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Does Shower Water Go Into Septic Tank

Most American households have a sewage system that treats waste generated in their houses. That’s a significant number of septic tanks.

If you’re reading this, you probably have a septic system on your property as well.

It is a general understanding that you need to flush the toilet. And all the waste will go straight to the septic tank. But what about the water from the shower?

Does shower water go into septic tanks as well?

Yes, the water from your shower enters the septic tank as well. Water from all other drains enters the septic systems. These septic tanks have a capacity of 1250 gallons. They do not require pumping before 3 to 5 years. But, these timeframes can certainly vary depending on the load of each property.

Still, have questions about how it all works? or what happens if the septic tank overflows? That’s where I come in with all the facts and information written specifically for you in this article.

Does Shower Water Go Into a Septic Tank

Yes, your shower water goes in your septic tank. The septic tank collects all of the wastewater that exits your home via a pipe.

These include shower water, kitchen sink water, laundry water,  and toilet water. But how does shower water go from the shower drain to the septic tank?

How Does a Shower Drain Work

The water that falls from the shower drains into the sewer system. The drain is built to keep sewage gasses out of the bathroom.

This drain opening needs to be watertight, otherwise, water will seep underneath the base area. And that will damage the shower floor.

When you take a shower, water runs down the drain. This water pressure creates a vacuum within it. The vacuum affects the flow of water and slows it down.

The drainage system incorporates a vent that allows water to flow more freely. The main vent or a branch is connected to the shower drainage. Air passes into the pipes through this vent.

If there is no venting, the vacuum formed may drain all of the water from the traps. This will make it totally unusable.

The water then runs into the main sewage drain. This main drain goes straight into the septic tank.

Sometimes shower water may not drain properly and continue to pool in the shower tray. This happens when the slope in the shower is not constructed properly.

The shower floor must be built with a downhill slope towards the drainage. This allows water to drain more easily and keeps soapy films from making the area slippery.

How Does All The Water End Up In The Septic Tank

Each drain in a house is connected to a single line that goes to the septic tank. This septic tank is installed outside. The wastewater from your kitchen, sinks, washing machine, toilet, and shower are combined as it leaves your home.

It starts to separate as it reaches the septic tank. Sludge, the heaviest particle matter in the waste, settles at the bottom. 

On the other hand, protein, fats, and oils produce a floating scum layer at the top of the tank.

The relatively clear liquid layer known as effluent or gray water is in the middle. All of these combined are called septage.

How Much Water Can a Septic Tank Hold

Most household tanks have capacities ranging from 750 to 1,250 gallons. Furthermore, the average human appears to use 60 – 70 gallons of water every day. 

The contractors chose plumbing hardware based on the size of the house when installing septic systems. It all ultimately comes down to how much water you use on a daily basis.

The size of the tank you’ll need is also influenced by the number of family members. The cost of setting up the septic system also varies due to these conditions.

What Happens When the Septic Tank Fills Up

Sometimes tanks are completely filled and there’s no space for solids to be stored. This is when the particle starts to float with water. These particles are the ones that have been accumulated near the drain pipes.

And with time they have softened enough to float with the water. Along with this floatable nature, pressure on the bottom layer makes these particles easy to escape.

These particles are not substantial enough to pose an immediate threat. But a strong odor will be surrounding your property during this time.

Can You Shower With A Full Septic Tank

Yes, you can still take a shower with a full septic tank. But slow seepage is the most likely issue you’ll encounter. As the septic tank fills up, the water will start to drain more slowly.

In some cases, the shower drains don’t lead to septic systems. Those pipes are directly connected to sewage pipes. Builders opt for these types of connections because there is no solid waste in shower drains.

But these types of connections are quite uncommon. In most houses, the toilet drain and shower drains are connected by the builders. 

Showering is fine while the septic tank is full because it only contains liquid water. But it is better to avoid it during this time.

What To Do When Your Septic Tank Is Overloaded

If overloaded, your septic tank will not be able to settle adequate solids. It will fail to manage proper bacterial activity which will result in clogging. You need to adjust your indoor activities, as well as ensure outdoor water conservation. 

Limit Indoor Activities

Minimizing water waste is one of the solutions to prevent overloading the septic tank. You need to develop a routine for avoiding excessive wastage of water. 

You need to regularly do your laundry instead of cleaning them all at once. Using front-loading washers at full capacity can ensure maximum usage of water. It will help you to avoid pushing too much wastewater into your septic tank. 

You may also conserve water by taking less time to shower. You may use showerheads that are water-efficient and control the water flow rate. 

It is suggested that using showerheads with a capacity of 2gpm flow rate can help you minimize water wastage. 

Also, instead of flushing often, try to use your toilet several times. You may also use a bin to dispose of your tissues to reduce the amount of flushing.

Limit Outdoor Activities

We often use water for various outdoor activities that can contribute to water wastage. If you need to care for your lawn, you can use a deep irrigation system. It will reduce your water usage and you can maintain the schedule of the irrigation system. 

Similar to the water flow rate of your shower, you can reduce it by adjusting the garden hose. Using pistons with a shut-off function or micro-sprays can be effective for this process. 

How Often Should Your Septic Tank Be Emptied

There are a number of reasons that contribute to the requirement of pumping the septic tank. It is important to pump out a septic tank every 3 to 5 years, on average.

The actual timing will be determined primarily by how frequently you and your family utilize the septic system. 

In case yours is a large family, drain your septic tank frequently. The septic tank will also fill faster if you take more showers and for longer periods.

If there are a lot of members, I would drain the tank every three years. You could easily pump every 5 to 10 years in the case of a small family. The cost for pumping the septic tank is also less in this case.

Signs That Your Septic Tank Needs Cleaning 

Aside from scheduled maintenance of the septic tank, you should be aware of when your tanks require cleaning. Fortunately, there will be a couple of warning signs:

In the case of plumbing, foul odors might imply a variety of things. The majority of the time, a foul odor indicates that a pipe or fixture is clogged.

But a persistent unpleasant smell in all of your fixtures is different. It means that the time to clean your septic tank has come. When you notice the odor, immediately check the tank to know its condition.

When your tank is clogged, you’ll have more waste leaking into your field. This waste might be less refined than usual. Surprisingly, this additional waste is beneficial to your lawn for a short period of time.

Because this excrement creates excellent fertilizer. But as the grass is greener, it’s also time for cleaning the tank.

If one fixture drains slowly, it is most likely clogged. But if all of your fixtures are taking a long time to drain, your tank is overflowing.

Roots entering the input line can also cause this. But in either case, you’ll need to contact a plumber for cleaning.

Sewage entering your tubs and showers is another more obvious sign that it’s time to clean.

All the drain cleaners are safe to use for cleaning the septic tank. But these specific cleaners are mostly recommended:

Product 1
Product 2


Is there a common drain for the toilet and the shower?

Toilets and showers can share the same drain, but not the same waste trap arm. Other points to note are whether your drains connect to the main sewage line. And whether your city or town uses septic tanks.

What is causing my sewage to back up in my shower?

The most typical cause of sewage flowing up into your shower is a blocked sewer line. All of your tubs, sinks, and toilets are connected to a single drain pipe. This pipe goes to your house’s sewer line. If there’s sewage coming up you need to clean your drains as soon as possible.

Is it true that showers waste water?

Yes, showers do waste a lot of water. Usually showers last around eight minutes on average. Each shower wastes more than 16 gallons of water. This is because the showerheads have a flow of 2.1 gallons of water per minute.

Final Words

You have a clear understanding now of does shower water go into septic tank. The majority of houses are constructed in such a way that all drained water is directed to the septic tank.

But some houses can be different too. Keeping the tank clean and not wasting additional water is a viable strategy to avoid problems.

That’s all we had to say. Until next time.