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Research ResultsResearchers from NSF found that brine wastes had no negative effects on the bacterial population living in the aerobic treatment tank, even when the system was loaded with twice the normal amount of brine. The tests determined that water softener wastes actually help with treatment processes. WQA’s final report states that the wastewater has “a beneficial influence on a septic tank system by stimulating biological action in the septic tank and caused no operational problems in the typical anaerobic or the new aerobic septic tanks.” In other words, the researchers in this study found that microorganisms living and working in a home aerobic treatment system are not harmed by water softener salts. Researchers also found that the additional amount of water discharged to a treatment tank during the regeneration process had no negative impact. The question concerned whether the volume and flow rate of the regeneration brine might overload the system and cause carry over of solids into the drainfield. The study found that the volume of water discharged was comparable to or less than that from many automatic washing machines and other household appliances. Researchers also found that the wastewater flowed into the treatment tank slowly enough so that it caused minimal disturbance.