Lead and septic systems


March 12, 2013, 09:22 PM
When I wash my recovered brass in soap and water, there is some small amount of lead from the primer in the water. Right now, it goes down the storm drain. I'm moving to a new house soon that has a septic system and no storm drain. For that matter, there's a small amount of lead/copper on my hands from reloading too.

What is the effect of this lead in my septic system and drain field? Is this something I need to worry about? If so, what other means are there for disposing of this water?


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March 12, 2013, 09:28 PM
it'll cause your babies to be born naked

March 12, 2013, 09:30 PM
If you live in California, jackbooted thugs will kick in your door. knock on wood

March 12, 2013, 09:32 PM
Just don't shoot the septic tank. That will give it lead poison for sure.

March 12, 2013, 09:34 PM
I've lived with a septic system all my life. My father and his fater and myself are pipefitters and have a fair working knowledge of plumbing related things. There is a lot of misinformation, wives-tales and just plain lies floating around about septic systems, ranging from coffee grounds, to disposals, to you name it. Putting the trace ammounts of heavy metals you are talking about would have absolutley no effect on your field or the "ballance" of bacteria. It takes ton of abuse to make a system stop working and it usually centers around feminine hygiene products. The lead that isn't dissolved would settle to the bottom where it will be pumped out with the rest of your solids when that is nessasary. Cold water does not dissolve lead to any appreciable ammount.

March 12, 2013, 09:40 PM
Don't lick the gray off your fingers and get something else to worry about.

March 12, 2013, 09:41 PM
Your septic tank enzyme will be born with web feet & hands instead of blobs for locomotion.

Be VERY cautious if you go outside at night!

so, what other means are there for disposing of this water?While going outside at night, pour it in your neighbors flower bed.
But be very cautious while doing it.

Or, stop washing brass, and drying brass, and get a tumbler like everyone else.


March 13, 2013, 09:13 AM
You guys are starting to become butts. At least there was one good answer.

If people only knew what they dump down there drains. People freaked out when I said to dump a battery down the drain a year ago. Read what drain cleaner is. Think how much vinegar gets dumped down the drain. That is some nasty avoid there.

Your lead won't hurt a thing like said it will just go to the bottom. It came from the ground & will return to the ground.

March 13, 2013, 09:30 AM
Seriously, when plumbing drain pipes were cast iron, before PVC, the joints were sealed with oakum and lead. No problems then, no problem now, your septic tank can handle it.

March 13, 2013, 10:23 AM
Heck, DWV pipe used to be lead!!! It is sought after by bullet casters. I have had a small stash from a plumbing buddy. Soft lead for sure.

March 13, 2013, 10:58 AM
Just don't dig a shallow well for drinking water next to your septic tank.


You are doing more harm to the ecosystem right now when your junk goes into the storm drain. That water flows into the local creeks. You'd better be on the lookout for giant mutant man-eating ducks. Qwawk-Qwawk

March 13, 2013, 11:07 AM
In parts of the country lead water mains are still in use.

March 13, 2013, 11:09 AM
Semi-serious answer; I would think there is not enough lead in the brass wash water to make any difference. Lead is also naturally occuring is some lakes and streams, it's not always from some nasty polluter...

poor man
March 13, 2013, 11:47 AM
My though on this there is no way in hell i would post on a public forum that i dump lead water in a storm drain!!! LOL you will have green peace at your front door !!!! they got a guy in a town by me for pouring antifreeze down a storm drain,,,, it was the greeny kind that is safe for the environment so he thought it would be ok to dump,,, they fined him like 450.00 :(

March 13, 2013, 11:56 AM
You could always get a pet Condor. just kidding!

March 13, 2013, 01:20 PM
it'll cause your babies to be born naked
lol :D

March 14, 2013, 01:53 PM
You could always get a pet Condor. just kidding!
Only if you live in California!

March 14, 2013, 02:53 PM
If it makes you feel better, you could just let the water evaporate, and treat the remainng sludge as hazmat, and dispose of properly.

tightgroup tiger
March 14, 2013, 04:08 PM
Some of you aren't old enough to remember all the septic systems drains in basements that used lead pipe or 3' cast iron pipe with lead seams.

but I must warn you that dumping liquid with lead in it may, in addition to giving the bacteria webbed hands and feet, they may also have 3 eyes.

Couldn't resist, Dump it down you drain and don't worry about it.

March 14, 2013, 04:21 PM
Having lived with a septic system my whole life, trouble free might I add, I can guarantee flushing your brass water into the drain won't do squat.

As long as your family doesn't send insane amounts of cleaners and soaps into the system, or as said before, feminine hygiene products, a septic system will last a long long time with no harm to you or the environment.

Proper care for a septic system will also mean that you never have to get it pumped.

evan price
March 14, 2013, 04:42 PM
At the very worst- any heavy metals residue will settle in the sludge layer, which your septic pumper will remove when he services the tank. This gets discharged into an effluent basin or into a sanitary sewer, and its presence is treated and removed by the water treatment facility, or else the dried sludge goes to the landfill along with the mercury in batteries and flurescent tubes and lead solder in old electronics.

Not a big deal even at worst case scenario.

March 14, 2013, 04:45 PM
A majority of the houses with copper pipes that have been manufactured before the last 25 years have lead joints. This leaches more lead into the septic than what you are doing with no harm----unless you drink that water.:scrutiny: There is so little that is not going to be a problem and as stated the lead particles will just settle to the bottom and eventually be pumped out with the next cleaning. Paint thinner and other hydrocarbons are a problem in septic tanks but particulate lead-----not.

March 14, 2013, 04:56 PM
If you are going to have septic your likely going to be outside the city limits. If you are going to shoot on your property you will have a lot more lead scattered around. One afternoon shooting clays will have more effect than a life time of washing for reloading.

March 14, 2013, 06:08 PM
There is precious little 'lead' in a priming pellet, most of that gets blown out of the barrel, what tiny traces are left are distributed in the bore as well as the case and none of us will shoot enough or live long enough for it to be a problem. Find something real to be worried about.

March 15, 2013, 06:54 AM
http://img.tapatalk.com/d/13/03/15/9a8yda9y.jpghttp://img.tapatalk.com/d/13/03/15/yva7a4u9.jpg redoing my septic as we speak, d box was destroyed and leech lines need replacing. Other than that I have been on septic all my life and I don't have any complaints.

March 15, 2013, 07:48 AM
If you wash your brass you'll create a sinkhole like what happened to that poor Floridian.. swallowed him up whole.

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