Can a Garbage Disposal be used with a Septic Tank?

Are you looking for information about garbage disposals and septic tanks? If yes, you are in the right place. So, the question is, can a garbage disposal system be used with a septic tank? Let’s find out starting with the basics.

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What is a garbage disposal? – in short

A garbage disposal unit is a small machine which shreds food waste into small pieces. Its main purpose is to keep the sink running property without any hindrance. It is installed under the kitchen sink between the sink drain and trap.

Can a garbage disposal be used with a septic tank?

The simple answer to this question would be: No unless you have a garbage disposal system specially designed for a septic tank. However, it also depends on the home’s septic system.

Why can’t I use a normal garbage disposal unit with a septic tank?

First, let us know how a septic tank works. A septic tank is used to store waste from the bathroom and kitchen. It isn’t for storing food waste.

A septic tank breaks down matter by bacteria. These bacteria cannot break down food waste properly. So, food waste in the septic tank will be built up into sludge overtime. In the end, it reduces tank capacity and efficiency.

Therefore, it is highly recommended to use a garbage disposal system specially made for a septic tank. These types of disposals are called septic garbage disposal.

What makes a garbage disposal with septic tank safe?

A septic garbage disposal breaks down food as well as releases special enzymes. These enzymes help to break down the food waste faster. This results in no sludge formation and increased efficiency of the tank.

How can I maintain a garbage disposal system for a  septic tank?

Here are some things that you can follow right away:

  1. Install only a septic garbage disposal if you have a septic tank. It is very wise to use a septic garbage disposal for a septic tank. It helps to improve the efficiency and capacity of the septic tank.
  1. Clean your garbage disposal two times a day. Cleaning the garbage disposal will not only increase the life span of the device but also prevent a horrible smell.
  2. Cut the food waste into smaller pieces. Cutting food waste into small pieces will help the garbage disposal to dispose of the waste more easily. Large wastes can block the drain and sometimes even break down the device.
  3. Leave cold water running for up to 20-30 seconds while the disposal is running. This will help the waste material to go to a certain distance in the drain. Water makes it easier for the food wastes to go further in and it also cools down the device.
  4. Pump your septic tank if the garbage disposal is used frequently on a daily basis. The septic tank will be filled faster if the garbage disposal is used on a daily basis. It is recommended to pump the tank before it gets filled to its maximum capacity to prevent other issues.

What should not go in a garbage disposal for a septic tank?

Here are the things that you should never do to a garbage disposal system:

  1. Throwing hard things like bones and seeds. There is very little chance that you might get away by doing this. The drain pipes will get clogged.
  2. Throwing pasta and rice in the disposal. These items can expand in the garbage disposal and can clog your drain or get stuck around the blades and block the opening.
  3. Don’t treat a garbage disposal system as a trash can. Throw only the things that the disposal can handle. Even large skins of fruits like melon can cause damage to the device.
  4. Don’t put the coffee powder in the disposal. Coffee powder looks like it might not create any sort of hindrance but looks can be deceptive. They will pile up and create a sludgy mess in the drain.
  5. Don’t throw trash or hard items in a garbage disposal. Hard items like nails, rubber bands, grease, children’s toys, sponges, cigarettes, glass, etc should never be thrown in the garbage disposal.

The septic garbage disposal we recommend

InSinkErator Evolution Septic Assist Garbage Disposal

Best Septic Assist Garbage Disposal Unit Review


This one is without a doubt the best of the best. InSinkErator has specially designed this unit for septic systems. This unit contains a Bio-Charge cartridge containing over 300 million enzyme-producing micro-organisms. This gets injected into the food waste each time the unit is switched on. This natural bacteria help break down food waste at a tremendous speed, works as a deodorizer and most importantly it’s safe for the environment and plumbing system.

Read our complete review on this product, or check out the listing on Amazon for more information on the InSinkErator Evolution Septic Assist Garbage Disposal.


So, it is possible to install a garbage disposal if your house has a septic tank, but make sure you buy the right garbage disposal. Choose a garbage disposal system with a septic tank assist. Do your research and read product reviews.


I'm Wayne, owner of I'm a father of 2. I love reviewing products and showcasing the very best in my best of review lists. I want people to make an informative decision by going through these reviews before purchasing their selected products.

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