washed down the drain. Here are some of the problems that can arise from paint getting into the septic tank.

Backups and blockage

Paint is made to bind to the surfaces it touches. The binder in paint is made from many different chemicals—none of which are good for a septic system. The worst part of this, however, is the fact that binders are usually made of polymers, which are a type of plastic.

The binder in paint may stick to surfaces in the drain, like pipes, the septic tank itself or even parts of the drain field. This can build up and lead to slower drains or even blockages in the pipes. This is an especially serious problem if it happens in the drain field.

Sludge buildup

Septic tanks work their magic thanks to a combination of bacteria and enzymes breaking down organic waste. This process, however, leaves inorganic materials, including paint, to sink to the bottom of the tank. This forms a layer of sludge at the bottom of the tank, which can lead to the tank filling up faster than usual.

Bacteria killer

Since a septic tank relies on bacteria to break down organic materials, it’s important that those bacteria stay alive. If you get paint in the septic tank in Lancaster, NY, the toxic components of the paint will be harmful to the bacteria in the septic tank. If the bacteria aren’t happy, the septic system is not happy, so it’s best to keep the paint out of the drains.

What to do if paint gets into the septic system

Even with the best intentions and most meticulous care, there is still a chance that paint will get into your septic system. Should that happen, here are some steps you should take as soon as possible.

If the amount of paint that gets down the drain is minimal, say, from washing your hands after painting, then you probably don’t need to worry about it. But if a lot of paint finds its way into the system, like from someone dumping the rest of a can of paint down the drain or washing a lot of dirty painting tools in the sink, then you should schedule a tank pumping and “shock treatment” to reintroduce biological additives into the septic tank.

With a track record of expert service since 1968, Macken Services, Inc. has the experience and expertise to tackle any septic tank issues. If you have problems with paint in your septic tank in Lancaster, NY, or any other issues with septic tank ownership, contact us today.

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