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Topic-icon Biolytix waste water problems

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5 years 2 months ago #36374 by Maungamutu

We needed to replace an old original septic tank system which had never worked or been looked after by the previous owners of our lsb.
So we saved up a bit and opted to install a biolytix boipod (environmentally friendly and all that) about 20 months ago and at a cost of $17.5k +
I thought the install was a bit rough at the time but was working long hours and couldn't oversee what was going on.

Anyway this winter the dramas started! Alarms going off and tank flooding with ground water ( $1000 to fix that + after already paying $290 services) Then 2 weeks later same thing happening again. Installer/service agent comes and bypasses a whole lot of stuff and basically says .. nope don't really want to work on it any more unless you pay to pull it out of the ground (its concreted in)

So it has been limping along for a month or two until this weekend when the pump out pump gives up completely. I'm not happy that all these costs are coming back onto me!?? A friend has also has his Biolytix rebuilt in the 2nd year of it's life by same agent and I've heard of one in Hamilton completely floating out of the ground!

I'd be interested in feedback from any lsb members that have one of these systems in the greater Waikato/King Country areas or even further afield too. Lots have been installed and the science/operating theory behind the system is sound, but am I the only one having these major issues! O boy (knocking head on computer desk)

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5 years 2 months ago #474678 by max2

Get onto the Aussie owners of the business right away !!!!

We were going to go down the biolytix track and looked extensively at it.

During this time it was my understanding there were ''upsets'' within the NZ arm of the business. We then had a couple of different reps for the NZ side, which never seemed to last. The quotes between those reps varied widely.

So first try the Aussie people as they were very honest in explaining the situation to us when it went pear shaped here.

Secondly, if you have no joy there engage a waste water engineer to review your set up. We ended up with a soak away system designed by a WWE and approved by our Council, and it works brilliantly as well as being the absolute most economical solution.

Good luck!

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5 years 2 months ago #474682 by Maungamutu

swaggie;477698 wrote: Get onto the Aussie owners of the business right away !!!!


Yes The Aussies did own it when we had it installed...then our bad luck, shortly after we had it in the ground they went into receivership after the Queensland floods and sold the business to NZ firm in Auckland (no one told us that though) And guess what else!! The installing plumbing business has also changed hands (no one told us that though). ow! ow! ow! (banging head on table again)

At the moment our $17.5k + investment in our properties future looks like a pretty worthless plastic tank buried in the ground outside the house!

That raises the question on their current website stating a vessel warranty of 15 years and a pump warranty of 2 years. Should this become void if the business changes hands cause this is what they have implied to us?

I've got a couple of interesting days ahead I think. New service agent hopefully coming to look at it tomorrow.

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5 years 2 months ago #474687 by max2

Gosh that sounds terrible but not unexpected considering our short experience of the NZ side of things. Why we went the ''other way'' and I think it was pumpkin girl on here who told me about waste water engineers and the cost which was delightfully surprising. [^]

At that stage (perhaps 6 years ago?) the NZ bit was franchisees (??) including the plumber doing the installation and work, if you dealt with the one we did after the other NZ couple took off, he was the official NZ rep, Aussie always was a separate arm to what happened in NZ.

Something must have gone terribly wrong along the way.... :(

Can I strongly recommend rather than looking at the tank and pump as being a waste of $$'s, you get a waste water engineer in ASAP as another form of opinion against the new ''service agent''?

I am sure there are components you can re-use even if it needs re-siting with far cheaper to non existent servicing costs.

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5 years 2 months ago #474688 by max2

ps if you get stuck, our guy is based in Pukekohe, if he doesn't do your area, he should know of others to recommend or at least discuss the issues at hand and make other suggestions perhaps?

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5 years 2 months ago #474694 by Hawkspur

The waste water engineers that I have dealt with highly recommend Biolytix as a system for many situations.

You say your system is flooding with ground water: what has caused this? How is the groundwater getting in? Is it sited in a low point that gets ponding from rainwater?
Was the system rebuilt with new worms, peat etc. after the flooding?

Get whoever services it to check whether you have an alarm that lets you know if there is a blockage in the filter bed (before it can build up and flood the control box).

One suggested thing to check in any septic system of this type is restricted flow through the the dispersal field/irrigation bed:
If you can get the service agent to check the flow by fitting a temporary meter between the pump and the tank outlet. Any flow under 12L/minutes is too low, and may indicate a biofilm buildup on the irrigation pipes.

(NB: regarding the tank that floated out of the ground: Any tank if it is not full, the groundwater is high and it has not been appropriately anchored, will float/ be pushed up by groundwater. It is an installation fault.)

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5 years 2 months ago #474696 by Maungamutu

I have a waste water engineer guy living about 4km away from me, he's ex council and not that excitable, after asking him to come and look 4 times when we were quoting the job - I gave up.

We kind of want what we were promised.... AND paid for (the day after it was installed!)
Hopefully we won't have to rip this one out and install a different system [:(!]

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5 years 2 months ago #474697 by Maungamutu

Hawkspur, slightly off topic is that a Berner in your avatar? We have a 3yr old boy "Bruce" and he is really great (might train him to eat plumbers yet[;)])

I think one of our biggest issues was that agent/plumber/installer was not up to it, unsure how many truly qualified drain layers actually worked on the project - who would normally ask?, maybe should do more often! How ever if that's the suppliers agent he has to back them.

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5 years 2 months ago #474701 by Hawkspur

Maungamutu;477717 wrote: Hawkspur, slightly off topic is that a Berner in your avatar? We have a 3yr old boy "Bruce" and he is really great (might train him to eat plumbers yet[;)])

I think one of our biggest issues was that agent/plumber/installer was not up to it, unsure how many truly qualified drain layers actually worked on the project - who would normally ask?, maybe should do more often! How ever if that's the suppliers agent he has to back them.

Yes, my avatar shows our BMD, Pippin. Sadly long gone, but well remembered, and the best dog in the world (according to his unbiased owners). :D [;)] We really love the breed.
Unfortunately he and our previous dog, a Newfie, both had significant and hereditary medical problems, so we have very sadly resolved not to get another pure-bred. :( A mix with a true working breed, eg: huntaway/Bernese cross would be very, very tempting though.

Good luck with the septic system. I hope you get someone who knows what they are doing, and who will turn up and do it!

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5 years 2 months ago #474734 by max2

Maungamutu;477716 wrote: I have a waste water engineer guy living about 4km away from me, he's ex council and not that excitable, after asking him to come and look 4 times when we were quoting the job - I gave up.

Give Bob Tilsley a call 09 238 3245 Tilsley Engineering. I can't recommend this guy enough. If he doesn't service your area, ask him if he can recommend someone good who does.

We kind of want what we were promised.... AND paid for (the day after it was installed!)
Hopefully we won't have to rip this one out and install a different system [:(!]

There is no ''system'' as such to ours apart from the main tank, a distribution point and lots of piping underground where the soak away occurs.

However if the company has gone belly up, then there is little you can do unless you can find out if Dean or whatever his name was has started up again as another business. You could search the australian companies database to do a director search using his name.

I just found him very helpful and I feel sure he would be able to give you pointers via email as to where its gone wrong for you esp. if you can send photos too. I too felt the system was awesome, just the people this end sadly let it down too many times.

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5 years 2 months ago #474740 by Hawkspur

The Biolytix company that went belly up was the Australian company, and that was in January 2011.
As I understand it, a New Zealand installer took over the non-Australian part of the company in order to keep a good system in production.

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5 years 2 months ago #474750 by Maungamutu

Yeah I think the Australian company of boilytix is now completely non existent and by trolling the www some Aussie outfits are offering to retrofit the tank up with something else.

I'm getting a site visit tomorrow so see how that goes.

I do think the product is good when it is working - don't get me wrong, but a good product with no back up support is worthless

- Hawkspur, we do get quite damp here in the winter (not anymore than any other low-lying Waikato area) and that is one of the reasons this system was presented to us rather than having force-feed drainage feeds.

I just don't think it's a "Fair Go" that after 18 months of service from this system I should have to pay for it to be rebuilt, do you? Or am I being too hard? They did a couple of mods. and I had it serviced to the letter as required.

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5 years 2 months ago #474758 by Hawkspur

No it doesn't sound fair at all. Something is obviously wrong, and you should not be expected to sort it out because you cannot be expected to know the ins and outs of septic systems.

The only things you can be in control of are what goes into the thing, getting checks done as recommended, and alerting the service people if an alarm goes off...which you have done, (and it is up to the installer and supplier to make sure you know these details).

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5 years 2 months ago #474797 by max2

Hawkspur;477767 wrote: The Biolytix company that went belly up was the Australian company, and that was in January 2011.
As I understand it, a New Zealand installer took over the non-Australian part of the company in order to keep a good system in production.


I was dealing with them for our NZ site well before late 2008 when I rocked up here full time, having come back and forth for the previous xx amount of years beforehand, having hooked up with a kiwi country bloke back in aussie. :rolleyes:

I remember making the (then) guys a cuppa in our shed down the road that we would stay in during our trans tasman journeys.

At that stage the NZ arm was clearly franchised owned albeit through several quick succession ''owners/reps''.

It was those fellows and one or two succeeding ones who let the business down in my eyes and I wouldn't be surprised to hear of shortcuts being taken. It became extremely hard to deal with a NZ entity who was willing to come to our West coast NI property.

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5 years 2 months ago #474801 by Maungamutu

swaggie;477831 wrote: It became extremely hard to deal with a NZ entity who was willing to come to our West coast NI property.


So much has changed in the 18 months we've had this one in the ground, which alone makes it very hard to recommend as a sound investment to anyone in the future?

A new boilytix biopod was being installed yesterday I believe on a west coast NI property, north Kawhia vicinity (I've had my eyes wide open and nose to the ground) - Still plenty being sold.

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