Low-Flow Toilets and Septic Systems: Can They Work Together?

July 18, 2023 6:31 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Low-Flow Toilets and Septic Systems: Can They Work Together?

Low-flow toilets are becoming more popular in many homes and businesses. These types of toilets use less water than traditional toilets, which can save homeowners money on their water bills. However, many people are concerned about how low-flow toilets will work with their septic systems. In this blog post, we will explore the relationship between low-flow toilets and septic systems and discuss whether they can work together effectively.

What is a Low-Flow Toilet?

First, let’s define what a low-flow toilet is. A low-flow toilet is a type of toilet that uses less water than traditional toilets. Traditional toilets use between 3.5 and 7 gallons of water per flush, while low-flow toilets use only 1.6 gallons of water per flush. Low-flow toilets were first introduced in the 1990s as a way to conserve water and reduce the strain on water resources.

How Does a Septic System Work?

Before we discuss how low-flow toilets work with septic systems, it’s important to understand how a septic system works. A septic system is a self-contained system that is used to treat wastewater from a home or business. The system consists of a septic tank and a drainfield. Wastewater from the home or business enters the septic tank, where solids and liquids are separated. The solids settle to the bottom of the tank and are broken down by bacteria. The liquids, or effluent, flow out of the septic tank and into the drainfield. The effluent is then further treated by the soil in the drainfield, which filters out any remaining impurities before the water returns to the groundwater supply.

Can Low-Flow Toilets Work with Septic Systems?

The short answer is yes, low-flow toilets can work with septic systems. In fact, low-flow toilets are often recommended for homes with septic systems because they use less water, which can reduce the strain on the septic system and increase its lifespan.

However, there are some considerations to keep in mind when using a low-flow toilet with a septic system. Since low-flow toilets use less water per flush, it’s important to ensure that the waste is properly flushed down the drain. If the waste doesn’t have enough water to carry it through the plumbing, it can cause blockages and other problems in the septic system.

Tips for Using Low-Flow Toilets with Septic Systems

To ensure that your low-flow toilet works effectively with your septic system, consider the following tips:

1. Use toilet paper carefully: One of the most important factors in keeping your septic system working effectively is to be careful about what you flush down the toilet. Avoid using excessive amounts of toilet paper and never flush feminine hygiene products, wet wipes, or other non-toilet paper items.

2. Add water to the bowl: To ensure that waste is properly flushed down the drain, it can help to add water to the bowl before flushing. Simply pour a bucket of water into the bowl before flushing to help move the waste through the plumbing.

3. Consider a low-flow toilet with a pressure-assist feature: Some low-flow toilets come with a pressure-assist feature, which uses a burst of air to push waste through the plumbing. These toilets can be more effective at flushing waste and reducing the potential for blockages in the septic system.

4. Avoid using harsh chemicals: Harsh chemicals like bleach and drain cleaners can kill the bacteria in your septic system and reduce its effectiveness. Avoid using these products and opt for natural cleaning solutions like vinegar and baking soda instead.


Low-flow toilets can work effectively with septic systems, but it’s important to take some extra steps to ensure that they operate properly. By following the tips outlined in this post, you can help ensure that your septic system and low-flow toilet work together smoothly, while also saving water and reducing your environmental impact.

Interested in making the switch to low-flow toilets? Let us help! Contact us today to learn more about what we can do for you!

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