Acceptable Daily Loads of Laundry with a Septic System

More Than Two Loads of Laundry Can Harm Your Septic System

You might be wondering what the acceptable daily loads of laundry with a septic system may be. Some households in the Christiansburg, VA, area might accumulate so much laundry that they do three to five and even more loads in one day. But that can be harmful for septic system because it puts a tremendous amount of stress on it. We suggest limiting to just one or two per day. Maybe you’ve never even thought of the linkage between the laundry and the septic system.

At Montgomery Sanitation, we have years of experience in seeing what happens when the septic system is taxed by heavy daily laundry loads. We want to pass on our experience and knowledge to our homeowners who aren’t familiar with how multiple loads of laundry affects the septic system.


Do Full Laundry Loads to Maximize Your Water Use

Homeowners should make sure they’re only doing full laundry loads in order maximize their water use. When too much water passes through a septic tank, it doesn’t have enough time to filter out solids properly. The result can become expensive for the homeowner as clogs slip into the leach field, also called a drain field, causing the septic system to back up or leak into the yard. As we have talked about in our Jan. 1, 2021 blog post How to Avoid Drain Field Problems, a broken drain field can cost a few hundred dollars. A complete drain field replacement could cost anywhere between $2,000 and $10,000. When you encounter drain field issues, call Montgomery Sanitation for our services.


Montgomery Sanitation Suggests Spacing Out Laundry Loads

The first thing you should consider is spacing out your laundry loads. By spacing out your laundry loads and by not doing three or more loads in a short time frame, you serve two purposes. By limiting and spacing laundry loads out, you’re helping to increase the time over which you introduce harmful detergents and soaps to the system. You’re also easing capacity pressures placed on your system by adding the volume to the system over time. Your septic system is able to treat an additional 100 to 200 gallons of wastewater over six hours easier than dumping 100 to 200 gallons into the septic system in a short amount of time.


Most Older Washing Machines Use 30 to 40 Gallons of Water Per Load

Most washing machines use between 30 and 40 gallons of water per load. Newer, high-efficiency washing machines use as little as five to 15 gallons of water per load, so you might consider buying a newer washing machine. Residents who have older washing machines and do five loads of laundry in one day, can pump at least 150 gallons of water into the lateral lines. Most older septic systems have a 600 to 900 square-foot absorption area. Five loads of laundry a day would be the maximum a 600 square-foot system could handle. But that doesn’t allow you to use water for showering, flushing the toilet, running the dishwasher, and other tasks.


Understanding the Limits of Your Septic System

No matter the type of washing machine you own, it’s important to understand your septic system. explains the risks you take when you wash multiple loads of laundry in one day:

“If you take a look at the conservative side of things, you probably shouldn’t do more than one load on a single day. If you are more liberal, you might be able to get away with three. However, this is a seriously risky idea. Septic tanks are meant to separate solid waste from liquid waste. If they don’t have adequate time to let the solids separate, your septic tank may send out solid waste into the drainage area. Or, in some cases, it can cause a flood. This is why most septic tanks need at least a day between laundry loads.”

Source: How Many Loads Of Laundry Can I Do With A Septic Tank? – Upgraded Home


Proudly Serving the New River Valley with Reliable Services

Montgomery Sanitation proudly provides our entire area with reliable and affordable septic system service. We work from our home base in Christiansburg, VA, into Blacksburg, VA, and across Montgomery County, VA. We have served the New River Valley and surrounding areas for more than six decades, and we proudly continue to do so. We understand that a septic system issue needs addressed quickly, so our team will respond as soon as we can. We always offer free quotes on every job.

We care about our neighbors and our communities, and we want their septic systems to work at peak efficiency. We try to keep our neighbors informed, including why they should limit their clothes washing in one day. When you need septic tank pumping, cleaning, and maintenance, make the smart choice, and call us!


For more information how many loads of laundry you should do in a day, give Montgomery Sanitation a call at (540) 382-2205 or follow us on Facebook. We can help you to determine the acceptable daily loads of laundry.