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Old 11-15-2005, 08:59 AM   #11
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Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Coopersburg, PA
Posts: 82
General septic system/cesspool/sand mound tips:

1. For system longevity, minimize waste water directed into the system. This cannot be over emphasized.
2. Pump regularly, based on system size and number of household members. Yearly is overkill, but can provide good mental insurance for about $250 a year if you want. Average is about every 2-3 years. Better yet, rather than just pumping, have system checked and cleaned. This involves a digout of access, inspection, cleaning baffles, stirring of the soup and pumping. Just sticking the pump hose down the system will not remove all solids.
3. No need to use any product. Plenty of evidence to support this, but you'll find opinions to the contrary.
4. Never drive over system. Never cover. Evaporation is main source of water removal.
5. Minimize use of obvious bacteria killing products, such as bleach, cleaning and painting chemicals.
6. Remind guests/family you're on septic/cesspool.
7. Primary source of drainfield clogs is suspended particles, such as what your clothes washer puts out. A fliter such as the Filtrol 160 can address this.
8. Make your next washer a front load, like a Maytag Neptune. Reduces water use by thousands of gallons per year.
9. Save for system replacement/maintenance. The system will eventually fail. I've seen systems 5-8 years old fail, then again, I know of cesspools working well after 100+ years. It just depends.

Given all of the above, RO/DI and tank wastewater would be better dumped elsewhere, but in the amounts you're talking, it's not that big of a deal. I'd just accelerate the pumping schedule a bit for a comfort level. If the water's easy to dump elsewhere, then do that some to all of the time. Just don't dump over the system or above your well if you have one. On-site waste water systems can be cheaper and process output better than public sewer if properly used/cared for. Good luck.

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Old 11-15-2005, 09:19 AM   #12
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Panama City Beach, FL
Posts: 547
I have a septic system. I would never in a million years dump RidX or saltwater down the drain. Here is why:

RidX will end up killing the beneficial bacteria in your septic system! It is supposed to help it, but time and time again I have been told by plumbers, that are my friends mind you, that it is actually really bad for your septic system because it boosts the bacteria. Now that may sound backwards but keep listening... When you boost bacteria and it eats everything really fast, then it will starve when it runs out of food.

Instead use dry yeast to keep your septic system healthy! My parents have had their home for over 28 years and have never had to had their septic system pumped and have never had problems with it. They use dry yeast once a year to make sure that the bacteria levels are healthy.

My husband and I bought our house a few years ago… the people who owned it prior used RidX every month. We had to have it replaced before buying the house because the entire bottom had been destroyed. I am not sure that RidX was the cause of it, but our home is just as old as my parents and the prior septic system had been in perfect condition when the people we bought the home from bought it. The owned the home for six years. They started having problems with the septic system about two years before they sold it.

I totally agree with OneBowl and his tips on good septic system health. I would go as far as to suggest, maybe once every five years do an inspection, if you have a healthy tank after the first inspection, don’t make any changes and you could go maybe another 5-10 years on that inspection.

Okay now on to the issue of pouring saltwater from the fish tank down the drain. I do not do this and I would not recommend making a habit out of doing this to a septic system. Not only can the saltwater cause problems with the system because of the excessive use, but the salt itself can kill certain bacteria that may otherwise be very good for your septic tank.

Ever heard of a saltwater swimming pool? Basically a minor amount of salt is poured into the pool as opposed to using chorine or bromine. It kills the bacteria that would cause the algae growth and any kind of waste products that are added through people swimming. If this happens in a swimming pool, imagine what would happen to your septic system by introducing large amounts of saltwater.

I would also strongly advise that you have the waste from the RO/DI system dump into an are of your yard where you wont mind constant swamp like areas. Maybe even start a mangrove area around it!

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