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You want your water soft, your septic system functioning effectively, and to not have to choose between the two! Some may lead you to believe this is impossible, but we’re here to set the record straight. While there can be a potential negative impact of water softeners on your septic system, there are septic-safe practices you can utilize for safely using a water softener in a home with a septic system, which we will share in next month’s blog. 

How Water Softeners Worktener tank that treats water as it comes into the house and a brine tank. Water softeners use ion exchange to remove minerals from hard water. As water passes through the softener tank, the positively charged minerals in the water (calcium, magnesium, iron, and sodium) attach to the negatively charged resin in the tank. The minerals in your hard water stay behind, while softened water is distributed throughout your home. Every few days, the water softener regenerates the resin by drawing brine (salt water) into the tank to do the same ion exchange, but in reverse, to once again negatively charge the resin inside the softening tank. The negatively charged brine releases the now positively charged minerals from the resin, releasing them and flushing them out of the system through the home’s plumbing, often into the septic tank. 

The Potential Negative Impact of Water Softeners

During the regeneration process, the average water softener uses between 50 to 150 gallons of brine solution to clean the resin in the softener tank. This poses two significant problems for your septic system. 

System Overload

First, pumping that much water into your septic tank is the equivalent of taking 3 to 9 showers, back-to-back. Today’s water softeners regenerate 1-2 times a week, depending on household water usage. The EPA estimates that a water softener uses an average of 25 gallons of water a day, adding up to more than 10,000 gallons a year. The influx of water that the regeneration process flushes into the septic tank can overwhelm the system, especially if the water softener regenerates on a day when you’ve also done laundry, run the dishwasher, or tackled other water-heavy household chores. Overwhelming the system can force solids to either back up into the home or flow out to the drain field, where they can clog the pipes and cause the drain field to fail. 

Next month we will share the other significant problem for your septic system, as well as a septic-friendly solution! Check back in for more information then! 

Trust Got-A-Go with Your Septic Servicing Needs! We have been in the Sanitation Industry for over 20 years. We offer routine and emergency service on all types and models of septic systems, no matter the age or complexity. Call us today at 859-282-7700 to schedule your septic service visit! Got-A-Go, Northern Kentucky Septic Pumping and Portable Toilet Rentals.

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