Re: Experience with community sanitary systems?
From: Fred H Olson (
Date: Thu, 16 Jul 2020 12:14:23 -0700 (PDT)
Bill Hartzell <wahartzell [at]>
is the author of the message below.  It was posted by
Fred, the Cohousing-L list manager <fholson [at]>
due to a format problem.
--------------------  FORWARDED MESSAGE FOLLOWS --------------------

Fellas -

Hundredfold Farm is a rural PA cohousing community of presently 10
single-family homes (15 maximum). Due to our location, we did/do not
have access to municipal water or sewer services. And since we are
clustered, individual wells and septic systems were not an option. Two
wells provide our drinking water, but since they are low yield wells
water conservation is key here. Our community septic system is an
artificial wetland housed in a greenhouse for which the state allows
us to reuse a portion of the treated effluent within the homes as
toilet flush water. We are the only folk in PA with such a system. The
cost for us as equivalent to the construction of a conventional
community septic system. Operational costs are primarily utility costs
(about what you pay each year for gas and electricity of a
single-family home) plus periodic repairs. Being mostly gravel,
plastic pipe, and low power pumps, it doesn't cost much to take care
of. It is a licensed wastewater treatment facility, so effluent
testing is required. That's a few thousand bucks a year. Happy to chat
more and to share info if it is helpful. I would warn that every
state's regs are different, so what worked elsewhere may not work for
you.  Bill @ Hundredfold Farm

On Thu, Jul 16, 2020 at 11:00 AM Fred H Olson <fholson [at]> 

    On cohousing-L:
    On 13 Jul 2020 Craig Herb (

    >Wondering if anyone out there has had experience with community sanitary
    >systems/micro sewer systems (some call them Small Community Wastewater
    >Cluster Systems.)

    On 15 Jul 2020 Bob Morrison ( wrote

    >Â  Here at Mosaic Commons, we have two cohos with 68 units total. We have a
    >private septic system that uses the Bioclere process. It has mostly worked 
    >OK. We can't put anything other than bodily waste and toilet paper down our
    >toilets. For example, if we put strong cleaning compounds down our drains, 
    >can kill the good bacteria that are essential to the septic process.
    >Â  Private water and sewer systems are expensive, in both capital and 
    >costs. Municipal systems are less expensive per household due to economy of
    >Bob MorrisonMosaic Commons CohousingBerlin, MA

    I found:

    Hundredfold Farm cohousing uses "Integrated Water Conservation Strategies"
    as I recall to maong other things allow denser development.  See

    Former Coho-us president,  Bill Hartzell <wahartzell [at]> ,
    showed us and explained the system when we visited after the Durham


    Fred H. Olson  Minneapolis,MN 55411  USA        (near north Mpls)
         Email:        fholson at      612-588-9532
    My Link Pg:

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