O/T - Maybe but may be applicable to some of us

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weisssoccermom
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O/T - Maybe but may be applicable to some of us

Postby weisssoccermom » Thu Oct 03, 2013 9:55 am

Recently I came across an article on the internet talking about, of all things, the problems with 'flushable' wipes and how they are wreaking havoc on septic tanks and sewer systems alike (all around the country). The article went on to state that many cities/municipalities are having so much trouble with clogged sewer systems that they have actually attempted to figure out which house is causing the trouble. The cost to fix the situation is a huge problem. The article further went on to state how these 'flushable' wipes are causing problems to septic tank owners as well - costing them hundreds of dollars to have their pipes unclogged and their septic systems pumped.

Last night, after taking some boxes downstairs and hearing 'gurgling' noises in the bathroom (we have a daylight basement but since all the kiddos have moved out, we rarely go down to that end of the basement), hubby investigated and found that the toilet and bathtub were backing up with nasty sludgy stuff! Ok, that led to a hopefully quick dig to see what was around the septic system baffle. Well, we couldn't exactly remember where the dang thing was and after digging up a nice portion of the backyard (mind you, this is now 9PM -- thank goodness for those motion activated floodlights placed right over the area) we FINALLY found the baffle/riser around 11. I can now say that the article is 100% correct. DON'T USE THOSE SO CALLED FLUSHABLE WIPES! (mine were a brand from Costco). I don't know how many of you use them, but for me, after my surgery and radiation treatments, those have been a 'staple' in our bathrooms. I just figured it was a small price to pay for my treatments. Well......after last night - I've changed my mind. Lesson learned, message received and noted.

Years ago, I posted about chemo/septic tanks (bad combination) and now I can add to the list 'flushable' wipes and septic/sewer systems. Passing this info along to others who may be using these types of wipes as well - beware!

Jaynee
Dx 6/22/2006 IIA rectal cancer
6 wks rad/Xeloda -finished 9/06
1st attempt transanal excision 11/06
11/17/06 XELOX 1 cycle
5 months Xeloda only Dec '06 - April '07
10+ blood clots, 1 DVT 1/07
transanal excision 4/20/07 path-NO CANCER CELLS!
NED now and forever!
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NWgirl
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Re: O/T - Maybe but may be applicable to some of us

Postby NWgirl » Thu Oct 03, 2013 10:06 am

I've always heard they're bad for not just septic but regular plumbing as well so I've avoided them. When I went through radiation, I used a heavy TP (Charmin) and just wet it a little bit with plain old water - it worked great for clean up. Soft, wet, gentle.

Sorry you had to go through all this. Hopefully no further problems with the septic.
Belle - "Don't Retreat - Reload"DX 10/07 Stage III Rectal
Surgery 11/07; 27 of 38 nodes
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Guinevere
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Re: O/T - Maybe but may be applicable to some of us

Postby Guinevere » Thu Oct 03, 2013 11:59 am

I'm on a sewer system but the way the city has the plumbing connected, I can't even use Charmin or the ridgy toilet paper (can't think of the name now). We use Angel Soft and it will still back up and my husband has to flush out the line. I never trust the "flushable" stuff like wipes and tampons (way back when I had to deal with those damned things).

This is a really good heads-up, Jaynee!

Guinevere
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BrownBagger
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Re: O/T - Maybe but may be applicable to some of us

Postby BrownBagger » Thu Oct 03, 2013 12:14 pm

Another thing you don't want to flush is dental floss. Trust me on this.
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Dx: 3/09, Stage 4 RC
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teacher49
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Re: O/T - Maybe but may be applicable to some of us

Postby teacher49 » Thu Oct 03, 2013 12:35 pm

Lesson learned already but thanks for the heads up again. My plumber spent 2 hrs cutting through what he calls "granny wipes". :oops: He had his assistant grandson along with him and he made a special point to tell his grandson to tell his girlfriends to NEVER flush them down the plumbing. I still use them......but they go in their own disposable bag. Still bad that they go to the landfill, I suppose. 1000 years from now, archeologists will discover our landfills and wonder about our artifacts of diapers and granny wipes.
F, 62,CRC, Adenoca, mod diff
cT3N0M0 Stage IIA May 2011
chemorad
APR on 9/27/11 Margins & Nodes Neg
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weisssoccermom
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Re: O/T - Maybe but may be applicable to some of us

Postby weisssoccermom » Thu Oct 03, 2013 12:49 pm

I understand that traditional 'baby wipes' shouldn't be flushed down the toilet - heck the packaging even says so. What irritates me, though, is that these supposedly "septic system/sewer safe' flushable wipes aren't. Sure, you can FLUSH them but....they will back up and clog your pipes. Last night was disgusting - although after having been through rectal cancer treatment/surgery and all that it entails, we actually were laughing in the backyard (between some gagging fits :) ) What else could we do? By the time we finished, (and the yard isn't even back together yet), it was close to 12:30pm and sometimes the best way to deal with a gross situation is to laugh about it.

Hey, at least I got in a whole lot of exercising last night with all that shoveling and moving the rocks and dirt...and I absolutely HATE dirt!

Jaynee
Dx 6/22/2006 IIA rectal cancer
6 wks rad/Xeloda -finished 9/06
1st attempt transanal excision 11/06
11/17/06 XELOX 1 cycle
5 months Xeloda only Dec '06 - April '07
10+ blood clots, 1 DVT 1/07
transanal excision 4/20/07 path-NO CANCER CELLS!
NED now and forever!
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WorriedWife
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Re: O/T - Maybe but may be applicable to some of us

Postby WorriedWife » Fri Oct 04, 2013 1:45 am

Scott toilet paper is the best to use if you have a septic system..and that's right, do not flush anything down your toilet aside from the toilet tissue.. No q-tips, no cig butts, no dental floss, no wipes of any kind, no paper towels, nothing at all. Also, I know it seems weird, but if you have a garbage disposal and a septic tank, don't use it. Only for very light and fine things...not chunky food of any kind. I know that seems like a waste....but take my word for it as I'm a realtor and have seen tons of problems in homes that people simply didn't know any better.
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Voxx66
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Re: O/T - Maybe but may be applicable to some of us

Postby Voxx66 » Fri Oct 04, 2013 3:22 am

I love those things enough that I would rather take the risk than stop using them. I've used them for at least 10 years and have had zero problems though the brand I use specifically claims to biodegrade. I have a septic system but it's a fairly advanced type. It was very pricy to put in but seems worth the expense now. It also helps I live on a hill - more like a cliff - and the drain goes steeply down hill.
DX and resect 10/2012 age 46
Stage IIa CRC
liver mets both lobes 8/2013
CEA 28
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Folfox only 3 rds + rd 8
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Patience
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Re: O/T - Maybe but may be applicable to some of us

Postby Patience » Fri Oct 04, 2013 4:15 am

They are used in our home, but [warning: TMI ahead] just as a final tidying up, for comfort, and then they are wrapped up in an excess of clean toilet paper and put in the plastic lined trash basket. Each day the trash is sealed and tossed out. Honestly, it is way less gross than what goes on with a baby's wipes and diaper disposal.

Our septic is well respected. Grease is the #1 concern. Greasy pans are wiped with dish soap and paper towels before they are rinsed in the sink. And the garbage disposal only handles light food from rinsed dishes (everything is scraped first into the trash).

Our pipes are also well respected. Nothing paper or fiber except toilet paper. No string, no floss, no wipes, no paper towels.

Jaynee, what was your previous experience about, "I posted about chemo/septic tanks (bad combination)"? We live in an area of many households with septic systems, and nobody has brought that up.
"Sweet dreams till sunbeams find you.
Sweet dreams that leave all worries behind you."

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Voxx66
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Re: O/T - Maybe but may be applicable to some of us

Postby Voxx66 » Fri Oct 04, 2013 4:51 am

Of course I also use the garbage disposal like crazy.(scraping food into the trash would create it's own issues- that gets emptied once a week. Big food left overs go to the possums and raccoons however.) I just replaced mine and put the biggest unit I could fit under the sink. I do have limits. I draw the line at grinding bones up though this model claims it can do that. (By drawing the line I mean I generally don't do it - But you know that was one of the first things I tried after I installed it. It will actually do it but really not so well and the noise is disheartening.) Greasy pans? Ah they go straight to the dishwasher - Which also has a garbage disposal on it though not nearly as big.
DX and resect 10/2012 age 46
Stage IIa CRC
liver mets both lobes 8/2013
CEA 28
FOLFOX + Avastin 8/26/13 3 rounds
Folfox only 3 rds + rd 8
platelets low round 7,9,10 5FU only
1/14 CEA 1.0 y90
5fu
10/14 mets lung and peri
1/15 Folfiri

teachpdx
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Re: O/T - Maybe but may be applicable to some of us

Postby teachpdx » Fri Oct 04, 2013 10:58 am

This is about food waste. What I do is put my meat garbage in the freezer until garbage day. I have a great sense of smell and even a tiny piece of chix can smell up my garbage. I put the waste in plastic bags and it slides out just fine on garbage day. Here in Portland we have garbage pick-up e/o week but compost every week, where you can put food scraps - meat included.
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weisssoccermom
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Re: O/T - Maybe but may be applicable to some of us

Postby weisssoccermom » Fri Oct 04, 2013 12:15 pm

Back in 2006, when I was on Xeloda and radiation, I had some friends who had her brother, sister-in-law, niece and nephew all living with her. Their house, like ours, was on a rolling hill and the end of a sloping street and had a daylight basement (& like ours, the daylight basement was fixed up with bedrooms and a bathroom). We both have septic systems that were put in the early 80's. Septic systems are put in as a specific size based on whatever the number of FINISHED bedrooms at the time of the inspection. At least around here, they then base the number of people utilizing the septic as two people/bedroom. In both our cases that would have been three (upstairs) but we each added TWO bedrooms and a bathroom downstairs. (In our situation, however, we still only had 6 people living here) Neither of us ever had any problems with our septic UNTIL chemo. For our friends, they had TWO people in the household on chemo - her brother was battling brain cancer and on heavy duty chemo and her niece was dxd with leukemia at the same time!

Chemo, like long term antibiotics, can and does affect our digestive system as well as our septic system. Both depend on the 'good' bacteria to keep everything running smoothly (no pun intended). When a person takes antibiotics for a long period of time, diarrhea is a very real side effect - simply because the antibiotics have killed off the bad AND the good bacteria. Chemo does the same thing -both in our bodies, and, again in our septic systems. In our bodies, we try to add probiotics, etc. to help replenish the loss of the 'good' bacteria and when you think of it, our septic systems should be no different.

Our septic was fine during my chemo but...........it may not have been had our friends not had problems. They ended up getting their system pumped something like every 3-4 months....obviously something was awry. FINALLY the septic people asked questions after the second time around. Apparently they are quite well aware of the chemo/septic tank connection but no one bothered to tell them and the docs knew that there were two people in the household on chemo at the same time. After the second pumping, they were told (and I happened to be there that day) that when a person is on chemo (keep in mind just ONE person) they should be using something like Rid-X at least every couple of months. In my friend's situation, with two people on chemo at the same time .....they used Rid-X on a monthly basis and no more issues

When you think about it it makes sense.

Jaynee
Dx 6/22/2006 IIA rectal cancer
6 wks rad/Xeloda -finished 9/06
1st attempt transanal excision 11/06
11/17/06 XELOX 1 cycle
5 months Xeloda only Dec '06 - April '07
10+ blood clots, 1 DVT 1/07
transanal excision 4/20/07 path-NO CANCER CELLS!
NED now and forever!
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weisssoccermom
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Re: O/T - Maybe but may be applicable to some of us

Postby weisssoccermom » Fri Oct 04, 2013 12:18 pm

Second thought - about the garbage disposal. We've always been on a septic and have always had a garbage disposal with no problems. Funny, when I finally found the as-built the other night, it specifically said the system was not intended for a garbage disposal. We've never had any problems with that in the 28 years we've lived here. (My parents had a septic system + garbage disposal for over 40 years with no issues either). That being said, I don't put large stuff down it....mostly just food scraps and I grind the heck out of everything. No bones, etc. ......IMO, sometimes those clog the disposal and that's really a disgusting and fross problem - especially when you have to stick your hand down the disposal and unclog it - sick!
Dx 6/22/2006 IIA rectal cancer
6 wks rad/Xeloda -finished 9/06
1st attempt transanal excision 11/06
11/17/06 XELOX 1 cycle
5 months Xeloda only Dec '06 - April '07
10+ blood clots, 1 DVT 1/07
transanal excision 4/20/07 path-NO CANCER CELLS!
NED now and forever!
Perform random acts of kindness

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Voxx66
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Re: O/T - Maybe but may be applicable to some of us

Postby Voxx66 » Fri Oct 04, 2013 2:21 pm

They make disposals specifically for septic systems that spray a solution on the waste every time you use it but it sounded to me like just another continuing expense as I assume it had to be refilled - unless it's magic and I think they would be more expensive if they were.

One of the reasons I buy big ones is to hopefully eliminate the sticking the hand down the disposal issue - not just because it's disgusting which it is -but because I have seen too many movies where somehow the disposal turns on and the imagery freaks me out.

I have no doubt hardcore chemo could affect a system. The one thing I do actively try to avoid is dumping chemicals down the sinks as that can have the same effect. It does cause an issue with exactly how one disposes of chemicals though and as I have such strange hobbies, I encounter that problem often.
DX and resect 10/2012 age 46
Stage IIa CRC
liver mets both lobes 8/2013
CEA 28
FOLFOX + Avastin 8/26/13 3 rounds
Folfox only 3 rds + rd 8
platelets low round 7,9,10 5FU only
1/14 CEA 1.0 y90
5fu
10/14 mets lung and peri
1/15 Folfiri

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Patience
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Re: O/T - Maybe but may be applicable to some of us

Postby Patience » Sat Oct 05, 2013 5:44 am

Thanks Jaynee. The idea that chemo could affect the "working bacteria" (enzymes) in a septic makes sense. One online site says 25 % of households have a septic system, so you'd think that the information about system maintenance would be more prominent in the chemo literature. The use of added enzymes is mentioned when I googled the topic. Here's a couple of others:

http://septic.umn.edu/factsheets/medica ... /index.htm
Increased maintenance of your system may be required if you are taking certain strong medications, such as chemotherapy drugs. Your tank may have to be pumped more often to remove solids that are accumulating rapidly due to the loss of beneficial bacteria. Your septic professional can monitor your system and take samples of BOD or TSS (total suspended solids) and recommend a management plan.


http://septictankinfo.com/septic-tank-w ... uses.shtml
Chemotherapy DrugsPrescription Drugs can Kill or Inhibit Microbes in Septic Tanks
Chemotherapy is a necessary, but often very uncomfortable, treatment for many cancer patients. Few people realize that powerful chemo drugs, once they have passed through the patient, often still have enough activity to bring a septic tank to its knees. A person undergoing chemo has a difficult enough time without having the drains suddenly back up or a stinking pond develop in the back yard.

One solution is to keep chemo-contaminated urine and poop out of the septic tank, by whatever means possible.[INSERTED COMMENT: YEAH, SURE, THAT WILL WORK OUT JUST FINE!] Failing that, you may need to schedule more frequent pumping of the tank during the course of chemo treatment.
"Sweet dreams till sunbeams find you.
Sweet dreams that leave all worries behind you."


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