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wibass 09-28-2008 07:35 PM

Septic System W/Water Softner
 
I have a 3 year old septic system that I discharge my softner regeneration into it. When I had it pumped last the pumper said I should not do that because the brine kills the bacteria in the septic system. What the deal with that?

Wildie 09-28-2008 08:05 PM

if you have a gravel driveway, dump it on there to kill the weeds!

majakdragon 09-28-2008 11:18 PM

It is just a fact. When I had a softener installed, the guy could have tied in within 3 foot to my septic line. Instead, he ran 50 foot out into the yard, underground. Since septic systems work using bacteria, you sure don't want to kill it.

Mike Swearingen 09-29-2008 12:19 AM

Another myth.
I have been on a septic system for more than 32 years WITH a water softener. It doesn't do a thing to it. Don't you know that billions of bacteria live in the ocean, too?
People do things because they don't know.
Mike

jogr 09-29-2008 12:12 PM

I'm with Mike. I discharge my water softener into my septic with no trouble.

Gary Slusser 09-29-2008 09:13 PM

He's repeating gossip.

Salty water does not kill bacteria, the water in the oceans is much more salty than a softener's discharge and bacteria thrive in all oceans.

There is no harm to a septic system from the discharge; so says the EPA after doing two studies over the last 20-25 years.

The original study 20 years ago led to a number of States with bans against the discharge going into a septic tank, to remove their bans. There are very few States that have bans today.

The vast majority of softeners discharge into the septic system and have been dong so problem free for decades.

The vast majority of softeners discharge into septic systems without problems and have been doing it for decades.

In many locations putting the discharge on or in the ground is considered as polluting the groundwater/environment, and they are totally correct and in most places it is illegal. And if you have your own well, you really don't want to do that.

Wildie 09-29-2008 09:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gary Slusser (Post 166525)
He's repeating gossip.

Salty water does not kill bacteria, the water in the oceans is much more salty than a softener's discharge and bacteria thrive in all oceans.

There is no harm to a septic system from the discharge; so says the EPA after doing two studies over the last 20-25 years.

The original study 20 years ago led to a number of States with bans against the discharge going into a septic tank, to remove their bans. There are very few States that have bans today.

The vast majority of softeners discharge into the septic system and have been dong so problem free for decades.

The vast majority of softeners discharge into septic systems without problems and have been doing it for decades.

In many locations putting the discharge on or in the ground is considered as polluting the groundwater/environment, and they are totally correct and in most places it is illegal. And if you have your own well, you really don't want to do that.

So where do you think the salt goes after it goes into the septic tank. Will it gather on the bottom, to be pumped out from time to time and dumped along with the sewage somewhere? Or will it flow along with the treated effluent into the weeping bed and into the ground all about.
Its my opinion that nothing should enter a septic system that the septic system wasn't designed to process.
If the water softener is to be discharged into the ground, it should be done, using something like a French drain.
If its to be pumped out from time to time, why not keep it in a holding tank, where it could be recycled properly.

Gary Slusser 09-30-2008 11:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Wildie (Post 166533)
Its my opinion that nothing should enter a septic system that the septic system wasn't designed to process.
If the water softener is to be discharged into the ground, it should be done, using something like a French drain.
If its to be pumped out from time to time, why not keep it in a holding tank, where it could be recycled properly.

When it enters the septic tank, the discharge water is 8-12% solution, then the solution is diluted into the volume of water, usually at least a 1000 gallons, in the tank, right?

When you run it out on/in the ground it is 8-12% and in a short time it will kill all vegetation it contacts but, in most locations it is illegal to do that. I didn't make the rules...

On the other hand, millions of softeners have been putting the discharge into septic tanks for about 5 decades, and that hasn't caused them to fail, so how do you explain that, or the EPA studies saying there is no harm and if there is any change, it is a slight improvement due to the additional water? Of course that is in a septic system that is working normally.

Wildie 09-30-2008 06:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gary Slusser (Post 166687)
When it enters the septic tank, the discharge water is 8-12% solution, then the solution is diluted into the volume of water, usually at least a 1000 gallons, in the tank, right?

When you run it out on/in the ground it is 8-12% and in a short time it will kill all vegetation it contacts but, in most locations it is illegal to do that. I didn't make the rules...

On the other hand, millions of softeners have been putting the discharge into septic tanks for about 5 decades, and that hasn't caused them to fail, so how do you explain that, or the EPA studies saying there is no harm and if there is any change, it is a slight improvement due to the additional water? Of course that is in a septic system that is working normally.

Well, Gary, I won't argue that there are millions of softeners discharged into septic systems.
My point being that I wouldn't do this with my own system.
If its to be discharged into the ground, I would use a separate method of doing so. rather than chance degradation of the process in the septic system.
If its unwise to discharge into the ground, then a holding tank that is pumped out from time to time, should be used.

Gary Slusser 09-30-2008 11:21 PM

Good luck with getting homeowners to do that, or the guv'mint to force them to. Especially when there is no need to do it.

Wildie 10-01-2008 02:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gary Slusser (Post 167030)
Good luck with getting homeowners to do that, or the guv'mint to force them to. Especially when there is no need to do it.

Times are a changing and we are starting to realize that we have to take care of our environment.
Compared to the tons and tons of salt that we dump on our roadways, what comes from water softeners is miniscule.
However, it may be wise to avoid upsetting the septic system function.
I have read that septic systems should be pumped out regularly.
I had mine pumped out 9 years ago. I check it from time to time, but pumping hasn't been necessary since.
The crust hasn't thickened, nor have any solids accumulated in the bottom.
I don't have to use a water softener, as our water source is from a lake and is low in minerals.
But, if I did use one, I would be most reluctant to contaminate it with salt.

jogr 10-01-2008 02:19 PM

Well I guess one could accept the real world experience of those that have septic systems and water softeners and don't have any problems with them or one could worry about some improbable theory with no real world data to back it up.

Gary Slusser 10-02-2008 01:27 AM

Agreed.

Wildie, yes the environment is being cleaned up and putting softener discharge water on or in the ground is a serious no no. It belongs in the septic system per no less than the E(nvironment)P(rotection)A(gency) . So if you continue to disagree, maybe you'd like to debate with them.

Wildie 10-02-2008 02:03 PM

We all have stated our opinions and I doubt that any of us have changed our minds.
It has been an interesting debate (?) and for one am ready to move on!

Gary Slusser 10-07-2008 10:42 AM

I get a daily email, sometimes 2-3 a day, about anything water related. Here's something I just got this morning:


*********************

PINCKNEY, MI — Village officials here testing for possible water softener discharge from a residence into the sewer line have discovered that long-time residents Dan Nowakowski and his wife never were connected to the sewer system despite having paid a connection fee and sewer bills for more than 30 years, according to an October 6 Livingston County Daily Press & Argus article.

The couple paid a sewer tap-in fee in the 1970s. For the past three decades they unknowingly have been using a septic field they thought they had abandoned for public sewer service.

The village refunded the couple $8,000 — its best estimate for monthly sewer fees for 30 years.

The Nowakowskis now are being told they have to tap into the sewer line – at a cost of about $7,000. Dan Nowakowski said in the article that village officials “haven’t heard the end of it.”
****************

Thirty years with no problems. And notice there was no pumping of the septic every 3-5 years as many locations in that area of the US require...


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