Water softeners are products removing molecules that can give water a ‘hard’ characteristic. Most people think that one should never install a water softener in a house with a septic system. They say that doing so is detrimental to the overall function of the domestic sewage system. On the contrary, installing the right water softener can aid in maintaining the integrity of the on-site sewage system.
The key here is to use only the right product for your needs. We shortlisted and tested 5 of the best water softener for septic systems to help you make a wise decision.
Table of Contents
- Best Water Softener for Septic Systems Reviews
- What Is A Water Softener For Septic Systems/ Who This Is For
- How Does It Work
- Buying Guide
Best Water Softener for Septic Systems Reviews
1. Abundant Flow WS-48K-91SXT 9100SXT
Can a water softener be used with a septic system? Of course! However, you may need the WS-48K-91SXT Complete Softener from Abundant Flow Water. This product is one of the most revered systems because of its uncanny water softening ability.
One of the most exciting things about WS-48K-91XST is its user controls. Most of the water softeners you see on the market will often come with simple knobs and dials. Abundant Flow ditched this traditional thinking and gave its product a much-needed ultra-modern upgrade. This water softener comes with a touchpad interface that is a pleasure to control.
The LCD screen is also significant to provide you with all the critical information you need at a glance. There is no need to second-guess its settings. The other good news is that this water softener does not impact water flow. It can ensure an optimum flow rate of up to 12 gallons per minute.
What amazes us about this water softener is its large capacity. It has a resin matrix that can remove up to 48,000 grains of magnesium, calcium, and other minerals that can make water hard. If you are using about 250 gallons of water per day with a hardness level of 12 grains, the entire system will be working to soften your water for up to 16 days. That is the only time that you will need to backwash your system to regenerate the resin matrix.
Regenerating this water softener does not also involve any downtime. Why? Well, this baby already comes with a pair of large tanks. One will always be on standby. You can backwash and regenerate one tank, while the other takes care of the system’s water softening functions. There is no need to stay late at night just to regenerate your system. You will never be in a compromising situation where you need softened water but you cannot have some because the system is regenerating.
While the WS-48K-91SXT is a joy to operate, installing it can be tricky. It does come with installation instructions. There is also a bypass system that comes with the system. However, you need to have basic plumbing skills to set this baby up.
2. Aquasure Signature Series Treatment System
The Aquasure Signature Series is one of the best systems among the water softeners and septic tanks we have ever seen. This is not only a water softener but a complete water treatment system. It includes a sediment filter, a water conditioner, and a reverse osmosis system to complement its water softener’s remarkable ability. The best part about this product is the excellent overall value it provides.
We admire the water softening capabilities of the Signature Series. Its resin matrix can remove up to 64,000 grains of water hardness compounds. A household with an average water hardness of 10 grains using an average of 250 gallons per day should be able to make full use of the Aquasure for more than 25 days. You can start regenerating the system on the 25th day if you wish.
There is another good point about Aquasure. The company designed its resin matrix to work with the utmost efficiency. This product only requires about 40 pounds of salt per regeneration. When you compare this to other products that use hundreds of pounds of salt, you will see that the Aquasure is not only economical, but also a lot friendlier to the environment.
And since the regeneration cycle is longer than other brands, you will feel a lot more comfortable about not overfilling your septic tank with brine. This is if you decide to pipe the system straight into your septic tank.
As we mentioned, the Aquasure already comes as a complete system. It can filter large particles from your water as well as condition your water. The reverse osmosis system also ensures safer and healthier drinking water. All of these also translate to more profound benefits to your septic system.
Since you are permanently removing large chunks of compounds and potentially hazardous substances, you are likewise safeguarding your septic system’s integrity. You are also ensuring the optimum health of everyone in your house.
3. AFWFilters 56SXT-10% Water Softener
Some people wonder if water softeners and concrete septic tanks can work together. While there is not much you can do about the design of septic systems, you can always choose the right water softener to go with it. And one of the most remarkable water softening systems on the market today is the Fleck 5600SXT from AFWFilters. This is a water softener that comes with a carbon filter to provide you with ample treatment options for your water.
The Fleck 5600SXT is an extensive system, measuring about 56 inches long. It has two alternating tanks that house the resin matrix. This is capable of exchanging up to 48,000 grains of hardness molecules, like magnesium, iron, and calcium. A typical household with a water hardness level of 10 grains per gallon should be able to use the system for at least two weeks before regenerating.
AFWFilters also upgraded the design of its resin to make it more efficient. This system can facilitate a 12 gallons-per-minute rate of water flow. It is more than adequate for a small household of up to 5 people. The construction of the tank is also sturdy enough to last about a decade or more. Operating the system is also effortless because of the use of an advanced digital meter valve, the 56SXT.
What surprised us about the Fleck 5600SXT is its Upflow carbon filtration. The company says that this technology eliminates the need for backwashing the system.
And since there is no need for backwashing the water softener, it also eliminates the need for the construction or addition of a drain pipe from the water softener to a drain field. The absence of backwashing is not only good for the environment but also friendly to your pocket since you will not have to use electricity to run the system anymore.
4. DuraWater 40K USA On-Demand System
If you want to enjoy the many benefits of a system that combines water softeners and sewage treatment plants without spending a fortune, you should consider the DuraWater Fleck 9100 SXT On-Demand System. This product can help you soften your water and improve the integrity of your septic system.
This DuraWater product features a digital meter valve that makes it super easy to control the system’s different settings. The touchpad controls also work like a charm and all the buttons are very responsive, too. Moreover, the 9100 SXT control valve makes it effortless to control the flow rate of the system.
It works in conjunction with a paddlewheel meter that DuraWater upgraded to make it more efficient and accurate. Also, DuraWater integrated it with its digital controller to help improve the accuracy and efficiency of the meter.
Each tank of the system can exchange up to 40,000 grains of iron, calcium, magnesium, and other elements to make water hard. And since the system comes with two tanks, you can remove up to 80,000 grains of hardness molecules. Of course, the idea of having a dual tank setup is to avoid downtimes. Regenerating the system does not require shutting it down, which gives you unrestricted access to soft water.
The 3-digit price tag of the DuraWater is also appealing to budget-conscious families. And since the system’s regeneration cycle is pretty long, you can be sure of even more significant savings in the long run. Unfortunately, we could not get any information about how much salt is needed to regenerate the tanks. We can only assume that it is within the range of 50 to 200 pounds.
5. AFWFilters WS-96k-91SXT Fleck 9100SXT
The AFWFilters WS-9SK-91SXT Fleck 9100SXT is a dependable water softening system for large households. It has one of the largest water softening capacities on the market that can easily translate to less frequent regenerations.
One of the most pressing concerns of people about such systems is related to the question, “Does soft water hurt the septic system?” There are now studies showing that such water softeners do not negatively affect septic systems. It is also proven that a properly-installed water softener could benefit both the plumbing and the sewage system of houses.
First, there is the enhanced biologic activity of microbes in human wastes. The ion exchange resin in the WS-96K-91SXT water softener can help improve bacterial action on organic matter. This can make your septic system more efficient in terms of treating sewage. The other benefit is that this water softener can help improve the quality of your water. Besides, you can minimize stains on your dishes and other items when cleaning and get to enjoy a fresher shower. These are benefits that the AFWFilters water softener can provide.
This system comes with an intelligent digital controller that makes setting up the system a breeze. The user interface is also straightforward, easing its use and operation. This water softener has a 96,000-grain capacity, so a small household can expect to recharge the resin once a month. A medium-sized or large house can start regenerating the system within 2 to 3 weeks, which translates into more significant savings.
Installing this water softener is also surprisingly easy because the instructions are straightforward to understand. The company also included a bypass to help with the installation of the system.
Where most water softeners can only guarantee a maximum flow rate of about 12 gallons per minute, the WS-96K-91SXT Fleck can provide you with a maximum flow rate of 20 gallons per minute. Homes that use large volumes of water should welcome such a feature.
What Is A Water Softener For Septic Systems/ Who This Is For
Some people may ask, “Is water softener system safe for a septic system?” To answer this question, let us look at what each system entails.
A water softener intended for septic systems has the same fundamental design as any other water softener. This is a technology that exchanges sodium or potassium molecules for the compounds that can make water ‘hard.’
A septic system typically comes with three necessary parts. This includes the septic tank that receives waste from the house. There is also a distribution box that receives wastewater overflow from the septic tank. It ‘distributes’ wastewater into the particular leach field or the drain field. Pipes connect these three components.
Household wastes, including human waste matter, get emptied into the septic tank. Bacteria present in human fecal matter help decompose the different organic compounds in wastewater.
Using a water softener with a septic system allows you to minimize your use of cleaning materials, such as soaps, chemicals, and detergents. This reduces your wastewater levels and leads to more efficient use of the septic system.
Some people worry that introducing sodium into the wastewater can undermine bacteria’s biological activity in the septic tank. However, there are university studies that show that the addition of a small amount of sodium in wastewater can enhance the biological activity of bacteria, which leads to a more efficient process of septic treatment.
There are also some concerns that water softener discharge can overflow the septic tank. Yet, it has been proven that the amount of wastewater dumped by a water softener after every regeneration is not more significant than the amount of sewage coming from an ordinary water-using household appliance.
If you are wondering where to discharge water softener backwash, you have three choices. One is to course it through your sewage pipe and empty into the septic tank. You can also empty the backwash into a drywell, turning the system into a water softener dry well type. The last one is to pipe the backwash out of your house and onto the ground. The safest way to go is to dump it into your septic system.
It is for this very reason that a water softener with septic system is the best. Anyone who has a septic system in their home should have a water softener installed. That the water softener is piped into the septic system for a more environmentally-friendly approach to the management of waste is also a great benefit.
How Does It Work
Water softeners for septic systems work like any other water softener. They replace the minerals that can ‘harden’ water with other minerals. The two most common elements used in water softeners are sodium and potassium, which can replace magnesium and calcium. Water softeners also remove manganese and iron that are often found in drinking water.
Water passes through a matrix that contains a resinous material embedded with either potassium or sodium. This traps the hardness minerals by replacing them with potassium or sodium. Unfortunately, the continuous ion exchange can also deplete the resin matrix of potassium or sodium. That is why the water softener has to undergo regeneration by backwashing it with a concentrated solution of either potassium or sodium. The backwashing produces brine, which households must learn to dispose of properly.
There are a few water softener discharge options. The safest way you can dispose of brine water discharge from the regeneration of your water softener is by connecting it to your sewage pipe going to the septic tank. The amount of backwash discharge is typically less than the amount discharged by your washing machine or dishwasher.
If you do not like connecting your water softener drain to the septic system, then you can course the backwash to a drywell. Another option will be to drain it directly on the ground. Unfortunately, this last method is not recommended as the high chloride content of water softener brine backwash can be detrimental to the environment. That is why water softener discharge on a lawn is often frowned upon.
Water softeners can provide you with a host of benefits. You no longer have to use a large amount of cleaning agents to wash objects, which helps reduce the number of chemicals in wastewater, minimizing their impact on the septic system.
The sodium or potassium molecules in wastewater do not impair bacteria’s ability to decompose organic matter in human wastes, either. In fact, these molecules can help improve the biologic activity of bacteria.
The right water softener does not also risk overflowing your septic tank. You will get to keep the septic system’s integrity for many years.
Buying a water softener for your septic system can be confusing for first-time buyers. There are certain things that you have to consider when purchasing such a device. This will allow you to pick a water softener that is perfect not only for your septic system but also for your house.
Capacity or Size
When one talks about the size of a water softener for septic systems, it does not refer to the device’s physical dimensions. The size of the product is a reflection of its ability to remove hard minerals from your water. The device should remove as much magnesium and calcium molecules from the water as possible in the shortest possible time. This translates to how much water ‘softening’ you want to achieve every day.
The first step to determine the size of your water softener is knowing the hardness level of your water. If you source your water from a municipal or city water utility, you can check your water’s hardness level.
Water hardness is often expressed in milligrams per liter or mg/L. In the US, you may be more familiar with grains per gallon or GPG. If you have a device that measures water hardness in mg/L, you can determine the GPG by dividing the mg/L value by 17.1. For example, if the measurement reads 50 mg/L, you know that your water hardness is 2.92 grains per gallon.
The next step in determining an appropriate size of sodium or potassium water softener septic system is the determination of your average water consumption. This is easy because you can look at your monthly water bill to get an idea of how much water you are using every month. Divide this by 30 to get the average daily water consumption.
Once you have these two pieces of information, you can start computing your daily water softening requirement. Multiply your GPG by the average daily consumption. Let us say you have a water hardness of 15 GPG and average daily water consumption of 250 gallons per day. Your average regular water softening requirement is 3,750 grains per day.
Use this information to determine the right size of water softener for your household and septic system. These devices require at least once weekly regeneration. So, multiply your ADWSR by 7 to get your weekly water softening requirement. In our example, this is 3,750 x 7 days to give you 26,250 grains per week. The size of the water softener that you need to purchase should remove at least 26,250 grains per week before you regenerate the resin matrix.
Salt Needed for Regeneration
Determining the softening capacity of a water softener is only one part of the equation. You will also need to check the amount of salt required to regenerate the resin matrix. For example, a 26,000-grain water softener may require 26 pounds of salt. You will need 1,352 pounds of salt per year. That is why it is essential to check a product that requires less salt for regeneration while maintaining its ability to soften water. It is also worth remembering that the lesser the salt needed for regeneration, the better it is, regardless of water softener drain options.
Dual Tank or Single Tank
Regenerating your water softener requires its disconnection from your water line. It will not be able to perform its principal function. That is why it is essential to pick a water softener with at least two alternating tanks. One tank delivers the water softening function while the other gets regenerated. You can always choose a single-tank system and schedule the regeneration at night.
Choosing the right water softener to use in your septic system should be related to a proper water softening capacity. It is essential to compute the average daily water softening requirements to determine the size of the system that you need to buy. It is also ideal for getting a system that has two tanks, which helps ensure the round-the-clock operation of the system. It guarantees soft water all the time. The right water softener should never get in the way of microorganisms’ biological activity in the sewage tank.
This is important in the partial treatment of human wastes. The correct installation of the system is also necessary to improve the overall efficiency of both the water softener and the on-site sewage or septic system. This review of the best water softeners you can use with the septic system in your home should already enable you to make a well-informed decision. Buy the best water softener for septic systems today!