MadSci Network: Other

Re: What type of toilet papers are BEST for a sewer system!?

Date: Tue Jan 21 15:16:23 2003
Posted By: Tony Gaglierd, Faculty, Natural Science and Engineering Technology, Point Park College
Area of science: Other
ID: 1042565827.Ot

Dear Stan

You asked what type of toilet papers are BEST for a sewer system!?

The answer to your question depends on what part of the sewage system your talking about.

The house sewer caries the waste water from the various fixtures in the house, the toilet, lavatory, sinks, showers and laundry. Depending on the size and condition of the interior of the sewer toilet paper can be a source of clogging and backups.

The Street Sewer or Public Sewer carries the wastewater to the treatment plant. These pipes are usually large, minimum size 8” in Diam. Toilet paper normally is not a problem there.

At the treatment plant the heavy solids are settled out and removed from the water for either incineration or land burial.

Toilet paper can be a problem for people who are on On-Lot Disposal Systems – Septic Systems.

Septic systems have two components--a 1,000 to 1,200 gallon tank, which can be constructed from metal, fiberglass, or concrete, and a leachfield with several leach lines surrounded by crushed stone, which disperses material through a large area of soil. Both the tank and leach pipes are installed underground.

The tank has three separate layers of wastewater. At the bottom is a sludge layer, composed of the heaviest sewage components. In the middle is a clear layer of wastewater, which flows outward into the leach lines to be broken down by biological processes. The top layer is composed of scum, grease, and other floating substances.

Part of septic system maintenance involves alternate disposal of items which will settle as sludge or scum in the tank.

In the bathroom, it's important to:

The above items should not be flushed down the toilet when your on a public sewer either. That’s not the proper method of disposal for these items.

I think the problem is not the type of toilet paper but the amount used. This combined with the lower volumes of water used in the newer water saving toilets dose not provide sufficient flow to move the toilet paper out of the system into the public sewer resulting in backups.

I hope this answers your question.

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