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Old 08-16-2006, 09:15 PM   #15
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My system is better than an outhouse IMHO (which is legal). My reading online has indicated that in a very sandy environment like I am in, by the time the water perks 4' (which again is easy at my site) under the drain field it is already purified by bacteria in the ground. My "septic system" is about 200' from my well. That's a whole lot further than your city water intake is from your dump tube on the trailer (now that's gross).
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Old 08-16-2006, 09:31 PM   #16
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longwood , Florida
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Sorry Peter,
did not mean to propose that someone do something that is illegal or harmful. If you are subject to local regulations in your area, follow them. I thought that the question posed was in regard to a remote area with no local regulations and the alternative was to pump the pure untreated solid waste on the ground or build a Privy and still end up dumping it in the ground.

steve

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Old 08-16-2006, 10:57 PM   #17
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Steve -- you're right, this is a remote area with more space than regulations. All the input is much appreciated.

One other idea that a friend mentioned is a home-made composting toilet: http://www.motherearthnews.com/Green...lf_an_Outhouse
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Old 08-17-2006, 08:33 AM   #18
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I read the same basic article in Mother Earth News in 1972. In a rocky hilly terrain it is a better alternative.
You could also consider a portable black tank and haul out your waste. If you do not have a truck you can use one of those racks that plug into your hitch.

steve
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Old 08-17-2006, 11:14 AM   #19
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Rid-X

Quote:
Originally Posted by firefly00
By the way, try the RID-X or other similar products in your black tank even if you dump at a sanitary station. You will be surprised at how well it works. It is amazing how mother nature works for you.

steve
I was reading an "informational" (translation: Self Serving) piece by Thetford in one of the many RV magazines that have magically showed up in my mailbox. Their infomercial strongly implied:
  • if you've bought a used RV you'll need to replace your toilet for "sanitary reasons"
  • formaldehyde based toilet chemicals ARE NOT a problem for your black tank, septic or sewer systems, and they are biodegradable
  • chemicals designed for home septic systems may damage your black or gray tanks
Bull, bull, and bull!

OK, plastic toilets are tacky even when new (I've got one in the new Safari FB SE... if you're ordering, upgrade that to porcelain!) But for sanitary reasons.... get real! How long will it REMAIN sanitary? One use? And then what do you do? Well I don't know about you, but I CLEAN my bathroom. Who's going to waste money replacing a perfectly good used crapper with a perfectly good new one?

Formaldehyde toilet chemicals... Even if formaldehyde weren't an issue, it's tha gawddawful perfume... the two combined are absolutely authentic funeral home scent, and I'm talking about the embalming room! Give me a break. Why do so many campgrounds ban them? Ask anyone who works in your city waste water disposal department what they think about Thetford's claims.

Lastly home chemicals damaging your tanks. REALLY? I checked this out with one of my customers who installs home septic systems. Guess what? Identical materials are used to manufacture septic tanks and black and gray tanks. They come from the same factories in many cases. I'd bet you money that my personal toxic waste will erode the tanks more than ANY additive I'd put down them. It makes common sense to read labels for caustics versus bacterial/enzyme based chemicals, and it's good common sense to use chemicals only when needed... I don't use anything every day, only if I go in and think, hmmm that's a little "off" smelling. Bacteria will multiply if given enough raw material to work on, so you'd probably only need to add chemicals once per dump cycle. It really makes good sense to use smaller amounts than recommended by the manufacturer... our tanks are much smaller than home tanks... and the manufacturer will ALWAYS recommend you use the maximum safe amount, not the optimum one. The idea of "wash, rinse, repeat" was used by a shampoo company to double it's sales and women still dry out their scalps and hair by following that stupid decree.

I use a tablespoon of Rid-X about once a week (or the day after I make chili!) and just never have the odor problems others in my home campground report. Of course in my short life as an RV'er I've already helped two other campers diagnose and cure "black mountain syndrome" because no one ever told them to only drain their black tanks periodically.

Paula Ford
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Old 08-17-2006, 11:52 AM   #20
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For occasional use and low volume, just use a gopher hole. That's essentially a latrine without the outhouse.

As noted, you do need to make sure you comply with any local regulations; it needs to be 200' or more from any water source; it does need to be big enough to accept the full contents of your black tank;

The septic systems described here are better if you plan more than occasional and temporary use. But you planned to install a proper system anyway in due course.

I have found that pre-existing (natural) gopher holes even work - didn't seem to make any difference on the gpher population, either (which I was hoping it would!). Amazing amount of stuff these accepted - like a bottomless pit.

But it would be best to use a post hole digger or some such to dig down three or four feet. If you have extremely loose soil, the idea of a buried 55 gallon drum with a lot of holes in it might work. But you will need to consider the usual practice with outhouses: after the hole starts to fill you cover it up and make a new one a few meters away.
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Old 08-18-2006, 01:23 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by firefly007
Go easy on the paper. Don't put anything in there unless it has been eaten first.
Steve, where do you buy your edible toilet paper?

Nick.
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Old 08-18-2006, 02:34 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by firefly007
Sorry Peter,
did not mean to propose that someone do something that is illegal or harmful........
steve

"If you can Dodge a wrench, You can Dodge a ball"
Patches O'Houlihan

No apologies needed here. I was just amazed that there are places that have no regs as where we live we are regged to death!

Because of that walkerton situation years ago - due to professional incompetence and not the actual systems - it is almost impossible to get a septic system in remote and small places now....just another big phat money gouge.

But I have learned a lot about septics of late and the age old gopher hole - is far less harmful to the environment than all the different chemicals we are using to clean toilets and tanks etc.

A bit of poop, a bit of sawdust, a bit of air and a bit of soil and magic the poop will disapear in a mater of a day or two. You don't have to add bacteria - the good stuff is already in what we eat and what we create. The loading up of bacteria i.e that RID-X stuff - is because we are adding stuff to the tanks that kill off our natural bacteria.

Gosh what a shitty subject opps bad word
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Old 12-06-2006, 08:42 AM   #23
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I've been operating a "single plastic drum and leach field" system for 7 years for dumping our trailer's black tank. It's slowly clogging up, probably because the whole tank-load throws solids and paper into the leach field. I'm now going to keep that system for the grey water, with the valve permanently open, and install a new system for the black tank. I will copy the principles of a system I saw in a 100 year old home in Maryland. I will install one plastic barrel as described in the earlier posts, but this wil be linked at the top to the top of a second plastic barrel, surrounded by rubber mulch/stone/gauze. This barrel will have dozens of small holes drilled all over it. This second tank, the "soakaway", will normally be empty. When the 35 gallon rush goes into the septic primary, 35 gallons will spill into the 50 gallon empty soakaway via the submerged outlet, from which it will "soak away" over the next couple of hours. I will put an air vent in the top of the soakaway.
I am a great believer in home-built septics. I have been using one for my home in England for 20 years. It has never been pumped out, and it has never smelled bad. I can detect no grit in the primary. No enzyme or other similar products have ever been added. We do not use a waste disposal unit in the sink, in order to minimize the biological oxygen demand on the septic. With a single home septic, very close control can be kept over what goes into the system, and this is, in my view, the reason for its success. For environmental reasons I prefer my single-home septic to our local public system which pumps "treated" effluent into our local river. It does, of course, require from users an understanding of the principles involved in septic systems for them to operate effectively.
Nick.
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