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Effects of chlorinated drinking water on septic systems:
Does using a home chlorinator to disinfect drinking water risk harming the septic tank or drainfield? Discussed: What are the effects of a drinking water chlorinator on the septic system tank and drainfields? Does a drinking water treatment or purification system harm the septic tank or drainfield? Effects of reverse osmosis or RO systems on septic systems.
CHLORINE IN DRINKING WATER - Effects of Water Chlorinators on Septic Systems
Is my chlorinator or chlorinated water going into a private septic system likely to harm the septic tank or drainfield?
[Click to enlarge any image]
Do some septic systems require chlorine or other disinfectants?
Will chlorine, bleach, or Clorox™ damage the septic tank or leach fields?
This document explains how to extend the life of the septic system by being careful about what goes into it.
Here we discuss the environmental effects of chlorine introduced into building water systems from incoming water treatment and disinfection systems and the environmental effects of chlorine used at normal levels in household cleaners or in laundry bleach.
First lets say a word on chlorine in outgoing wastewater to be discharged into the environment. Some septic system designs include a final disinfection stage that may be used to reduce the level of pathogens in wastewater before it is discharged into the environment. Properly-designed and maintained, the wastewater discharge from those systems is not harmful to the environment, plants, animals, or waterways.
However, in general, the discharge of chlorine into the environment - into soils - is undesirable in both arid soils and in tropical or temperate soils. At sufficient concentrations chlorine in soils kills important soil bacteria necessary for both the break-down of other contaminants and for healthy plant life.
Finally, the discharge of chlorine into ocean waters or into bodies of fresh water is probably of no measurable consequence or of little consequence. Details are
at WASTEWATER BIOCOMPATIBILITY.
Using a chlorinator on well water
At homes where the water supply is not potable due to bacterial contamination, a common temporary solution is the installation
of a chlorinator.
Often this consists of an injector which doses incoming water with chlorine, a holding tank to give the
chlorine time to work, and a post-processing charcoal filter to remove the chlorine from the water.
It's preferable to
find and correct the source of contamination.
In a properly-operating chlorinator the level of chlorine in the house drinking water will not harm the septic system.
Watch out: However, high
levels of chlorine, such as from an improperly adjusted or malfunctioning chlorinator would be a problem for the occupants
who would not want to be drinking such water, and might be a problem for the septic system too.
Details about Chlorinators for Drinking Water Disinfection
Details about how to install, use, troubleshoot or repair chlorinators for water disinfection & treatment are in our separate
article CHLORINATORS & CHARCOAL FILTERS.
Effects of chlorine treatment of well water on Water Tests & Real Estate Transactions
For a discussion of what happens when people dump chlorine into a well see
Septic System Effects of Use of UV Lights as an alternative to drinking water chlorination
An alternative to chlorine for partial treatment of wellwater is the use of a UV light system. This method, used alone, will not add chemicals to the building water supply and thus it won't add chemicals (such as chlorine) to the septic tank, drainfield, or groundwater at the property.
UV (ultra violet) lights [photo] which are sold to treat bacterial contamination in water do not place any chemical into the
However if drinking water is contaminated with bacteria, a UV light is a not necessarily the best solution as other drinking water contaminants may be present too.
Septic System Effects of Use of an RO = reverse osmosis treatment system for drinking water
Unlike a chlorinator or a UV light system, a reverse osmosis system will add water volume load to a septic system, even though it won't add chemicals.
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Questions & answers or comments about chlorinated drinking water and residential use
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 Salzman, James, Drinking Water: A History, Overlook (2012), ISBN-10: 1590207203, ISBN-13: 978-1590207208, Quoting product description:
In Drinking Water, Duke University professor and environmental policy expert James Salzman shows how drinking water highlights the most pressing issues of our time--from globalization and social justice to terrorism and climate change--and how humans have been wrestling with these problems for centuries. From the aqueducts of Rome to the revolutionary sewer system in nineteenth-century London to today’s state-of-the-art desalination plants, safety and scarcity of water have always been one of society’s most important functions.
 Soll, David, Empire of Water: An Environmental and Political History of the New York City Water Supply, Cornell University Press, (2013), ISBN-10: 0801449901, ISBN-13: 978-0801449901, Quoting: product review
"Empire of Water chronicles the fascinating story of New York City's water supply, which comes mostly from reservoirs in the Catskills and, remarkably, is unfiltered. That's because the city has spent billions of dollars and decades of effort working with residents, businesses, and governments in the Catskills to protect the reservoirs from pollution caused by runoff from roads, farms, and dairies. This meticulously researched and persuasively reasoned history explores the change in New York City’s attitude toward water, from indifference to profligate water waste and environmental pollution to stalwart champion of water conservation and protection. The best histories shed light on the past as they illuminate the present. Empire of Water is in this category. By protecting the ecosystem services provided by a pristine watershed in northern New York, the city avoided having to spend $8 billion to build a treatment plant. As we confront water shortages in the United States and across the world, Empire of Water teaches that business as usual—looking for new oases and relying on massive engineering solutions—no longer makes sense. We must acknowledge nature’s limits and work within them to secure a sustainable future for coming generations."—Robert Glennon, Regents’ Professor and Morris K. Udall Professor of Law and Public Policy, University of Arizona, author of Unquenchable: America's Water Crisis and What To Do About It
 Mithen, Steven, Thirst: Water and Power in the Ancient World, Harvard University Press (2012), ASIN: B00EDZ5OHC. Quoting product review at Amazon:
Water is an endangered resource, imperiled by population growth, mega-urbanization, and climate change. Scientists project that by 2050, freshwater shortages will affect 75 percent of the global population. Steven Mithen puts our current crisis in historical context by exploring 10,000 years of humankind’s management of water. Thirst offers cautionary tales of civilizations defeated by the challenges of water control, as well as inspirational stories about how technological ingenuity has sustained communities in hostile environments.
... Mithen blends archaeology, current science, and ancient literature to give us a rich new picture of how our ancestors lived. Since the Neolithic Revolution, people have recognized water as a commodity and source of economic power and have manipulated its flow. History abounds with examples of ambitious water management projects and hydraulic engineering—from the Sumerians, whose mastery of canal building and irrigation led to their status as the first civilization, to the Nabataeans, who created a watery paradise in the desert city of Petra, to the Khmer, who built a massive inland sea at Angkor, visible from space.
As we search for modern solutions to today’s water crises, from the American Southwest to China, Mithen also looks for lessons in the past. He suggests that we follow one of the most unheeded pieces of advice to come down from ancient times. In the words of Li Bing, whose waterworks have irrigated the Sichuan Basin since 256 bc, “Work with nature, not against it.”
Access Water Energy, PO Box 2061, Moorabbin, VIC 3189, Australia, Tel: 1300 797 758, email: email@example.com Moorabbin Office: Kingston Trade Centre, 100 Cochranes Rd, Moorabbin, VIC 3189
Australian supplier of: Greywater systems, Solar power to grid packages, Edwards solar systems, Vulcan compact solar systems, water & solar system pumps & controls, and a wide rage of above ground & under ground water storage tanks: concrete, steel, plastic, modular, and bladder storage tanks.
Smart Tank, Installation Instructions [ copy on file as /water/Smart_Tank_Flexcon.pdf ] - , Flexcon Industries, 300 Pond St., Randolph MA 02368, www.flexconind.com, Tel: 800-527-0030 - web search 07/24/2010, original source: http://www.flexconind.com/pdf/st_install.pdf
Typical Shallow Well One Line Jet Pump Installation [ copy on file as /water/Jet_Pump_Grove_Elect_Jet_Pumps.pdf ] - , Grove Electric, G&G Electric & Plumbing, 1900 NE 78th St., Suite 101, Vancouver WA 98665 www.grovelectric.com - web search -7/15/2010 original source: http://www.groverelectric.com/howto/38_Typical%20Jet%20Pump%20Installation.pdf
Typical Deep Well Two Line Jet Pump Installation [ copy on file as /water/Jet_Pump_Grove_Elect.pdf ] - , Grove Electric, G&G Electric & Plumbing, 1900 NE 78th St., Suite 101, Vancouver WA 98665 www.grovelectric.com - web search -7/15/2010 original source: http://www.groverelectric.com/howto/38_Typical%20Jet%20Pump%20Installation.pdf
Water Fact Sheet #3, Using Low-Yielding Wells [ copy on file as /water/Low_Yield_Wells_Penn_State.pdf ] - , Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences, Cooperative Extension, School of Forest Resources, web search 07/24/2010, original source: http://pubs.cas.psu.edu/FreePubs/pdfs/XH0002.pdf
Water pressure tanks - how to diagnose the need for air, how to add air, stop water pump short cycling to avoid damage - water storage water pressure tank safety.
WATER PUMP REPAIR GUIDE an specific case offers an example of diagnosis of loss of water pressure, loss of water, and analyzes the actual repair cost
Crystal Clear Supply provides portable ceramic water filter purifiers and portable reverse osmosis water treatment equipment - see http://www.crystalclearsupply.com/category_s/7.htm
Handbook of Disinfectants and Antiseptics, Joseph M. Ascenzi (Editor), CRC, 1995, ISBN-10: 0824795245 ISBN-13: 978-0824795245 "The evaluation of chemical germicides predates the golden age of microbiology..." -
This well-focused, up-to-date reference details the current medical uses of antiseptics and disinfectants -- particularly in the control of hospital-acquired infections -- presenting methods for evaluating products to obtain regulatory approval and examining chemical, physical, and microbiological properties as well as the toxicology of the most widely used commercial chemicals.
Potable Aqua® emergency drinking water germicidal tablets are produced by the Wisconsin Pharmacal Co., Jackson WI 53037. 800-558-6614 pharmacalway.com
Principles and Practice of Disinfection, Preservation and Sterilization (Hardcover)
by A. D. Russell (Editor), W. B. Hugo (Editor), G. A. J. Ayliffe (Editor), Blackwell Science, 2004. ISBN-10: 1405101997, ISBN-13: 978-1405101998.
"This superb book is the best of its kind available and one that will undoubtedly be useful, if not essential, to workers in a variety of industries. Thirty-one distinguished specialists deal comprehensively with the subject matter indicated by the title ... The book is produced with care, is very readable with useful selected references at the end of each chapter and an excellent index. It is an essential source book for everyone interested in this field. For pharmacy undergraduates, it will complement the excellent text on pharmaceutical microbiology by two of the present editors."
The Pharmaceutical Journal: "This is an excellent book. It deals comprehensively and authoritatively with its subject with contributions from 31 distinguished specialists. There is a great deal to interest all those involved in hospital infection ... This book is exceptionally well laid out. There are well chosen references for each chapter and an excellent index. It is highly recommended." The Journal of Hospital Infection.: "The editors and authors must be congratulated for this excellent treatise on nonantibiotic antimicrobial measures in hospitals and industry ... The publication is highly recommended to hospital and research personnel, especially to clinical microbiologists, infection-control and environmental-safety specialists, pharmacists, and dieticians."
New England Journal of Medicine: City Hospital, Birmingham, UK. Covers the many methods of the elimination or prevention of microbial growth. Provides an historical overview, descriptions of the types of antimicrobial agents, factors affecting efficacy, evaluation methods, and types of resistance. Features sterilization methods, and more. Previous edition: c1999. DNLM: Sterilization--methods.
U.S. Army Field Manual 21-10, Field Hygiene and Sanitation, 1988, web search 07/02/2010, original source: http://www.enlisted.info/field-manuals/fm-21-10-field-hygiene-and-sanitation.shtml The purpose of this manual is to assist individual soldiers, unit commanders, leaders and field sanitation teams in preventing disease and environmental injuries. The manual provides information on preventive medicine measures (PMM) to the individual soldier as well as essential information for the unit commander, unit leaders, and the unit field sanitation team on applying unit level PMM.
When Technology Fails, Matthew Stein, Chelsea Green Publisher, 2008,493 pages. ISBN-10: 1933392452 ISBN-13: 978-1933392455, "... how to find and sterilize water in the face of utility failure, as well as practical information for dealing with water-quality issues even when the public tap water is still flowing". Mr. Stein's website is www.whentechfails.com/
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The Illustrated Home illustrates construction details and building components, a reference for owners & inspectors. Special Offer: For a 5% discount on any number of copies of the Illustrated Home purchased as a single order Enter INSPECTAILL in the order payment page "Promo/Redemption" space.
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The Home Reference Book - the Encyclopedia of Homes, Carson Dunlop & Associates, Toronto, Ontario, 25th Ed., 2012, is a bound volume of more than 450 illustrated pages that assist home inspectors and home owners in the inspection and detection of problems on buildings. The text is intended as a reference guide to help building owners operate and maintain their home effectively. Field inspection worksheets are included at the back of the volume.
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