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Why A Sump Pump Should Not Drain Into A Septic System

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If you ever experience water in your basement, installing a sump pump is a great idea. This pump will keep water out of your basement, which will keep your home dry and safe. If you decide to get a sump pump, you should make sure it is not connected to your septic system, though. Sometimes sump pumps are, but this can lead to problems. Here are three things to understand about sump pumps, water, and septic systems.

How A Sump Pump Works

A sump pump is a device installed in a pit in a basement floor. It operates on electricity, but some have battery backups. When the water level near the pit reaches a certain height, the pump detects it and kicks on. It then pumps this water up and pushes it out of the house.

While it might make sense to run the sump pipes to your septic system, this is not recommended. The pipes should actually extend into your yard, as far away from your home as possible. If your yard is large, you could have the pipes run 20 feet or farther away from your house. With a small yard, this is not always possible.

The pipe running from the sump pump should be angled at a slight decline from the house. This helps the water move naturally through the pipe.

Why The Water Should Not Enter The Septic

The water pumped by a sump pump is clean water. Because it is clean, it does not need to be processed. This water comes from rain, and it can enter the ground without causing any harm to soil, plants, or people. In addition, adding all this clean water to your septic system will cause issues.

When a contractor installs a septic system, the contractor must size the system. Sizing a system involves looking at the size of the house and the number of people living in the home. This will help the contractor determine how big the system must be to handle the normal water supply for this particular house. The contractor does not take into consideration adding extra water from other sources.

Running the sump pump to the septic system could cause the following problems:

  • An overload to the system – Sump pumps tend to run after large rainfalls. If it rains for days or weeks and this water is all placed in the tank, the septic system may fail. The system can only process water so quickly. When it cannot keep up, the system will begin forcing water out of it before it processes the water.
  • The normal breakdown process is disrupted – The second issue that can happen is problems with breaking down the solids in the system. A septic system relies on bacteria to break down solids. When too much water enters the system, it dilutes the water in it, which directly affects the bacteria needed. Without enough bacteria, the system will not be able to function properly.

Another issue this can lead to is a dry yard. If all the rain water ends up in your septic, the ground around your house may become really dry.

Other Ways Systems Get Too Much Water

While having a sump pump connected to your septic can overload the system, you may also be overloading the system with too much water in other ways. When you have a septic system, it's important to control your water usage and even it out. Here are some practical tips to help you with this:

  • Reduce your shower time to around five minutes
  • Spread showers out among family members so they do not all take place during the same hour
  • Avoid doing all your laundry in one day
  • Install water restriction faucets in your home

When you end up getting a sump pump, you should make sure the contractor does not connect it to your system. You can also protect your system by finding other ways to control the amount of water you use in your home. If your system is currently having problems, you can hire a company that offers septic tank cleaning to come and pump it out. Follow the link to learn more about this service.


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