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Welcome Feidhlim Harty author of Septic Tank Options and Alternatives

 
Cassie Langstraat
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Photo Source: Mercier Press

This week Feidhlim Harty will be joining us to talk about all sorts of different kinds of septic tank options and alternative systems.

There are four copies of his book, Septic Tank Options and Alternatives up for grabs.

Feidhlim will be stopping by on the forum over the next few days answering questions and joining in discussions.

From now through this Friday, any posts in this forum, ie the greywater forum, could be selected to win.

To win, you must use a name that follows our naming policy and you must have your email set up in Paul's Daily-ish email.

The winner will be notified by email and must respond within 24 hours.

Posts in this thread won't count, but please feel free to say hi to Feidhlim and make him feel welcome!
 
Zenais Buck
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Hello, and welcome!

I am so so so so excited about this topic!
I have lived off the grid for 17 years now, using the rudimentary systems that were in place when we bought the land. We are about to build another cabin on the property, and I am excited to learn how we co do things better this time around. Thank you so much for being willing to share your knowledge!
 
tom la
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Location: santa rosa, ca
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Yes, great topic. Here's an area that a lot of folks don't want to deal with but may have a lot of value if you can use it safely.
thanks for writing this book.
 
Daniel Kern
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hello, glad your here. I just moved Into an old house out in the country with a septic tank. I was just made aware that I should not drive over it today.
 
Feidhlim Harty
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Morning Cassie, Zenais, Tom and Daniel, thanks for making me feel at home.

There's a bit of a time-zone issue with my replies; so apologies for the delay in answering. I've been doing a good few radio interviews here in Ireland over the past week or so and I've finally come up with something of a soundbite: It's surprisingly easy to cause water pollution with a septic tank system - but fortunately it's surprisingly easy to stop it again by taking careful action in the right direction! Beyond that, it takes as long to answer most questions as it did to write the book!

What I've set out to do is outline how a septic tank/percolation system should work; enable you to check it; and repair it if necessary or, if not, to select a new system that meets your budget, site conditions and priorities. There's been a big drive here on the septic tank front over the past few years, with a new National Inspection Plan in place - but the book was on the way before that was initiated; with about half of all septic tank systems causing problems here, there's plenty scope for improvements! What's the situation in the US?

Looking forward to questions, comments and discussions over the rest of the week.

 
Bill Erickson
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Welcome to Permies, Feidhlim. Having a septic tank and working grey water cistern system, I am very interested in the knowledge you have to share. Look forward to your inputs here.

The black water systems status in the US has basically gone to pressurized systems with "chopper" pumps to evenly distribute effluent through the drain field. This basically goes to any new construction as well as any 'repairs' to older systems - in theory any way. There are likely 50 to 1,000 different systems controls with "departments for making you sad" going from the state on down to the county and even city level.
 
Feidhlim Harty
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Hi Bill, 9.38GMT is some unearthly hour in Montana... If Paul's plans of world domination are to succeed you guys need to be getting a good night sleep!

Anyway, thanks for the welcome. It's good to be here. Your appraisal of the US system sounds fairly concise. However is there even a little room for manoeuvre? There's an EPA factsheet on compost toilets. Joseph Jenkins' Humanure Handbook is a really clear and scientific guide. Oasis Designs are doing great work with grey water. You guys have a good set-up there; just to use it! I realise that regulatory authorities sometimes seem to get in the way of a good idea, when in actual fact we're all on the same basic task of protecting the local environment as best we know how. However presumably the main challenge is getting permission to build a new house. Once you're in and built, then there is a lot of leeway to put in a good compost toilet, or a good grey water irrigation system for example. I know that's the case here in Ireland anyway.

Looking forward to the discussions over the coming days.
 
Katrin Kerns
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Hello and welcome to permies Feidhlim! Looking forward to reading what you have to say about the kinds of things you have in your book.

Kat
 
Daniel Crockett
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Hey, Feidhlim!

Just wanted to drop a quick thanks for your reply and advice. Looks like I've got a fair bit of reading (and more) to do! Very helpful, though - thanks again.
 
Feidhlim Harty
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Hi Katrin, Thanks for the warm welcome. I've just seen your other post. I'm still getting to know my way around Permies.com so for any of my family members who are logging on trying to boost my ratings (!) have a look at the main grey water thread above and follow the questions and answers process there.


 
Feidhlim Harty
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Daniel, if you find that you have any other questions - please put them out there. That's what this forum is all about. Paul and Cassie have my undivided attention this week with the book launch that they've been kind enough to host, so make as much use of it as you can.

 
Valerie Dawnstar
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Welcome Feidhlim! I also am very interested in this topic and will reading all I can as well as posting a question perhaps. Thanks for joining us!
 
Becky Mundt
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Hello Feidhlim!

This is a topic close to my heart - so much water... so much waste! So want to see new options... So happy you're here! yay!

Thanks for coming by!

Looking forward to it!

Becky
 
Feidhlim Harty
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Hi Becky and Valerie, thanks for the welcome. I'm enjoying the discussions that are unfolding.

 
Jerry McIntire
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Hello Feidhlim, (how do you pronounce your name?)

Glad to see someone who has given this so much thought participating here at permies. I'll post my questions in a new thread.

Jerry
 
Feidhlim Harty
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Hi Jerry, Thanks for the welcome. I look forward to your questions. Féidhlim is an old Irish name and it's pronounced Falem as in Salem (Mass.) (the é sounds like the a in hay rather than the a in ham). Oh, and the dh are thrown in to make it look quaint! Irish has a lot of that in it: dh, gh, mh, bh, fh… come and visit some time and get a blast of them on your ear. Well worth it.
 
Cassie Langstraat
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So I ran the winner picker app in the forum software and we have 2 winners.

James andrews
and
Tina Paxton

Congratulations James and Tina!

I sent you an email to ask for the email address of the person that first referred you to Permies.com. That person (if qualified) will also get a copy of the book and a permies care package.
 
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