Here are a few information websites, devices, and suppliers that we think you may find useful. We have not made an exhaustive survey of septic-related products, but we do know that the ones listed here are of high quality.
This septic system information website explains how to inspect, test, diagnose and repair, septic systems, gives information about alternative septic systems for problem sites, and includes tables for septic tanks: pumping, size, design, and clearances between septic systems, wells, and other site features and boundaries, plus detailed septic system inspection, test, repair, and design articles. Septic testing class presentations, photos, sketches, tables, links to products and consultants are provided.
Infiltrator Systems Inc. is a world leader in the manufacture of plastic drainage chambers for on-site septic and stormwater management. Infiltrator® chambers have revolutionized the septic and stormwater industries, providing cost-effective, efficient methods for handling residential and commercial wastewater. Infiltrator septic chambers replace conventional stone and pipe leachfields. The subsurface Infiltrator stormwater system replaces retention ponds, large diameter pipe and stone, and other stormwater designs. Infiltrator chambers have been used in drainfield, leachfield, mound, and sand filter applications.
Norwalk Wastewater Equipment Company (Norweco) is a manufacturer of water and wastewater treatment products, systems and chemicals. They specialize in small-flow treatment applications, ranging from municipal treatment systems for small towns and villages, all the way down to systems for the individual family home. Their products are designed to provide a high level of treatment in the most efficient, cost-effective manner.
The most serious problem with septic systems is a failed drainfield: when solids migrate from the tank into the drainfield, with resultant clogging. Two companies, Zabel and Orenco, make plastic filters that intercept solids at the outlet tee where the effluent flows into the drainfield. The filters need to be cleaned every two to three years, but are said to be somewhat self-cleaning if used properly. (The screens provide a surface area for microorganisms to grow, which in turn degrade the harmful particles into basic elements and compounds.) Both types of filters can be retrofitted into an existing septic tank and are especially valuable anywhere (residential or commercial) that wastewater has a high suspended solids content.
This is a brilliant invention for unclogging plugged drains without using caustic chemicals such as Drano or calling a plumber. It comes in various sizes for different size pipes and consists of a rubber bellows-type device that you connect to a garden hose. You insert it into the drain, turn on the hose, and the bellows expands, sealing off the pipe while emitting powerful, drain-clearing pulses of water.
TOTO LOW-FLUSH TOILET
It’s inspiring that ecological awareness in the ’60s and ’70s caused toilets to be redesigned so that the typical 5 to 6 gallon flush was replaced by the 1.6 gallon flush. Trouble is, however admirable in water conservation, many of the early models didn’t really get the job done, either requiring a plunger, or leaving what Robert Kourik refers to as “skid marks.” Now, there is a new generation of low-flush toilets and some work better than others. One that works extremely well is the Toto 1.60 Gpf/6.0Lpf. In an independent ANSI test of 31 low-flush toilets, Toto scored highest for best performance higher than more expensive models. Toto, in Morrow, GA, is the world’s largest supplier of toilets.
Lint from washing machines is the leading source of solids that clog drainfields. Adding to the problem are fibers from synthetic clothing, which get into the drainfield, clog the pores of the soil, and do not break down as do natural fibers like cotton. This is a stainless steel filter for washing machines that keeps lint out of the soil; it’s an excellent idea and a good product. It attaches to the outflow hose of the washing machine. It has a reusable 160-micron filter that you empty every few weeks. It comes with a 90-day, money-back guarantee.
W. F. McCollough 301-572-5509
This is a unique, flexible, waterproof 5 inch by 7 inch plastic card with nylon lanyard that contains miscellaneous data on charicteristics of different soils. On one side are samples of six different types of common soil colors; on the other side are pasted-on actual sand grains, from coarse to silt. The sand grains and color chips are permanently fused to the plastic. Although this book does not go into soil analysis, this card can tell you what type of soil you have, and gives you field tests for determining clay consistency and type of sand in the soil.
The world’s largest seller of renewable, eco-conscious products, Real Goods has composting toilets (Sun-Mar, CT Systems, Carousel, Biolet, and AE Hybrid), drip irrigation systems, water filters, and many other items that will be of interest to anyone dealing with septic systems.
Another mail order dealer with the emphasis on sustainable living. They offer composting toilets by Sun-Mar, Carousel, Biolet, and Clivus Multrum, as well as a variety of other energy-saving products. Their 20th anniversary mail order catalog is an excellent resource for homesteaders, as well as homeowners.
All about all aspects of greywater systems. Why to use them, how to choose, build and use them, regulations, studies, and examples. Includes greywater irrigation, greywater treatment, greywater filters, and indoor greywater reuse.
Real Goods Renewables Catalog
200 Clara Street
Ukiah, CA 95482
800-919-2400 www.realgoods.com Features all kinds of solar and off-the-grid items.
Lehman’s Non-Electric Catalog
One Lehman Circle
P.O. Box 41
Kidron, OH 44636
Traditionally aimed at the Amish market, Lehman’s offers all kinds of basic, hard-to-find tools and two or three types of composting toilets.
Easy to install add-on dual-flush attachment for your toilet!
Easy to install add-on warm/fresh water bidet for your toilet!