You need to know how many loads of laundry per day is okay for your septic system because the amount of water flowing into your septic system daily can determine how well it functions. Excess water usage can flush undigested materials and solids out of your septic tank into the drain field where it does NOT belong. A 1000 gal septic tank is set up for 250 gals of water per day total usage. More than that you run the risk of flooding your drain field.
The answer to this question varies greatly on the type of washing machine you have. It’s estimated that US families wash 300 loads of laundry annually. You may be up to 40 gallons of water per load if you have an older washing machine. Newer, high-efficiency washer’s use as little as five to 15 gallons of water per load. Estimate the amount of water your machine uses per laundry load to help you set a safe laundry limit.
If you have a high-efficiency washing machine, you probably do not need to be concerned about the number of loads you wash daily unless you notice problems like flooding in the drain field or backups in your plumbing. These are signs that the septic system is getting overloaded or is not draining properly.
Laundry Tips to Ensure Septic Systems Work Properly
For those of us with regular washing machines, here are a few laundry tips that will help maintain the healthy bacteria balance in your septic system.
- Limit the number of loads you wash per day to a couple. As mentioned above, excess amounts of water may cause backups, flooding, or sewage leaks.
- Avoid peak times such as during the family’s morning showers or when the dishwasher is running.
- Do laundry intermittently rather than all in one day. Your septic system needs time to separate waste solids from liquids and treat the waste. Running several loads of laundry in a row can result in solids going into your drain field.
- Try to only do full loads of laundry, not partial loads. If you run partial loads, remember to set the washer to the smallest option.
If you feel that your septic system isn’t functioning correctly or you aren’t certain what is acceptable water usage for your system, contact an expert like Drain Doctor’s Rooter and Septic Service. The amount of water your septic system can handle depends on the septic tank size, your family’s water usage, and the condition of your system. An expert can help you prevent problems by helping you set save water usage limits.