When you own a home in a rural area, you have a septic system. Whereas a sewer connects to the municipality's water treatment plant, your plumbing connects to a tank and a leech field in your front yard. In other words, you are financially responsible for anything that clogs your septic system. Knowing what you can and cannot dump in there is helpful, if not, imperative.
1. Grease: There was a reason all of our grandmother's can an old coffee can under the kitchen sink for grease. They knew that dumping that grease down the drain was going to wreak havoc with the pipes and, in turn, the septic tank. Grease just solidifies somewhere along your plumbing lines often combining with other waste to form a ball of goo, like this 19-ton one in Michigan, that needs professional help.
2. Vegetable Peelings: Even if you have the most powerful garbage disposal on the planet, get in the habit of peeling vegetables into a bag for trash or, better yet, for composting. Vegetable peels are just too fibrous for your disposal, your pipes, and, ultimately, for your septic tank.
3. Floss: Dental floss goes in the trash. Many people, however, assume that such a minuscule piece of waste can be flushed without causing any harm. The fact is that dental floss is not biodegradable. It just hangs out in your pipes waiting for friends. Over time, it bound with hair and other dental floss to form huge clogs of grossness. Your home's plumbing and septic systems are not designed to handle clogs like this.
4. Cigarettes: If you must smoke, don't flush the butts. While the cigarette itself will break down over time, the chemicals in it will be leached out into your water table. Your septic tank does not have the capabilities to filter them out. The larger problem, however, is the cigarette's filter. The filter is not biodegradable and will float around in your septic tank forever. They can also be caught up in a mega grease or floss clog, making a bad situation worse.
5. Disposable Wipes: Both cleaning and diaper wipes say 'disposable' right on the side of the package. Don't, under any circumstances, flush them. Officials in Charleston, South Carolina had to send SCUBA divers into 80 feet of raw sewage to clear a massive baby wipe clog and the city of New York reports that it has spent 18 million dollars over five years just in removing clogged wipes from its system. Unless you want to deal with a similar headache in your own front year, don't flush wipes of any kind.
The takeaway from this should be that the only things we should flush are what we use the bathroom for and the accompanying toilet paper. Flushing anything else is going to be a financial headache. Contact a septic pumping service for more help.