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Toilet paper for septic tanks
Sorry to lower the tone so early in the morning, but having never lived anywhere with septic tanks before we suspect we may have been causing ours problems, by using the softest, thickest toilet paper we could find.
Any suggestions for the most bio-degradable, eco-friendly options available here? Thanks 🙂
I saw your post early this morning but decided to give it a few hours after breakfast before replying 😊
I have had septic tanks for at least 20 years in both UK and Portugal and not had any major issues but the key (in my opinion) is to get them emptied at least once per year. I used to do this even in UK where I had 'weeper wells' and apparently such tanks don't need emptying. But the thought of what might be sitting there, always drove me to have the sewage truck pay a visit once per year.
I have no idea what kind of tank I now have in Portugal but regardless, I have it emptied annually. Cost used to be about €40 via the council but our new water supplier now offers this service at cost of about €60!
Hope this helps. It will be interesting to hear from other members on the subject of 'To Empty or Not' and the paper solution!!!
Hi, @gerry, many thanks for your response. Interestingly, our vendors told us they'd never had to empty the tanks in the 6 years they'd lived here - and their household is 3 times larger than ours, which gives us some hope we might not need to, if only we can keep it healthy and in good shape. The system sounds pretty fancy (not that I know the first thing about it) - 4 chambers and deep, with a long soak-away field. But it clearly can't cope with quilted, 4-ply toilet paper - still trying to work out which brands are the most bio-degradable, bleach-free etc (there seems to be very little info on the wrappers).
Many thanks for your advice about where to get tanks emptied, if we do need to. Good to know it's so cheap.
Best wishes, and have a lovely day (another scortchio 😎),
Yes such a lovely subject for a beautiful Sunday morning.
Back in 2010 in UK, I had a problem with soak aways backing up and chose to have a new filtration system fitted which did the job and ran clear water off to a drainage ditch. The fitter said you could drink the water but I couldn't persuade him to try 😀 However, he also advised that it was still worthwhile to have the tank properly emptied once a year so I have always taken that advice. I could add a little more to this story but I don't want to ruin your morning tosta mista !!
Might be that if you have it emptied once in a while, you can carry on with that luxurious tissue. Just a thought...........
Bom dia, @gerry. Not sure there's ever a good time for this discussion 🤔 , but thanks for the suggestion to get our tank emptied, it's certainly something we'll think about. So much to learn, not only about Portuguese culture and language, but rural living in general. Happy to be doing it in the sunshine though 🙂
I have lived with septic tanks and never had them emptied. That said eventually there will be an accumulation of non-degradable matter such as grit and sand from washing muddy vegetables/hands and also the plastic content of wipes and sanitary products. I doubt that you will ever have a problem getting even the most luxurious loo paper to degrade fast enough. However there is a greater chance of a blockage in the pipes leading to your septic tank, especially if there are roots getting in or the pipes & inspection chambers are poorly made or undersized. All are common problems in our part of the Algarve.
After nine years i wouldn't know where to find a place for the waste people to empty so here's hoping that all is well in another nine years.
What i meant was over a nine year period my Fossa has not been emptied. In my Loja there is nowhere for a fossa to be emptied. It's the same for all houses in the village i live in.
@peterfc so the houses all have individual fossas too?
When we had our fossa emptied, it was just a matter of telling the council and a truck came and drained it.
I know there are some fossas that have been build with a hole in the bottom to drain liquids out. I don't think they are legal but where done so people wouldn't have to empty so often.