This article will attempt to address the age old question of do water softeners harm septic tanks. For years, you saw how hard water has affected your household. Everything just seemed to be half-done whenever you tried to clean something. Hard water didn’t really cooperate with you when it came to washing away the grime and dirt off of surfaces and clothes. It was common for you to bur a gallon of laundry detergent and household cleaners two times a month. It really took a toll out of your budget and out of your time as well. You always had to repeat every single wash just to make sure that the stains and dirt are gone. It came to a point that you really wanted to give up and just travel to the local town’s Laundromat and even resort to just wiping off dirt and not cleaning the surfaces anymore. It was very taxing. You never thought that hard water could rule your life.
When your cousin from another state visited you, she suggested that you should have your hard water treated with the use of water softeners. Water softeners get rid of the minerals that make it difficult for soap to lather up. When the suggestion was bought up, you thought about your septic system. You were very aware that you did not have a dry well and that the grey water went directly into your septic tank. The question kept echoing in your head—do water softeners harm septic tanks?
Your cousin happened to be a scientist and part of their research was to find such things out. One of the most important milestones that she discovered about water softeners was that they did not harm the septic tank or the entire septic system at that. The waste from the hard water greatly improves the soil’s percolation rate. Because of water softeners, homeowners were able to do so many chores in greater convenience and were able to save more on soap. It was debated before that the discharged soap from wastewater treatments harm to the resident bacteria in the septic tank. Your cousin said that this wasn’t true at all. The amount of salt that enters the septic tank is already much diluted so this doesn’t harm the bacterial population at all. The salt is very minute in amount that it doesn’t even bind with the clay in the drain field to get it clogged up.
It is said that the sodium added in to the septic tank through the wastewater softening process improves the bacteria’s waste digestion. The magnesium, iron, and calcium in the water softener discharge greatly improve the water and air movement and therefore make the soil percolation or absorption a lot better when the effluent enters the drain field. Your cousin also shared that it wasn’t healthy for the septic system if it only receives softened water all the time. If it is only soft water, then clay dispersion, low hydraulic conduction, and swelling will happen in the drain field.
Many homeowners save on soap. They only get to use half or even a quarter of the amount they were used to. They water consumption is also lessened significantly because the homeowner gets to wash and rinse at a much faster rate. The stain is removed readily and therefore saves a lot of time. Because of the decrease in water consumption, the load in the septic tank is also lessened, allowing the resident bacteria to really digest the solid waste.
Rumors got to you back then with regard to the frequency of the water softening treatment. It was said that because the hard water has to be treated very frequently to accommodate the use of the household, heavy amounts of salt are dumped into the septic tank as waste. But according to your cousin, the soft water treatment occurs only 2-3 times in a week for a family of four (average).
Because of the facts relayed by your cousin, you have decided to have your hard water softened. You also wanted a dry well installed to aid your septic tank. No more hard times brought about by hard water. We hope this article covered the age old question, do water softeners harm septic tanks.