mike90045 - Septic question

TelcoTelco Solar Expert Posts: 201 ✭✭✭✭✭
mike90045... In this thread you made the following comment.
mike90045 wrote: »
Add a few feet of copper plumbing. As the copper slowly leaches out, it posions the growths. also stuff a couple lengths in the septic drains, same thing - helps keep roots out too.
Or some "blue stone" - copper sulphate.
Copper ridge cap, keep moss off roof.

I have a question for you on the copper tubing in the septic system, made a new thread because it's waaaay off the original topic.

If you put copper tubing into the septic system to kill off growths, would this not disrupt the normal operation of the septic tank? Seems like something designed to kill off microbes would kill off the stuff that breaks down waste matter. Can you go into more detail on what you are meaning by this? I ask because I hope to be installing a new septic system in the next couple of years.
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Comments

  • RCinFLARCinFLA Solar Expert Posts: 1,280 ✭✭✭
    Re: mike90045 - Septic question

    If it was in the drain field discharge line it would not do anything to the septic tank.

    However, I doubt if it would last very long. I had a six inch galvanized steel pipe on output of sump pump lift station to drain field between pump output and check valve. It was eaten through in about two years. Changed everything to PVC including check valve.

    It probably won't stop root intrusion which is biggest problem to drain fields. There is a bio-barrier material that is a yellow colored mesh cloth with what looks like tar dots every couple of inches that turns away roots.
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: mike90045 - Septic question

    Copper strips on roofs work well for keeping moss at bay, providing it is properly installed. Even so, it leaches away over time and needs to be replaced. Not particularly effective or practical for septic fields in my opinion.
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,311 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: mike90045 - Septic question

    it's funny you guys are talking of moss as i've got moss and mildew on my property and i've been trying to get rid of it. the moss only seems to appear on my soil, but the mildew is everywhere. (i'm not sure if mildew is what it's actually called as it is a thin painted like layer of green everywhere.) this is occurring mostly on the west and north sides of the property.
    i have tried a few things on it. the first was vinegar. no effect. then i bought some pool stuff that had copper sulfate in it. no effect. i last tried some baking soda. this did kill some of it limitedly, but to throw baking soda everywhere is crazy and would upset the ph of the soil to the point that nothing will grow. this is inline with the septic problem i would think because the alkaline ph would kill beneficial bacteria in the septic tank as it would also make it difficult to grow grass or plants in my yard.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators Posts: 26,837 admin
    Re: mike90045 - Septic question

    For roofs, there are zinc strips, and folks that recommend copper strips near the peak of the roof to kill moss and algae.

    -Bill
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  • CaptTurboCaptTurbo Solar Expert Posts: 66 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: mike90045 - Septic question

    I think the metals suggestions are good because well, because they work. Also you can consider bleach or peroxide. Try a shot on a small area and see what results you get. This reply was mostly directed to Niel or anyone who is dealing with something like what he mentioned.
  • solarvicsolarvic Solar Expert Posts: 1,043 ✭✭✭
    Re: mike90045 - Septic question

    I will be seeing a master gardener tomorrow and will ask her. From living on a farm I can tell you 2 reasons you get moss. Moss likes to grow on the north side because it doesn,t get as much sunlight. Is the western side in the shade too? Another reason moss grows is you probably have poor wet soil. Solarvic
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,311 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: mike90045 - Septic question

    yes, the western side is semi shaded by the house and the soil i had built up some to grow a garden. everything lately has been wet so i am seeing that green hue in many other places too, but it's been bad last year too.

    bleach i believe i tried watered down some already, but haven't tried h peroxide. i have a wood fence in that area as well as a beat up sidewalk and it grows all over them too. i have to be careful as my cat wanders that area and eats the grass sometimes.

    now i'm not sure if my big problem is actually mildew or not as i don't know what algae looks like. the moss is definitely there in many places on the soil.
  • CaptTurboCaptTurbo Solar Expert Posts: 66 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: mike90045 - Septic question

    I think what you are dealing with is algae and I certainly don't recommend bleaching your cat though unless you apply it (bleach or peroxide) directly to the cat, the kitty will be fine. Maybe you would like a blonde cat though? LOL :p
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 7,286 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: mike90045 - Septic question
    Telco wrote: »
    If you put copper tubing into the septic system to kill off growths, would this not disrupt the normal operation of the septic tank? Seems like something designed to kill off microbes would kill off the stuff that breaks down waste matter. Can you go into more detail on what you are meaning by this? I ask because I hope to be installing a new septic system in the next couple of years.

    Sorry, I was told in the lines from the tank, to the leach field. So the culture in the tank is un-affected. You have a 3" PVC/ABS line, lay a couple lengths of 1/2" copper, it will last 100 years, and is supposed to keep tree roots out. I don't know what it's supposed to do to the leach field microbes, but the tree roots are the larger problem.

    And a copper ridge cap, ought to last 100 years before it dissolves. I think zinc is too soft, and will erode much faster.
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  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 7,286 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: mike90045 - Septic question
    niel wrote: »
    i'm not sure if mildew is what it's actually called as it is a thin painted like layer of green everywhere.

    Sounds more like lichen, than mildew, which is a white powdery stuff.
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  • solarvicsolarvic Solar Expert Posts: 1,043 ✭✭✭
    Re: mike90045 - Septic question

    Leech fields are not suposed to be near any trees. At least you can,t get a septic permit where I live without everything bieing up to snuff in PA. With the updates in building codes most places won,t pass for standard inground and then you have to put in your own sewer system if you got enough land. Daughter across road had to put a system that has many tanks and a pump comes on at night and sprays water in thier yard. That cost $16,000.00 and uses 220 volt pumps. S:Dlarvic
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,311 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: mike90045 - Septic question

    mike,
    i don't think it is lichen as looking up pics of lichen show it to be a bit more 3 dimensional than what i have, but i'm not 100% sure. i do mean that it almost looks painted on. i might add that i am, upon taking a better look, seeing it growing on south facing areas as well and is not confined to ground areas as it is high up on surfaces too. it is on trees, rocks, soil, fences, walkways, and just about everything. i tried to search for a good pic of both soil algae and mildew, but nothing i've found looks like it so far. keep in mind i have not had too much sun in the past month or so either. today is an exception with lots of sun to see how far spread this is.
    there are some areas close to the ground up the hillside in the back that may be lichen. this does look like it is going to be a royal pain to get rid of if i can get rid of it at all.:cry:
  • Ralph DayRalph Day Solar Expert Posts: 871 ✭✭✭
    Re: mike90045 - Septic question

    Neil,
    Any recent meteorite strikes in your area? Life from a comet tail? Slime moulds? It's not pink hued is it...remember "The Blob"?

    Ralph
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,311 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: mike90045 - Septic question

    nope, not even pink elephants.:p
  • westbranchwestbranch Solar Expert Posts: 4,860 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: mike90045 - Septic question

    Niel can you send me a pic by email?
     
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  • solarvicsolarvic Solar Expert Posts: 1,043 ✭✭✭
    Re: mike90045 - Septic question

    Does it glow in the dark? I know I saw somrthing like that before but can,t remember what they called it. S:Dlarvic
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: mike90045 - Septic question

    Niel: sounds like you have the green slime that plagues the Lower Mainland here in BC; looks like pond scum, does it? This crud grows all over everything there. It loves cool, damp, dark - which is that area of BC in Winter. It isn't lichen, which is more permanent and as you say '3 dimensional'. Wash it off, it comes right back. There's also an excess of moulds down there, especially the deadly black mould (and not just in the grow-ops).

    Don't count on copper or zinc being effective against this stuff or tree roots. Willow trees, for example, are bloody-minded determined buggers when it comes to shoving their roots into water sources.

    Changing soil pH may indeed be the answer: grasses prefer non-acid (neutral to slightly alkaline) soil. Trying laying down some dolomite lime according to directions. And remember that animals will lick this stuff and it is not particularly good for them. I think you're supposed to 'water it into the soil'.

    Won't do anything for the non-ground surfaces though. Only dry sunshine can help that.
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,311 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: mike90045 - Septic question

    marc,
    sounds like you are describing what i may have, but i can't say for sure as i don't live around a pond to see it. your statements would be inline with efforts that i've undertaken that have failed with only baking soda being effective. i did throw some limestone over the area last year and did not notice any elimination of that green stuff. i don't want to throw lots of it as it would be detrimental to stuff i grow. it does require some light as i moved some fallen leaves out there and the green was not there. i do see more of the ground surface now that the snow is melting with about a 40% ground cover right now. i may need to do a cheapo ph test to give myself a ballpark idea of where i stand.

    westbranch,
    i'll see about getting a pic for you. even now it is not as green as i remember it was just shy of a week ago, so maybe the sun is retarding it.

    both the pic and ph test may need to wait until sometime next week.
  • TelcoTelco Solar Expert Posts: 201 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: mike90045 - Septic question

    Cool thanks. So you lay copper tubing alongside the leach field lines then.

    On the green stuff, my brother had that problem at one house he lived in. The ground there is always soft, like the water table is right there. When it rained he also had standing water for a LOOONG time after the rains left, like it wasn't draining off. Also had a lot of trees, so his house was perpetually shaded.

    No idea what your house area is like, but you might look into bringing some dirt in to increase the grade away from the house. Then you can get a pressure sprayer and wash the whole house down with bleach water. You can also get a mold and mildew inhibitor to spray on, then paint the house with a mold/mildew resistant paint. Might help some.
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,311 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: mike90045 - Septic question

    sorry guys as i wanted to take a pic of this, but i had forgotten with other things happening right now. i hope i even remember how to reduce the size to fit here.
    i would call the area somewhat shaded, but not totally without sun for the areas i'm concerned about. the greenery seems to need some light as i've said as there isn't any full shade in those areas at present as it will get sun at certain times of the day when the sun decides to be out. (thankfully i'm seeing some very nice days recently and the temps are now into the 50s for highs:D it is changing to rain off and on for about 6 days though.:grr) i also don't really see it on the house, but i'll have to take a closer look. it is everywhere else to one degree or another for sure and the full sun we've recently gotten has reduced some of that green intensity.
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 7,286 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: mike90045 - Septic question

    copper sulphate in water (bluestone) sprayed on stuff, will kill it if the rain does not wash it off. What drips off, will kill your foundation plantings too. Maybe a steam blaster, will cook and remove it?
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  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,311 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: mike90045 - Septic question

    ok i think i've got this now as i took a pic of my neighbor's 6ft fence as it shows it well at this point. not long ago that fence was pure green along with lots of other things as the sun faded it a bit.
    looking through the fence boards one can still see snow.:grr
  • russruss Solar Expert Posts: 593
    Re: mike90045 - Septic question

    Wash it down with bleach?
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,311 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: mike90045 - Septic question

    would that be pure bleach or can i water it down somewhat? i have to do more than fences too as it needs to go on soil, grass, and concrete too. it is not on the house that i saw today.:D
    do you know what it is?
  • russruss Solar Expert Posts: 593
    Re: mike90045 - Septic question

    A friend of mine told me that years back. İ will email him and ask.
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,311 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: mike90045 - Septic question

    telco,
    maybe i'm getting a smart streak right now or i'm too tired to know the difference.:roll:
    it occurs to me that you probably have copper plumbing for your household water supply and pipes do you not? if so the copper has been leaching into the water and septic tank for quite some time already and it would be too small of an amount of copper in any case to do anything to the microbes in the septic tank. maybe too small for killing off the moss too so a couple feet more of copper pipe i don't see helping here.
    a ph change might help like adding some baking soda. i would imagine at least one box and most likely more to do this. i poured baking soda directly on my moss and it killed it, but in time it seems to come back for some reason. anyway, if it kills it you will need to bring back the ph a bit by adding about 1 cup of vinegar per box of baking soda. after setting for a day or 2 throw your ridex or other bacterial supplement in there.
    yea, i'm talking like i know what i'm doing.:cry: try it though as what do you have to lose?

    edit to add-disclaimer-if you take my advice and it fails it is of your own accord. i'm not a professional on the subjects if that isn't obvious to you.;):D
  • russruss Solar Expert Posts: 593
    Re: mike90045 - Septic question

    Hi Neil - Don replied to my email as follows:

    Russ--I used bleach at 10 percent strength to wash off mildew on the house in bay point florida-obviously you have to be aware that it is acidic and should be washed off. sometimes depending on the severity of the mildew you may have to scrub lightly before washing off but it works well on mildew, I would recommend spot test to make sure. You may want to consider using a cloth or mop type device rather than a somewhat indescriminate spray. The plants didn't suffer. Hope this helps. rgds Don

    Good luck!
    Russ
  • TelcoTelco Solar Expert Posts: 201 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: mike90045 - Septic question
    niel wrote: »
    telco,
    maybe i'm getting a smart streak right now or i'm too tired to know the difference.:roll:
    it occurs to me that you probably have copper plumbing for your household water supply and pipes do you not? if so the copper has been leaching into the water and septic tank for quite some time already and it would be too small of an amount of copper in any case to do anything to the microbes in the septic tank. maybe too small for killing off the moss too so a couple feet more of copper pipe i don't see helping here.
    a ph change might help like adding some baking soda. i would imagine at least one box and most likely more to do this. i poured baking soda directly on my moss and it killed it, but in time it seems to come back for some reason. anyway, if it kills it you will need to bring back the ph a bit by adding about 1 cup of vinegar per box of baking soda. after setting for a day or 2 throw your ridex or other bacterial supplement in there.
    yea, i'm talking like i know what i'm doing.:cry: try it though as what do you have to lose?

    edit to add-disclaimer-if you take my advice and it fails it is of your own accord. i'm not a professional on the subjects if that isn't obvious to you.;):D

    Meh... the McMansion I live in right now has all PVC piping and is connected to the city sewer system. My main intent on asking this is, since I'm in the pre-planning stages of building a house, would this be a worthwhile thing to pursue. I'm starting to think that no, it isn't. It sounds like it would not have enough of a benefit to make it worth the cost, and could potentially cause problems. I've still got to go mark my property off for where I want a bulldozer to work, if it would ever stop being sunny and 70 on the days I work then going gloomy, rainy and 40s on my days off. :grr: Never in my life have I ever looked forward to winter going away so much. I need to mark things off because I'm going to have to take out about 3-4 acres of trees, then have about 50-100 dump truck loads of dirt brought in to level the place out. I own a hillside with one decent flat area on it, and I'm going to extend the flat area out enough to put in a house, shop, and a nice solar facility.
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: mike90045 - Septic question

    Neil;

    That looks like the same green slime we get around Vancouver - all over everything. It's not mildew, it's a type of algae. Bleach (8:1 solution) will kill it temporarily, but the stuff keeps coming back. There are commercial products available which will clean it off, but again they don't last; it's an on-going job. I suspect your unusual weather has caused this sudden upsurge in slime. When it's dry and warm and sunny it goes away. That rarely happens here (dry, warm, sunny).:p

    BTW, copper pipes don't leach into septic systems enough to cause any significant change. If they did, you'd have to repeatedly change your plumbing as it erodes into oblivion!

    Also, septic systems function fine for a long time without anyone having to add anything to them. All those 'treatments' they sell are a waste of money. If it's not working then something has gone wrong and needs to be fixed. The leach fields have a limited lifetime, dependent on soil conditions. The tanks like to be slightly acidic, but don't need any help in achieving that. One thing that has recently been found to be detrimental is all this "anti-bacterial" soap that's being pushed all over the marketplace. Guess what it does? Kills the bacteria that break down the waste.

    And yes, boys and girls, I have done this sort of thing professionally. But that doesn't mean my quick, off-the-top-of-my-head advice is 100% accurate for every situation, okay? :D
  • solarvicsolarvic Solar Expert Posts: 1,043 ✭✭✭
    Re: mike90045 - Septic question
    niel wrote: »
    ok i think i've got this now as i took a pic of my neighbor's 6ft fence as it shows it well at this point. not long ago that fence was pure green along with lots of other things as the sun faded it a bit.
    looking through the fence boards one can still see snow.:grr
    Do you have a pressure washer? I get something that looks like that that gets on the north side of my house. It is vinyl siding and that seems to like growing on it. Pressure washers will knock that off. I usually just use dawn dish detergent. Liguid laundry detergent works too. It doesn,t kill it permanently but it takes it a couple years before you need to do it again. S:Dlarvic
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