Will a Water Softener Hurt the Septic System?

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There is a lot of debate about the effect of water softeners on septic systems, and it has led a lot of people to ask the question: will a water softener hurt the septic system? There are certainly conflicting reports, and that is going to make the issue even cloudier for the people who are just interested in finding a way to improve their systems overall without causing additional issues. However, it seems that there is some risk involved with the use of a water softener when it comes to septic systems.

The Hazards of Water Softeners

When it comes to water softeners, one of the biggest problems is the brine regeneration wastes. Some experts argue that these are not all that severe as long as the system is relatively well-maintained. However, waste water treatment systems are going to have lots of different flora and fauna there, since they more or less form their own ecosystems. The brine regeneration wastes are apparently harmful to the flora and fauna of the waste water treatment systems, which can have an effect on how well they are able to function. The septic tank might actually release more discharge into the dispersal field as a result of the action of the water softeners, and this might cause people some additional problems down the line.

However, there are some reports that suggest that some of these concerns have been exaggerated, at least when it comes to some of the other purported effects of water softeners on septic tanks. Water softeners are known for adding to the sodium concentration of a particular system, and this does not seem to have had as much of an effect on the bacterial organisms that are found in the average septic tank. This bacteria actually is useful, contrary to the concerns of some people, since it helps break down the waste associated with the septic tanks in the first place. However, it seems that the water softeners are not going to have a negative effect on the bacteria at least, even if their output might have an effect on the ecosystem of the septic tank in some other ways.


At any rate, it is important for people to keep everything in perspective. Even though a water softener might potentially pose some problems for the septic tank, an automatic washer is going to cause many more problems for it. People might wonder about installing something like that, and it might not get as much scrutiny as a water softener. There are lots of upgrades that people can make when it comes to their septic tanks and their septic systems. Some of them are going to be safer to use than others. However, it is still important for people to keep them in perspective in order to correctly evaluate the situation. A well-maintained water softener might be worth the risk for a lot of people, even if the experts are not entirely sure about whether or not the outcomes are going to be ideal for everyone involved.

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2 Responses

  1. HELP ! My skin is so dry and burns all the time. I have a water softener . Went out of town for 4 weeks used hard water. 1 month after getting back to my water my skin turned very dry and burns. Is it my water softener?

  2. Interesting…
    We just moved into a new house that has a well instead of city water. We never had a Water softener in our old house and our family never had any skin issues. After being in our new house (that does have a water softener) four out of the five people are now having all kinds of skin rashes and severe itching. (The kind of itching that keeps you awake at night because you itch all over. ) This can’t be just a coincidence. Considering removing the water softener or reaserching what the water softener company is using that is causing our issues and if something can be adjusted.

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