By John C. Kricher
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Extra resources for A field guide to California and Pacific Northwest forests
Rudolf Czernecki, Toronto, Ont. It’s a moot point, according to the Ministry of the Environment. To stay within the letter of the law (Ontario Regulation 374/81 of the Environmental Protection Act), you must direct water into a septic system or leaching pit; otherwise you’re guilty of discharging sewage onto the surface of the ground. ) However, there’s nothing in the dirty water produced in the normal course of hand washing dishes that would be harmful to your septic system or affect the bacteria working in the tank, according to Dave Packer of the MOE’s Parry Sound district office.
Not under the Ontario Building Code. But according to James Ross of the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, it’s possible that a local authority, such as your municipality, the health unit, or a conservation authority, may enforce its own rules. So check with them to be sure. Regardless of what they say, you shouldn’t leave the tank as is. “It’s a buried cavern, so it’s a health and safety hazard,” says Doug Joy, manager of the University of Guelph’s Ontario Rural Wastewater Centre. If your tank is steel, eventually it will corrode and possibly cave in.
Methyl hydrate, also known as methanol, is widely used in windshield-washer fluid and gas-line antifreeze, for thinning shellac, and as cooking fuel on boats. Because it is highly toxic, it is not recommended for use as a plumbing antifreeze. Any traces remaining in the drinking-water system will become poisonous, cautions Marina Kovrig of Recochem, a manufacturer of a variety of antifreezes for automotive and plumbing applications. However, methanol will not harm your plumbing system, and some cottagers use it to winterize just the toilet system.
A field guide to California and Pacific Northwest forests by John C. Kricher