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Thread: Draining a water softener into a septic system...bad idea?

  1. #16
    DIY scratch-pad engineer leejosepho's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    200 miles south of Little Rock


    Quote Originally Posted by Cobra1365 View Post
    Over time, the salt will eat away a concrete system.
    Yesterday I saw a documentary showing how that helped make escape from Alcatraz a bit easier! In a labratory test, the concrete failed at about 850 PSI (rather than the typical 5000 PSI), and the guy in the lab could further crumble the broken pieces with his fingers. Also, there are buildings in Key West that are now crumbling (and have been for many years) because their concrete was made with aggregate that came out of the ocean.
    Last edited by leejosepho; 06-09-2013 at 01:09 PM.
    "Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events and small minds discuss people." --Eleanor Roosevelt

  2. #17
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Cave Creek, Arizona

    Default softener

    My softener discharged into my septic for 15 years in the last house and 13 so far at this one with no problems. And since there are many softeners in the Phoenix Metropolitan area and most, if not all, discharge into the city sewer or septic systems, I doubt that it is a major problem.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

  3. #18
    DIY Senior Member craigpump's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012


    The state of Ct is working on legislation that will ban backwashing into septics. The state wants there to a dry well for the systems to backwash into, some towns are being proactive and have their own requirements for dry wells already.

    According to the few guys I know who do septic work, the salts are destroying the d boxes and tanks.

  4. #19
    DIY Member WorthFlorida's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Lake Worth, Florida


    I wish someone from a water softener manufacture could answer this but some good info is at

    It reads,

    Regeneration of ion exchange resins
    When all the available Na+ ions have been replaced by calcium or magnesium ions, the resin must be re-charged by eluting the Ca2+ and Mg2+ ions using a solution of sodium chloride or sodium hydroxide depending on the type of resin used. For anionic resins, regeneration typically uses a solution of sodium hydroxide (lye) or potassium hydroxide. The waste waters eluted from the ion exchange column containing the unwanted calcium and magnesium salts are typically discharged to the sewage system.

    It is not typical salt that is used in the softener that is discharged, but don't worry when it snows, millions of tons of salt are dumped on the roads that all wash away to the rivers and streams.


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