Kansas Environmental Health Association

Affiliate of the National Environmental Health Association

Can too much toilet paper in the septic tank cause a back up?

Posted by James on January 22, 2013 at 3:55 PM

I have a resident who is having sewage backup into the house.  The tank was pumped on 31 Dec 2012 and the pumper indicated that there was about 1.5 - 2' of toilet paper in the bottom of the tank and that toilet paper was everywhere in the tank.  It was difficult to pump the tank due to the amount of toilet paper and it was like pumpig a tank that had not been pumped in years.  They attribute the amount of toilet paper as the cause of the backup.  Gound was frozen and not able to probe.

It is a new house and system, installed Oct 2011.
1,200 gallon tank      2,500 SF lateral    perc rate 37 mintues per inch    load rate .2 G/SF/Day per soils chart
4 people are living in the house and they are using 4,000 - 6,500 gallons of water/month (233 gallons/day)

It is reasonable that too much toilet paper is causing the backup?  The installer checked pipe elevations at inlet, outlet and first lateral prior to the tank pumping and they were all good. 

I appreciate input.

Jim Kraatz     [email protected]     913 684 1084

Categories: Air, Water,Solid Waste

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1 Comment

Reply Beth Rowlands
10:02 AM on January 25, 2013 
The only thing I can think of is that the septic tank is not designed or installed correctly. Is it possible that they are using paper towels or something other than toilet paper?