We are thinking of installing a water softener, and the most convenient
place to discharge the drainage water is into the sump, from which a
pump sends the water into the back yard.
Would the effluent from a water softener be harmful to grass and other
2 to 4 pounds of salt (sodium chloride or potassium chloride) are
dissolved into the incoming water and flushed over the resin to remove
iron,magnesium, calcium, and several other metals from the surface of
This effluent is both very salty AND very hard water with lots of
dissolved minerals in it. It will KILL vegetation that it comes in
contact with over the short term unless the discharge happens ONLY when
heavy rainstorms are in progress.
Only municipal sewer systems are capable of handling this effluent safely.
This effluent is potentially harmful to septic tank systems as well, so
many rural communities where septci systems get wide usage ban water
softener effluent and Reverse Osmosis effluent from septic systems. Two
reasons for this, very hard water discharge to septic, and large volumes
of water discharged to septic system. Both are bad (mostly lots of water).
Its even recommended in many if not most septic systems that clothes
washing and showers are spread out over several days. i.e. don't spend
Saturday mornign washing several loads of clothes and towels.
So, when we had a septic tank, my mother bought a washer that would
reuse the wash water. The people within the city limits had city
sewers. Was it a coincidence that she cut down on her water usage, or
do you think the appliance salesman asked if she had a septic tank and
recommended this? This was in 1957.
Reusing only works if you don't get your clothes very dirty. It would
never work with me, at least since I moved out of my mother's house.
The washing machine had two wash water intakes, and two outputs. The
first time from the hoses to the wall, like all machines have now.
Then that water was drained into the wash tub. Then the rinse water
was drained via a pipe throught the washwater into the drain.
Then for the second load, a switch or a starting point on the circular
timer knob had the soapy wash water sucked in from the wash tub. I
don't know how hard it would be, if physically possible, to use the
water a third time, but we didnt' do that. It automatically sent the
washwater out through that tube to the drain the second time.
It was a Whirlpool Suds-mizer, iirc. Do they still sell such things.
She didn't mention the septic tank, but she said or maybe I just
concluded it was there to save on heating the water, (and maybe on
water and soap?).
I've not seen such a feature on any contemporary washer. Perhaps it wasn't
popular as I can see it being hard to convince a lot of people that reused
water was clean enough. The current trend is toward front loaders which use
less water overall.
Many years ago in Australia those washers were readily available, but I
don't recall them being promoted for use with septic systems -- simply
as a means of saving water and detergent. We had two of them, the first
maybe a Whirlpool, and the second definitely a Hoover. "A Hoover
*washing machine*!?" I hear you cry. Yes, Hoover had several different
models of washer on the market in Australia.
Whatever the model, not all the water could be retrieved so some had to
be added, and some additional detergent had to be used the second time.
On Wed, 10 May 2006 19:21:11 -0400, "Percival P. Cassidy"
You're probably right. She never said anything about that.
My mother was very finicky about cleanliness too. Annoyingly at
times. It was probably her clothes in the first load, which were
probably not even dirty.
This way one could reuse the dust from the vacuum cleaners, by
applying it to the clothes and then washing it off. I think it was
called a Dust-mizer.
"Harmful" would be an understatement. It would be devastating.
In my MUCH younger days, as newer owner of a malfunctioning water softener, I
used my shop vac to remove the standing water in the salt storage tank.
I checked my brain at the door, rolled the shop vac just outside the garage
door and dumped its contents onto my lawn. (Note: I didn't say "yard", this
was a fine, bluegrass lawn.)
A day later I noticed the area turning brown. I didn't give it much thought.
The next day the condition was worse. Only then did I realize what I had
done. I proceeded to irrigate the area profusely. It was to no avail.
William Tecumseh Sherman couldn't have done a better job of "nuking" this
ground. I never got around to replacing the soil and it took several YEARS
for the damaged area to fully recover.
Connect the drain system of the water softener to any sanitary inlet. Mine
empties into the floor drain.
I put salt water down my sewer on a regular basis to prevent tree root
blockage of the terra cotta pipe.
rock salt in the laundry tub is cheap and very effective....
salt kills nearly everything except plants that have adapted.
like those that grow right along the ocean
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