What to do with PD drainage (septic systems?)


#1

Hi all, i was speaking to a urostomy clinician some time ago regarding a product called u-drain. She told me her husband undergoes pd and thought this would very very useful for him. Recently after seeing my good friend use it and his feedback on the product I thought I might as well share it with other pd patients. The site is www.u-drain.co.uk and he there is a video on youtube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YSenqSJTbmo&feature=youtu.be), I hope this may help. Cheers Reddishvale


#2

Interesting idea, Reddishvale. How long has your friend used it? I have to wonder if the sugar in the PD drain bags would gum up the tubing over time–vs. “regular” urine…


#3

hi he has been using it for 5 years now, and i believe there are users in Australia and the US. Very good question regards the sugar, the tube from him to the u-drain socket is changed weekly or in a pd case daily, and the exit tube to the soil pipe is 6mm. If the sugaar is flushed out daily as shown on the video it may last some time before “gumming up”. not sure but my thoughts after i spoke to the clinician were how heavy the collection bags are and what a nuisance it must be after pd to have to then start getting rid of them. My friend has saaid that it may be on prescription shortly, u-drain are working with the NHS at present to get it on FP10 and the more people that find it useful the better, many thanks for your reply, cheers Reddishvale


#4

I just joined this forum today hoping to get an answer to a problem my husband has been having with PD solution drainage in our septic tank. We had the septic tank pumped out 5 months ago and had to have it pumped out again yesterday. My husband has been on PD for 5 months. I know we had a gel-like substance stopping our toilet up after 3 months on PD and flushing hot water down the toilet opened it right up. Now we are wondering if his PD solution is why the septic tank needed pumping again so soon.
The septic tank guys said the tank has some kind of buildup along the sides and the buildup on top would not let the lateral lines work. They did say the lateral lines were not the problem. Has this been a problem for anyone else? If this keeps happening every few months, we might have to check into the u-drain mentioned. Any suggestions would be appreciated. thanks


#5

Okay–I should have just asked our in-house expert, Dr. John Agar, because he is the one who responded! Here’s what he said:

"Dear all

There are two components to this answer … home HD and home PD.

  1. HD

In the case of home HD, it has long been the case that septic tanks should not receive hemodialysis effluent (ie: post dialyser effluent as opposed to RO reject water) - though the latter can always be more gainfully fully re-used or re-cycled. RO reject is not harmful to septics, but is a waste of otherwise good water. Post-dialyser effluent, however, does damage septic systems and should not be discarded to septic tanks.

There is a discussion of this HD aspect of waste water/effluent management at our Barwon Health ‘green dialysis’ website http://www.greendialysis.org

Hemodialysis effluent is saline-rich, and it has long been known to alter, to kill off, or to cause unwanted and incorrect organism overgrowth within the micro-organism milieu that septics depend upon for the breakdown of faecal and other matter.

  1. PD

While I do not have information regarding PD effluent effects on the septic tank micro-organism sub-populations … it would make a very nice (and useful) study for someone to do in the septic tank industry … my extrapolated guess is that the high sugar (dextrose) concentrations of PD fluid may similarly feed up the wrong organism populations and/or damage the ‘good’ bacterial balance essential for normal septic function.

There is a good PDF discussion of septic tank function found at

www.septic.umn.edu/prod/groups/cfans/@pub/…/cfans_asset_131292.pdf

It maybe wise for her to have her septic system cleaned out and reconstituted and then desist from using it for used PD dialysate disposal.

In the situations of septic tanks in HD patient homes, we preferentially drain through a rock bed to a pit. Again, I do not have a PD drainage option at my finger tips but it might be worth asking David Johnson’s group at the Princess Alexandra in Brisbane if he/they have a solution.

Hope that is useful.

John Agar"

If I see more replies, I will post those for you, too.


#6

And…another update from Dr. Agar, who has now done some homework and ended up in a direction we never would have thought of. Here’s what he found:

"First, I can find NO INFORMATION in the PD or dialysis literature to answer this lady’s question … Zip!

We have known here in Geelong for a long time that the post dialyser saline effluent from HD should NOT be directed to a septic system as the saline damages the bacterial and fungal ecosystems that at vital to septic tank function. Indeed, I have included this information in my papers and editorials in HDI on the topic of Green Dialysis and it is included as an instruction for home HD patients in the waste-water management section of our eco-dialysis website of ‘how to make dialysis green’ … http://www.greendialysis.org.

So … in HD, it is clear … don’t discharge to the septic!

As no such relationship has – to my searching – been reported in the literature, I went searching.

Ha! While the dialysis literature is void, the wine-making literature is not! There is a wealth of information for small wineries warning not to discharge the sugar-rich effluent from the crushing process into anaerobic septic systems. While this this effluent may vary in its sugar content over the wine-making cycle from 1000 to 5000 mg/L, over this limit will clog and damage the septic system as a gelatinous co-polymer forms over the surface of the septic bed and in the feed and outflow pipes. There is a recommended maximum sugar concentration for winery effluent into septics of 5000 mg/L

PD solutions are 1.5 – 4.25% (note that this % = grams (not mg) per 100ml).

This is equivalent to 15 grams per litre (or 15,000 mg/L) up to 42.5 grams per litre (or 42,6500 mg/L) = an order of magnitude 10 x that of the recommended upper limit for sugar concentrations into an anaerobic system. Combine that with a small surface area system and a low total daily water flow and it is a recipe for system failure.

Apparently, some form of ‘clear gelatinous co-polymer forms’. I have emailed the Curtin University Department of Environment and Agriculture in Perth for some explanation of the underlying chemistry of this but have only just done so and have not yet heard back. Curtin have conducted research for the Margaret River wine region of Western Australia on this issue, and this has led to their publication of a series of fact sheets for the Wine Industry, and a series of effluent regulations around size of septic system relative to water flows and the ‘substance content’ of the effluent … with one of those substances being sugar!

So, Dori … the short answer to this lady and others is: don’t discharge PD effluent into a small anaerobic septic. It will rapidly generate a clogging co-polymer that blocks up the septic.

We will research this further, with a likely warning to this effect added to our green website information base.

As 252,000 PD patients exist world-wide, it may be a topic of relevance to others – and one that your readership becomes aware of.

If further information comes to light, I will let you know. If others are interested in the chemistry behind this, let me know and I will come back to you with the answer – if or when I get them.

Cheers

John"

So, now the obvious question is, what CAN you do with the PD drainage if it can’t go down the toilet into a septic system? Good question. For now, Dr. Agar’s answer was, “dig a pit in the garden.” But, he is still looking into it, and there may be other ideas.


#7

And…another update from Dr. Agar, who has now done some homework and ended up in a direction we never would have thought of. Here’s what he found:

"First, I can find NO INFORMATION in the PD or dialysis literature to answer this lady’s question … Zip!

We have known here in Geelong for a long time that the post dialyser saline effluent from HD should NOT be directed to a septic system as the saline damages the bacterial and fungal ecosystems that at vital to septic tank function. Indeed, I have included this information in my papers and editorials in HDI on the topic of Green Dialysis and it is included as an instruction for home HD patients in the waste-water management section of our eco-dialysis website of ‘how to make dialysis green’ … http://www.greendialysis.org.

So … in HD, it is clear … don’t discharge to the septic!

As no such relationship has – to my searching – been reported in the literature, I went searching.

Ha! While the dialysis literature is void, the wine-making literature is not! There is a wealth of information for small wineries warning not to discharge the sugar-rich effluent from the crushing process into anaerobic septic systems. While this this effluent may vary in its sugar content over the wine-making cycle from 1000 to 5000 mg/L, over this limit will clog and damage the septic system as a gelatinous co-polymer forms over the surface of the septic bed and in the feed and outflow pipes. There is a recommended maximum sugar concentration for winery effluent into septics of 5000 mg/L

PD solutions are 1.5 – 4.25% (note that this % = grams (not mg) per 100ml).

This is equivalent to 15 grams per litre (or 15,000 mg/L) up to 42.5 grams per litre (or 42,6500 mg/L) = an order of magnitude 10 x that of the recommended upper limit for sugar concentrations into an anaerobic system. Combine that with a small surface area system and a low total daily water flow and it is a recipe for system failure.

Apparently, some form of ‘clear gelatinous co-polymer forms’. I have emailed the Curtin University Department of Environment and Agriculture in Perth for some explanation of the underlying chemistry of this but have only just done so and have not yet heard back. Curtin have conducted research for the Margaret River wine region of Western Australia on this issue, and this has led to their publication of a series of fact sheets for the Wine Industry, and a series of effluent regulations around size of septic system relative to water flows and the ‘substance content’ of the effluent … with one of those substances being sugar!

So, Dori … the short answer to this lady and others is: don’t discharge PD effluent into a small anaerobic septic. It will rapidly generate a clogging co-polymer that blocks up the septic.

We will research this further, with a likely warning to this effect added to our green website information base.

As 252,000 PD patients exist world-wide, it may be a topic of relevance to others – and one that your readership becomes aware of.

If further information comes to light, I will let you know. If others are interested in the chemistry behind this, let me know and I will come back to you with the answer – if or when I get them.

Cheers

John"

So, now the obvious question is, what CAN you do with the PD drainage if it can’t go down the toilet into a septic system? Good question. For now, Dr. Agar’s answer was, “dig a pit in the garden.” But, he is still looking into it, and there may be other ideas.


#8

Hi I’m getting my pd cather next week and trying to prepare for as many possibilities as I can was thinking no problem with the draining just do it into the sink or toliet until I read your post about the septic tank problem since we have one. Family has been brainstorming about what to do, this is what we came up with. Put a pvc pipe thur the wall into a 5 gallon bucket with a lid then have a pvc pipe coming out the bottom and alongside the house to a ditch on our property. The rain water would wash out the ditch and the bucket could be washed out as needed. The only problem we see is possibility of freezing. Does anyone see a problem with this if so please let me know. Thank you so much for all the information I’ve found so far