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Engineered Septic System

What is an engineered septic system? An engineered septic system is often used in cases where a conventional septic system cannot be installed. Septic systems are still possible on properties with soil that does not percolate, but these engineered septic systems often require additional earth-moving and/or pumping systems (percolate refers to how quickly water passes through the soil). The basic three limiting factors on the placement of the septic system are the ground water table, bedrock, and local health ordinances. The local health department may require an engineered septic system when the soil or ground water conditions are not ideal. They can also be required when the field is located uphill from the home. Most engineered systems include a pressure distribution, or pumping, system. (more…)

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Effluent Filter

What is an effluent filter? Effluent filters go in the tank and take the place of the exit baffle. Any water leaving the tank must first go through this filter. Effluent filters are designed to prevent larger solids from leaving the tank and plugging up the drainfield. They will cost $50 to $150 depending on the brand the contractor uses, plus the cost of installation. The cost to install the filter will vary depending on how hard it is to put it in, the danger level of installing it, and the contractor doing it. Most contractors will charge by the hour, anywhere from $100 to $250 per hour (usually the guy that works alone will charge less, but it takes them longer to get things done, two guys will charge more but they can work faster so it usually works out to the same amount).                          If you have a shallow tank that is only one foot deep with a 6" to 24" opening over the exit baffle so they can get at it, you are looking at a fairly quick job.  However, if they have to dig down 4' and there is only a 4" opening over the exit baffle (or none at all) and they have to physically get inside the tank (weeeee…what fun) to install it, obviously they will need to charge more. (more…)

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Drip Septic System

A drip septic system releases small amounts or "drips" of wastewater at regular intervals, maximizing the treatment of sewage and minimizing the risk of untreated wastewater quickly flowing through the soil. Drip septic systems are often used on steep slopes, forested areas and other places where trenches are difficult to install. They are also used in places such as golf courses and resorts that only operate during the warmer months of the year. Drip septic systems are often used in conjunction with pretreatment systems such as aerobic septic systems and sand filters. (more…)

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Do Laundry Disks Work?

"THEY DON'T WORK!!" Q. What are Laundry Disks? A. According to advertising materials, laundry disks can eliminate the need for laundry detergent, offering the consumer substantial cost savings. They typically sell for $50-70, and according to advertising claims, can be used for hundreds, even thousands, of loads. These products claim to increase the cleaning power of water by changing its molecular structure. At last count, there were at least 24 variations of the laundry disc companies. (more…)

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Cost of Pumping a Septic Tank

How often should I pump a septic tank, and how much will it cost? Under normal conditions, you would pump a septic system every 1-3 years...                         1-2 people in the house=every 3 years                         3-5 people in the house=every 2 years                         6+ people=every year                         You may want to talk to your local contractor regarding your individual situation. (more…)

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Cost of a New Septic System

The cost of a new septic system will vary around the country according to local labor and material rates.There are three kinds of costs associated with a new septic system: the original installation costs, the maintenance and repair costs, and the replacement costs if things go wrong. Proper steps taken in the installation and maintenance will prevent many of the replacement costs. (more…)

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Best Washing Machine

The first thing to determine when looking for the best clothes washer is your laundry habits and needs. Do you have to wash a lot of laundry, or a little? Do you live in an apartment or other place where you aren't allowed to install a conventional washing machine?There is a company named Dyson which has invented the best clothes washer in the world, in our opinion. Rather than simply copying an existing washing machine and adding a couple bells and whistles, they came up with a revolutionary design which cleans better than any other type of washing machine. Prior to developing the product, Dyson ran some tests and discovered an astonishing fact: 15 minutes of hand washing produced cleaner clothes than 67 minutes in the best washing machine. The Dyson engineers found that by replacing the 1 drum with 2 aligned drums that rotate in opposite directions, they could replicate the action of hand washing. Active washing, such as hand washing, flexes the fabric more, which is a better, more efficient way of removing dirt.  (more…)

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Best Laundry Detergent

If you are looking for the best name-brand laundry detergent, Consumer Reports is the best source of information. However, there is an eco-friendly laundry detergent that has actually outperformed Tide in university tests, called Charlie's Soap (in the tests it is called Wonder Wash laundry detergent, but it is really the same product). Not only this, but it actually improves the flame-retardency of sleepwear, is eco-friendly and rinses out completely, so it is also the best laundry detergent for washing baby clothes. (more…)

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Best Clothes Iron

When looking for the best clothes iron, the most important thing is to consider your ironing needs. This page contains a great deal of information on clothes iron features, which should help you determine what is available and what you need. Most clothes iron manufacturers use different terminology for the same features, so this article should also help you better understand what their names mean. (more…)

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Are Bacteria & Viruses Lurking in Your Washing Machine?

More news from the guy who warned about dangerous germs lurking in your kitchen sponges and dishrags and the muck in your office coffee cup: Your washing machine may not be as safe as you think either.Environmental microbiologist Charles Gerba spends most of his time researching water quality. But he also enjoys hanging around in other people's homes, mostly in their bathrooms and kitchens -professionally, of course- searching for environmental hazards. And boy, has he found them in abundance. For instance, Gerba, a microbiology professor in the University of Arizona's soil, water and environmental sciences department, warned that bacteria such as E-coli and salmonella can be rampant in kitchen sinks, on counters and on cutting boards, often spread by sponges and dishrags contaminated by meat or poultry. Or as he puts it, ``There are a hundred times more bacteria on a cutting board than a toilet seat, so lick a toilet seat rather than a cutting board.'' (more…)

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Damaging Detergent

Very few people realize that washing machines are very sensitive to the type of detergent they use. The problem is that many detergents contain fillers- inert, abrasive materials used to take up space and to clean your clothes by the abrasive action of added silicates (sand). Fillers can cause a whole host of problems including: (more…)

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Chlorine Tablets for Septic

Conventional septic systems typically discharge wastewater through an underground drainage field. However, many homeowners, particularly in areas with clay soils, have septic systems that discharge wastewater into surface water, such as a drainage ditch. For example, there are approximately 140,000 such systems in Illinois. In these types of systems, wastewater from the home goes into a concrete or plastic tank that has some type of compressor. The compressor pushes air through the water to provide oxygen for aerobic bacteria to decompose the organic material. After some solids settle to the bottom of the tank, wastewater then flows through a chlorine tablet dispenser to kill any remaining bacteria before it's discharged out a pipe into a waterway or creek. (more…)

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