Biolytix waste water problems

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6 years 11 months ago #511921 by max2
Replied by max2 on topic Biolytix waste water problems
As previously posted we seriously looked at the system but the changing ownership and some shifty offers put us off. We ended up going through a local waste water engineer and I think stretching the memory our system cost around $8000 odd and 6 years later we have not had an issue with it.

My advise is to make an appointment with an engineer who specialises in waste water and see what they come up with. I would not go buying another treatment system again (had two in Aussie) after this installation.

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6 years 1 month ago #523034 by Nikki_d72
Hi all, i know this is a bit of an old thread but thought I should post my experience in case it helps anyone! I had a similar problem with a tank that was installed on 2011. I think it lasted a couple of years then flooded. As we are in such a dry area (Hawea near Wanaka) there was no way it could be claimed to be groundwater at the time of year it occured.

When I called the agent, who was also the plumber who did my house, he told me Biolytix had gone under in Australia and were in new ownership operating out of NZ but he was still the agent for them in this area. He got in touch with them and was told that there was a common fault with that run of tanks, as the manufacturers had decided to install a second airiation line to down under the last layer of filtration cloth, so into the sump. This was creating an upward pressure on the underside of the cloth, preventing liquid from getting through fast enough, which led to a layer of biofilm forming and blocking it completely. From there the tank floods as there is no way for the liquid to get down into the sump to be pumped away.

Their answer was to fit a small pipe through the bottom cloth poking into the sump, with it's top up above the high water line of the tank to balance the pressure. I'm not sure if they also disconnected the other airiation line or not though. They also told him to poke several small holes through the filter cloths to let the water run away and assured us that the biofilm would be eaten off once it had drained, which he did with a sharpened length of piping from the top and a bit of brute force.

I wasn't sure about this line of remediation so made a bit of a kick up, and my plumber told them he would no longer be their agent unless they took on the warranty and guaranteed what they were telling them to do. lo and behold the director came down from Auckland to look at the system and reassure me, my guy must have been doing good sales and had a bit of clout! I was worried about the yukkies bypassing the filters and it just being raw sewage that was coming through but he showed me a sample and it was clear with no scent. Ours was designed to go into trenches through the lines as we had too many surrounding bores to fit in the irrigation dripper lines so it was getting secondary treatment there too.

Anyway the end-up was they agreed to guarantee it and the system did indeed dry out and was restocked with worms (a double dose) a few weeks later and all has been good since. I had it serviced recently and it was going for gold, there were so many worms they seemed to be trying to crawl up the sides, probably trying to get to the exit, poor things. It can't be good Karma really, can it, trapping a few thousand worms in a giant plastic tub and making them eat your poo for their lifetimes! :) Who knew worms could climb! The pump and lines were cleaned, checked etc and all was good. The system is now about 6 years old so it must have been repaired about 2 years ago.

I know it may just be luck but I thought I should share the fact that the extra air line going under the last filter cloth caused this fault. So if you are getting them looked at, maybe ask the service agent or plumber to check and see if it is there as it's quite an easy fix, apparently (crosses fingers).

If it genuinely is groundwater ingress though, my guess is it was set too low into the ground? It just shouldn't be able to get in there unless through the lid? Which should come back to the installation, surely? The consumer guarantees act gives you 6 years to complain and if you have given them reasonable options to repair and it still hasn't worked you are within your rights to ask for a new one. The problem comes when both the installer and manufacturer have changed hands though, they legally don't have to take on the last companies liabilities, only the assets, which sucks. But if they want to protect their name, maybe they will oblige if threatened with Fair Go?

Did any of you get anywhere with getting them properly fixed?

Hope that helps someone.
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6 years 3 weeks ago #523545 by Philp
Replied by Philp on topic Biolytix waste water problems
I had a similar experience with the Auckland guys coming down to work with the newly appointed local installer can't say it resulted in the experience you received. My site did not have groundwater as an issue, and had gravity acting in its favor..... but the issue was a "design flaw" in this model of tank and they wanted to rebuild it. Of course this trip was not free - I was charged - think I was paying for them to train the new local installer who billed me for the privilege!! I gave them every chance to make things right (including paying the $900 bill in good faith that they would eventually do the right thing). After months of chasing, lack of information/communication on what options were available I gave up. The Biolytix NZ staff, the owner Karl, the local installer Andy Magee Plumbing were all bitterly disappointing in the supposed knowledge for the system and they way it worked, as well as professional/business ethics. They were quite happy to take my money but when rubber hit the road to offer solutions or fixes they happily hid behind the "no liability" due to the company changing hands....... they wanted to take my money but they would offer no guarantee on the repairs they were proposing to make to the system or it functioning the way it was advertised to. Anyway onward and upwards from here - I have since warned 8 people of the perils of installing these systems my experience with the poor service ethic of Biolytix NZ and the local installer..... which has resulted in people choosing/installing brands that actually are proven to work (Hynds and Oasis) and have reputable service agents in place.......
Anyone that has one of these installed should be prepared to rip it out at some point and replace it - in my experience they are a ticking time bomb..... It wouldn't surprise me to see Biolytix NZ feature on FairGo at some point........ there are many stories like mine around the country it seems........
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6 years 3 weeks ago #523655 by max2
Replied by max2 on topic Biolytix waste water problems
I think I mentioned this before but when we had them out to quote on a system (and this would be well over 7/8 years ago) there was a ''cash'' deal offered if we went through the two gents who came out and were the reps at the time. In hindsight I'm not sure what they would have installed had we gone through with the deal as I don't know how they could have hidden the order from the Aussie inventor who owned the business at the time (which is where we saw it first) but they were quickly gone thereafter and eventually a plumber from up north ?? took it over.

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6 years 17 hours ago #524295 by Maungamutu
Mine is still limping along just. I'm waiting for it to fail altogether then I'll rip it out and replace it with a decent system. There was/is a guy that is floating around the upper North Is that is somehow aligned/connected to the Biolytix NZ manufacturer who is doing services etc on them, but if there is a major problem happening he doesn't seem to return phone calls?
In operation and initial installation these systems have far too many quirky problems that are beating the experience of any good drainlayer in NZ. They look good on paper but let them selves down badly in practice.
Bottom line is councils shouldn't allow them compliance to be installed

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6 years 17 hours ago #524296 by Maungamutu

Philp wrote: Anyone that has one of these installed should be prepared to rip it out at some point and replace it - in my experience they are a ticking time bomb..... It wouldn't surprise me to see Biolytix NZ feature on FairGo at some point........ there are many stories like mine around the country it seems........

Yep waiting for the fair go program too, inevitable.

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6 years 13 hours ago #524310 by Stikkibeek

Maungamutu wrote: Yep waiting for the fair go program too, inevitable.


You could start the ball rolling and put in your own complaint. That ought to bring others out of the woodwork.

Did you know, that what you thought I said, was not what I meant :S

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6 years 8 hours ago #524319 by Maungamutu
Have been thinking about putting an ad in the regional paper to flush (pun) more disappointed users out, but its draining enough fighting our own losing battles sometimes.
There obviously is interest in this topic because this thread has over 5800 views !!!

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5 years 3 months ago #532663 by Blurple
We have had our Biolytix BF6 installed since 2005.

Had to make the alarm panel up myself from off the shelf components as ours went missing when the Rotorua crowd went bust.

A few years ago we had the bio-film issue but pretty much have it sorted now. Comes down to an annual bleaching and a very large home made plunger which takes me about an hour or so on a warm sunny day! At the same time I'm cleaning the pump and checking the worms and rotating the bags a bit.

I have sealed the join between top and bottom tank shells ( about 400 mm below surface ) with PVC tape, so that stops water and root ingress.

If I ever need to rebuild the tank and remesh and fill new sacks etc the other modification I would do would be to install a small diameter pipe beside the large pump chamber but stop the small pipe on the filter mesh - have a few holes in the bottom of the small pipe and use that with a level switch in parallel with the top float switch ( High level in pump chamber ) to alert that there is a high level ABOVE the final filter as the normal pump high alarm does NOT indicate that you have a biofilm restriction as it is only there to say the pump has failed essentially. Adding the extra switch allows the standard alarm to show either pump failure or filter blocked - but thats better than having no alarm at all as the tank fills up and the pump doesn't see any liquid through a blocked filter!

The one call I had with the Auckland guys was answered promptly and I had their local engineer visit at the time ( 2012 I think ) - nice guy and very helpful, certainly can't knock the service from that side of things...however the Rotorua Guys and the Te Awamutu installers etc way back in 2005 were a vastly different story - so I guess it all depends on the customer service of the people you have to deal with.

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5 years 2 months ago #532690 by AndreaBosshard
Hello, we are in the process of planning a small 70m2 off-grid house near Middlemarch. We need to sort out a system to deal with black and grey water. I have looked into NaturalFlow, as it doesn't require constant power which is real plus when off-grid. Then I came across Biolytix, spoke to the technical sales person there, who laughed and said beware, when I told him I'd been looking at NaturalFlow system. Was interested in people's experience with the Biolytix system, which is how I came across this forum. I have found very little (3 postings) of independent reviews of NaturalFlow (which were all positive). Any one out there who has this system in place? What are your thoughts? Thanks, Andrea

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5 years 2 months ago #532851 by Blurple
I'm guessing this is sort of off topic a bit - but you never know .....We are off grid and Biolytix ( at that time ) had the lowest power usage for a full treatment system - and still does I think. Any system that requires a pressure dripper field will have a pump as it requires high pressure for the drip system to work. You can only get away without the pressure pump if your system ( including Naturalflow ) is installed on a slope and with a soakage field ( so the field type will be defined by your sewerage engineer and or council ).

Any stored liquid prior to pump out should be aerated to reduce odour and allow aerobic action to continue before distribution.

We were above eventual waterways so decided to go with a dripper field - the main pump in the biolytix should only start based on volume inflow reaching a high level switch - so infrequently. The continuous air pump is not really noticed on our system, I have quite a few parasitic loads for convenience really - so sized the solar accordingly anyway. As we were off grid I chose the non telemetry system ( local alarm box ) to ensure I had the lowest power usage I could get.

NO system is maintenance free but the LOWEST maintenance requirement is the good old anaerobic septic tank with a soak field....just call a pumper truck every few years to suck out the solids...no moving parts, no power and someone else does the hard yards!

The Natural Flow/Biolytix comes down to a one tank system or two by the looks of the Natural Flow website - and the fact the final filter may be much easier to clean with the NF... Take away all the puff words etc and they look like the same basic system....worms precomposting then liquid out via filter....

Decisions on systems come down to what you are allowed to do yourself ( and what you want to do ) - if you have to rely on the service guys for an annual visit then you are basically stuck with paying their price....and from what I have heard some people are just getting rorted plus
installation price and on going service costs, plus any costs that may mean additional power components...i.e . bigger array etc

Good luck with your selection.
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4 months 3 weeks ago #557095 by Spud senior
thanks Tony,
not a good read is it.
Lets see if there's any newer posts which will show if the system has been improved .thanks

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4 months 3 weeks ago #557113 by Spud senior
Have had great response from AES a NZ septic system which has appealing features. Worth looking into.
Will keep you posted to what develops.

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