Does it matter if I do all my laundry in one day?

There are very few things that you could do that are more detrimental to your private onsite wastewater treatment system (POWTS). It is one of the quickest ways to cause your POWTS to fail. When people do all their laundry in one day, the high (peak) flow will cause the drain field to go anaerobic (without air). 

Your POWTS performs best in aerobic conditions. In aerobic (with air) conditions, a lot more bacteria are working to digest the organics (among other things) in the wastewater. The peak flows that flow into the septic tank from the home cause the settled solids to re-suspend themselves in the wastewater. During re-suspension, these solids get pushed out of the septic tank and end up in your piping network or drain field. When these additional solids end up in the drain field, it will accelerate the failure rate of the drain field. In other words, the drain field will fail much quicker than a POWTS that does not experience frequent peak flows. 

All septic tanks designed from about 1978 to the present were designed to allow for a 24-hour settling period for any solids or suspended solids entering the tank. By creating excessive peak flows, the solids settling cycle will be short-circuited and cause most suspended solids to leave the septic tank too soon. To help minimize the peak flow effects generated from the laundry process, homeowners should consider purchasing water-conserving, low-flow front-load washing machines. They typically will use about 1/3 of the amount of water per load as standard top-load washing machines.

Show All Answers

1. When do I need a sanitary permit for a POWTS?
2. How do I get a sanitary permit?
3. My septic system is not working anymore. How do I get it replaced with another septic system that works?
4. Does it matter if I do all my laundry in one day?
5. How long are soil tests (perk tests) for Private Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems (POWTS) good for?
6. Why do I need a sanitary permit?
7. How long is a sanitary permit good for?
8. I have heard of County sanitary permits – When are these issued?
9. Do mound systems really work?
10. Can anybody install a Private Onsite Wastewater Treatment System (POWTS)?
11. Can I have a food waste grinder installed in my home even though I have a POWTS?
12. How often should I pump my treatment tank(s)?
13. Are two-chamber or multi-chamber septic tanks better for your POWTS than single chamber tanks?
14. Does having a two-chamber septic tank help to reduce the maintenance frequency of my effluent filter?
15. How often do I have to service the effluent filter in my septic tank?
16. Is there financial assistance available for property owners whose POWTS has failed and needs to be replaced?
17. I see advertisements that say “if I buy this product I can reduce the pumping cost for my septic tank.” Does this really help?
18. How are Private Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems (POWTS) sized?
19. I want to get a zoning permit for my building addition, so why can’t I use the private onsite wastewater treatment system evaluation that was done when I purchased the home?
20. I have a mound POWTS and I want to landscape it. Can I plant trees and shrubs on or around it?