How To Teach Children About Home Septic Systems (Otherwise Titled: "Please Don't Feed The Potty!")

Home septic systems can be an economical, earth-friendly way to deal with waste matter. Unlike municipal systems, an on-site home septic system does not require a substantial monthly payment in order to use it. Even better is the fact that most can last for decades with only an occasional need for maintenance or repair. But for homes with small, curious children, keeping a home septic system healthy and functional may require a bit of education. If your family includes young children, here are some tips to help you educate your children in proper toilet usage and help you avoid emergency septic tank repairs. 

Avoid making a game out of flushing during toilet training

A common mistake parents make during the toilet training stage is to make a game of flushing the toilet as a reward for using it. This may be helpful in encouraging your child to want to use it, but it can be disastrous to your home's septic system. In most cases, children enjoy the sudden sound and action of flushing so much that they want to experience it again and again. In addition to being thrilled to watch their poo disappear, they may also want to see if other objects also vanish, including wash cloths, socks, toys, and any other small item that may be nearby. 

Instead of encouraging this behavior by allowing multiple flushes, parents should choose another, equally fun reward, to celebrate each toileting success. Some good options that do not encourage flushing games include: 

  • keeping a special container of solution for blowing bubbles and allowing the child to play with it briefly
  • reading a favorite book together or playing a favorite game
  • being allowed to help parents with a "special" task or activity that only big kids can do

Basically, any reward that can help alleviate or prevent a child from becoming fixated on flushing can be helpful in preventing clogged pipes, overflowing toilets, and damage to the septic system. 

Provide convenient receptacles for paper and other disposables in the bath

As kids grow older and begin to use the bathroom without supervision, it is important for parents to make sure they understand what bathroom items can be safely flushed and which ones should be placed in a waste basket. As part of this education, parents will want to make sure that a convenient trash can is always available. It can also be a good idea to post a paper list of all items commonly used in the bathroom along with the proper way of disposing of them. This list can be taped inside a cabinet or closet door so that children can easily refer to it. 

If all attempts at educating your child on proper toilet usage fails and a septic system repair is necessary, contact a reputable, licensed home septic system installer or contractor, such as from American Septic Service, as soon as possible.