Saltwater and the septic tank

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jayghmi

Senior Member Wannabe
Feb 3, 2007
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Western Michigan
OK, here is a weird one! I just had my septic tank pumped and the guy told me that my tank was about 40/60 solids to liquid and he said that it was supposed to be closer to 10/90 liquids to solids. Basically meaning that I didn't have enough micro bacteria or what ever eats that stuff in my septic tank. I do not pour water changes down the toilet, but I do empty my skimmer cup down there.

Anyone have any idea if saltwater and the stuff in there could/would kill the bacteria in my system so that it wouldn't break down properly. Obviously salt from food sources wash down the drain, but maybe tank water has other nasty stuff that supplements the tank. It makes sense that this could be a problem, but does any have any experience or knowledge in this area? Thanks, Jay
 

Sploke

resident boozehound
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Oct 20, 2005
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I wouldn't think that the small amount of stuff that comes from a skimmer up would have any effect at all on a large system like a septic tank.
 

jayghmi

Senior Member Wannabe
Feb 3, 2007
419
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Western Michigan
Yeah that's what I thought. I think in the beginning I may have poured a few water changes down there. If a lot of saltwater was poured down there, do you think it would make a difference.

It's a pain to take the buckets and dump them outside in the winter, although I have been doing it.
 

TKOS

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Feb 6, 2003
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You know it is generally things like cleaning fluids (bleech etc...) that do havock on septic systems. You can buy beneficial bacteria to add to your septic system. My dad used to do that each year.
 

kcress

AC Members
Apr 9, 2005
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I agree with TKOS you should absolutely add some of the septic 'bugs'. Your tap water could just be not great for your septic bugs. Also temperature is a huge factor in your septic tank. If it runs cold the cooties can't do their thing very fast - fast enough.

So anyway the additives all help in this regard and no I don't think occasional skimmer cups will cause any problems. Water changes? Yes.
 

dudley

Eheim User
Feb 9, 2005
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Well, if you don't have a toilet leaking water or similar issue with excessive water going down the drain, read on.

Depending on the type of septic system you have, you might have a blockage in your drain field. I have a Jet aerator system & had mine pumped last month. All my tanks were full of mostly liquid, very little solids. Found out my single drain tile was plugged with tree roots. That is always fun to clean out when its wintertime.
 

jayghmi

Senior Member Wannabe
Feb 3, 2007
419
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Western Michigan
Thanks everyone. I do add bacteria to the septic tank that is why I was puzzled with its not working properly. I would have to think that Salt Water would not be good. Certainly not for the pipes event though most are pvc. Maybe it's just a winter thing because yes Kcress, it's #$%^ cold here. Another foot of snow last night!

Anyway I will continue to dump water changes outside, but it would be a lot more convenient to dump it down the drain!
 

Creamhorses

Registered Member
Apr 10, 2006
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Interesting topic...

and important to me, as I've thought about the harm to bacteria after dumping SW into our septic tank. I relate the issue to FW vs SW organisms & bacteria; they don't mix. FW plants will die in SW, & vice vera and so isn't a healthy septic tank loaded with bacteria to handle specific waste which is added in relatively consistantly. Small amounts probably aren't worthy f worry, but if one dumps 20-50+ gallons of SW into a 1,000 tank, it seems reasonable that some bacteria will be killed or @ least be ineffective for a time. I don't know about you, but I don't want to have #1 guy in the #2 business handing me a bill for plugged system.

I agree it's convenient, especially when you've plumbed a drain for emergency overflow, or have a sink handy when changing water, etc.

It seems there is no good place to dispose of it; garden, flower beds, lawn.

My first post......

Dave
 

trashion

AC Members
Oct 19, 2007
156
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Hmm...I dump my freshwater WCs down the toilet, about 5 gallons once a week. Is this bad?
 
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