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How Grease Impacts Your Septic System

Broken Pipe
If you have a septic system to handle the wastewater your house produces, you need to be careful about what goes down your pipes. Grease can have a real negative impact on your entire septic system and cause the following problems.

Grease Clogs Up Drainage Pipes

Your drainage pipes are the pipes that water from your sink or shower flows into as it makes its way into your septic system. These pipes are generally the larger white pipes under your sink or connected to your shower.
When grease flows from your kitchen sink into your drainage pipes, the grease generally cools and solidifies against the walls of the drainage pipes.
The grease solidifies because your drain pipes are usually cooler than room temperature; the pipes lead into your basement or crawl space where the temperatures are colder.
Your drainage pipes may not get blocked up the first time you put grease down your kitchen sink. However, over time, that grease will build up and cause a blockage.

Grease Fills Up Your Septic Tank

Your septic tank is designed to filter out gray and black water. Your septic tank works most effectively when you only allow water, human waste, and toilet paper down your drains.
When waste makes its way into your septic tank, it filters out into three layers: sludge, liquid effluent, and scum. Solid material settles at the bottom as sludge. Normal wastewater floats in the middle as bacteria works to clean up the water. Scum, such as grease, floats on the top of your septic tank.
Excessive grease will create a thick scum layer inside of your septic tank. The scum and sludge layers in your septic tank are what is removed from your tank when you have it pumped.  
Allowing grease into your septic tank can speed up how often your septic tank needs to be pumped.

Grease Blocks Drain Field Lines

Sometimes, grease can make it through your drain pipes and into your septic system. That doesn't mean you are in the clear. The grease that makes it through your septic system can still block-up the outflow lines to your drainage field.
When your outflow lines are blocked, wastewater will build-up inside of your septic system and potentially cause sewage to back-up into your home.

Grease Can Seep Into the Drainage Field

Sometimes, the grease doesn't stop inside of your septic tank or drain field lines; it actually gets into your drainage field. The grease then sticks to the soil and gravel that make up the various layers of your drainage field.
Over time, as the grease builds up, it can impact how your drainage field works. As grease builds-up, your drainage field will not be able to properly filter the wastewater that flows through it.
Improper filtration could lead to raw sewage getting into your yard. Fixing a damaged drainage field can be an expensive and extensive undertaking.
Grease has a negative impact on your entire septic system. It can clog up your drainage pipes, increase the thickness of the scum layer in your septic tank, block up your drainage lines, and ruin the filtration in your drainage field. This can all be prevented by keeping grease out of plumbing system to begin with. Pour grease from pots and pans into a grease can or the trash. Additionally, wipe away grease from your pots and pans before you rinse them off in the sink or put them in your dishwasher.
If you experience problems due to grease getting into your plumbing system, give us a call at Stinky's Septic and Carolina Septic, and we can help you deal with the grease in your septic system and get things working again.