Where to Discharge Water Softener Backwash

Where to Discharge Water Softener Backwash? [Reuse it in 4 Ways]

When setting up your water softener, it’s obvious that the question of where to discharge the water softener’s backwash comes into your mind.

In this article, I will let you in on how you will not only discharge the water softener’s backwash but also protect the environment. 

Some common ways are lawns, sewage systems, septic drains, sump pumps, and a few more. 

Let’s just jump into more about how you can do it.

Where can you Discharge your Water Softener Backwash? 

Worry not, as there are multiple ways by which you can discharge your water softener backwash. They are –

At Lawn

The discharge of water softener backwash is very harmful to the environment as it contains hazardous chemicals that can especially harm the flora. 

So even though this option is the easiest when it comes to the discharge of water softener backwash, you need to make sure releasing it does not affect and kill the growth of plants or damage the soil.

To know more, read our guide on safely discharging water on a lawn

In Local Sewage System

This is one of the most convenient ways to discharge your water softener backwash. You can join your brine tank with your sewage system (known as cross-connection) to safely get rid of salt without harming the environment.

The only concern is that not all local sewage systems permit you to discharge your water softener backwash. Thus, wherever you reside, ensure you are aware of and follow the regulations of your local municipality before proceeding.

Water Softener Backwash in Septic Tank
Water Softener Backwash in Septic Tank

French Drain 

A french drain has similarities to a dry well, but the key difference is that a french drain has a horizontal structure. 

In short, a french drain requires more width than length, and when you want to discharge the backwater through the french drain, you would need a lengthy pipe and a ditch. 

Also, you compulsorily need to have some holes in the pipe. This is the key to letting go of all the salt into the ground. 

Discharge in Dry Well 

Dry wells – as they have deep holes and walls that will slowly but surely absorb backwash water, they are included in this list. Dry wells placed over water table (s) work the best as the water table(s) do not allow an instant release of sodium concentrations present in the backwater in our environment. 

Especially the ones over water tables not only regulate but also let go of the backwash in a way that is beneficial in multiple manners. 

In Septic Drain Field

A septic drain field consists of a drain field, making it very flexible for discharging your backwater. You also can detach the outlet pipe of your older septic tank and make some holes at the bottom of it so that it safely gets backwater released in the soil in small but constant quantities.

REMEMBER – Add pea stones to the septic tank when connecting it to your water softener. 

Sump Pump 

A sump pump directly connects to the drainage pipe, which goes out of your house and is located in a sump pit.

As soon as you join the sump pump to the drain line of your water softener, you just have to wait for the water to reach a certain height, the sump pit will set off and push out the backwash out the drainage pipe. 

To Surface

This is usually the last resort for discharging the backwater of your softener. This last option will need you to be aware of the subsurface discharge state rules you live in and information about your waste content as well. 

The distance between the well and the discharge point is supposed to be sufficient. if you are sure about opting for this system, consider installing a subsurface system to make things go smoothly. 

TIP – Check if the well you will be draining your backwash is around or more than 100 feet. The sturdiness of the whole system is the most vital here.

How to Use Water Softener Discharge? 

You can choose whether you want to discharge your water softener backwash straight into the ground or not. After making a choice, these are the several ways by which you can use concentrated sodium water without damaging your property :

  1. First and foremost, backwash water is great at being a natural weed killer. As salty water harms vegetation, if you plan to de-weed areas of your property, backwash water works flawlessly. The driveway and the patio are probably the best places to de-weed and discharge your water softener backwash. But, be careful while discharging the backwash, as a lack of caution may kill grass and plants you did not intend to.
  2. Slugs and snails are effectively taken care of by salt water. This drives them as far away as possible, making your plants and grass safe and secure. Sprinkle salt water, especially over the borders of your elegant garden, to keep your plants from getting eaten. 
  3. Also, if you reside in areas prone to icy winters, backwash water can be super useful for de-icing your driveways whenever necessary. Don’t overuse backwash water because it may damage the concrete.
  4. If you wish to keep some fishes (like clownfish, clown goby, green Chromis, and hawkfish) in your household aquarium, the fishes will benefit if you use backwash water for them. It’s recommended that you fill ⅔ portion of the tank with the brine solution and ⅓ portion with fresh water. You will see the results as your fish will be safe in this new environment and their stable growth. 

Draining the Water Softener Backwash 

Before performing a regulatory check or cleaning your water softener, you may manually drain the whole system.

Here are three options to drain your system –

  1. Although this option is the easiest in reality is the toughest to execute. You can set your water softener to the function where it performs its manual regeneration cycle. When the brine tank gets empty, skip the rest of the cyclic procedure.
  2. When you know that you cannot regenerate your water softener, opt for a wet and dry vacuum that will suck the water out of the brine tank and then fill the water in a bucket. 
  3. Pouring the water into your drain is the fastest option for draining your water softener backwash. Your water softener has to be in the bypass mode, then unhook the brine tank with care, and later, if needed, ask a friend to help you take out the water and pour it down the drain.


Best Way to Discharge Water Softener Backwash? 

If you have installed your water softener in the basement, then it’s best to drain it in the basement itself. Otherwise, you can opt for a floor drain, sump pump, and local sewage to discharge water softener backwash.

Is it ok to Drain the water softener in Septic Tank?

It is shown by research that it is absolutely fine to operate a water softener on the septic tank as it will not only be efficient but also have no negative effects on the environment if used correctly.

Is Backwash the same as Regeneration? 

The first cycle of regeneration is the backwash cycle, and the water flows inside the valve, then goes through the riser tube, and finally comes out through the collector. This water then goes up through the resin, causing an expansion of the resin and then coming out from the top of the tank to the drain.