A dry well for water softener is a structural feature used to manage the excess water that is a byproduct of a water softener system. Much of the water that flows through a water softener system is drained due to cleansing and regeneration of the filter media in the water softener tank.
The discharge of this excess water into a dry well is the easiest and most economical way to manage the excessive water removal.
A dry well is usually a large container filled with gravel or stone that has an adequate size pipe running into it that allows the water softener water to enter and settle. Once the water settles, a drain tile system or French drain allows the water to soak into the ground.
Because of the dry well’s construction, it can potentially accept more water than just what a water softener can produce. This allows any water overflow to be safely directed away from the home’s foundation and can provide added protection to the home.
Dry wells are also beneficial in preventing water from flooding the yard and basement after an inch or more of rain. In addition, it can keep water from getting in crawlspaces, keeping a watchful eye on any water backing up from the street or neighbor’s property.
A dry well for a water softener offers a cost-effective and environmentally sustainable solution for water control and management.
What is considered a dry well?
A dry well is a mechanical structure used to release water that has accumulated beneath the surface into the subsoil. Generally, dry wells are used to reduce water standing in lawns and basements, plus alleviate normal drainage problems associated with rainwater runoff.
Dry wells are also considered to be an alternate form of onsite sewage disposal, where solid waste is filtered and discharged into underground soils.
Typically, a dry well is constructed by digging a shallow excavation and lined with a permeable material or seepage trench. Once the dry well is built, the inflow is connected to the downspout or sump pump, allowing for water to enter the structure and dissipate into the surrounding soil.
The rate of dissipation depends on soil type, with clay soils being more efficient in filtering and dispersing water than sandy soil.
In some areas, dry wells are not allowed as an alternate form of onsite sewage disposal. They are typically installed in yards to reduce standing water and redirect water away from a structure’s foundation, though purging soil tests before construction is typically necessary.
Dry wells must be regularly maintained to ensure that the dry well has been constructed properly, and to ensure the structure is clear of debris and still operational.
Is a dry well a good idea?
A dry well can be a good way to manage or store excess water on your property. They are most commonly used in areas where water runoff can be an issue, such as hillsides, areas with poor drainage, or places where water runoff is a concern due to flooding.
A dry well works by collecting and dispersing excess rainwater and melting snow through a series of perforated pipes. The water is then infiltrated into the surrounding soil where it can either evaporate or be absorbed into the ground – saving the area from increased water runoff and possible erosion.
Dry wells can be exceptionally useful for managing the water flow in your property and helping to prevent flooding, all the while allowing for a more sustainable natural water cycle.
How do you fill a dry well?
Filling a dry well can be a difficult process, depending on the depth, size, and amount of water needed. Generally it involves mounting a pump below the water table and using it to pump water from below ground.
The water is then directed into the dry well. This process can take some time depending on the dry well size.
Other common ways to fill a dry well include diverting runoff water, roof-runoff and surface water into the dry well. If nearby ponds, streams or groundwater are available, connecting them to the dry well may be an option.
Additionally, a sump pump mounted in the bottom of the dry well and connected to a garden hose can be used to fill it with water from nearby sources.
It is important to ensure that the dry well is properly designed to handle the water volume needed to fill it. An engineer must assess the soil type and determine whether structural reinforcement is necessary to support the desired water pressure and volume.
In some cases, expanding the dry well and reinforcing its walls may be necessary to avoid structural collapse.
Where does the water in a drywell go?
The water that is directed to a drywell is typically surface runoff from areas such as driveways, yards, and roofs. The water is then routed through perforated pipe or other drainage systems and is directed down into the drywell.
The drywell is typically a hole that is filled with gravel, allowing the water to enter and exit the drywell easily. Within the drywell, the water is naturally filtered and is eventually released back into the soil.
Depending on the depth of the drywell, the water may be absorbed into the groundwater or can be released back into the surface-water system. The groundwater system consists of an aquifer, which is a layer in the ground composed of permeable materials that can absorb and store large amounts of water.
Over time, the water that enters a drywell is naturally filtered and released back into the soil and can sometimes replenish aquifers.
Do dry wells need maintenance?
Yes, dry wells need maintenance. It is important to ensure that the well is properly sized and installed, and that the soil around it is well compacted. Additionally, it is important to check for debris that might have settled into the well and to make sure the surrounding area is free from contaminants and debris that could clog the well.
Propper maintenance also includes inspecting the well cover to make sure it is not damaged and that it is secure. It may also be necessary to check and clean the distribution lines to ensure they are not clogged and to check the pump assembly and make any necessary repairs or replacements.
Finally, it is also important to regularly maintain the well water quality by measuring the water depth and checking the discharge levels to ensure they are in compliance with local regulations.
Will a dry well refill?
A dry well is a pit, or hole, dug in the ground and filled with rock, gravel, or other material in order to collect and store water. Generally, a dry well will not refill on its own. Dry wells are not connected to water sources, so they must be manually filled with water in order for them to work properly.
In many cases, a dry well is used in conjunction with a regular water supply, and can be used to divert excess water away from the home or property. In order for it to be effective, it often needs to be regularly refilled with fresh water.
An alternative option is to use a wet well, which is similar to a dry well but is connected to a water source, such as a nearby river or lake. This type of well is self-refilling, so there is no need to manually add water.
How does a dry well fail?
A dry well can fail for several reasons. If it is not installed properly, the dry well can become filled with sediment or debris that can cause clogs, which prevents proper drainage. If the dry well is installed too shallow, it can become filled with water, leading to water backup and flooding.
If the water table is too high around the dry well, it can become overwhelmed with water, leading to the same result.
In addition, improper maintenance can also cause a dry well failure. For example, if the dry well is not regularly cleared of sediment, it can start to fill up, causing the dry well to be blocked or “plugged”.
This will prevent the infiltration of water into the ground, as the dry well is meant to do.
In some cases, dry wells may become damaged or collapse. This can happen if the dry well is not securely fastened or is made out of poor quality materials. In extreme cases, earthquakes and other natural disasters can also cause dry wells to fail.
Where should a dry well be placed?
The ideal place to put a dry well is in the lowest area of your yard or location that is not subject to flooding. You should also make sure that the area where you wish to install the dry well is well away from your home, septic system, or any other areas of your yard that need to be protected.
You should also avoid placing the dry well in a location that will be heavily used, or beneath trees with deep root systems, or beneath concrete structures or driveways. When preparing the area, you should also make sure to leave at least a few feet of space between the dry well and any structures as well as a foot or two of extra space if you plan to eventually use the dry well for groundwater recharge.
The best location is an area with a layer of adequate drainage gravel and a soil that is well-drained and permeable. Additionally, you should make sure to place the dry well far enough from any surface water sources (e.
g. ponds, swales, etc. ) that should not become contaminated by the discharge water.
Can you drain water softener into yard?
No, you typically should not drain water softener into your yard as this can lead to improper drainage and waterlogging. Depending on your location and the type of soil you have, it can also cause other problems such as soil contamination and increased levels of salt or minerals that can be harmful to plants or animals.
In some locations discharging this type of water into a street or sewer can also be against local laws.
The best option is to install a drain that goes into the proper sewer system, though you may need to hire a professional to do the installation. An even better option is to install a backwash system, which returns the softened water into the brine tank for reuse.
This will save you water and money, as well as helping protect your outdoor environment.
Where do I drain my water softener discharge?
The best place to drain your water softener discharge is into a floor drain, a laundry tub, or a sump pit with a pump. For safety and to avoid any potential damage to the sewage system, ensure that the discharge line is not submerged and has the correct pitch for gravity drainage.
If a drain is not available, you may be able to discharge the water onto your lawn as long as it is not restricted from doing so by a local or state ordinance. However, be mindful that the lawn may become oversaturated and could possibly drown the grass roots.
To prevent this, use a filter to remove any chlorine, bleach or other additives present in the water. If you choose to discharge onto your lawn, you will also want to investigate any additional steps you need to take to prevent contamination of local water sources.
What can I do with water softener waste water?
Water softener waste water, or brine water, can be reused in a variety of ways. The most common use is to irrigate plants and gardens, making sure the salt content is diluted properly. It can also be used to fill your outdoor swimming pool, while using less fresh water.
In addition, it can be used around your home to wash cars, driveways, and other hard surfaces, eliminating the need for additional soaps and chemicals. It can also be used to clean tools and machinery.
Furthermore, brine water can be used in a construction site for wetting down dirt before compacting it and for dust control. Other ways to use water softener waste water include cleaning windows, for vehicle washing, and sprinkling onto icy sidewalks and driveways to help melt snow and ice.
How do I bypass my water softener to water my lawn?
If you need to bypass your water softener in order to water your lawn, it is important to understand the basics of how a water softener works and how it affects the water supply it is attached to. Generally speaking, a water softener is a device that is designed to reduce the amount of hard minerals (such as calcium, magnesium and iron) in your water supply by exchanging the hard minerals with salt.
This keeps your water supply fresh and prevents your water system from suffering the ill effects of hard water.
If you need to bypass your water softener in order to water your lawn, the first thing you will need to do is to locate the bypass valve. Generally, the bypass valve will be a valve located near the inlet valve on your water softener system.
After you have located and identified the bypass valve, you will need to place a garden hose where the inlet valve was connected. Then, you will need to open the bypass valve and adjust it to allow a gradual water flow from the garden hose.
Once this is done, you will be ready to use the garden hose to water your lawn.
Bypassing your water softener is not a complicated process but it is important to understand that it is done for specific purposes. If you use your garden hose to water your lawn while bypassing your water softener, you will be exposing your lawn to the hard water minerals – which can be caused by both positive and negative effects.
It is recommended that you regularly monitor your water quality in order to ensure that your lawn is not being damaged by the exposure of these hard minerals.
Does a water softener go to outside faucets?
No, a water softener does not generally go to outside faucets. Water softeners are typically installed on the main supply line for your indoor pipes, and the softened water can then be used through all interior faucets, showers, and appliances that use water.
It is not recommended to use a water softener outside, since the softened water can have an undesired effect on plants, lawns, and even the soil and water supply in general. If your outside faucet is supplying unfiltered water and you have a heavy mineral content in your water supply, you may need to install another filtration system to improve the quality of your outdoor water supply.
Adding a chlorine filter, UV filter, or sediment filter can help purify your outdoor water without the need to soften it.
How many gallons does a water softener discharge?
The amount of water that a water softener discharges depends on the size and capacity of the softener itself. Generally speaking, a standard water softener tank can hold somewhere between 250 to 3,000 gallons of water, and should be regenerated every one to four weeks.
This means that when the unit regenerates itself, it will release the same amount of water that it holds. For example, an average water softener tank of about 250 gallons will release roughly 250 gallons of water during every regeneration cycle.
Therefore, it is important to ensure that your unit is sized appropriately for your water demands in order to avoid any possible flooding within your home.