Friday, August 14, 2009

Two 320 C Advanced Treatment Systems Serve a School

Our 320 C Advanced Onsite Wastewater Treatment System is a good choice for schools for several reasons. The compact footprint and minimal surface exposure means valuable space is conserved. The only component that will be visible at the surface when these are finished will be four 24" dia. lids. Compared to other systems, that is a very slight visual impact and if you think about it, has a lot of benefits such as reduced heat loss, more aesthetic appeal and lower risk of being tampered with. Each unit contains more than 300 ft^3 of MetaRocks media and will reliably meet a 60% nitrogen removal standard while gulping 2500 GPD each. Installation of both units took about 3.5 hours and that included setting up the drainfield pumps. Maintenance is easy and we will train school personnel to look after the system. The popularity of our systems is growing dramatically as people become aware of us. In fact once we have had the opportunity to describe and discuss our treatment systems and philosophy with people most of them will specify Eliminite exclusively. I would love to visit with you and show you why these advanced onsite systems make so much more sense.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Eliminite 120 C Replaces Failed Sand Filter

Here is the finished job before final landscaping. The two small green lids are the only visible system components. No big square lids, and multiple riser lids like some systems. No ugly vent pipes sticking up in the yard, no noisy blowers running all day and all night forever. This system will produce BOD and TSS of about 10 mg/l at a price that blows the competition right out of the water. Really.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Another Failed Sand Filter

Sand filters, what a mess. I have never liked them and here is why. The photo shows a failed sand filter we abandoned last week. These things were supposed to last for years and years and only cost $4000 to install. Right. This one probably cost the owner $15,000 and probably failed within a year of being put into use. I hear from engineers, and this one was designed by an ENR top 500 firm, about how they have designed hundreds of sand filters and have never had any problems. I am pretty sure the designer knows nothing about this one and therefore it surely gets included in the "never had any problems" category. And what motovation does an engineer have, after specifying "hundreds" of sand filters to admit they don't work? Some people just refuse to give a straight answer.

You can clearly see the thick, black pea gravel layer right above the sand. Notice how clean the sand looks. In fact, the interface had become so completely sealed off that the sand below was almost dry. The gravity drain pipe at the bottom of the sand filter barely had a water stain on it. This is a strong statement about the ability of the soil to account for unreliable onsite treatment systems. I was amused to find the little devices that the manufacturer claimed would shield the distribution orifices clogged with a disgusting black anaerobic sludge. It looks like that was a really great idea, right up there with Edsel, New Coke and "I hate math Barbie". I know some will be offended by what I am saying but I refuse to dance around these issues any more. Real people are paying real money for this garbage. And I don't want to hear any excuses about how sand filters must be designed, installed and maintained properly to function. Anything that requires such an enormous expenditure of resources is simply not suitable for an onsite wastewater treatment system. The reason sand filters are so popular is because manufacturers provide plans that design firms can cut and paste into their drawings. The client gets charged engineering prices for a cut and paste operation. Then, when the thing fails, the homeowner or contractor gets blamed. The sand is too coarse. The sand is too fine. The sand is too dirty. The sand is too clean. The sand is too sandy. The soil cap is too thick, it couldn't breath. The soil cap is too thin, it froze. The owners used too much water, it was overloaded. The owners didn't use enough water, it starved. And I love the investigative questions....Does anyone in the house take penicillin? Use antibacterial soap? Do you use any household cleaners..bleach, lysol,comet. Has anyone ever walked on it? Looked at it? Anything to find some reason to pin the failure of the thing on the homeowner when the simple fact is sand filters are just unreliable and poised, for no apparent reason and at any moment, to fail miserably and create a mini sewage lagoon in the back yard.

My fix? We dug a hole in the center of it and installed an Eliminite 120 C. Problem solved.

If you want to see what I have to say about the "brilliant" distribution system design, check out: