Artificial Wetland for Single Family Dwelling Greywater

Subject: Artificial wetland for single family dwelling
Date: Sat, 11 Nov 2000
From: Oasis Design
To: "Daniel Costello" <danjoefess©>

Unfortunately, I don't have much to add which you'd find helpful. I don't know
anything with the cost/performance specifications you are looking for, at least
that any one would grant a permit for. I must admit, this is also not really
within my area of expertise.
Good luck to you,

Daniel Costello wrote:
> First, excuse me for my "ignorance" on this topic. I have been seeking
> information from as many sources as possible in Canada and most people have
> little, or no knowledge of alternatives to raised bed septic.
> Maybe if more people sought them, they would be available?
> I am still hoping someone could give me a contact for Dennis Moerman, once
> either at the N.S. Agricultural College or NS Dept. of Agriculture. So far
> no responses from them.
> All I can get so far (from ABL Consulting) is that it is best to "go with
> the flow" and not rock anybody's boat. Pay what they say and go away.
> I am looking for a graywater system that would (overall) cost less than
> 5000-7000 CAD dollars, that is literally fail-safe, and cheaper to construct
> than raised bed septic system. If there were more sites of information,
> I would have a greater understanding of the topic. But what I know well is
> that supply should meet demand, and this is something I think most purveyors
> of septic systems should be able to understand.
> While being "so far away" I have learned a few things. 1.Service is not what
> it should be in Canada. 2.My hard earned money will be spent wisely. 3.
> I seek lowest cost alternatives. 4. Just because everyone sells the same
> thing, doesn't mean it is the best product.
> What info. I was able to find on the Internet made a submerged artificial
> wetland for graywater look like a very simple arrangement, in fact very
> similar to septic systems. But really, who can I contact in Canada able to
> give me real info. on such a product?
> The maligned consumer, as well as "brain-drain" material,
> Sincerely, Dan Costello
> P.O. Box 51871, Abu Dhabi, UAE
> P.S. Let Tom Austin have the last word. It will give you an idea of the kind
> of responses Nova Scotians receive when they ask the hard questions. I like
> birds. Dan's reply to Tom Austin, ABL Consulting:
> November 2, 2000
> Dear ABL,
> Thanks for the info. But I need more, as I have more questions.
> > 1. Who do I contact in NS with a full list of what experimental waste
> > treatment designs have been approved for single family dwellings?
> >
> > > Try Robert Anderson at NSDOE e-mail at govt site.
> -Tried NSDOE site-no responses, no e-mail link.
> > 2. Who do I contact to provide design choices for an economical and
> > environmental alternative to a raised bed septic system?
> >
> > > Any engineering firm can do it so long as they are registered as QP1 with
> > > NSDOE.
> -Have yet to find list of QP1 Engineers listed with NSDOE.
> > 3. Is the Nova Scotia On-site Wastewater Committee an actual entity?
> > If so, how can they be contacted?
> >
> > > Try Daltech or CWRS they are on the web.
> -tried DALTECH/CWRS-no links to Nova Scotia On-site Wastewater Committee.
> > 4. Where is a list of some American/Canadian designers willing to
> > provide an economical alternative to a raised bed septic system? That could be
> > approved in NS?
> >
> > > You want an "economical alternative"- expect to pay three or more times the
> > > cost of a septic system for an alternative, Design will cost at least
> > > three times the cost for an approved septic system and then the cost of the
> > > constructed system will also cost perhaps twice to three times the cost
> > > of an approved septic system. Alternatives are always more expensive.
> -Here I feel, I asked for oranges and was given apples.
> > 5. Do P.Engineers of Nova Scotia compete for business and in effect,
> > provide what customers require? Or is it considered vice versa?
> >
> > > Yes but you must realize that there is not much profit in providing a
> > > septic system design service that has a value of about $2000 so you may
> > > find someone who will do it for say $1500. But then you complicate the matter by
> > > insisting on alternatives which will only add to the cost of the system and
> > > make getting an approval more difficult. Engineers provide a service and
> > > make a very modest profit on these small designs. You should be less
> > > critical as it only displays your ignorance.
> -And I thought I was being ironic. There is an irony- this man doubled the
> average cost of designing a regular raised septic (as quoted by a
> contractor).
> Sincerely, Dan Costello
> PS Not willing to hand over fistfuls of dollars for a septic system that I
> consider, "stinks".
> > > On what basis do you come to such a conclusion. Is this based on your broad
> > > experience or are you just an idiot. You ask for advise and then insult my
> > > profession after I offer you my time , free advise and an insight into the
> > > regulatory situation here. There's nothing in this for me, I don't even want
> > > your business. I have over twenty years of design experience ranging from
> > > clivus multrum toilets to major tertiary level plants. You say you want to
> > > be an environmentalist and use an "economic"alternative system but you only
> > > display your ignorance and uninformed biases. You think that the US designer
> > > are smarter yet they are adopting our designs . NS has been a leader in
> > > developing better onsite systems that are both economic and effective. I
> > > wonder what you do be so far away and yet so ignorant. Don't contact us
> > > again were not interested in wasting any more time on you.
> > >
> > > Tom Austin
> -I feel a little dismayed. I wish I could so easily say the same thing about
> spending 1500/2000 CAD on a design.
Dan's original message to ABL:
> November 1, 2000
> I seek information regarding cost comparisons between construction of
> artificial wetland versus raised bed septic systems.
> > ABL has designed wetlands for systems larger than single family but
> > the same principles apply. We have done systems in greenhouses and free
> > surface water and submerged wetlands systems. They are excellent but any
> > surface discharge in NS must be disinfected. This is very prohibitive
> > because of the cost of monitoring about $1200 per year for any free surface
> > discharge and the requirement to have the system run by a certified operator
> > another $1000/yr. So raised bed or other septic systems are very competitive
> > for the single family. Normally we use contour beds and septic tanks.
> Do you have any contacts for artificial wetland designers in Nova
> Scotia? Or Maine (where the weather is comparable)?
> -Would love an answer to this one-Canada wide.
> Do you have details of organization offering possible cost subsidies
> for such a project?
> -Probably too much to hope for?
> > No such thing available for single family systems
> Can you explain the education required to be certified to design and
> construct artificial wetlands? Have to be a P.Eng. for sewage
> treatment
> -What about construct?
> Do you have details of the price competitiveness of artificial wetlands
> designed for single family dwellings?
> Sincerely, Dan Costello
> PO Box 51871, Abu Dhabi, UAE
> POSTSCRIPT- If you took the time to read this, THANK-YOU! Please forward to
> somebody who knows something about"Artificial wetlands for single family
> dwellings".

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