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Beard trimming is bad for your septic tank. Hair is a very tough substance, which is composed of mostly keratin. Keratin is a fibrous, helicoidal protein that forms part of your skin appendages, like hair follicles and fingernails. The protein is tough and not easily broken down by bacteria.
Is everyday shaving bad for your septic tank?
Several different things can affect your septic system; and unfortunately, “everyday shaving” is one of them. Before I go deep into why that’s so, let me start by talking about what a septic tank is and how it works.
What is a septic tank and how does it work?
A septic tank is an underground sedimentation tank installed for wastewater treatment. The system performs the treatment by allowing bacteria to break down potentially harmful waste substances. Furthermore, the septic tank performs its functions by collecting waste and separating it into three different layers; solids (sludge), effluent, and scum.
Here’s how the septic system works:
- First, you need to understand that your home’s drainage pipe is connected to the septic tank. So, as water flushes through the drainage pipe, it goes directly into the septic system.
- The septic tank, which is usually made of fiberglass or polyethylene, is located underground.
- As the tank receives water and other waste products, it’ll hold them for as long as it can, allowing solid particles to decompose, turn to sludge, and go to its bottom. That’s not all; it also allows greasy and oily substances to settle on top while the liquid wastewater is allowed to move away from the tank into the drainfield area.
- The solid particle in the bottom of the tank is the sludge, the wastewater represents the effluent, while the greasy substance is called scum.
Bacteria is one of the factors that make the septic tank function. It works by decomposing or breaking down the organic substance coming from your drainage pipe.
Here’s why everyday shaving is bad for your septic tank
Everyday shaving is bad for your septic tank because our hair is known to be a very tough substance. It’s composed of tough helicoidal protein, which cannot easily be broken down by the bacteria inside the septic tank.
Since it takes a lot of time for the bacteria inside the septic tank to decompose the hair coming from your house, it’s safe to say that everyday shaving will only make the septic tank will only end up piling up the hair, instead of breaking it down.
Hair doesn’t get easily broken down inside the tank. Over time, it begins to clump, acting as a net and preventing other solid particles and other organic substances from moving down your drain.
So, the bottom line is that everyday shaving will most likely cause hair blockage inside your septic tank. This could cause several different issues, including clogs and slow drains. It could also prevent the bacteria inside the septic tank from working properly.
Is beard trimming bad for your septic tank?
Beard trimming, when done regularly, can be dangerous to your septic tank. You already know that human hair contains 95% of keratin, which happens to be a fibrous, helicoidal protein. This protein is known to be tough. It takes a lot of time before it could get decomposed by bacteria inside the septic tank.
Don’t get it twisted, you need to understand that beard trimming isn’t entirely a bad thing. The problem only arises when the air keeps coming to the septic tank.
Inside the septic tank, there’s usually an outboard filter, called the gravity effluent filter. The purpose of the filter is to help extend the lifespan of your drainfield.
As earlier mentioned, it’s only the effluent that’s allowed to move away from the septic tank to the drainfield. The gravity effluent filter is located at the inlet of the drainfield. Since hair takes forever to get decomposed, they tend to move along with the effluent. Here’s where the gravity effluent filter comes into the scene.
As wastewater flows past the gravity effluent filter into the drainfield, escaped and undecomposed hair is stopped by the filter. So, what happens to the hair trapped in the filter? The hair will continue to pile up. Over time, it could clog up the tank outlet, preventing water from flowing easily.
The bottom line is that beard trimming will, over time, cause problems to your septic system. It could lead to slow drains and clogs inside the septic tank.
Will hair dissolve in a septic tank?
Hair is an organic substance that’s majorly composed of keratin. Keratin is a tough, fibrous, helicoidal protein – this is pretty similar to what makes up the fingernails.
As you already know, the septic tank is composed of large colonies of bacteria and enzymes. Both the enzymes and the bacteria are the reasons why your septic tank doesn’t get overfilled with waste products.
As wastewater and organic substances are flushed down the drainage pipe, it enters into the septic tank. First, the wastewater is separated into effluent, scum, and solid.
After that, the bacteria and enzymes inside the tank will work on the solid organic substances, decomposing them into sludge.
No doubt, human hair is an organic substance. However, because it contains tough strings of proteins, it’s usually very difficult to get decomposed by the large colonies of bacteria and enzymes inside the septic tank.
This explains why the hair doesn’t decompose easily inside the tank.
The bottom line is that hair doesn’t dissolve easily inside the tank. However, over time, if there is no continuous piling up of hair inside the tank, the hair will most likely get dissolved by the bacteria.
Hair can remain undissolved inside your drainage pipe, septic tank, and gravity effluent filter for several months. Matter of fact, undissolved hair can even stay in the tank for years, depending on the nature and environment of the tank.
Septic tank maintenance
According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), it’s important and recommended for people to inspect and perform adequate maintenance for their septic systems at least every 3 years.
In case you haven’t done yours, all you need to do is contact a reliable septic service professional to run a check on the system.
During the maintenance process, you can always get rid of the pile-up of hair, which is mostly trapped on the gravity effluent filter of the septic tank. During the maintenance process, you’ll also need to pump out the sludge.
This way, you can always remove any undissolved hair inside the septic tank.