Skip to main content


Some years ago, I posted the photo below in a Saturday Morning Garden Blog, for the purposes of showing the newly blooming hyacinth.   Somebody (I no longer recall whom) looked beyond the flower and wondered what that thing in the background was.


As it happens, the post in the background of that photo holds on it the controls for the final treatment stage in our small flow treatment facility for our wastewater.  Make the jump for more details...

But First, A Word From Our Sponsor:

Top Comments recognizes the previous day's Top Mojo and strives to promote each day's outstanding comments through nominations made by Kossacks like you. Please send comments (before 9:30pm ET) by email to or by our KosMail message board. Just click on the Spinning Top™ to make a submission. Look for the Spinning Top™ to pop up in diaries posts around Daily Kos.

Make sure that you include the direct link to the comment (the URL), which is available by clicking on that comment's date/time. Please let us know your Daily Kos user name if you use email so we can credit you properly. If you send a writeup with the link, we can include that as well. The diarist poster reserves the right to edit all content.

Please come in. You're invited to make yourself at home! Join us beneath the doodle...

When we became interested in buying the house we now live in, we had the house inspected.  It turned out to be a very well-built house, but there was one serious problem:  the septic system, which was as old as the house (40 years) and never upgraded or replaced, was leaking all over the back yard.  (In case it wasn't obvious from the photo, we live in the country, where there is no sewage line.)  It was clear that the system would have to be replaced.  As a matter of fact, the sellers had a notion that the septic system would flunk the test, and had already stated that they would pay to put in a new one.

So, one day about a month later, a backhoe showed up at the property to look for a good spot to place a septic mound.  That backhoe must have dug at least 8 holes in various places.  In all of the spots, it was clear that the height of the water table at its highest was well above regulation for a septic mound to be placed there.  So now what?

The inspector told us that if the house did not exist and we were proposing to build one there, because of the lack of a site for a septic mound, the authorities would never issue a permit to build it.  However, because the house was already there, they would have to allow something to be done in order to somehow treat our wastewater.  That something was a small flow treatment facility, or SFTF.  This all happened during the G. W. Bush administration, when he was talking about the "ownership society."  I figure that this is my contribution to the ownership society:  my own personal wastewater treatment facility.

It consists of two (count 'em two) septic tanks, a pump tank, a sand field (to which the pump tank pumps), and and ultraviolet "disinfector" which irradiates the outflow from the sand filter killing the bacteria.  The outflow is then carried to the back of the property where it becomes surface water.  The post in the photo above holds the switch for the UV bulb and the alarm in case the bulb burns out.

The process of planning, installation and payment for this thing was not straightforward.  First of all, when the sellers found out how much this system cost, they backed out of their promise to pay for its installation.  I was ready to withdraw our offer, but my partner prevailed on me to reconsider, and eventually the deal went through and we bought the place.  But we ended up paying the cost of the system entirely on our own.  After an engineer came up with a plan for the system, the township council had to approve it.  As it happens, one element of the process is to inform all property owners downstream from the outflow that this system is being proposed, and where the outflow will cross their property.

It turns out that one of these property owners also owns a restaurant around the corner from the house, and he has always wanted sewerage service from the nearby town to be extended to his restaurant.  If the sewer line were to be extended from the town to our house, it would pass right by his restaurant.  Convenient.  In any case, he found a way to delay approval of the plan in two township council meetings, thus wasting two months.  I actually heard him complain about "400 gallons a day of sewage flowing over his property" which was a lie, of course, because once the wastewater comes out the end of the system, it's almost clean enough to drink.  Plus, two adults are just not going to use 400 gallons of water a day;  our water usage is much more modest than that, but the capacity of the system is gauged to the number of bedrooms in the house (3).

At the 3rd township council meeting, the plan was approved and work began on the installation.  That was almost 7 years ago, and it's still working pretty much trouble-free.  Another advantage to a SFTF is that, unlike a septic mound, there's no reason to think it won't last forever, as long as it is properly cared for.

So that's what happens to my shit.  How about yours?

And with that, we're ready for Top Comments!

June 13, 2012

Thanks to tonight's Top Comments contributors! Let us hear from YOU
when you find that proficient comment.

From It's the Supreme Court Stupid:

In Jed Lewison's Front Page piece on Rmoney being unable to correctly name a doughnut, gchaucer2's comment explains precisely why.
From AllanTBG:
This is the comment of the day, by G2geek.  It was in the recommended diary by Montana Cowgirl, How to Dispose of a TEA Party Imbecile, For Good.

(Also nominated by Otteray Scribe.)

From jlms qkw:
blueness identifies the real problem with the Democratic Senate candidate from Nebraska.  From twigg's diary Anyone else have a view on Bob Kerrey?
From NYFM:
Continuing on thoughts about the former (and possibly future) Senator from Nebraska, Geekesque contributed this comment in Mets102's recommended diary Why I Want Bob Kerrey to Win.
From Noddy:
While Mets102's comment made me snicker loud enough to wake Itzl, the whole comment thread of Weatherdude's recommended diary ("Why was my comment deleted!?!?!?" A brief diary for future reference) is worth a read.
From Tamar:
From kos' front page diary on whether Republicans are winning the "Jewish Vote," (short answer, Nope), comes this great comment on the Christian right's affection for Jews.

June 12, 2012

(excluding Tip Jars and first comments)

Got mik!

  1) "I do respect your advice, Ms. White..." by eyelessgame — 156
  2) a brief, reductive history of the last 70 years by david mizner — 130
  3) This John Coryn? by citizenx — 117
  4) I've alway loved by LieparDestin — 95
  5) more than that, I do think it's by david mizner — 93
  6) End stage cancer by crystal eyes — 91
  7) I've read a couple of news sources on this. by FloridaSNMOM — 86
  8) Good. by CherryTheTart — 85
  9) Cue that blowhard by Steveningen — 81
10) Such a handsome young man! by ozsea1 — 80
11) The key concept in this article by Dallasdoc — 78
12) God can recommend his own comments? by citizenx — 76
13) Nuns are pushing back too. I hope many more by Susan G in MN — 74
14) Seriously. by Adam B — 69
15) While I despise the concept by gchaucer2 — 69
16) The key concept in that article is by Luhks — 67
17) You don't see a difference between raping a kid by RerumCognoscereCausas — 67
18) I believe he was justified by chira2 — 64
19) Daily Pooties by Debbie in ME — 63
20) Now's Not the Moment for Education and Developmnt by Gooserock — 62
21) Roxine - this is the BEST article out there. Bless by mrsgoo — 59
22) The Bishops also by gizmo59 — 59
23) Romeow and Drooliet by mcronan — 59
24) I'm guessing if the father by gchaucer2 — 58
25) I'm impressed. by The Nephew — 58
26) wot uz taukin bout? by Debbie in ME — 58
27) It's possible someone else was hidden by high uintas — 58
28) There goes the Zimmerman credibility even more by Shawn Russell — 57
29) And since it appears that many have forgotten by Markoff Chaney — 57
30) Playpootie Centerfold by Debbie in ME — 56

June 12, 2012

Enjoy jotter's wonderful PictureQuilt™ below. Just click on the picture and it will magically take you to the comment that features that photo. Have fun, Kossacks!

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site