Can You Have a Garbage Disposal with a Septic Tank?

If you are a septic system owner, then you might be wondering if buying a new garbage disposal is going to work properly with it. Some folks say yes, and some say no. The general argument is that it might upset the dedicated septic tank system. But is that really the case?

septic tank system

Not every garbage disposal works the same and some brands, like InSinkErator, are fairly optimistic about this coexisting relationship.

So, let’s look at some arguments of both sides, so we can determine if a garbage disposal can work with a septic tank and if so, what conditions are necessary.

The Naysayers: Garbage Disposals are Septic Villains

Some folks will tell you that garbage disposals and septic tanks mix as well as oil and water. Here’s why they’re skeptical:

  1. Overburdening the system: Septic tanks rely on bacteria to break down waste. When you add too much food waste, you risk overwhelming the bacteria and throwing off the delicate balance of your septic system. It’s like trying to cram one more person into an already packed elevator – things get messy, and nobody’s happy.
  2. Clogged pipes: A garbage disposal is not a magical portal that makes food waste vanish. It grinds up scraps into smaller pieces, which then travel through your pipes and into your septic tank. If you’re not careful about what you’re tossing in there, you could end up with some seriously clogged pipes. And nobody likes dealing with clogged pipes.

The Optimists: Garbage Disposals and Septic Tanks Can Coexist

On the other hand, others believe that with proper care and maintenance, garbage disposals and septic tanks can live together in perfect harmony. Here’s their take:

  1. Choose the right disposal: Not all garbage disposals are created equal. When pairing one with a septic tank, it’s essential to choose a septic-safe model that grinds food waste into smaller particles. This makes it easier for your septic system to break down the waste and maintain its bacterial balance.
  2. Proper use and maintenance: A garbage disposal is not a license to go hog-wild with food scraps. Being mindful of what you’re putting in there can help prevent problems down the line. Additionally, regular maintenance of both your garbage disposal and septic system will ensure that everything keeps running smoothly.

The Verdict: Can They Coexist?

As you have probably guessed, the answer is both yes and no. It all boils down to the specific garbage disposal and specific septic waste system.

If you really want this combination at your home, I’d suggest asking whoever installed your septic waste system if it can handle a certified garbage disposal. If you decide to go ahead, get yourself a garbage disposal that is proven to work with a septic system, like an InSinkErator and Waste King models.

I know that you’ve probably expected a straight yes or no answer, however, not everything is that simple. We’ve covered possible options, so the choice is yours.