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Country Discussion Topics
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Water Softeners and Septic Systems
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Sara    Posted 08-02-2002 at 10:26:30       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Hi, How do water softeners harm septic systems? We are moving into a house with a water softener & spetic & have heard that they don't go together. What should we do? Thanks - Sara

Mudcat49    Posted 08-02-2002 at 15:14:35       [Reply]  [No Email]
I jest let mine discharge behind the barn fer away from the septic system, no problem!

Tom A    Posted 08-02-2002 at 12:05:42       [Reply]  [Send Email]

Periodically, depending on how it is set up (based on the hardness of your water, usually a few times a week), a water softener "regenerates." They're usually set to do this at night while everyone is sleeping. The byproduct of this regeneration process is salt water...typically several gallons of it. Over a period of time (many months or years) the salt level in the tank and the drain field increases and kills the bacteria and fills in the pores with salt, ruining the drainfield.

The previous owners of my current house had this happen to them, had to relocate the drainfield and install a pump chamber in the septic system (big bucks!) and still didn't get the message! I turned the softener off. Our water is moderately hard, so it is no big deal. If you really really like the soft water, you can maybe have the softener purge into a separate dry well or something, although I'm not really sure that's even'd have to check in your locale.

good luck!

BOSS    Posted 08-02-2002 at 15:25:41       [Reply]  [No Email]
We have the softener discharge into our crock in the floor, and the sump pump pumps it out under the porch. We didn't have any problems with the inspectors, when they looked at it.

Red Dave    Posted 08-02-2002 at 12:02:12       [Reply]  [No Email]
I had the same concern, but when we got a refrigerator with an icemaker, it was necessary to soften the water or ruin the new icemaker. Our water is about 20 grains of hardness. The best info I could find said that modern softeners use less salt than older models, so I took a chance and put one in.
It's been 2 years and no trouble yet(fingers crossed). Pumped out the septic tank last month and all seems normal so far.

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