Utility sink with septic system?

lml999 Posted By lml999, May 9, 2018 at 9:47 AM

  1. lml999

    lml999
    Feeling the Heat 2.
    NULL
    

    Oct 25, 2013
    411
    101
    Loc:
    Cape Cod, Massachusetts
    Two years ago we moved to a house with a septic system and well water.

    Until then I always washed up maintenance items (latex paint brushes/rollers, citrus solvent for bike cleaning, etc) in a utility sink, which fed into town sewer.

    Now that i'm on a septic system, I'm concerned about putting anything into the system that isn't (human-processed) food waste.

    The system is 20 years old, has been cleaned recently (no issues found, just a lot of crap!), and is sized for a 4 bedroom house. We probably run more water through it than we should...there's typically two of us in the house...but we run dishwasher and washing machine a couple of times a week...

    How do others handle this?

    Thanks!
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  2. Highbeam

    Highbeam
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Dec 28, 2006
    14,614
    3,086
    Loc:
    Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
    None of that goes into the septic. You are right to protect it.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  3. MAD777

    MAD777
    Member 2.
    NULL
    

    Jul 6, 2016
    77
    19
    Loc:
    New Hampshire
    Thanks for posting this Iml999
    I'm about to start building a new home with well/septic system and a utility sink. Being a city slicker, I probably would have cleaned such stuff without a thought.

    Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk
     
  4. lml999

    lml999
    Feeling the Heat 2.
    NULL
    

    Oct 25, 2013
    411
    101
    Loc:
    Cape Cod, Massachusetts
    You're welcome. Might want to leave out the utility sink...looks like the only thing its good for is washing the dog!
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  5. peakbagger

    peakbagger
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Jul 11, 2008
    3,866
    994
    Loc:
    Northern NH
    The problem is its a question that the authorities do not really want to answer. Yes the chemicals can be bad for the septic system but even worse in the ground. The old standard is the solution to pollution is dilution. In theory the volume of nasties is overwhelmed by the volume of normal waste. When I built my garage, I wanted to put in drain and the inspector would not let me unless is was piped to an accepted treatment device. When I asked him what an approved device is he didnt know of any. An oil and water separator wouldn't be that hard to build with an accessible cleanout. and then running it to a separate dry well located away and downhill from your well would be good option.

    il water separators arent that expensive http://www.usaequipmentdirect.com/Zurn-Z-1189-12-Lb-Oil-and-Sediment-Interceptor.html?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI9L2KkoX52gIVA0CGCh2lvAlbEAYYBCABEgJ1xPD_BwE
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  6. lml999

    lml999
    Feeling the Heat 2.
    NULL
    

    Oct 25, 2013
    411
    101
    Loc:
    Cape Cod, Massachusetts
    I'm reluctant to put anything in the ground...all of Cape Cod is served by a single aquifer, and while my actions alone won't have a significant impact, it does add up.

    So it's looking like I'll have to come up with some form of contained, above ground approach...and limit use of anything that isn't easily retained and disposed of. Of course, even if I take used paint rollers to the dump, they end up in the ground somewhere...
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  7. semipro

    semipro
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Jan 12, 2009
    3,415
    581
    Loc:
    SW Virginia
    I'd be interested to see what real effects these chemicals would have on septic tank contents and the effluent going to the drain field.
    In quantities not large enough to significantly kill off resident microbial populations I suspect that the nasty stuff is biodegraded to something relatively harmless.
    Trouble is, how do you know if this is true and how much chemical waste upsets proper system operation?
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  8. peakbagger

    peakbagger
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Jul 11, 2008
    3,866
    994
    Loc:
    Northern NH
    Oil tends to float and nothing much will break it down. Soaps tend to break down. Water softener brine apparently raises havoc. Chlorine bleach can really raise havoc.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  9. lml999

    lml999
    Feeling the Heat 2.
    NULL
    

    Oct 25, 2013
    411
    101
    Loc:
    Cape Cod, Massachusetts
    Not sure how to deal with the periodic backwashing of our water treatment system. Right now it empties into the house plumbing, and then, of course into the septic system.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  10. lml999

    lml999
    Feeling the Heat 2.
    NULL
    

    Oct 25, 2013
    411
    101
    Loc:
    Cape Cod, Massachusetts
    I understand what you're saying...

    Given the cost of rebuilding/replacing a septic system, I'm not willing to experiment to find this out. :)

    And with an N of 1, my experiment wouldn't be valid anyway!
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
    MAD777 likes this.
  11. blades

    blades
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Nov 23, 2008
    2,939
    819
    Loc:
    WI, Leroy
    used to be that we would run 2 systems one for grey water ( washing machine and such ) and the actual waste Line) Most of the Grey water could be handled by a large sand filter and then used for watering purposes ect( not potable water) here in the infinite wisdom? of the powers that be everything in one. ( Cow paddies) so now you load up your septic with man made soaps that do not breakdown and other items and basically destroy your septic in 20 years or less. Got to purchase septic friendly products when at store and various female sanitary items are a no-no as they do not break down. also from your washer you should run a lint filter on the output as a lot of clothes are man made fibers that again do not breakdown and clog the system up ( which is likely the reason they also mandated a minimum 3 year pumping cycle.) my current system is 28 years old only showing normal wear and tear. Just maybe it might out last me. Oh ya - TP is one of the big culprits, but there are brands septic friendly- just got to read the labels
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
    Ashful likes this.
  12. MAD777

    MAD777
    Member 2.
    NULL
    

    Jul 6, 2016
    77
    19
    Loc:
    New Hampshire
    Anyone have a source to read about bio-degradable laundry, dishwasher, bath soaps & dish detergents?
    I would think there's no practical way to keep these items out of the septic system.

    Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk
     
  13. blades

    blades
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Nov 23, 2008
    2,939
    819
    Loc:
    WI, Leroy
    just google it should come up or use a term like compatible x products with septic system.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  14. moey

    moey
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Jul 12, 2012
    1,448
    357
    Loc:
    Southern Maine
    Ive lived in two homes both which were extremely sandy. Septic fields in one of the homes is some 50 years old now still works fine. Ours currently is 35 years old never had a problem. I think a lot of it has to do with what is under your system more then what you put in it.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  15. moey

    moey
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Jul 12, 2012
    1,448
    357
    Loc:
    Southern Maine
    I can imagine how that conversation would go. Honey please put your nasty used tampon in the trash don't flush it down the toilet or change it at work. They float to the top of the tank when its pumped out you can see them floating they never make it to the field. Ive always got our system pumped out every 2-3 years. Its like $200 I can save money somewhere else when it comes to home maintenance.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  16. lml999

    lml999
    Feeling the Heat 2.
    NULL
    

    Oct 25, 2013
    411
    101
    Loc:
    Cape Cod, Massachusetts
    Yep. And then picture having a conversation with your adult children and their friends....

    "No cotton, no latex, no ..."

    Been there, done that...every time they visit...
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  17. moey

    moey
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Jul 12, 2012
    1,448
    357
    Loc:
    Southern Maine
    The only thing Ive ever said was flushable wipes are not actually flushable so stop buying them.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  18. brenndatomu

    brenndatomu
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Aug 21, 2013
    3,264
    983
    Loc:
    NE Ohio
    Well here is one way to look at it...the bacteria that make a septic system work are the same ones that are in your gut...where do you think they came from in the first place? So anything that would cause problems in your gut, should not get flushed or put down the drain...
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
    MAD777 likes this.
  19. Highbeam

    Highbeam
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Dec 28, 2006
    14,614
    3,086
    Loc:
    Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
    Very rarely will you ever see a product not advertised as biodegradable since everything will biodegrade eventually. "Septic safe" is also not defined, nor is flushable. All of this is marketing talk and you are on your own to avoid putting the wrong thing or too much of the right thing into your septic system. It's not the tank you need to worry about, it's the drainfield becoming plugged with spooge that doesn't allow water to pass through and then your system backs up.

    Don't route your softener to the septic tank. It's not the brine as much as the huge volume of water that the drainfield was not designed for.

    I have a shop utility sink and I hooked the drain line up to the roof downspout line that just dumps out onto the lawn. Washing dogs, making beer, hand washing, etc. Never dump chemicals down a drain unless it goes to the city sewer and even then, the city sewer folks will tell you it is illegal.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  20. blades

    blades
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Nov 23, 2008
    2,939
    819
    Loc:
    WI, Leroy
    Highbeam - here we are not allowed to run anything out over the top except the gutters ( I do not agree with this) that includes the softener out put. I can see some of this in the city but certainly not out here in the sticks. Government and their 1 size fits all mentality- less that adequate.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  21. Ashful

    Ashful
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Mar 7, 2012
    12,780
    5,771
    Loc:
    Philadelphia
    New Jersey.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  22. Ashful

    Ashful
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Mar 7, 2012
    12,780
    5,771
    Loc:
    Philadelphia
    We had that conversation. My wife keeps a small hospital type (metal lid that flips up when you step on foot pedal) trash can in the master bath, for that special purpose. We don’t sweat what guests will do, their numbers aren’t significant in comparison to someone living in the house full-time.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  23. lml999

    lml999
    Feeling the Heat 2.
    NULL
    

    Oct 25, 2013
    411
    101
    Loc:
    Cape Cod, Massachusetts
    Don't have that issue. Now we're dealing with hot flashes...

    Guests, though...

    The trash can with a metal lid is a good idea. Our dog loves to rummage in trash cans...
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  24. Highbeam

    Highbeam
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Dec 28, 2006
    14,614
    3,086
    Loc:
    Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
    I suspect that the government wouldn’t like my solution either. If you’re really out in the sticks then you know what to do. Your septic wasn’t designed for the huge flows from a softener or the chemicals that may go into a shop sink like paint.

    When you wash your car doesn’t that water go onto the surface? The government probably wouldn’t approve of peeing off the back porch either.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  25. begreen

    begreen
    Mooderator 2.
    NULL
    
    Staff Member

    Nov 18, 2005
    72,926
    10,906
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    Never do it. Cities around Puget Sound don't have the treatment capacity to filter this stuff out, especially pharmaceuticals and drugs. They are showing up in alarming numbers in local fish and sealife now.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...

Share This Page