Water Softener Discharge

Old 12-02-00, 11:36 AM
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I was told that the water softener discharge should not be routed into the septic tank for draining. I have since rerouted the tube to the same drywell that my gutter uses. The concern is that I have 18" of exposed discharge tube outside the house and not sure if the cold weather will freeze the "salt water" being discharged. The tube is routed with a downward slope and I don't believe any water remains in the tube other then when it is draining. Is my concern valid? Will the discharge freeze if it gets cold enough? We are located in Michigan.

Old 12-02-00, 01:13 PM
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I've been discharging my water softener into my septic system since 1977, and never had any problems. I've never heard of anyone having a problem discharging one into a septic system, and I deal with them all of the time as a rural NC real estate broker.
As long as your septic system can handle the minimal extra waste water load (which it should, or your system needs upgrading) the discharge is not harmful to your septic system operation. Technically, it is illegal in most places to discharge ANYTHING from your home into anywhere BUT your septic system, in any case. (Call your Health Department, or septic system permitting office, to ask them specifically about it in your area.)A water softener discharge does not contain any harmful chemicals that can kill the bacterial action of your system.
As far as the outside drain line goes, as long as no water stands in that exposed section of drain, it should be o.k. If the ground gets frozen, however, and the discharge water has no where to go, you could have a problem.
If it were me, and my septic system was functioning fine, I would discharge it into that, and not worry about it.
Good Luck!
Edit: My water softener is located in our laundry room, and I just have the discharge hose stuck down into the same drain as the discharge hose of the washing machine. Even I could "plumb" that. lol. OG

[Edited by OldGuy on 12-02-00 at 04:21]
Old 06-09-02, 06:29 AM
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I think the problem comes from the iron that the softener is removing and depositing in the leach field. Over time, that iron cloggs up the weep holes in the pipes and the system doesnt drain anymore. My neighbor just replaced their 7 yr old septic because of this. Im looking to dump into a drywell to avoid this problem.

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