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Old 04/14/08, 03:16 AM
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 5,955
"Safe" for your septic or sewer system

I got a coupon offer in the mail for Charmin Ultra Strong toilet paper. Which is great, because that is exactly the brand we use.

Looking through their little brochure though, I came across the following: "Septic Safe. Think Charmin causes plumbing problems? Think again!

Charmin has a rigorous testing approach that includes more than 20 test methods to ensure that our bath tissue is safe for your septic or sewer system.**"

I'm thinking to myself, "Well if I had a sewer system, I don't think I would care what kind of toilet paper I used, I wouldn't care if it was "safe" or not."

But then I notice the ** after their quote. "What does that mean I wonder?" Going to the bottom of above quote in small print it says "Charmin flushability claims assure appropriate use in a properly functioning septic or sewer system."

So now I'm not sure what it means. The flushability isn't a concern for me. Well . . . . okay it is, but I don't worry about the flushability aspect of toilet paper. I wonder if it is going to break up properly in the septic tank.

I want toilet paper that once flushed, quickly breaks down into small "blobs" of toilet tissue. I don't want toilet tissue to remain intact once flushed. So what exactly does their ** mean?

Does it mean that Charmin is safe for plumbing, septic, or sewer. Safe as in it quickly breaks down into small little blobs, or safe as in it won't clog the toilet?

Regardless, it really doesn't matter to me. Most toilet paper we use gets thrown in the trash beside the toilet. (I've heard too many stories about toilet paper that won't break down once flushed and possibly causing septic problems.) So unless it's really a mess, it doesn't get flushed around here.

But I wonder how many people don't read the fine print, and just think it is safe regardless? Perhaps I should call the toll free number listed just to see what kind of answers I get asking if it really breaks down in the septic tank or not. Hmmmmm, I could have some fun with these folks!
Michael W. Smith in North-West Pennsylvania

"Everything happens for a reason."
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Old 04/14/08, 03:33 AM
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Oregon
Posts: 2,192
I do a composting toilet system, and I use charmin. When I dump a bucket on my compost pile, the toilet paper is dry and tends to stick up too high and I hose it down to flatten it and moisten it, before burying it. It does begin to break down quickly under high pressure water, but not as fast as I would expect if it is supposed to just fall apart in water moving through a toilet and pipes.

I guess you could wad some up and drop it in a bucket of water and swish it around a little and see what it does.
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Old 04/14/08, 07:02 AM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: So/West Missouri
Posts: 609
We use only Scott safe for septic systems. In twenty plus years never had a problem with it. My uncle was a "honey dipper" he said people used paper products that were not good for septic but were real good for him $$$. He also said use yeast or "Rid-X to help build baterica in septic. My wife follows this up and at our old place we had sludge pumped one time in 20 years our present home is going on 10 years no sludge no pumping. This is with three adults and two children.
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Old 04/14/08, 10:21 PM
Sugarstone Farm
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 811
Our plumber told us to not use the thick TP as it clogs the pipes, and he was right. DH bought some Charmin a the gas station a few months ago when we ran out, and soon he was having to snake out the pipe. Yuck. We use the cheap flimsy stuff so it will not clog the pipes.
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Old 04/15/08, 12:45 AM
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Western WA
Posts: 2,285
The only time in 30 years we had trouble with our plumbing was when I ran out of TP and DH got some Charmin instead of Scott, which is what we always use. Plugged up the pipes on the first roll.
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Old 04/15/08, 06:58 AM
cow whisperer's Avatar
Loving My Life...
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Mifflin County, Pennsylvania
Posts: 1,626
In DH & I's bathroom we only use the Charmin Ultra Strong.... Havn't had any problems.... Now in the boys bathroom, I refuse to let them use it.... DS18 thinks he needs half a roll of toilet paper each time, so they get Angel Soft....

On the other hand, a friend of mine in NY, bought the Charmin Ultra Strong, and before they were even done with their 2nd roll, they had to snake out their pipes.....
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Old 04/15/08, 03:56 PM
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Oregon
Posts: 2,192
I've been using Charmin ultra soft for years, and a year ago my septic died. Plugged up leach field. I wish someone had warned me. I never had a septic tank before living here and never even thought about it.
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