I was unaware that concrete rots.
I was unaware that concrete rots.
Salt kills the bacteria. Not killing the plants and grass has me wondering if the unit is working properly. In Florida softeners have a life of 3-5 years before the mineral beds needs replaced.
There are places that deem water softeners unsafe for their sanitary sewers.
I am awaiting information form a particular water filter company for proof of advertising. They claim 10 states that have passed legislation against water softeners and green plumbing. I am waiting for the proof of other claims that the filter makes before offering it to our clients.
A lot of misinformation flying around in here.
To date the only in depth study on softener discharge into septic systems has been done by the WQA. Their study found softener discharge had no negative impact on septic systems and in some cases had a positive effect on percolation.
A summery can be found here.
If you are a WQA member you can get the full report online.
Anecdotal evidence of septic problems is not scientific evidence. If anyone has a scientific study finding any negative consequences I'd be happy to reconsider my position.
The amount of salt in softener discharge is insufficient to have any effect on concrete.
For those of you claiming salt kills bacteria compare that statement to the worlds oceans. They are bacteria free right?
I do NOT believe the discharge solution is a proven factor in concrete degradation of a septic tank. Crushed & replaced many that never had any softener connected to them. Did not keep track of their age though. Some very old, some not so old.
I believe the quality of the concrete for the tank is a major contributing factor to failure. Along with the tank design, manufacturing, and how it was backfilled.
We used to make them. At one time, there was no standard. We made a heavier tank with a higher cost & psi concrete along with metal reinforcement. Never had a problem. Pumped or repaired other manufacturers and the lids weighed about 1/2 & sometimes did not have any wire mesh at all or a ligher grade spread out. In short, weaker.
Also, the gas in the atmosphere of a tank can be very corrosive. I have seen tanks with concrete precast traps that had been completely eaten away by the gas & bacteria.
I have not seen anything to conclude it comes from a water softener.
Believe what you will.
My observations are that the tank lid and wall were severely decomposed. The residual material that remained intact was encrusted with a white crystaline salty looking residue.
The concrete baffle was eaten right through.
Our soil is clay and tends to be fairly alkaline which should be non-detrimental to concrete. Fact is there wasnt any evidence of attack on the outside of the tank. It was all on the inside.
The sewage pumpers that turned out were quick to ask if a softener was involved when they saw the damage.
I vote for salt influenced concrete degradation.
I would like to vote we delay making any decisions on this subject and wait SIX MORE YEARS and discuss it again.
Anyone can tear a man down, few can build one up.
Salt "eating" concrete is a misconception.
In cold areas they say to use calcium, not salt on concrete because of the freeze thaw cycles. A concrete walk way with salt or calcium will still freeze if the temps are low enough, but it will freeze and thaw (that is what causes the destruction) a lot more often with salt.
H2S mixing with a certain bacteria (name eludes me right now) produces sulfuric acid and that is what reduces the life of a septic tank.
The bacteria can only live in a low PH environment. You should check the PH in the tank. It should be above 4 in order to combat the bacteria.
Thiobacillus is the name of the bacteria.
And I stand corrected on the PH level. It's the surface of the cement that should be tested and it should be above 9. Ideal is between 11-12.
What I understand is the salt makes the tank unsettled. In other words it won't have three distinct layers as the salt will cause the sludge to buoy into the clearzone. When this happens the sludge will carry out into the drainfield causing premature failure.
Tank degredation is usually caused by the system not venting properly keeping the acidic atmosphere in the tank.