In the very early morning I awoke to the soft patter of raindrops. Immediately I was awake and stood at the open window, thrilled. It lasted about an hour. I did wake Attila to tell him it was raining, he mumbled “I know”, rolled over and was asleep. I am not sure he woke up.

This morning is overcast and damp, a glistening moisture kisses every surface of the landscape. There are hints of green in the brown expanses of ground cover and the advance of drooping and browned leaves has stopped.

This morning I am looking into septic friendly cleaning products. No easy answers.

I am intrigued by the idea of a strong cleaner that reverts to plain water in a short time. For a septic system this would be ideal, because the system relies on active and healthy bacteria to do the job.

I found one interesting Canadian manufactured machine, that was “busted” by CBC Marketplace. They were focused on cleaning vegetables with the product, and found that tap water or baking soda/vinegar did the same job. The testing was done at Guelph University, but the original report was removed by the University, leaving only the journalist version of the story available to the public. The creator of the device, a Canadian, commented on the Marketplace “busted” article thus:

“I have in my hands a copy of that test that Keith Warner from the University of Guelph performed. In his conclusions, he actually states that “ozonated water (lotus) was equally effective as hypochlorite (bleach) in terms of inactivating pathogens on surfaces and foods. The convenience and absence of chemical residues are advantages of the ozone system comparted to hypochlorite.” When it comes to using the spray bottle, this is also part of his summary statement “ozonated water (lotus) was as effective as hypochlorite for decontaminating contact surfaces.” and, judging from the video, they didn’t even use the lotus properly. I also find it ironic that we, Tersano, used the University of Guelph to do some electron microscope testing to see exactly how well we killed EColi and we have the images that prove our effectiveness, but CBC didn’t want to see those test results, or all our test results from our website that were performed by EPA approved labs across North America.
I don’t know if I’m more upset that CBC didn’t convey the results of this test properly, or that they are condoning that rinsing your produce under the tap is good enough. Let’s see, lotus uses an FDA and USDA approved process for sanitizing produce and has been tested by 3rd parties to prove its effectiveness. Not only that, but Oncologists recommend to their cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy to stop eating produce as rinsing under the tap is not good enough and that there is just too much risk when their immune systems are so low. So why are they trying to say that rinsing is good enough? Or is it that our product is $150? I wish we could get the price down to $50 but there is a lot of technology in this machine to make it effective, and safe. I was recently name Innovator of the Year by the Government of Ontario because of this technology and our commercial systems. When you break it down, it works out to about 10 cents every time you use the lotus. Compare that to your chemical cleaners or veggie washes and it is very inexpensive. And yes, we are a Canadian company and stand behind our product with great customer service.
Posted by Steve Hengsperger on January 24, 2009 06:19 AM”

Ozonated water is used in applications such as water treatment plants and hot tubs. It is used in those “fill your own water jug” booths to disinfect the jugs before they fill with water. Are these uses fraudulent? Probably not. I am having trouble understanding the motivation behind the review by CBC. I have no problem understanding the motivation behind the product manufacturer.

The CBC review was focused on washing vegetables, and briefly commented on ozonated water as a cleaning agent. I wanted to read the University of Guelph report for myself, but it had been removed and from the comments, it was removed immediately around the time that Marketplace aired their review.

So, who to believe? The expert interpretation by journalist(s) who are “experts” at nothing scientific, interpret scientific information for the “public good” and whose scientific sources disappear so that they cannot be accessed or evaluated by others. Or the entrepreneur who would like to make a living from selling products, who will profit financially if the product sells well and who provides a version of the scientific testing results conducted at their request.

I do not know. Neither source of information seems flawless. I would have read the report from Guelph University, but the link is dead, the information is not available.

The price of the unit in 2009 was around $150 as stated in the article in 2009. Now the price is $249. That is very expensive. But if it does the job it claims to do, it would save a lot of money. It is costly to have a septic tank pumped out. It is costly to use a LOT of water to wash vegetables. Bleach can damage surfaces and there is residue. Those of us who have wells and septic systems are always looking for ways to conserve water and clean green.

So my search for a septic system friendly cleaning product continues.