Q&A on SewageContaminants in Fruits and Vegetables Grown Near Septics
SEWAGE CONTAMINATION of FRUIT VEGETABLES, FAQs - CONTENTS: questions & answers about septic system contaminants: is it safe to eat fruits or vegetables grown over or close to septic systems? How safe are the fruits of trees growing near septic soak beds or septic tanks?
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Frequently-asked questions & answers about sewage pathogens appearing in fruits and vegetables grown near septic disposal fields:
Here we answer FAQs about the risk of sewage or septic effluent contamination of fruits, vegetables, or other edibles grown near septic drainfields or aerobic septic systems.
This article series discusses the health hazards of consuming fruits and vegetables that may contain contaminants produced if they are grown over septic drainfields or too close to other sources of effluent from septic systems or on-site waste disposal systems
FAQs on Sewage Contaminants in Fruits and Vegetables Grown Near Septic Drainfields?
Recently-posted questions & answers about risk of garden or fruit contamination from septic systems
On 2017-03-12 18:26:52.145226 by (mod) - safe distances from aerobic system for hazelnut trees & wildflowers
Thank you for the nice comment, Andrea. In an era of fake news and loss of appreciation of the importance of objective facts, we can but increase our commitment to doing our best to provide accurate, un-biased information.
About planting wildflowers over a septic area out of the spray area, I think that's a fine idea. From my reading, the greatest concern with septic effluent contamination would be either direct spray onto edible crops or contaminated soil-splash-up onto them. But do consider prevalent wind direction and force - that may lead you to use a somewhat greater safety distance from the drainfield.
GARDENS NEAR SEPTICS at http://inspectapedia.com/septic/Plant_Garden_Over_Septic_Fields.php adds some detail about such plantings right over or close to septics (not your case)
About planting trees near the septic field, with enough distance that you're not splashing contaminated soil nor wind-drifting septic effluent onto the trees, the remaining question will just be root damage to the fields - unlikely if you're far enough away. "Safe" distances (about root damage) ranges from 50 to 100 ft. depending on tree species.
There are many on-line sources of advice on growing hazelnut trees. You need at least two trees, and typical planting spaces gives each tree 20x20 ft. So if you're 50 feet from a fence that marks the perimeter of your effluent absorption area you should be OK. It'd be smart to double check about hazelnut root growth patterns with an arborist.
See Baron, Lloyd C., Craig Riggert, Robert L. Stebbins, and Susan M. Bell. "Growing hazelnuts in Oregon." (1985).
see TREES or SHRUBS OVER THE SEPTIC FIELD or TANK at http://inspectapedia.com/septic/Plant_Trees_Over_Septic_Fields.php for some distance guidelines. You'll see that safe distances to avoid root damage depend on the tree or other plant species. There you will also find a link to a PDF file describing procedures for growing Hazelnut trees, prepared by Henry and Kaiser for the USDA.
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On 2017-03-12 14:03:59.611051 by Andrea
Hi there, I really appreciate this forum- it's hard to find educated answers you haven't paid for out the nose for that try to cover so many variables with such effort and honesty as I've read on here. Before I ask my question I just wanted to say your restraint from giving in to trolls so as to answer their real questions is awesome.
So with that said here's my question, I'm hoping for a few good points to pursue because I've no idea where to start with an answer. I have an aerobic septic system with two sprinklers that spray gray water. The plan is to fence of the area of farthest spray reach and seed wildflowers for pollinators (I live in Texoma, pasture land).
I'd like to plant hazelnut trees for consumption about 50ft away from fence. I'm worried about food safety.
Im considering hazelnut because I'd need to bake it before eating ( to remove skin) and I'm hoping that approach will give me a safe end product for flour and animal feed (geese and chickens as a treat and winter staple. Don't mind cooking/skinning as it makes crushing easier.)
What are your thoughts? I'm thinking worst case scenario hazelnut crop experiences splash up but not soaking.
Very possible run off during rain from fenced area to tree roots. Small property of 2 acres, 2 adults 4 children to give you an idea of septic loads, co-op well water, no large livestock.
On 2016-08-30 14:35:13.265128 by (mod)
The concern would be more likely whether or not sewage effluent splashes up onto the grapes during rainfall - if the tank is sealed and the drainfield is not in failure you may be ok.
On 2016-08-30 03:36:10.956966 by can u eat grapes planted near septic tank
i have concord grapes growing close to septic tank can i make jelly and be safe to eat
On 2015-12-28 05:49:19.664019 by Anonymous
Test the produce for sewage bacteris, keeping in mind that changing weather or change in septic field conditions still can create a contamination risk.
On 2015-12-27 19:11:00.626212 by Karen
Testing I can do, but I'm at a loss as to what tests. Would the local extension office be the best place to go? Would they know of regulations regarding selling to the public?
It seemed most people were talking about being very close to the system whereas I think I'd be at least 100 feet away (I'll need to find out exactly where the system ends).
I'm inclined to think that would be sufficient but don't want to go through the effort & expense to plant trees if I can't sell the fruit. Thank you for your time and input; I'm so glad I found this site!
On 2015-12-26 22:33:55.646785 by (mod)
"Near" is not a fixed number so I agree the discussion, even from experts, can be confusing; whether or not edibles will be contaminated depends on not just distance but soil properties, water flow rates through soils, rain splash-up, dust transport, etc.
I think some common sense and perhaps some testing can answer the question.
On 2015-12-26 05:40:28.341380 by Karen
After reading all of the posts above the first question that comes to mind is "What is NEAR?" I know of a piece of land, I'd guess about 450' x 450', with a mound at one end of it. If fruit trees were planted in the center of that square would they be "near" it? If planted at the other end of it would they be "near" it?
Are there government entities (or others) who regulate how far away you must plant in order to be "safe" to sell your harvest to the public?
we have constructed a vegetable garden or plantd fruit trees over the drainfield but now we're worried
(Sept 10, 2011) Anonymous said: hey what about if waste water went in a lemon tree ?can we eat the lemons or is it dangerous
(Mar 9, 2012) Anonymous said: Large new drain field. Family 4. Orange tree 15 feet from tree to in ground drain field with lift station. Only brown water from lift station. Safe or not safe.
(Apr 28, 2012) RICK said: LEMON TREE OR NUT TREE 15' AWAY FROM LEECH FIELD-IS IT SAFE TO EAT????
(July 31, 2012) tanya said: Hi there we have a community growing area,we have small ground level plots that we have been growing our veg in, sadly last night we were flooded by the local brook/dike, leaving a dark brown mud and foul smell, would it be safe to eat these vegtables as many were potatoes or should we destroy and start again?
Would these areas need to be have fress top soil incase of sewage damage or could we clean it, any advice would be great
(Jan 25, 2013) Jennifer said: We recently rebuilt a house in a large, old, established residental hilly area, at the very bottom. There was a water drainage problem, which has been corrected as best we can. Still very high underwater flow. Is it safe to plant veggies/herbs in this area?
4/24/2014 Summer Costello said:
We have prepared a large site for growing vegetables in a nice flat spot of our yard following guidelines for "Eden" gardening. We started with a layer of newspaper right on top of the grass, followed by a layer of decomposed cow manure, added in some mushroom mulch, and finally three inches of wood chips. We began this process last fall in excited preparation for planting this spring.
Recently, however, a visiting plumber noted that our garden plot is situated directly over our drainfield and could produce vegetables that are unsafe to eat. We were so disappointed and began researching to confirm or disprove his concerns. I read most of the pertinent info on your website, but still have some questions.
1) Since our plot has been prepared over the grass and vegetables will not be planted directly into the soil, will this reduce the possibility of contaminants in the veggies?
2) Should't the wood chip layer adequately protect veggies from contaminant splash up?
3) Is our prepared plot considered a raised bed?
I read that this is not good for the drainfield and am wondering what affects it could have on the functioning of the system? Also, is there anything we could do, since the plot is already prepared, to help combat any negative affects? PLEASE HELP! We worked so hard on this and will be soon ready to plant but don't want to endanger our family with contaminated foods!
Reply: variation in site conditions may cause risk of actual sewage contamination of vegetables and possibly higher-up fruit crops to risk to vary accordingly
Good question but not one we can hazard by text exchange and no real data; For example, some creeks will seasonally contain quit high levels of local septic field runoff and more seriously, in communities where there are many older, crowded, or under-designed, or under-maintained septic systems, a high level of sewage effluent may regularly be discharged to the surface or to nearby creeks and streams. So unforutnately there's no simple Yes or No answer that in my opinion would be reliable.
I think this is a good question to take to your health department.
Thanks for the interesting question Summer. I am torn between wanting to be helpful and wanting to be careful not to bet your health on a situation that I cannot really know much about by just exchangin text messages.
I agree that you understand the different sanitation concerns or contamination pathways: bacteria entering a plant through the soil vs. contaminant splash-up. Generally one would imagine that above-ground crops have their greater risk from sewage splash-up.
But interestingly even among fruit trees planted over questionable soils, the rate of infection appears to vary by species (though I suspec there may have been other factors at work). See Sipahioglu (1999) in the citations above.
More examples of variation in site conditions that may cause sewage contamination risk to vary as well
Drainfield-grown food crops may be safe today but maybe not tomorrow or next year: You may think that there is no wastewater splash-up. Suppose you're right - right now.
Generally building and health codes are written not just for the special case of people who are very careful and pay close attention to hazards, but for the more general real-world case that includes "what goes wrong" including
heavy rains, snow melt, and saturated soils
changes in soil moisture, wind, nearby surface runoff
changes in the area water table height, particularly an increase in the seasaonal high water table
changes in septic system maintenance - a new owner forgets about pumping the septic tank or has a large family who make much heavier use of the system
changes in what is being flushed down drains: chemicals, medications (see the June 2012 remarks from Anonymous about chemotherapy chemicals)
changes in soakaway bed pipe condition: equpment damage, soil added or taken away, changes in surface drainage from nearby properties, even normal drainfield clogging that eventually occurs with age and bio-film formation
temporary septic system overloading or new drainfield failures or similar events all of which can contaminate surface crops.
So in other words, you might be ok but not risk-free. If you are inclined take a look into some of the research documents we've cited on this.
Further, you want to be sure not to drive any kind of heavy equipment (heavier than a homeowner's type lawn mower) over a septic drainfield as doing so risks damaging the field.
Next, adding a cover that interferes with evaporation or to be fancy transpiration interferes with proper soakaway bed functioning and increases the failure risk.
Adding additional feet of fill also interferes with drainfield function by reducing the oxygen available to soil bacteria thus reducing the level of treatment. That's why deep drainfields in areas of deep freezing soil are really never really treating effluent anyway.
Further, any crops that may send deep roots may end up seeking and invading and clogging the drainfield lines.
Question: does greywater contaminate fruits and vegetables planted over the septic area ?
AUTHOR:B. Sturgis (no email)
COMMENT:Lemon tree planted over greywater, washing machine only, septic area. Will lemons be safe to eat?
Reader Question: How can I get my vegetable and fruit produce professionally tested to ascertain contamination from sewage pathogens?
(Apr 28, 2014) Mark said:
How can I get my vegetable and fruit produce professionally tested to ascertain contamination from sewage pathogens?
Mark a microbiology test lab, the same folks who do water testing, sewage contamination testing, can test other materials for pathogens. Be sure to discuss with local labs in your area just what is their normal scope of work and expertise. Some labs drastically limit their practice.
(Apr 29, 2014) Mark said:
Thanks so much -- that was very helpful.
Glad to assist, Mark and your question is helpful to me as well.
If you want to better understand the concerns around pathogens found in fruits & vegetables I found the following article quite pertinent.
Leff, Jonathan W., and Noah Fierer. "Bacterial communities associated with the surfaces of fresh fruits and vegetables." PloS one 8, no. 3 (2013): e59310.
Abstract: Fresh fruits and vegetables can harbor large and diverse populations of bacteria. However, most of the work on produce-associated bacteria has focused on a relatively small number of pathogenic bacteria and, as a result, we know far less about the overall diversity and composition of those bacterial communities found on produce and how the structure of these communities varies across produce types.
Moreover, we lack a comprehensive view of the potential effects of differing farming practices on the bacterial communities to which consumers are exposed. We addressed these knowledge gaps by assessing bacterial community structure on conventional and organic analogs of eleven store-bought produce types using a culture-independent approach, 16 S rRNA gene pyrosequencing.
Our results demonstrated that the fruits and vegetables harbored diverse bacterial communities, and the communities on each produce type were significantly distinct from one another. However, certain produce types (i.e., sprouts, spinach, lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, and strawberries) tended to share more similar communities as they all had high relative abundances of taxa belonging to the family Enterobacteriaceae when compared to the other produce types (i.e., apples, peaches, grapes, and mushrooms) which were dominated by taxa belonging to the Actinobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Firmicutes, and Proteobacteria phyla.
Although potentially driven by factors other than farming practice, we also observed significant differences in community composition between conventional and organic analogs within produce types. These differences were often attributable to distinctions in the relative abundances of Enterobacteriaceae taxa, which were generally less abundant in organically-grown produce.
Taken together, our results suggest that humans are exposed to substantially different bacteria depending on the types of fresh produce they consume with differences between conventionally and organically farmed varieties contributing to this variation.
My point is that when we ask a lab to test for pathogenic contamination of fruits and vegetables we need to
1. ignore the folks who argue that such foodstuffs are not at risk and so testing is always unnecessary
2. ask the lab what they will test-for, as we might need to look for different pathogens on different foods. I worry that some prior research, as I've found in the area of mold contamination, seriously misreports the presence or absence of hazards because the investigator didn't look thoroughly or used an unreliable test method.
Like bird watching, how do you spot a Quetzal? Well you have to look where they live (in certain areas of Costa Rica) and it helps to know what they eat (little avocados) and when they will be there eating (early morning).
Another bird watcher might say there are no Quetzals there, even looking in the same spot, but at the wrong time of day.
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 Water Quality Engineering, Inc., 103 Palouse Street, Suite 2
Wenatchee, Washington 98801
Phone: 509-663-1303 Fax: 509-663-9449 Email: email@example.com Website: http://www.waterqe.com
Quoting from the company's website: Water Quality Engineering, Inc (WQE) specializes in evaluation and design of processes that impact water quality in the rural and suburban landscape. We are a small streamlined company that teams with other experts around the region to complete projects as cost effectively and timely as possible. Our goal is quality work, service, and cost savings to our clients.
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We are experienced and successful in grant procurement for organizations who need assistance in funds for planning, engineering, and nonpoint source pollution studies and BMP implementation. WQE provides services to municipalities, industries, irrigation districts and individuals throughout the Northwest.
"Bacterial Pathogens Recovered from Vegetables Irrigated by Wastewater in Morocco", Y. Karamoko, K. Ibenyassine, M. M. Ennaji, B. Anajjar, R. Ait Mhand, M. Chouibani, Journal of Environmental Health, June 2007.
Abstract: The authors obtained 50 vegetable samples from various regions in Morocco and examined them to determine the micro biological quality of these products. Aerobic count, coliform, enterococci, and Staphylococcus areus were evaluated. This analysis revealed high levels of enterococci, fecal coliforms, and total coliforms. No coagulase-positive Staphylococcus aureas was detected in any of the samples analyzed. Biochemical identification of Enterobacteriaceae showed the presence of Citrobacter freundii (28 percent), Enterobacter cloacae (27 percent), Escherichia coli (16 percent), Enterobacter sakazakii (12 percent), Klebsiella pneamoniae (17 percent), Serratia liquefaciens (11 percent), and Salmonella arizonae (0.7 percent). The results clearly demonstrate that vegetables irrigated with untreated wastewater have a high level of microbiological contamination. Consequently, these vegetables may be a threat for the Moroccan consumer and may be considered a serious risk to Moroccan public health. ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR Copyright of Journal of Environmental Health is the property of National Environmental Health Association and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder's express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use. This abstract may be abridged. No warranty is given about the accuracy of the copy. Users should refer to the original published version of the material for the full abstract. Contact Us to request a copy of this article stored as BacterialPathogens.pdf if you have difficulty obtaining a copy of this full article for private use. at BACTERIAL PATHOGENS in FRUIT & VEGETABLES is a slightly-rough online copy.
Beuchat, L.R. (1996). Pathogenic microorganisms associated with
fresh produce. Journal of Food Protection, 59(2), 204-216.
Evans, M.R., Ribiero, CD., & Salmon, R.L. (2003). Hazards of
healthy Living: Boiled water and salad vegetables as risk Factors
For Campylobacter infection. Emerging Infectious Disease, 9(10),
Guo, X., Chen, j . , Brackett, R.E., & Beuchat. LR. (2001). Survival of
Saimonellae on and in tomato plants From the time of inoculation at
flowering and early stages of fruit development through fruit ripening.
Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 67(10), 4760-4764
Madden, J.M. (1992). Microbial pathogens in fresh produce—The
regulatory perspective. Journal of Food Protection, 55, 821-823.
Shearer, A.E., Strapp, CM., & Joerger, R.D. (2001). Evaluation of
polymerase chain reaction-based system for detection of Salmonella
enteritidis, Escherichia coli O157:H7, Listeria spp., and Listeria monocytogenes on Fresh Fruit and vegetables. Journal of Food
Protection, 64(6), 788-795.
"Septic Tank/Drainfield System Fact Sheet", Utah Department of Environmental Quality, Division of Drinking Water, Source Protection Program - (801) 536-4200 Division of Water Quality - (801) 538-6146 Sonja Wallace, Pollution Prevention Coordinator - (801) 536-4477 Environmental Hotline - 1-800-458-0145 - Original source: http://www.drinkingwater.utah.gov/documents/spec_services/pollution_prevention_septic_tanks.pdf
New York State Wastewater Treatment Standards - Individual Household Systems, Appendix 75-A (1990),
Public Health Law 201(1)(1).
treatment systems, Bennette D. Burks & Mary Margaret Minnis. Textbook and reference manual on all aspects of onsite treatment. This is one of the best books we've reviewed on the subject, with an excellent balance of clear simple explanation and solid engineering. Topics: Soil & Site Selection, Hydraulics, System Selection & Design, Wastewater Biology, History & Mythology of Onsite Wastewater
Treatment. $49.95, Hogarth House, Ltd., 800-993-2665 x327 order a copy from the InspectApedia bookstore (Amazon.com) or order by telephone 800 -993-2665 x327 (Univ. Wisc. Bookstore)
Thanks to reader Cheryl Sweetland for email discussion of planting fruit trees (avocado & mango trees) near a septic tank 07/13/2010
"Bacteria in Drinking Water" - "Chlorine," Karen Mancl, water quality specialist, Agricultural Engineering, Ohio State University Extension. Mancl explains factors affecting the effectiveness of chlorine in water as a means to destroy bacteria and other microorganisms. OSU reports as follows:
Chlorine kills bacteria, including disease-causing organisms and the nuisance organism, iron bacteria. However, low levels of chlorine, normally used to disinfect water, are not an effective treatment for giardia cysts. A chlorine level of over 10 mg/1 must be maintained for at least 30 minutes to kill giardia cysts. -- http://ohioline.osu.edu/b795/index.html is the front page of this bulletin.
Giardia exposure limits for drinking water: see www.mass.gov/dep/water/drinking/standards/giardia.htm is the current regulatory exposure limit (your minimum target for sterilization)
1-Bromo-3-chloro-5,5-dimethylhydantoin (C5H6BrClN2O2) is produced world-wide and is also used in cleaners and bathroom disinfectants and deodorizers. Here is an example MSDS for this product, provided by Leisure Time
Principles and Practice of Disinfection, Preservation and Sterilization (Hardcover)
by A. D. Russell (Editor), W. B. Hugo (Editor), G. A. J. Ayliffe (Editor), Blackwell Science, 2004. ISBN-10: 1405101997, ISBN-13: 978-1405101998.
Handbook of Disinfectants and Antiseptics, Joseph M. Ascenzi (Editor), CRC, 1995, ISBN-10: 0824795245 ISBN-13: 978-0824795245 "The evaluation of chemical germicides predates the golden age of microbiology..." -
This well-focused, up-to-date reference details the current medical uses of antiseptics and disinfectants -- particularly in the control of hospital-acquired infections -- presenting methods for evaluating products to obtain regulatory approval and examining chemical, physical, and microbiological properties as well as the toxicology of the most widely used commercial chemicals.
Amahmid, O., Asmama, S., & Bouhoum, K. (1999). The effect of waste water reuse in irrigation on the contamination level of food crops by Giardia cysts and Ascaris eggs. International Journal of Food Microbiology, 49(1-2), 19-26.
Barak, J.D., Whitehand, L.C., & Charkowski, A.O. (2002). Differences in attachment of Salmonella enterica serovars and Escherichia coli O157:H7 to alfalfa sprouts. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 68(10), 4758-4763.
Beuchat, L.R. (1996). Pathogenic microorganisms associated with fresh produce. Journal of Food Protection, 59(2), 204-216.
Castro-Rosas, J., & Escartin, E.F. (2000). Survival and growth of Vibrio cholerae O1, Salmonella typhi, and Escherichia coli O157:H7 in alfalfa sprouts. Journal of Food Science, 65(1), 162-165.
Charkowski, A.O., Barak, J.D., Sarreal, C.Z., & Mandrell, R.E. (2002). Growth and colonization patterns of Salmonella enterica and Escherichia coli O157:H7 on alfalfa sprouts and the effects of sprouting temperature, iinoculum /in·oc·u·lum/ (-ok´u-lum) pl. inoc´ula material used in inoculation.
Evans, M.R., Ribeiro, C.D., & Salmon, R.L. (2003). Hazards of healthy living: Bottled water and salad vegetables as risk factors for Campylobacter infection. Emerging Infectious Disease, 9(10), 1219-1225.
Frost, J.A., McEvoy, M.B., Bentley, C.A., Andersson, Y., & Rowe, B. (1995). An outbreak of Shigella sonnei infection associated with consumption of iceberg. Emerging Infectious Disease, 1(1), 26-28.
Guo, X., Chen, J., Brackett, R.E., & Beuchat, L.R. (2001). Survival of Salmonellae on and in tomato plants from the time of inoculation at flowering and early stages of fruit development through fruit ripening,
said of meat. See curing. . Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 67(10), 4760-4764.
Guo, X., Chen, J., Brackett, R.E., & Beuchat, L.R. (2002). Survival of Salmonellae on tomatoes stored at high relative humidity, in soil, and on tomatoes in contact with soil. Journal of Food Protection, 65(2), 274-279.
Guo, X., Iersel, M.W.V., Chen, J., Brackett, R.E., & Beuchat, L.R. (2002). Evidence of association of salmonellae with tomato plants grown hydroponically in inoculated nutrient solution. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 68(7), 3639-3643.
Itoh, Y., Sugita-Konishi, Y., Kasuga, E, Iwaki, M., Hara-Kudo, Y., Saito, N., Noguchi, Y, Konuma, H., & Kumagai, S. (1998) Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli enterohemorrhagic Escherichia EHEC Any of the E coli serotypes–eg O29, O39, O145 that produces shiga-like toxins, causing bloody inflammatory diarrhea, evoking a HUS. See Escherichia coli O157:H7, Hemolytic uremic syndrome. O157:H7 present in radish sprouts. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 64(4), 1532-1535.
Madden, J.M. (1992). Microbial pathogens in fresh produce--The regulatory perspective. Journal of Food Protection, 55, 821-823.
McMahon, M.A.S., & Wilson, I.G. (2001). The occurrence of enteric pathogens and Aeromonas species in organic vegetables. International Journal of Food Microbiology, 70(1-2),155-162.
Puohiniemi, R., Heiskanen, T., & Siitonen, A. (1997). Molecular epidemiology of two international sprout-borne Salmonella outbreaks. Journal of Clinical Microbiology
. 35(10), 2487-2491.
Shearer, A.E., Strapp, C.M., & Joerger, R.D. (2001). Evaluation of polymerase chain reaction-based system for detection of Salmonella enteritidis, Escherichia coli O157:H7, Listeria spp., and Listeria monocytogenes on fresh fruit and vegetables. Journal of Food Protection, 64(6), 788-795.
Takeuchi, K., Hassan, A.N., & Frank, J.F. (2001). Penetration of Escherichia coli O157:H7 into lettuce as influenced by modified atmosphere and temperature. Journal of Food Protection, 64(11), 1820-1823.
Wright, C., Kominos, S.D., & Yee, R.B. (1976). Enterobacteriaceae and Pseudomonas aeruginosa recovered from vegetable salads. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 31(3), 453-454.
Books & Articles on Building & Environmental Inspection, Testing, Diagnosis, & Repair
Advanced Onsite Wastewater Systems Technologies, Anish R. Jantrania, Mark A. Gross. Anish Jantrania, Ph.D., P.E., M.B.A., is a Consulting Engineer, in Mechanicsville VA, 804-550-0389 (2006). Outstanding technical reference especially on alternative septic system design alternatives. Written for designers and engineers, this book is not at all easy going for homeowners but is a text I recommend for professionals--DF.
Builder's Guide to Wells and Septic Systems, Woodson, R. Dodge: $ 24.95; MCGRAW HILL B; TP;
Quoting from Amazon's description: For the homebuilder, one mistake in estimating or installing wells and septic systems can cost thousands of dollars. This comprehensive guide filled with case studies can prevent that. Master plumber R. Dodge Woodson packs this reader-friendly guide with guidance and information, including details on new techniques and materials that can economize and expedite jobs and advice on how to avoid mistakes in both estimating and construction. Chapters cover virtually every aspect of wells and septic systems, including on-site evaluations; site limitations; bidding; soil studies, septic designs, and code-related issues; drilled and dug wells, gravel and pipe, chamber-type, and gravity septic systems; pump stations; common problems with well installation; and remedies for poor septic situations. Woodson also discusses ways to increase profits by avoiding cost overruns.
Country Plumbing: Living with a Septic System, Hartigan, Gerry: $ 9.95; ALAN C HOOD & TP;
Quoting an Amazon reviewer's comment, with which we agree--DF:This book is informative as far as it goes and might be most useful for someone with an older system. But it was written in the early 1980s. A lot has changed since then. In particular, the book doesn't cover any of the newer systems that are used more and more nowadays in some parts of the country -- sand mounds, aeration systems, lagoons, etc.
Onsite Wastewater Disposal Books
Onsite Wastewater Disposal, R. J. Perkins;
Quoting from Amazon: This practical book, co-published with the National Environmental Health Association,
describes the step-by-step procedures needed to avoid common pitfalls in septic system technology.
Valuable in matching the septic system to the site-specific conditions, this useful book will help you install a reliable system in
both suitable and difficult environments. Septic tank installers, planners, state and local regulators, civil and sanitary engineers,
consulting engineers, architects, homeowners, academics, and land developers will find this publication valuable.
Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems, Bennette D. Burks, Mary Margaret Minnis, Hogarth House 1994 - one of the best septic system books around, suffering a bit from small fonts and a weak index. While it contains some material more technical than needed by homeowners, Burks/Minnis book on onsite wastewater treatment systems a very useful reference for both property owners and septic system designers.
Septic Tank/Soil-Absorption Systems: How to Operate & Maintain [ copy on file as /septic/Septic_Operation_USDA.pdf ] - , Equipment Tips, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 8271 1302, 7100 Engineering, 2300 Recreation, September 1982, web search 08/28/2010, original source: http://www.fs.fed.us/t-d/pubs/pdfimage/82711302.pdf
Septic System Owner's Manual, Lloyd Kahn, Blair Allen, Julie Jones, Shelter Publications, 2000 $14.95 U.S. - easy to understand, well illustrated, one of the best practical references around on septic design basics including some advanced systems; a little short on safety and maintenance. Both new and used (low priced copies are available, and we think the authors are working on an updated edition--DF.
Quoting from one of several Amazon reviews: The basics of septic systems, from underground systems and failures to what the owner can do to promote and maintain a healthy system, is revealed in an excellent guide essential for any who reside on a septic system. Rural residents receive a primer on not only the basics; but how to conduct period inspections and what to do when things go wrong. History also figures into the fine coverage.
Grass is Always Greener Over the Septic Tank, Bombeck, Erma: $ 5.99; FAWCETT; MM;
This septic system classic whose title helps avoid intimidating readers new to septic systems, is available new or used at very low prices.
It's more entertainment than a serious "how to" book on septic systems design, maintenance, or repair. Not recommended -- DF.
US EPA Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems Manual Top Reference: US EPA's Design Manual for Onsite Wastewater Treatment and Disposal, 1980, available from the US EPA, the US GPO Superintendent of Documents (Pueblo CO), and from the National Small Flows Clearinghouse. Original source http://www.epa.gov/ORD/NRMRL/Pubs/625R00008/625R00008.htm
Water Wells and Septic Systems Handbook, R. Dodge Woodson. This book is in the upper price range, but is worth the cost for serious septic installers and designers.
Quoting Amazon: Each year, thousands upon thousands of Americans install water wells and septic systems on their properties. But with a maze of codes governing their use along with a host of design requirements that ensure their functionality where can someone turn for comprehensive, one-stop guidance? Enter the Water Wells and Septic Systems Handbook from McGraw-Hill.
Written in language any property owner can understand yet detailed enough for professionals and technical students this easy-to-use volume delivers the latest techniques and code requirements for designing, building, rehabilitating, and maintaining private water wells and septic systems. Bolstered by a wealth of informative charts, tables, and illustrations, this book delivers:
* Current construction, maintenance, and repair methods
* New International Private Sewage Disposal Code
* Up-to-date standards from the American Water Works Association
Wells and Septic Systems, Alth, Max and Charlet, Rev. by S. Blackwell Duncan, $ 18.95; Tab Books 1992. We have found this text very useful for conventional well and septic systems design and maintenance --DF.
Quoting an Amazon description:Here's all the information you need to build a well or septic system yourself - and save a lot of time, money, and frustration. S. Blackwell Duncan has thoroughly revised and updated this second edition of Wells and Septic Systems to conform to current codes and requirements. He also has expanded this national bestseller to include new material on well and septic installation, water storage and distribution, water treatment, ecological considerations, and septic systems for problem building sites.
Carson, Dunlop & Associates Ltd., 120 Carlton Street Suite 407, Toronto ON M5A 4K2. Tel: (416) 964-9415 1-800-268-7070 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. The firm provides professional home inspection services & home inspection education & publications. Alan Carson is a past president of ASHI, the American Society of Home Inspectors. Thanks to Alan Carson and Bob Dunlop, for permission for InspectAPedia to use text excerpts from The Home Reference Book & illustrations from The Illustrated Home. Carson Dunlop Associates' provides extensive home inspection education and report writing material.
The Illustrated Home illustrates construction details and building components, a reference for owners & inspectors. Special Offer: For a 5% discount on any number of copies of the Illustrated Home purchased as a single order Enter INSPECTAILL in the order payment page "Promo/Redemption" space.
TECHNICAL REFERENCE GUIDE to manufacturer's model and serial number information for heating and cooling equipment, useful for determining the age of heating boilers, furnaces, water heaters is provided by Carson Dunlop, Associates, Toronto - Carson Dunlop Weldon & Associates Special Offer: Carson Dunlop Associates offers InspectAPedia readers in the U.S.A. a 5% discount on any number of copies of the Technical Reference Guide purchased as a single order. Just enter INSPECTATRG in the order payment page "Promo/Redemption" space.
The Home Reference Book - the Encyclopedia of Homes, Carson Dunlop & Associates, Toronto, Ontario, 25th Ed., 2012, is a bound volume of more than 450 illustrated pages that assist home inspectors and home owners in the inspection and detection of problems on buildings. The text is intended as a reference guide to help building owners operate and maintain their home effectively. Field inspection worksheets are included at the back of the volume.
Special Offer: For a 10% discount on any number of copies of the Home Reference Book purchased as a single order. Enter INSPECTAHRB in the order payment page "Promo/Redemption" space. InspectAPedia.com editor Daniel Friedman is a contributing author.
Special Offer: Carson Dunlop Associates offers InspectAPedia readers in the U.S.A. a 5% discount on these courses: Enter INSPECTAHITP in the order payment page "Promo/Redemption" space. InspectAPedia.com editor Daniel Friedman is a contributing author.
The Horizon Software System manages business operations,scheduling, & inspection report writing using Carson Dunlop's knowledge base & color images. The Horizon system runs on always-available cloud-based software for office computers, laptops, tablets, iPad, Android, & other smartphones