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Old 05-10-2010, 09:06 PM   #1
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Default Can a septic system handle latex paint?

Well to make a long story short, after two back ups, and one pump out, my 10 year old septic system is not leaching properly. We have only lived here 5 years, and I am not sure if the tank was ever pumped before we came. I started my one man operation in 2007, and at that time 5 adults lived here. One year ago two were married off, and now have returned.

Now the inspection wells have water standing in them, and "water" gurgles out from the lid on high use days. One company I called uses a method called "Terra Lift" to inject perlite, and stir up the soil so that the percolation returns. This will cost $1200.

Anyway I am not sure what exactly caused all this, but the pros told me that it could be a number of things, including bleach, anti-bacterial soaps, and paint. I gather that the failure is mainly a bacterial imbalance, since there are no compaction issues.

Well I guess that I made it a long story, but my questions are, does anyone have any ideas why this happened, and if you have a septic system, do you wash your rollers, and brushes at home?

Any input gratefully appreciated.
Happy painting Paul.

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Old 05-10-2010, 09:09 PM   #2
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You should get it pumped every year or two as a matter of course.

Latex paint kills the bacteria that breaks down your dukies in the tank. You would have to be cleaning alot of brushes over a good period of time though. Stool softener helps too.

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Old 05-10-2010, 09:15 PM   #3
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We (2 adults) have had a septic for 13 years, never pumped it, no problems.
Do you have trees around your leach lines? If the leach lines/bed get roots/compacted then the tank has no where to empty.
Are you able to reroute the wastewater from your washing machine so it does not go in the septic?
A lot depends on the size of the tank and the type of leach field.
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Old 05-10-2010, 09:17 PM   #4
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Thanks Vermontpainter, I think my stepson could use the stool softener, he is the only one here who can stop a stool. And then I thought, what is in latex paint like Duration, Superpaint, etc that is a bacteria killer?
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Old 05-10-2010, 09:18 PM   #5
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My septic is older than dirt. So, we are trying to limp it through another 20 years. Most people probably dont need to be so proactive.

True story about the long term effects of latex on the system.
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Old 05-10-2010, 09:18 PM   #6
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I have never had any problems, I guess it would depend on how much latex you are pushing in there though.
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Old 05-10-2010, 09:19 PM   #7
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No trees.
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Old 05-10-2010, 09:20 PM   #8
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I have never had any problems, I guess it would depend on how much latex you are pushing in there though.
The quality of the poo is a factor as well. For folks with abnormally loose discharge from the bowels, additional latex in the septic will have little effect as the bacteria doesnt have to work too hard to break it down. For hard stoolers, less latex is better. As with most paint related matters, it will be different for everyone.
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Old 05-10-2010, 09:21 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul_R View Post
Well to make a long story short, after two back ups, and one pump out, my 10 year old septic system is not leaching properly. We have only lived here 5 years, and I am not sure if the tank was ever pumped before we came. I started my one man operation in 2007, and at that time 5 adults lived here. One year ago two were married off, and now have returned.

Now the inspection wells have water standing in them, and "water" gurgles out from the lid on high use days. One company I called uses a method called "Terra Lift" to inject perlite, and stir up the soil so that the percolation returns. This will cost $1200.

Anyway I am not sure what exactly caused all this, but the pros told me that it could be a number of things, including bleach, anti-bacterial soaps, and paint. I gather that the failure is mainly a bacterial imbalance, since there are no compaction issues.

Well I guess that I made it a long story, but my questions are, does anyone have any ideas why this happened, and if you have a septic system, do you wash your rollers, and brushes at home?

Any input gratefully appreciated.
Happy painting Paul.
The long and the short of it is,,, you have a tank, the solids go to the bottom to be de-compossed, and the liquid goes out the drain fields. IF the drain fields will not accept the liquid, you are screwed. We had a problem this year, cause we had so much rain, that the ground was saturateted. If you are sending water into ground that is full of water,,, well,,, it ain't going no-where. Over a period of time,,, like 10 years or so, you need to pump the tank, cause we send stuff there that ought not to be there, like dental floss and pads, for instance, and oh yeah, cigarette butts too. Your tank NEVER goes bad, its just a tank. SO either you are sending it stuff that WON'T decompose, or your sending it stuff that KILLS the good bacteria (latex paint won't hurt it) OR your drain fields will not accept the water, 1) cause they are already full of water,, or 2) roots have grown in them and they can't work anymore.

just saying ya know,,,,,,, as a lowballer, I have had to fix my own tank all my life,,, heehee,, naw really, when I was in high school, the only job in town was a septic tank company.
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Old 05-10-2010, 09:21 PM   #10
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My septic is older than dirt. So, we are trying to limp it through another 20 years. Most people probably dont need to be so proactive.

True story about the long term effects of latex on the system.
I can believe it. I try to not use bleach or harsh cleaners.
Do any of you use any of the Rid X type products that you add monthly? Or Yeast? I never have.
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Old 05-10-2010, 09:21 PM   #11
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Thanks Vermontpainter, I think my stepson could use the stool softener, he is the only one here who can stop a stool. And then I thought, what is in latex paint like Duration, Superpaint, etc that is a bacteria killer?
I believe that there are additives intended to just keep the product fresh in the can, then whatever goes into moisture and mildew resistance, sheen, etc. We need a formulator on site.
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Old 05-10-2010, 09:22 PM   #12
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I might wash 2-3 brushes a night, and maybe a roller cover. Seems to me that I couldnt put more than a cup or two of paint down the drain into a 1500 gallon tank.
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Old 05-10-2010, 09:22 PM   #13
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The quality of the poo is a factor as well. For folks with abnormally loose discharge from the bowels, additional latex in the septic will have little effect as the bacteria doesnt have to work too hard to break it down. For hard stoolers, less latex is better. As with most paint related matters, it will be different for everyone.
A whole new side of you has just been revealed. Poo-oligist?

I prefer to soil my yard with a little latex paint rather than my septic.
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Old 05-10-2010, 09:24 PM   #14
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I might wash 2-3 brushes a night, and maybe a roller cover. Seems to me that I couldnt put more than a cup or two of paint down the drain into a 1500 gallon tank.
Stop washing roller covers Paul. Its not worth your time and its putting alot of paint in the tank.
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Old 05-10-2010, 09:24 PM   #15
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I might wash 2-3 brushes a night, and maybe a roller cover. Seems to me that I couldnt put more than a cup or two of paint down the drain into a 1500 gallon tank.
Yes, but how much water went down the drain as well?
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Old 05-10-2010, 09:25 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vermontpainter View Post
The quality of the poo is a factor as well. For folks with abnormally loose discharge from the bowels, additional latex in the septic will have little effect as the bacteria doesnt have to work too hard to break it down. For hard stoolers, less latex is better. As with most paint related matters, it will be different for everyone.
Nice to know we can count on you for the latest in poopology!
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Old 05-10-2010, 09:26 PM   #17
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Nice to know we can count on you for the latest in poopology!
I've been taking colon blow. You know how obsessive I can be.
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Old 05-10-2010, 09:30 PM   #18
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Cmon guys, have you eer seen ANYONE that talk POO better than Vermont????

THink about it !!!
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Old 05-10-2010, 09:31 PM   #19
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This is a hot topic. Thanks Paul.
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Old 05-10-2010, 09:33 PM   #20
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I highly, highly recommend those septic sage wet wipes. Thats alls I'm gonna say on that.

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