September 24, 2016

Septic System

Hi Folks,

Please help us keep our Septic System operational by thinking about what goes down your drains.

Having a Septic System means our sewage flows into a small tank (one of two on the property) where the heavier sludge settles out and gets digested. The liquids then continue to flow on to a buried leach field, which is basically a system of pipes with holes drilled into them for the liquids to filter into the ground.

This sort of system is very delicate compared to municipal sewage systems and the digestion of sludge can only work properly if no harsh chemicals or medications are added to the system. These things can cause the system to become sick, and when that happens, things can start to become especially stinky, or worse, toilet paper will cease to decompose properly and begin to clog up pipes and drains.

Additionally, the tanks have to be pumped out periodically and any solids that flow into the tank can cause the pumps to seize, so it is very important not to allow solids to go down the drain.

Feminine hygiene products have a particularly high probability of causing problems. Not only can they seize pumps, but they can cause (and have caused) clogs in the 3″ drain pipes that lead from each of the spaces to the tanks.

The EPA has written another more complete explanation for how to take care of a septic tank here:, but essentially it boils down to two things:

  1. Don’t use too much water at once.
  2. Think about what you put down the drain.

Besides chemicals, a number of other things to pay particular attention to avoid include:

  • Cooking grease or oil
  • Flushable wipes
  • Photographic solutions
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Condoms
  • Dental floss
  • Diapers
  • Cigarette butts
  • Coffee grounds
  • Cat litter
  • Paper towels
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Household chemicals like gasoline, oil, pesticides, antifreeze, and paint or paint thinners.

These problems are so common, the EPA has also published a pamphlet especially for RV’ers and RV park operators. That publication can be found on the above website and here:

And please, INFORM YOUR VISITORS, or better yet, post a sign above your toilet roll dispenser that informs your visitors that the park is on a Septic System, so they are aware and don’t flush anything that they might otherwise flush into a municipal sewage system.

We all depend on this system, and we appreciate your help keeping it working properly.

Thanks,  Clarkdale RV management.

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