Who's Running on Septic Tank

this is me

I like turtles
BRS Member
Well, my new house sits on a sh** box...
What you guys do with the waste water of RO/DI and more importantly, the waste water from your reef tank during a water change.
I read some just dump into the septic tank but I'm not sure if I want to mess with that. For me to jump back on this, I need to figure out a feasible way to dump the salt water.
Please state how much saltwater you're dumping.
 

BiGGiePauls33

IG/GreatBeardedReef
Staff member
BRS Member
Officer
I'm on septic and usually just dump down the drain, sometimes I'll dump behind my house in the wooded area if I'm feel like carrying buckets that far.
 

JBendel

Well-Known Member
BRS Member
On septic ... plumbed it into the waste line ... 15 years and not a problem...... yet.
 

this is me

I like turtles
BRS Member
How much you guys are dumping? Maybe a daily water change will be better than dumping all 50gallons at once.
 

MrX

Non-member
I'm on septic and when I had the tank I couldn't bring myself to dump the saltwater into it. I did lots of research and didn't find any conclusive answer.

I opted to take the safer route and dumped old water out to the woods. My tank was on the first floor, and sump/etc. in the basement with a walk-out slider at ground level. In my drain line plumbing I added a valve and a garden hose quick connect adapter. At water change time I connected the hose, ran it to the woods, flipped the valve, and drained the stock tank down to a predetermined level.

Then new water went into the sump from my water mix station.

Being on septic is a primary reason why I don't get back into the hobby.
 

Robert M

Active Member
BRS Member
I’m not on septic, but I’ve piped my reef tank waste water to go into my QT tank and my QT tank overflows into my drain. That way my automatic DT water changes ends up giving me automatic QT water changes for free.
 

JBendel

Well-Known Member
BRS Member
Between the dishwasher and washing machine detergent (some with bleach), I figure the saltwater (water change) is in the noise (running a 180 gal with sump). You just don't want to kill off beneficial bacteria in the septic tank. It can also depends on what size septic tank you have. I get mine pumped out every 5 or 6 years (whether it needs it or not), where my neighbor never has, but dumps yeast down the drain once or twice a year.
 

BiGGiePauls33

IG/GreatBeardedReef
Staff member
BRS Member
Officer
How much you guys are dumping? Maybe a daily water change will be better than dumping all 50 gallons at once.
Maybe 10-15 gallons every other week. My ro/di waste goes right down the drain, so in order to make 15 gallons of fresh water, 45+ go down the drain. After reading that, I should probably upgrade too a more efficient filtering system.
 

Cidermaster

Well-Known Member
BRS Member
I’m on a septic 120g tank everything goes down the drain . The way I look at it is Think of all the fresh water you use in a day compared to in reality how much salt actually goes down the drain . What’s the difference ? A little salt or All the soaps that go down the drain that are suppose to kill bacteria’s ...
 

jah-hoeva

Non-member
I’m on septic and have never put a drop down the drain. My water change water gets dumped outdoors. (20 gallons a change)

rodi waste goes down the hole where a sump pump would go in the basement. (No sump pump, so just a boxed out corner in the slab with stones in it)
 

gobyvin

Well-Known Member
BRS Member
I will give you the safest advice I would live by if I was on septic, which I am not.
I am a biologist, and have experience with septics and waste treatment devices on boats.
Salt water kills less foul smelling microbial processes that break down human waste. If you want to cut odors, do not add saltwater to the spetic tank. If you want the septic tank to remain tip top, don't add salts.
Amounts of Septic Input... RODI waste gallons can be high, then add the water change water and you are putting even more water into that septic.
My advice, use waste to wash clothes that is what I do witha ll my RODI waste byproduct, but I pay for my water and then they charge me for the same amount of waste in sewering fees, so i save money when I cut use overall.

I would dump the saltwater outside on the edges of your property where nothing you want grows.
I would use the waste RODI effluent for watering gardens houseplants and anything else if you pay for water.
Let it fly otherwise.
 

Phinfan

Well-Known Member
BRS Member
I dump 20 gallons a week in my back yard. I would use the waste water for the washer but front load washer just drains the water before hand.
 

kgstei

Non-member
I've wondered the same thing can I dump my waste water out in the driveway. I don't think it probably wouldn't matter much if you sent it down the drain into your septic system all that water doesn't sit in the tank but goes out into the leach field and back onto the ground. At the end of the day I've never seen a post or heard of a post online or anywhere that said somebody had an issue with their well getting salty or their septic system not working.properly.
 

Matt L.

Well-Known Member
BRS Member
For RO waste, it doesn’t matter. Any septic should be large enough.

For saltwater, I wouldn’t use your septic tank.
The salt won’t harm your tank. But the saltwater will leach out into the ground. This can salt your soil.
 

Pardsie

Non-member
I'm on septic however I also have a sump pump in the basement so 20 gallons gets dumped into sump and that gets pumped outside to wooded area adjacent to house. 20 gallons every 2 weeks!!
 

GraniteReefer

Well-Known Member
BRS Member
On septic and I don’t put it into the drain, I dump it down hill of my well and my septic as I have topography (5-10g per week). I will say being in the water filtration business it is ill practice to discharge a softener into a septic and I have seen that cause one to fail and softeners use 14pounds of salt every backwash on average and cycle about every 2000gallons(every 1-2weeks)of use depending on water quality. That’s a lot of salt!
 

this is me

I like turtles
BRS Member
Okay thanks for the inputs guys. Yeah. Seems to be a mix bag of people who just dump it to the septic and some people would not allow a drop of saltwater in their septic. I probably will just drain it into the woods.
I have to wait and see how much I like this location a little longer before coming back again. I also don't know where to put the tank. I don't think I want it in the basement anymore. It was too isolated and I don't go down there as often.
 

nilaydeshmukh

Well-Known Member
BRS Member
Remember, all that salt is going into earth eventually (where it does not belong). Out of the two options that you have, I would pick putting the saltwater in the septic system (in small amounts). The saltwater (rather salt) is eventually going to end up in the leach field/drainage field of the septic tank system. Some amount of salt will get calcified/ bind to other waste and will remain in the septic tank, which will eventually get pulled out with other waste. Sometimes, when the leach field gets saturated, they excavate the dirt out of the leach field and replace it with a new dirt/gravel. I am not sure how the excavated dirt gets recycled. In any case, you are adding salt at a deeper layer of the earth than a top layer of the earth where it is damaging to grass/vegetation. The remaining salt in the leach field will eventually find its way to underground water table (slowly) in a diluted form which wont make any significant difference to ground water. If you dump the salt water in woods, you are contaminating the top layer of soil which is harmful for survival/growth of vegetation. Both the options are not as ideal but I would pick adding it to the septic system over draining it in the woods.

My two cents. . . . Good luck! I would love to see you back in the hobby and your new build!
 

1spotpooalot

Well-Known Member
BRS Member
I'm on septic however I also have a sump pump in the basement so 20 gallons gets dumped into sump and that gets pumped outside to wooded area adjacent to house. 20 gallons every 2 weeks!!
Doesnt this hurt the pump?....salt water would destry the pump I would think. I have the same set up and thought about it but never pulled the trigger. It would be awesome if I could do this too
 

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