Septic System Owner’s Manual Book (2)

Septic System Scams — Homeowners, Beware!

Screen shot 2014-09-05 at 8.10.38 AMI got a robot phone call last night (around dinner time, of course): “Hello, this is not a solicitation, this is about your septic system…”

The object was to sell homeowners on additives that will “…improve septic tank digestion of solids.”

Don’t fall for this scam. Below is what we wrote in Septic Systems Owner’s Manual (There are 5 complete chapters from the book reprinted here, along with other septic info.).

ssom2-648HSeptic system additives, especially enzymes. (You don’t need to add enzymes; they’re naturally present in the sewage.) Beware of telemarketers or ads hawking additives claiming to avoid tank pumping. They actually break down the scum and sludge into small particles, which are then readily flushed out into the drainfield, increasing possibility of premature drainfield failure. The State of Washington has banned septic tank additives. In Tiburon, California, a homeowner recently added enzymes to a septic system that had been working perfectly well. Soon after, sludge moved out into the drainfield and the system failed.

I wrote an article that appeared in The Mother Earth News in 2008 about the sorry state of septic systems engineering and regulations in the U.S.: www.motherearthnews.com/….

Post a comment

BoingBoing's Review of The Septic System Owner's Manual

Nothing has fed my ridiculous, personal anxieties like moving to a house with a septic tank. Lloyd Kahn’s fantastic The Septic System Owner’s Manual helped educate me enough that I’m back to worrying about other things.

When I bought my home, back in 2008, the fiberglass septic tank was leaking. I got all sorts of advice from folks that seemed to involve a lot of voodoo and very little science. I found this book and have been able to confidently make good decisions ever since. I replaced the tank with a very basic concrete design.

Kahn is clear, his story telling is whimsical while at the same time pointing out construction or political tragedy. His solutions are always steering you towards the simplest solution and to avoid adding points that can break. Complications in this type of system are messy.

Now I’ll go find something else to worry about…

Buy Septic System Owner’s Manual at www.shelterpub.com/…

Post a comment