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Low Flow toilet VS septic system

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  • Low Flow toilet VS septic system

    I was wondering what impact these new low flow toilets have with respect to the function of a septic system? I ask with respect to the water required for the septic system to operate.

    I do fear the toilet police, as we have a 3.6gal and a 5 gal toilet in our home! Neither have ever clogged! [I won't go into details]. We just celebrated a birthday as one toilet has turned 45!

    The only water going into our septic system are from the bathrooms, laundry room and kitchen. I will also emphasize we do not use the garbage disposal thus reducing/eliminating excess "stuff" into our system.

    I add bacteria every two months or so..and we have never had any challenges.

    Also, we have an outboard lint system called Filtrol-160 which catches all lint from the wash machine during drainage. The washing machines of today to not capture the lint in the wash and rinse water.
    They simply pump it out during their various cycles. When the lint is dried it can be almost like cement! I did this to reduce the leach field from being plugged up with lint debris.

    Cactus Man

  • #2
    Re: Low Flow toilet VS septic system

    My opinion would be that low flow toilets would be better for the long life of your system than your older toilets are. Every gallon of water you can save is a gallon of water the soil in your drainfield doesn't have to absorb.

    If you are worried about the bacterial action of the tank, that is limited/controlled by the amount of organic waste coming into the system, such as body wastes and dish washing scraps and residues. That will not change regardless of the amount of water you save. I do not endorse adding bacteria simply because of a few basic rules:
    1. Bacteria reproduce as fast as possible and will quickly colonize your tank to the maximum population that is able to be supported by the incoming organic solids and the oxygen in the tank. This is known as the "bacterial loading rate" or "bacterial loading capacity" of the vessel.
    2. Bacteria that is added will likely die due to lack of available (extra) organic solids to feed on, or some of the original bacteria will have to die to make room for the added ones.
    3. The only way a tank will be short on bacteria is if you have habits or medications that are killing the bacteria in the system, such as pouring cleaning supplies, paint thinners, etc. down the drain, or heavy chemotherapy, methamphetamines (I hope not), or other strong medications or chemicals in your body wastes. If you have those things present in your lifestyle, any bacteria you add will also succumb to the chemicals you are introducing into the waste stream.
    4. Usually the only people that recommend adding bacteria, in my observation, are those who have a financial stake in it.
    5. If you use additives as frequently as the manufacturers recommend, in most cases you could pump your tank every 2 or 3 years for what you spend on bacteria if used as directed.
    Again, I'm not a chemist, biologist, or a environmental engineer, but I do regularly attend septic installer/pumper continuing education courses and also do a ton of research on my own besides my own personal experience in the field, and these are the points I am standing on at this point.

    It appears from the content of your query that you have a pretty fair grasp on the fact that you need to be aware of septic maintenance. Make sure you don't have any faulty plumbing fixtures such as leaking toilets, bypassing water softeners, or dripping faucets. These can add hundreds of gallons a day in extra water the system has to absorb. You didn't mention pumping in your post, but if you are regularly pumping keep up your program and you should be fine.