Question? Just ask us!
Free Encyclopedia of Building & Environmental Inspection, Testing, Diagnosis, Repair
InspectAPedia ® Home
SEPTIC SYSTEM INSPECT DIAGNOSE REPAIR
SEPTIC CARE INSTRUCTIONS
SEPTIC D-BOX INSTALL REPAIR
SEPTIC DRAINFIELD FAILURE DIAGNOSIS
SEPTIC DYE TEST PROCEDURE
SEPTIC FAILURE SIGNS
SEPTIC INSPECTION & TEST GUIDE
SEPTIC LIFE EXPECTANCY
SEPTIC SUPPLIES & PARTS
SEPTIC SYSTEM DESIGN ALTERNATIVES
SEPTIC SYSTEM DESIGN BASICS
SEPTIC SYSTEMS, HOME BUYERS GUIDE to
SEPTIC SYSTEM SAFETY WARNINGS
SEPTIC TREATMENTS & CHEMICALS
SEWAGE BACKUP PREVENTION
SEWAGE EJECTOR / GRINDER PUMPS
SEWER GAS ODORS
SEWER LINE REPLACEMENT
SINKHOLES, WARNING SIGNS
SOAKAWAY BED FAILURE DIAGNOSIS
SULPHUR & SEWER GAS SMELL SOURCES
TOILETS, INSPECT, INSTALL, REPAIR
TRAPS on PLUMBING FIXTURES
TREATMENTS & CHEMICALS, SEPTIC
VIDEO GUIDES: Septic Videos
WATER CONSERVATION MEASURES
WATER SOFTENERS & CONDITIONERS
WATER SUPPLY & DRAIN PIPING
WATER, WELLS, WATER TANKS: TESTING GUIDE
WASHING MACHINES & SEPTIC SYSTEMS
WASTEWATER TREATMENT BASICS
WINTERIZE A BUILDING
Reverse Osmosis water purifier effects on a septic system: Does a home reverse osmosis water treatment system damage the septic system by the disposal of its concentrate water into the septic tank?
Green links show where you are. © Copyright 2014 InspectApedia.com, All Rights Reserved.
The good news is that reverse osmosis for water purification does not rely on chemicals that may be toxic when released in the environment. Reverse osmosis or RO water treatment systems work by passing water through a membrane that keeps contaminants on one side.
The down-side risk of high levels of reverse osmosis use in a property served by a septic tank and drainfield is that the system might be releasing an un-wanted quantity of additional water into the drainfield.
Reverse osmosis or R.O. water purifiers waste about four gallons of water for every gallon of purified water that they produce.
In normal use with a small point-of-use (POU) RO system (photo at left) such as one providing just a few gallons of purified water per day at a kitchen sink, the impact on a septic system is negligible.
But a large RO system may be a problem if the effluent absorbing capacity of the drainfield is limited.
Some designers or water treatment equipment providers such as Watts suggest routing the waste water produced by a reverse osmosis system back to the building plumbing system as gray water used for washing, bathing, or flushing toilets.
If you take this approach you can reduce the water waste from your R.O. system, possibly to zero.
If you plan to purchase a system that recycles wastewater from an RO water purifier, make sure that your system meets local plumbing codes - some systems, especially ones that do not further filter or treat the wastewater before it is recycled do not meet plumbing codes in some areas.More information about Reverse Osmosis for water treatment and purification can be found at Reverse Osmosis.
What about water volume from reverse osmosis water treatment systems? These can vary by manufacturer with a range of 3:1 to 10:1 of waste to product efficiency.
"Typically" for every gallon produced with a top of the line system, 3 to 5 gallons goes into the septic tank. Less efficient systems (regardless of shutoffs) can dump up to 10 gallons to waste for every gallon that goes into the storage tank. Don't despair...the membranes of ten years ago dumped up to twenty five gallons per gallon of product.
Ask the manufacturer of your reverse osmosis water treatment system for their efficiency, platform statement, and percent recovery data.
An excellent resource for membrane information is the National Sanitation Foundation. We are not confident about the generalized water quantity usage information obtained via EPA publications, Small Flows, etc.
If you ask reputable reverse osmosis treatment system manufacturers, you should be able to get reliable water usage and water flow information. -- Larry Newcomb Encinitas Learning Center
[Thanks to Larry Newcomb Encinitas Learning Center, firstname.lastname@example.org, for the above opinion--DJF]
Green link shows where you are in this article series.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
No FAQs have been posted for this page. Try the search box below or CONTACT US by email if you cannot find the answer you need at InspectApedia.
Check the FAQs just above, try the search box just below, or if you prefer, post a question or comment in the Comments box below and we will respond promptly.
Search the InspectApedia website
HTML Comment Box is loading comments...
Technical Reviewers & References
Related Topics, found near the top of this page suggest articles closely related to this one.