Save money – don’t dump everything down your garbage disposal. Most septic systems should be pumped every three to five years, with a wellness check every
year. High-quality systems can last for decades with proper care. But David Meints, owner of Meinco Waste Water, warned that certain products reduce the
lifespan of the septic system and cause issues. Homes often have a garbage disposal, which often seems convenient, but when connected to the septic system, can clog or break the
system.

David said that these three things can cause expensive problems for wastewater systems.
1. Grease. Bacon and hamburger grease can be poured into a can instead, or cooled and scraped into the trash.
2. Oil. After cooking the perfect piece of fried fish, add the oil to the grease can, or cool on the stovetop before disposing of it.
3. Food. Consider having a dog bowl or outside animal bowl for foods that are safe for animals to eat (no cooked chicken bones, for example). Scrape the large bits of food into
the actual trash bin or the dog bowl, and rinse the rest of the plate off into the garbage disposal.

It’s best to consider the garbage disposal as an assistant, not the star of the kitchen. “I’m not saying don’t use it, but don’t use your garbage disposal as a trash can,” David said. Too much of the oil, grease, and food, and the sewer system will start to have problems. It may need to be pumped more often than every three to five years, or it may need to be replaced altogether. “You see the problems in the septic system pretty quickly,” David said. “The people who are careful about what they put in their septic system go longer periods of time without having to spend money.”

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