Strawberries OK to Irrigate with Blackwater?

Subject: blackwater on strawberries
Date: Wed, 02 Feb 2000
From: Art Ludwig <Oasis Design>
Organization: Oasis Design


> Hi,We live on a small farm in Manitoba Canada. We have excellent,
> unlimited fresh water from a well 60 ft deep. We have about 18" of
> topsoil over at least 50 ft of sand. We have a septic system with the
> secondary black/grey water distributed out 250 ft away from the house.
> We have used it for our Xmas trees and deciduous nursery with dramatic
> effects. I have thought of using it on the veggies but am afraid of
> the bacterial problem. I would also like to use it on the large
> raspberry and strawberry fields but have the same fears. The local
> environmental people have no fear of our contaminating the ground
> water, and say it would be okay on the gardens but the local
> pathologist is dead-set against any use of black water except after
> treating it. After 4 years, we have effluent fed maples over 10 ft
> tall while fresh water fed trees are barely 4 ft tall. Is black water
> really that dangerous, what else can we do with it. In winter (at
> minus 40 degrees) we get a build up of several feet of effluent ice,
> in spring the weeds and grass in that area go nuts. Love you page,
> very informative about grey water. Thanks.Jim

Yes, blackwater is that dangerous. I don't know what has gotten into
your local environmental people that they could think of using septic
tank effluent on strawberries!

I suggest you get a copy of Create an Oasis with Grey Water (book). It
includes health guidelines which explain the mechanisms of contamination
and purification which would help you understand exactly what it is
you're dealing with and how you can continue to flirt with disaster
without becoming engaged in it!

There are also a few greywater systems which are described as being
capable of handling blackwater, and others which I would not publicly
recommend but would recommend to a bold individual such as yourself.

Art

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