How To Route Water Softener Away From Septic Tank?

  • Discharge the water softener backwash cycle outside of the septic tank. Ensure that local laws allow this practice. You can also adjust the settings for regeneration when the septic tank does not have much load. For example, if the softener backwashes at the same time you are doing laundry, your septic tank will have to bear a lot of water load.

Where can you drain a water softener to?

A softener drain line must not be connected directly to the waste system, but must be emptied into a laundry tray, floor drain, or properly trapped special outlet, preserving an air gap of at least two times the diameter of the drain line, but in no case less than 1-1/2″ above the top of the receptacle used.

Is it OK to drain water softener into septic tank?

These studies conclusively show that water softener waste effluents cause no problems for septic tanks. the volume of waste from a water softener that is added to the septic tank is not of sufficient volume to cause any deleterious hydraulic load problems.

Can I drain my water softener outside?

Can You Directly Discharge The Water Outside? Absolutely not! The salt in water softeners will kill grass and any small surface organisms. By doing this you run the risk of severely damaging the environment.

How far can you run water softener drain line?

Water softener drain line routing: Keep the water softener drain piping as short and low as possible: less than 30 feet in length and no more than 8 feet above the floor level. The drain line must be of adequate diameter to handle the water conditioner’s backwash flow rate.

How do I install a water softener without a floor drain?

You can use a water softener without a floor drain by routing the discharge to a sink or washtub. The example of this I saw had the softener routed into a fiberglass washtub, and that tub was severely stained by the process. There was splatter, too, and the splatter (being salty) left white spots all over the place.

How many gallons of water does a water softener use during regeneration?

During recharge (regeneration), it uses approximately 35 to 65 gallons of water, depending on the size of the water softener. While going through regeneration, the motor will not run constantly, it will go through several starts and stops.

Can I drain my water softener into my sump pump?

By running the water softener drain directly into the sump basin the sump pump will pump the backwash to the desired level where it can then be drained further into either a drain that leads to a sewage system or other form of drainage.

Where do I discharge my water softener backwash?

Run It Into The Ground The simplest way to drain your water softener backwash is to simply run it onto the ground, however, because there is a lot of salt in the backwash it can be very harmful to the ecosystem and/or the local water treatment facilities.

How do you drain a water softener brine tank?

Water Softener Full of Water – How to Drain

  1. Use a bucket or scoop.
  2. Use a wet-dry vacuum.
  3. Remove the brine well and dump the water.
  4. Do a manual regeneration cycle.

Will the water softener water damage the grass?

Softened water is treated with salt to help remove the minerals from hard water. It’s unlikely that your water softener salt will kill your grass, especially not by using it to water occasionally. But prolonged use of soft water just isn’t ideal for your garden.

Water softener discharges do harm septic systems – And the problem is easy to solve

It is not common for people to undertake their own septic system maintenance. In the Greater Syracuse region, whether your septic tank requires pumping out or cleaning, or if you want to replace your tank, you should use the services of a reputable plumbing firm to do the job properly. If you’ve attempted to locate your septic tank on your own but have been unsuccessful, it may be necessary to seek the assistance of a professional plumber. Our team at Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Greater Syracuse can assist you with locating, maintaining, or replacing your home’s sewage system.

Obtain an Estimate for the Project

How Do Water Softeners Affect Septic Systems?

Return to the Resources page. Several organizations, including the National Sanitation Foundation(NSF), the Water Quality Association(WQA), and the Small Scale Waste Management Project(SSWMP) at the University of Wisconsin, have conducted research on the relationship between a water softener and a septic system as far back as the 1970s. According to the findings of the research, not only does an effective, properly working water softener have no harmful impact on septic systems, but the water softener may even have the ability to benefit them.

How a septic system works.

When it comes to understanding the components of a septic system, it is beneficial to be aware of any potential affects that your water softener may have on it. A standard septic system is comprised of three components: a septic tank, a distribution box, and a drainfield, all of which are connected by pipes to one another. Septic tanks collect wastewater that passes through pipes from the residence to the septic tank, where solids (sludge) settle at the bottom of the tank and lighter materials float to the top of the tank (scum layer).

As additional wastewater is discharged from the residence, the septic tank empties into a drain field, which collects the water.

How a water softener works.

Having a basic understanding of the components of an underground septic system will help you better comprehend any potential affects your water softener may have on the system. In a normal septic system, there are three major components: the septic tank, a distribution box, and a drainfield, all of which are interconnected by pipes. Septic tanks are designed to transport wastewater from a residence to a septic field where solids (sludge) settle at the bottom of the tank and lighter materials float to the top (scum layer).

As additional wastewater is released from the residence, the septic tank empties onto a drain field, where it collects.

Why a water softener can help a septic system function better.

It is a common misconception that using a water softener in conjunction with a septic system may impair the efficacy of the bacteria that your septic system need to function properly. Despite the fact that research undertaken by the University of Wisconsin has revealed that this is not the case. According to the findings of the University, soft water can improve the biological efficiency of a septic tank. The correct quantity of salt in soft water encourages bacterial development, which helps to optimize the septic treatment process.

Another advantage of having soft water is that it allows you to clean with less soaps, detergents, and chemicals. By utilizing only a little number of cleaning materials, you may reduce the likelihood of having to worry about the impact these chemicals will have on your septic system in the future.

Why an efficient water softener will not disrupt a septic system.

It is a common misconception that using a water softener in conjunction with a septic system can impair the efficacy of the bacteria that your septic system requires to function properly. Despite the fact that research undertaken by the University of Wisconsin has discovered that this is not the case. Septic tank biological function has been shown to be improved by using soft water, according to the University. The proper quantity of salt in soft water promotes bacterial development, which helps to optimize the septic treatment process.

When you use only a little amount of cleaning products, you may reduce the risk of these chemicals having an adverse effect on your septic system, which is a relief.

Why it is it necessary to have a high performance water softener.

It is critical to understand how the quality of a water softener may have an impact on the performance of a septic system. The debate over whether or not to install a water softener and a septic system is still ongoing, in part because of the prevalence of highly inefficient water softeners. It is possible for improperly running water softeners to generate excessive amounts of brine waste when regenerating more than is necessary, which in some situations might cause difficulties with older septic systems.

That is why it is critical for every home to have a water softener system that is properly maintained and operates efficiently.

Where to look for efficient water softeners.

In order to understand how a water softener’s quality might affect a septic system, it is necessary to look at several examples. In part because of the continued usage of highly inefficient water softeners, the debate over a water softener and a septic system is still ongoing. If your water softener isn’t working properly, it might generate an excessive amount of brine waste by renewing more than is necessary. This can cause issues with older septic systems. Your septic system’s operation may be negatively impacted if your water softener is leaking an excessive amount of salt and water.

Let Us Pair You with a Local Water Expert

A typical water softener makes use of ion exchange to replace calcium and magnesium ions in hard water with sodium ions, which is more efficient. When the system regenerates you will be left with gallons of water containing a high sodium concentration, as well as the previously removed calcium and magnesium ions.Because the salt concentration in this backwash is so high, some considerations should be taken into account when installing the drain for your water softener system.

Where Can You Drain Your Water Softener?

When it comes to removing water softener backwash from your brine tank, connecting it directly to your local sewage system is the most simple option. A direct connection to the sewer system, on the other hand, may not be accessible in certain rural places, and even if one is available, some towns have limits on dumping water softener backwash directly into the sewer system.

Fortunately, there are a variety of additional choices available for getting rid of your soiled clothes.

How Can You Drain Your Water Softener Outside?

Water softener backwash may be easily drained by just dumping it into the ground. However, because there is a lot of salt in the backwash, this can be extremely detrimental to the environment and local water treatment facilities. Take note that groundwater may be utilized as a source for the local drinking water supply in some areas, and as a result, you may be prohibited from utilizing this option under local rules and regulations. Even if it is permitted, merely emptying the backwash from your water softener into the ground may cause damage to neighboring vegetation.

If you get your water from a local water well, make sure that the drain is as far away from the source of the well as possible in order to avoid any contamination of the water.

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It’s possible that none of the methods described below will work for you.

Best Backwash Drain Options Outside

If you intend to drain your system outside, make sure to check with your local municipality to see if any rules and regulations, or permits, are required before implementing any of these drainage options. If you plan to drain your system outside, make sure to check with your local municipality to see if any rules and regulations, or permits, are required.

  • An underground dry well is a deep hole with a porous wall that allows for the gradual absorption of backwash into the earth and subsequent re-infiltration of groundwater. As long as a dry well is constructed above the water table, it has the ability to receive huge volumes of water in a short period of time, which may then slowly seep into the surrounding earth over a longer period of time. In addition, because of its extended dissipation, it is an excellent choice for draining water softener backwash since it prevents a fast spike in salt concentrations in the surrounding soil. An example of a french drain is a dry well, with the difference being that instead of utilizing a deep hole, the backwash is scattered across a broader horizontal surface area. A pipe with holes spaced evenly throughout its length is installed along a long ditch and coated with stones. With a longer ditch, the backwash will be more evenly scattered across the ditch, eliminating any significant concentrations inside a certain location. The stones ensure that there is sufficient space for the water to circulate and that it does not overflow. The use of a septic tank in conjunction with a drain field is an excellent method of spreading salt over a greater area, and many people have found success with this configuration. Despite the fact that some people have expressed worry about the effects of brine discharge into a septic system throughout the years. There has never been a solid demonstration of any harmful impacts on the digestion that takes place within the tank. If you don’t want to go with a dry well, an old septic tank can serve as an excellent option. To convert your current tank, first clean it out and disconnect the outlet line, then clean it out again and drill tiny holes all around the bottom of the tank to allow for drainage. Fill the tank with pea stone, attach the water softener drain, and your tank is ready to be used.

Best Backwash Drain Options In The Basement

The water pressure generated by most water softener systems may be used to elevate a drainpipe up to 8 feet above the floor where the device is housed, depending on the model. However, if your system does not have this function or if the height ascribed to it is insufficient, there are pumps available that can compensate for higher height disparities. When selecting a pumping system, use caution since brine has a high concentration of salt and is thus extremely corrosive. Make certain that your pump is not left in standing water for an extended amount of time to maximize its lifespan.

  • An automatic sump pump, which is often installed in a sump basin, guarantees that water is pushed away whenever the water level in the sump basin reaches a crucial level. If you route the drain from the water softener straight into the sump basin, the sump pump will pump the backwash to the required level, where it may then be emptied further into a drain that connects to the sewage system or into another type of drainage. If the basement is above the water table, it may be possible to combine a sump pump with a dry well that is also placed in the basement to prevent flooding. As a result of this configuration, the sump pump will only be activated when the backwash is incapable of being absorbed by the soil. In many ways, a sewage ejector pump system is similar to a sump pump system, in that it will raise any water from a basin to the necessary height by pumping it up to the desired height. The difference between the two is because, as previously said, a sewage ejector pump ejects the water straight into your sewage system, whilst a sump pump does not. It is connected to the sewage system through a vent, which prevents any raw sewage from flowing back into your drain line and vents any gases that are created inside the pipe system.

Why Does Your Water Softener Drain Line Need An Air Gap?

Your water softener system ensures that your home and its occupants have access to safe, clean drinking water. The plumbing code mandates you to build an air gap in the drain line of your system in order to guarantee that this supply remains free of contaminants. A properly designed air gap will only allow water to exit through the waste line, preventing any tainted drain water from returning to the system and compromising the drinking water source.

Why Does My Water Softener Keep Draining?

if you see that your system is creating more backwash than you thought, there may be a problem with it. First and foremost, make sure that there are no leaks in your system’s seals, hoses, or connectors. Alternative to this, there might be a leak someplace inside your property, and your water softener could be continually operating without your knowledge. Check for leaks in all of the faucets and other water outlets, such as the supply to the washing machine.

Even when no water is being used, if there is a continuous flow through your water softener, it is possible that you have a leak somewhere in your water distribution system. This is a common occurrence in colder climes after pipes fracture as a result of freezing during the winter months.

Water Softener Adjustment & Maintenance

  • Send us your question or comment on how to minimize the negative impacts of a water softener or water conditioner (both in terms of salt and water volume) on septic systems.

InspectAPedia does not allow any form of conflict of interest. It should be noted that we have no affiliation with any of the advertisers, products, or services discussed on this website.How to reduce the effects of a Water Softener or Water Conditioner (salt and water volume) on septic systems: this article provides tips on how to minimize the volume of water used and the amount of salt damage to septic tanks and drainfields.We also provide anARTICLE INDEXfor this topic, or you can try the page top or bottomSEARCH BOXto find the information

How to reduce the impact of a water softeneron the Septic System and on Groundwater

Conflicts of interest are not tolerated at It should be noted that we have no affiliation with any of the advertisers, products, or services discussed on this website.How to reduce the effects of a Water Softener or Water Conditioner (salt and water volume) on septic systems: this article provides tips on how to minimize the volume of water used and the amount of salt damage to septic tanks and drainfields.We also provide anARTICLE INDEXfor this topic, or you can try the page top or bottomSEARCH BOX to find the information

  • Adjust the water softener to the settings that are suggested for the amount of hardness in your drinking water source. (Some water softeners actually monitor the hardness of the water and the amount of water being used, and they will automatically change the frequency of the recharge cycle and the amount of salt used.) In the case of other water softeners, these adjustments must be adjusted on a manual basis. Water softeners that are even more basic do not have an automated recharging cycle and must be backwashed and refilled by hand. For further information on how to accomplish this, seeWATER SOFTENER ADJUSTMENTCONTROLS, but keep in mind to verify the actual hardness of your water supply and adjust the softer according to the tables and instructions supplied by the manufacturer
  • Configure the water softener’s working controls appropriately, as described in the section below titled Guide to Water softener Adjustment. Make certain that the backwash frequency and salt dose on your water softener are adjusted appropriately for the hardness of your water and the volume of water you use. For further information, seeWATER SOFTENER ADJUSTMENTCONTROLS. If it is not absolutely required, avoid using a water softener. Check the hardness of your drinking water. Be on the lookout for faulty water softening equipment: if you hear water running continually down your drain, you should hunt down the cause, which might be a leaking toilet tank, faucet, faulty water softener, or other malfunctioning equipment. One of our customers had their whole septic drainfield totally inundated by a water softener that had been trapped in the “backwash” cycle. If your water softener is not correctly set, it may utilize more salt, potassium permanganate, or other water treatment chemicals than is necessary. It is possible to have a problem with your septic system if you flush salt, potassium permanganate, chlorine, or other chemicals into it. This can happen if the chemicals kill off septic tank bacteria or soil bacteria. When the building is not in use, turn off the water softener to conserve energy. When there is no water being utilized in the residence, there is no need to replenish the water softener system. SeeWinterize Water SoftenerTreatment Equipment for further information. for the shut-down procedure of the water softener
  • When you are watering plants or washing your automobile, you should bypass the water softener. When installing a water line directly to an exterior faucet, some plumbers choose to forego the use of a water softener for this purpose. Alternatively, if you don’t have a separate water connection to an outside hose bib, you can temporarily disable the water softener by using a push-type switch, such as the one seen in the image above. Remember to return the bypass lever to the softened position after using water outdoors, should you forget and cause a blockage in your pipes due to mineral buildup. SeeWINTERIZE WATER SOFTTENERTREATMENT EQUIPMENT for further information. for further information on how to achieve this
  • Use salt alternatives in the water softener: potassium chloride may be an acceptable alternative to normal salt or sodium chloride in problem areas
  • Sodium chloride may be an acceptable alternative to normal salt in problem areas
  • Sodium chloride may be an acceptable alternative to Use a separate drywell to collect the backwash from the water softener. This lessens the amount of wastewater that is discharged into the septic system’s drainfield or seepage bed. In addition, using a separate drywell to collect water softener backwash, or any other type of water treatment equipment backwash, decreases the likelihood that water treatment chemicals would kill microbes in the septic tank or drainfield. If you use a water treatment chemical such as salt, potassium permanganate (which is commonly used to remove a sulfur odor from water), chlorine, or other disinfectants, it is unlikely that your septic system will be damaged as long as you use a dilute solution, such as that provided by an ordinary water softener that has been properly adjusted. However, if the equipment fails to work properly or is improperly set, both the amount of water and the pollutants in the water released by the treatment equipment may become an issue. In order for your water to arrive suitably conditioned and without the need for softening, connect to the municipal water supply (if one is available). For information on how to adjust the water softener and how to clean the water softener salt tank, see the water softener maintenance guide. ADJUSTMENT CONTROLS FOR WATER SOFTENERS
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Reader CommentsQ A

The use of a water softener might cause harm to a drainfield. Water softener regen cycles can flood a drainfield, as we describe in the article above and in this article series, in particular if: a high-frequency regular program or a control malfunction causes the drainfield to flood, or if: salt in the softener regen backwash is toxic to the bacteria that live in the drainfield. Gayman’s investigation on this found that salt in the drainfield was extremely detrimental. It would be ideal if the softener’s effluent could be routed to a separate drywell.

  1. Joanne, Joanne, it sounds annoying to me as well.
  2. You must ensure that the steel casing of your contemporary sanitary will is properly sealed to prevent ground water or surface runoff from flowing into your well from any source.
  3. Examine whether or not your neighbor is releasing wastewater to the surface by contacting your local health agency and building department.
  4. Another possibility is that the neighbor is discharging closer to the property line than would be allowed under normal circumstances.
  5. In many areas, it is not permissible to discharge graywater to the ground surface.
  6. Salts in softener effluent may cause harm to some wastewater treatment systems, according to Gayman, who has conducted significant study to support this claim.
  8. Someone told me that it helps to break down pete moss.
  9. You may also read about the impact of salt and soft water on sewers, plumbing, and water heaters, as well as the impacts of softened or aggressive water.

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Citations can be shown or hidden by selecting Show or Hide Citations. is a publisher that provides references. Daniel Friedman is an American journalist and author.

Does a Water Softener Ruin Your Septic System?

A lot of information and misinformation appears to be available on the internet and in the minds of those working in the septic system sector. The age-old question of whether or not dumping the water from your water softener has an impact on your septic system has been answered. Yes and no are the correct answers. Over the years, several investigations have been conducted by various groups, each of which has reached a different result. According to the water softener industry associations, water softeners have no effect on septic system performance.

As you can see, each business is fiercely protective of its territory.

The Effects of Salt

The quantity of salt present in the backwash water is minuscule, according to all of the research I’ve read, and it has no effect on the biological activity taking place in the septic tank. Additionally, modern water softeners are far more energy efficient than their predecessors were. Most current water softeners are programmed to regenerate depending on demand rather than a time clock, which makes them more energy efficient. These designs are equipped with a water meter, which means that they will regenerate every few hundred gallons of metered water, depending on the set hardness.

It is possible to run out of softened water if you use more than the estimated amount of water, and if you use less than the estimated amount of water, you will be squandering both salt and water.

The conclusion reached as a result of my investigation is that the water softener salt has no negative impact on the function of the septic tank.

The Effects of Regeneration Water

The other side of the debate is now presented. Water softeners can utilize between 30 and 150 gallons of water throughout the regeneration process. The average human uses around 50 gallons of water each day, to put this in context: As a result, every time the softener regenerates, it is equivalent to adding 1–2 individuals to the household for the duration of the regeneration. While this may not appear to be a significant amount of additional hydraulic loading, it adds up to tens of thousands of gallons of water that must be treated over the course of the septic system’s life span.

In order for the water softener to regenerate, it must consume a considerable volume of water in a short period of time.

When there is a surge load, partially treated water from the septic tank is displaced into the drainfield. The partially treated water has a large amount of organic matter, which might help to speed the maturation of the biomat. As a result, water softeners can be detrimental to a septic system.

The Best Solutions

If permitted by local rules, I propose that you dump the water softener regeneration water outside of the septic tank. This will eliminate the extra hydraulic surge loading that would otherwise be present in the system. If the water is required to be dumped in the septic system by code, attention should be made to upgrading the equipment to a more contemporary design that uses less salt and regeneration water. a. The installation of the Aero-Stream remediation system will also help to reduce the impact of the water softener on the septic system, which is beneficial.

Additionally, because the water will have very low organic content, it will not accelerate the maturing of the biomat, as would be the case in a conventional septic tank.

How Water Softeners Effect Septic Systems Part 2

The workings of water softeners were discussed last month, along with the fact that they can have a detrimental influence on your septic system by overloading it. Today, we’re going to talk about another way that septic systems may be negatively impacted, as well as a technique to avoid these difficulties with your septic system in the first place! The Negative Effects of Salt on Your Septic System Surplus water flushed into your septic tank has the potential to overload the system, but saltwater in particular is a big concern to your septic system since it offers two substantial threats.

  1. This causes the saltwater from your softener to fall fast to the bottom of your septic tank, occasionally lifting the sludge and causing it to get suspended in the effluent within your tank.
  2. Solids are allowed to settle to the bottom of a septic tank, allowing clean effluent to flow out to a drain field below.
  3. Salt, on the other hand, is a naturally corrosive element.
  4. This has the potential to dramatically reduce the life of your septic tank.
  5. Because the majority of homes with septic systems also rely on private water wells to give water to the family, we recognize the need of removing minerals from the water supply of the residence.
  6. This may be accomplished through the use of a storm drain or a downspout, both of which will divert softener brine away from your septic system.
  7. If your water softener is currently discharging into your septic system, it is critical that you notify your septic system provider and take steps to reroute the softener brine as soon as possible after learning of the problem.
  8. More than two decades have elapsed since we began working in the sanitation industry.

Contact us now. Call us today at 859-282-7700 to set up an appointment for septic treatment work! Septic pumping and portable toilet rentals are available from Got-A-Go in Northern Kentucky. Source of the original content:

Softeners don’t need special pump

Q:We own a tiny four-level home and would like to install a water softener in it. Can you please help us? However, because we are on a septic system, the lowest level (the basement) does not have a drain because the water level would be lower than the septic tank’s intake. A water softener can’t be installed anywhere else in the house other than the basement. Is it true that water softeners are harmful to septic systems? When a water softener recycles, can it pump up to the drain pipes in the basement ceiling, or would it necessitate the purchase of a separate pumping system?

Reading between the lines, it appears that you or a member of your family like the way skin feels after taking a shower with softened water—clean and velvety smooth.

The good news is that a water softener will not do any damage to your septic system or drain field.

According to the paper, the outflow of minerals and sediments may actually improve the function of a septic tank in some instances by fostering the growth of more bacteria.

It has been suggested in several research that high amounts of calcium and magnesium present (in the flow that arises when the softener cleans itself) are responsible for enhancing soil percolation in several situations For more information on research undertaken by the Water Quality Research Foundation on topics pertaining to the water quality improvement business, please see their website at

  1. Another piece of good news is that a special pump will not be required.
  2. Consequently, it might be drained up and out of a washing machine drain standpipe, for instance.
  3. Because there will be a great deal of strain on the flexible plastic drain line, it is important that it be securely fastened in place.
  4. Although an air gap distance of 1 to 2 inches should be sufficient, it is always a good idea to verify your local plumbing rules.
  5. Now comes the difficult part: determining where to locate the water softener such that the drain pipe does not exceed 20 feet in length.
  6. Consider putting this tank in a garage to make it easy to fill with salt when it needs to be refilled.
  7. However, now that I’ve brought it up, I feel obligated to provide a word of warning to you: If the space is not maintained warm throughout the winter, the plastic water line flowing from the softener to the brine tank will freeze.

The weekend is almost approaching. Prepare to install your water softener if you haven’t already.

The Water Softener Debate

10/12/21: This page has been updated. During a recent interview with Mark Gross, PhD, training manager for Orenco Systems, Inc., Sutherlin, Ore., Water Quality Products inquired about the consequences of water softener discharges on onsite wastewater systems, and he agreed to do so. Orenco is a company that creates and manufactures superior onsite (decentralized) wastewater systems for use by individuals, local towns, and large corporations.

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WQP:Could you please sum up the debate surrounding water softeners discharging into septic systems?

Mark Gross: I’d want to thank you for your time. When it comes to wastewater treatment, the question is whether or not the salty backwash brine from water softeners is damaging to the system. There is no question that softened water is a beneficial addition to any household. The use of water softeners to soften residential water is highly recommended by us; nevertheless, we do not want the salty backwash brine from the water softener regeneration to be discharged into the sewer system. And there, my friends, is the problem: the backwash brine has a detrimental impact on the wastewater system.

WQP:What are the negative effects of the backwash brine discharging into septic systems?

The following is gross: Because saltwater is denser than freshwater, when it is flushed into the septic tank, the saltwater sinks to the bottom of the tank and can displace the sludge that is meant to settle in the septic tank—similar to how a clarifier works. When sludge is displaced, it has the potential to wash out of the septic tank, creating a situation similar to having sludge washout in a clarifier: it has an impact on all of the downstream processes. Wherever the sludge is discharged to, it will wash right into the drainfield and clog the system.

WQP:What do you think is the best solution to preventing the harm caused by water softeners?

Gross: We met with the Water Quality Association (WQA), which is the trade association representing the water softener sector, and we came to an agreement on the solution, which we shared with them. We all agreed that a fantastic option would be to have a separate line installed alongside the home sewage pipe, around the treatment system, and into the drain field when a house is constructed. It is possible to connect the backwash brine to that pipe as well. In the event that you’re already installing a pipe in the trench, this is a very cost-effective approach.

WQP:What about for houses that are already built?

Gross: We met with the Water Quality Association (WQA), which is the trade association representing the water softener business, and we came to an agreement on the solution, which the WQA supported. We all agreed that a fantastic option would be to have a separate line installed alongside the home sewage pipe, around the treatment system, and into the drain field when a house is constructed.

That pipe might be used to drain the backwash brine. If you’re already putting a pipe in the trench, this is a very cost-effective option. A brine discharge may be easily modified and rerouted away from the wastewater system after it has occurred. This is not even a costly procedure.

WQP:What evidence does Orenco have regarding the harm caused by water softeners?

We conducted a performance review of our wastewater treatment facilities in Virginia, according to Mr. Gross. In total, we examined 18 locations, with each site having to be sampled and studied over a period of 18 months. In our analytical data collection, we have more than 5,000 individual data points. While some of our systems passed the National Sanitation Foundation’s Standard 40 Class 1 water quality requirements, we discovered that several of them were underperforming in comparison to our standards.

  1. Chlorides were found in large concentrations in the effluent from the lower-performing systems, and we know that chlorides are hazardous to nitrifiers in the vast majority of situations.
  2. We began investigating the source of the chlorides and discovered that they were all originating from a water softener that was dumping its brine into the waste stream.
  3. The majority of them were in basements or garages, or some other location where we could redirect them to discharge into the grass or a basement drain because it was only salinated wastewater.
  4. However, they were still receiving softened water; the brine, however, was not being delivered.

WQP:Is Orenco in favor of bans on water softeners?

Gross: No, we are not in favor of outright banning water softeners. Water softeners are something that we believe in. In order to avoid stains on dishes and to prevent water heaters from overheating due to calcium deposits, we prefer that customers have beautiful soft water at their disposal. We believe that softeners are an excellent complement to improve the overall quality of life. Simply put, we don’t want the backwash brine to end up in the wastewater system. The backwash brine should be redirected rather than being dumped into the septic system.

WQP:Could you tell me what came out of the meeting in May with Orenco and the WQA? Was any progress made toward a cooperative effort regarding water softeners?

Gross: I felt it was a pretty constructive meeting overall, and The WQA and Orenco, in my opinion, worked together in a collaborative spirit. In water softeners, we have faith, and we want the individuals who manufacture and install water softeners to have faith in excellent wastewater treatment, to be good stewards of the earth, and to route their waste stream appropriately. We came to the conclusion that a simpler solution would be to simply install a separate pipe during the construction of the dwellings.

WQP:What do you think can be done to get regulators aware of the issue?

Gross: I felt that was a really productive meeting. The WQA and Orenco, in my opinion, worked together in a cooperative spirit. In water softeners, we have faith, and we want the individuals who manufacture and install water softeners to have faith in excellent wastewater treatment, to be good stewards of the earth, and to route their waste stream correctly.

After much deliberation, we decided that the simplest solution would be to simply install a separate pipe during construction. For state regulators to include in their prescriptive wastewater code, it would be a positive development.

Water Softeners and Septic Systems – What You Need to Know

Water softeners may appear to be a viable option for many Lancaster, Pennsylvania residents who want to assure the health and purity of their drinking water. Water softeners work by reducing the hardness of tap water by the use of salt, which creates an ion exchange in the water supply. While water softening may be beneficial to your digestive system and hair, the results of its production can be detrimental to your septic system. Water softening sends excessive levels of salt into the septic tank, which can interfere with the septic system’s soil dispersal process.

  1. A water softener might overburden your tank and force impure hardened particles into the drainfield as a result of this action.
  2. Your Septic System’s Working PrinciplesSolid waste settles at the bottom of a septic system’s tank, while turbid waste rises to the top.
  3. Internally, microorganisms break down the sediments, but the tank eventually fills up and needs to be pumped to remove the waste.
  4. A water softener can interfere with this settling process and quickly push solids and hardened particles out into the drainfield, causing serious damage to the bacteria levels in your tank as well as your drainfield’s ability to properly filter waste from the outside.
  5. When it comes to water use in your home, your shower and washing machine are the two greatest consumers, so try to spread out your water usage as much as possible.
  6. Most manufacturers of advanced wastewater treatment systems include clauses in their warranties that state that if water softener backwash brine is discharged to the treatment system, the warranty will be voided and the system will no longer be covered.
  7. This easy, cheap precaution can help to avoid septic tank and treatment system failure while also keeping the warranty in effect.
  8. When it comes to your septic system, the phrase “out of sight, out of mind” is never a wise practice.

Make sure you don’t cut corners while installing a water softener or treatment system, and if you have any questions, give us a call. We provide 24/7 septic service in Central Pennsylvania, and we’re pleased to assist you!

Rest Area Water Softeners and Their Effects on Septic Systems

Get articles, news, and videos about Onsite Systems delivered directly to your email! Now is the time to sign up. Plus, there are Onsite Systems. Receive Notifications Minnesota’s surface water and groundwater resources are becoming more contaminated with chloride; therefore, boosting the effectiveness of industrial water softening systems can help to minimize chloride discharge to the environment. A research was carried out to examine the settings and performance of water softeners at five Minnesota Department of Transportation rest area locations, as well as to compare the chloride levels in respective sewage treatment systems.

Water treatment specialists evaluated water softeners, and samples were taken to determine the chloride levels in septic system lift stations, according to the report.

Estimates of water softener efficiency and chloride contributions from softeners and other main sources were made for each site based on water consumption and salt consumption information.

When the water softening meter was damaged and the softener was programmed to regenerate every few days instead of on demand, it was discovered that the greatest effluent chloride levels were found in Blue Earth WB RA.

The chloride content of brine from water softener effluent is quite high, and earlier study has discovered that excessive chloride levels may have an inhibiting effect on microorganisms in septic tanks.

Septic systems benefit from reducing chloride discharge from softeners by enhancing the efficiency with which salt is utilized.

The usage of a water softener in a house or facility should be minimized to the extent possible, and the softener effluent should be directed away from the septic system.

She holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and a master’s degree in environmental science.

Her responsibilities include serving as the education chair for the Minnesota Onsite Wastewater Association and the National Onsite Wastewater Recycling Association, as well as serving on the National Science Foundation’s International Committee on Wastewater Treatment Systems.

Send an email to [email protected] if you have any concerns concerning septic system care and operation. Heger will respond as soon as possible.

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