* Â· Northwnt AikomovTIMH, Monday, April 26,-19761 I ECO-L0GCEJ j 'Â· By PEGGY FR1ZZELL TIMES Staff Writer ( The very mention of the phrase "septic tank" probably -- by now -- evokes a groan from whoever is listening If there's been one study made on the dismal failure of septic tank sj stems in Northwest Ark-, ansas soil, there ha\e been half a dozen,j it seems And many people have come to the realization that con venhonal septic tank s)stems were not designed to accommodate our porous .limestone rock formation But Norths est Arkansas has a large rural population, and from a piactical standpoint, it would not be feasible to connect every farmhouse to a sewer line Clivus Mullrums - that aerobically compost garbage and human \\astes into fertilizer -- are not approved by the Arkansas Depaitmenl of Health Not jet, anyway And alternatives to the conventional septic tank design have not vet been experimented with in this area (Heie I might mention that Dr E Moye Rutledge has been attempting for months and months to get grant monev to try out f i v e somewhat modified versions of the septic tank which were mentioned briefly in his report "Wastewaler Disposal'By Septic Tanks in Northwest Arkansas " The grant proposals have been turned down more than a couple of times, but Rutledge is still in there cranking them out "It s dif ficult to get slarted," he said It sure is 1 ) But there is one alternative to the septic tank that is being Ined out by the City of Jayetteville This is the Sjn OLte waste disposal sjstem, formerly known as Bio Ljte The Svn 0 Ljle looks similar to a septic tank and is buried in (he ground but part of the top of the structure sticks up out of the ground, and the system is connected to an electric motor ,, The motor is used to turn over the vyaste products, thus mixing more o\\gen into f he matter In this very important nay, the Sn 0 LUe differs from the conventional septic tank The SynOLyte is an aerobic (using air) digestion process whereas the septic tank is an anaerobic (without air) process As FajetteviUes city engineer, Paul Mattke, pointed out, aerobic bacteria -- which work to decompose the solid wastes -are more efficient than anaerobic bacteria The advantage of the Syn 0 Lyte sjstem over the septic tank is that it will more efficiently digest and decompose the waste products that enter the system than can the septic tank The Syn 0 Lyte system has not been apprm ed by the stale Department of Health, except foulest purposes Therefore, the City of Fay- etteviUe has installed two Syn 0 Lyte systems -- one on Hwy 16 east and one in a subdivision on the south face of Mount Sequovah -- for monitoring purposes Syn 0 Lyte's parent company is considenng installing another system on a tnal basis, with a buy back clause so that when the particular residence is hooked up to citv sewer, the company will purchase the used system Favetteville officials and a University of Arkansas graduate student who will wnte his thesis on the experiment will monitor the Syn 0 Lyle sjitem and the effluent that drains from; the system (after aerobic bactena ha\e digested it somewhat) into the leaching fields (where it should be further purified by the soil) Mattke hopes that the Syn 0 Lyte system's effluent will have fewer solids in it so that the size of the leach ing fields that now surround septic tanks and similar structures can be reduced. "Instead of the leaching field taking up the whole yard, maybe it will take up only a fourth of the yard," he quipped Inside the house, the bathroom plumbing looks the same But outside, with the Syn 0 Lyte system, there should be no odor A properly functioning Syn 0 Lyte system that uses aerobic bactena gives off carbon di oxide and water The septic tank system produces the unpleasant smelling hydrogen sulfide as -well as methane The leaching field, and general area, around the standard septic tank in Northwest Arkansas often is smelly and damp because the waste material that has drained from the septic tank has risen to the sur face Not only is this a smelly condition, it is also an unhealthy one Mattke theorizes that the septic tank system fails because the effluent (the combined wastes and water that flow out of the septic tank) has a high number of solids When this effluent tnes to seep into our porous soil, the soil gets stopped up Marltke said this leaves the effluent no direction to go but up--to the)Surface His hope is that the Syn 0 Lyte system will reduce the solids content in the effluent to a point where most of the effluent can seep through the soil pores If intensive monitoring shows that the Syn-0 Lyte is better at digesting the waste products, then Mattke says the city might consider endorsing the unit before the state Health Department The success of the Syn 0 Lyte system would benefit everybody -- those people who need independent sewage systems and the rest of the people who live in the environment with those people. i 5 , Nations! Wild flowers,Are Being Plucked To Death. Plant collectors arc *' strange., determined br^d ot people i In the past, according to the curronUApril Ma) issue of National .Wildlife, - magazine, the ha\e suffered plague a tacks by' mad buffalo, and malaria to bring such...exotic plants as wisteria forsjthis, and azaleas to America Now. lh National Wildlife F e d e r t i o n b i m o n t h l y p'u b l i c f e ' l i o n reports,, their persistent plucking of rare spec mens Is forcing some indigenous American plants onto the U S endangered species Iht As a 1 result "of their'plucking, plus" r other pressures,'more"than 3000 of some 22000 nati\e American . plant species v are endangered; ^threatened, extinct in the *ild. the magazine sa s and 77 rare species uicludtnx the giant faun , lib arid th Â£ Ne\ada p r i m r o s e a r e listed commercially exploited Most'of; the. scarce plants are ding out because their habitats are being destrojed to -make for farms strips mines Touses highw ays and other \ elopments But plant collectors pruale and commencal are also taking a heavy toll and the are digging up the \ery species such as'ttie insect-ealing Venus flitrap- that are most mi periled Commercial collectors are the worst kind, according to N a t i o n a l Wildlife They jomelimes dig up whole acr^s of cacti in one swoop One recently dug up more than TOO 000 rattlesnake orchids Tennesse to feature in the mail-order terrariums he was selling But private collectors t o u r i s t s t bussed into the Everglades on orchid picking tours and picnickers plundering public parks are also a menace to the nations shrinking stock of plant hfe While rationalizing that one small plant will no be m i s s e d " individua collecters can cause *'a sur prismgly large decimation ' o such rarÂ£ plants as the ram head lady S Y slipper or th leathery grape fern Once plan predators decid they want a rare specimen "almost nothing can sto them ' * National Wildlife * ob sencs A s i a result th* site of obscure :.plants are [guarded b their discoxerers almost Ilk Mate secrets ' and in England "maps marking th* locales endangered speaes are kept i a locked safe. Only a few states have law protecting wild piants In Nev York s Catskills it is illegal t pick, gold and pink twinflowers In' South .Carolina pluckingjth sea oat.ris'verboten .because stabilizes sand dunes and North Carolina the Venu lytrap is protected Arizon las "cactus cops" to enforc its plant poaching laws whic provide for both fine and ja sentences. Most plant pickers \\ho evai frustrated, ;in the id because the specimens pick do not sumie in a environment. Some ,,Â·Â· OP lids; for example, are so at- lined to their habitat that they an not even be' transplanted om one \oods to another What can be done to save idangered, vulnerable plants? ational Wildlife .recommends our courses of action,to "NWF p r e f e r e n c e to seed grown embers: Exercise self restrain* study te endangered Mslsi tli^n iMn qubl' about varieties, ^"stick 'to oadsidc 'daisies'" 1 and Queen nne s lace " J t Â· I \ , Shame ,'thej owners! on en angered plants dug" from the ltd with an appeal to reason nd conscience ' ^ Don't patronizeÂ« florists or urserimen who take lr pecies Irom the fields At garden shows ban isplav of arrangements I nclude prohibited species j e\hib]ts \ In addition to'these \ o l u n l a r j actions' the magazine cites be\tral legislati\L steps t h a t hnght b e ' : taken. Both the states and the federal government could 'tighten their laws to cut'down the "taking" o( rare plants. (The U.S. Endangered Species Act of 1973 applies Lo pla'nts : .only -when interstate commerce" is involved.) j i Also. ! the' government [could e s t a b 1 i s h plant - preserves similar to .wildlife ^refugees where plucking and \ digging w o u l d be jprotubi'ed A Srhithsoniah "Institution ' r a r e plant report recommended this move last year. In the meantime according to one expert quoted by N a t i o n a l Wildlife, some American plants are so rare that the\ could be made e\ tinct in minutes. * Ancient Arsenal Tour Alibates Flint Quarry E D I T O R ' S NOTE Thej ollowing is a weekb column 1 repared b\ Ben Moffett of the. National Park Service. i M o f - eltV article : deals with..places o visit' in (be southwest part Â·of:the country Thtre are nearly 300 units in he National Park Ssstem but lone has a longer name than e jou ready for this 7 All ites Flint Quarries and Texas a n h a ri 'd l"e ! , Pueblo Culture Â·National Monument. Whew 1 That s a mouthful- even for bureaucrats. What AHbales 'preserves, a nulhell is a 12 Oflo year old arsenal The brightly colored "lint from the quarrj w a s used y the earliest Amfnrans to slay mamoths Archeologists have found weapons'rriade from Alibates ' flint' 'In many places in the Great Plains and South ranged upon request b writing the superintendent at Lake Meredith . If j o u r trip is o v e r n i g h t , the closest accommodations are in Pnleh si* miles north of the Ajibates' Hoa'd on Texas 136^A wider variety of accortrmoda tions arc found in Amarilto and Sorter ) Lake Mer/-dilh offers semi de\eloped camping ireas But back to the quarrj Most Andre the seal (akcs-a snooze on a skill near Port CMt, Maine-on his ay; from Bos _ Snoozing, Inn foiRockporl w l u r e he v i L P ' A q u i n u n i stieiirt trie . slimmer.-- Andre \Vlrcphntn) winters at Â· ihe rNew England in Boston (AP Camping Fees Take Effect Saturday earliest peared of North America s people fore\er have The disap simple questions about the food= the ate, the homes t thej In ed in and the languages the spoke are. still" unans\yerd. fn most cases'their own remains have xanished loo Often (he only ;rac/*s of limiqn e\isEance west - Even Oregon. as far away as ;Today you .can; walk over the quarry that once supplied nomadic hunters r\vith projectile points and other tools Although there are no factl Uies: at;Alibates, the, monument has more^ to -offer, than a ' 10 word title If you combine jour Alibates tour with a visit to nearhj Lake Meredith Recrea tion Area, ou have the m akings of ( an r eujrji a hie vacation in the Te^as Pan handle. The monument is some 3' miles north of Amarillo and Ifl ;housands of year*; ago are the ;ools arid ^capons Incre uhich earlj people fashioned from stone. Of all the different kinds of stone used in making tools one of the most distinctive is Ah bates flint Normally flint has OIIP characteristic shade b u t Alibates flint has a multitude of b r i g h t colors in endless variations arid patterns miles ofl from Borgtr just QU ARE Y TOURS Tpxas highway 135, Begin our visit at Bates Canyon Information Station al Lake,? Meredith;. '^Guided ..tourf through the quarrv p i t s are conducted by park rangers daily 10 a m and 2 p m from Memorial Day through 'Labor Day. Off-season 'tours- 'are ar The' Little" Rock ' District Â· o f j the" U.S. Army Corps qE Engineers^ will start its 1976 camping fee collection program Saturdaj Mij 1 Collection of fees is required under Public Law, 93-303 -enacted; in June 197'5: * ' Where''economically feasible. fee collection is required under the r l a \ v j ' a t all Federal i campgrounds 'i providing 'jlenl'^roi trailer 'spaces, drinking water, toilet facilities'^ access'Broads brush reccptaoles visit" or r pro- lection:-' arid -other - facilities The^fees'range from'$243 per e'a c h designated-;:'campsite site with a $10 fee for groin; caniping. 'Under ttie law, , the Corps; is'required to provide a1 least fohejfreeicamping area ai each Corpsvlakc,Â·!Entrance 1 fcet are- not charged ; a t - any Corp: park nor are fees ^charged, for access t n , t h e water or use:o: boat launching ramps. of 50 cents per Jay are " Â· - - or b Most people Hho u$ed the f l i n t were nomads hunters who followed game trails and n e \ e r built permanent homes But for a relatively short period fro-m about 1200 to 1450 some people ^ tiled near the quarries to farm : and; bartered ; th'e ^lirit for such items as potter, and seashells These people are referred to 1 by arc-neologist as the Panhandle Pueblo Culture hence" 1 the'last halt of "that 15- word title. T h e ' 1 Panhandle ' Pueblo Culture was so' named because its people were Plains Village Indians whose houses; show? :the influericd_^of pueblo style bouses of the Southwest. being collected for use electrical; outlets ,'provided the Corps Holders of Golden Age' passports \\ill recene a .50 per, cent reduction on camp ground fees and-use, of: electric outlets at all Corps operalet recreation areas. The Little Rock Cistrir operates 156 parks at its 8'take: and.along the Arkansas : Uivei in Arkansas. Camping fees wil be charged at 84 parx? wil! 72 free areas ' Group camping ""areas hi\ i WATCH : REPAIR J SWIFTS Soiar heating is on its way to Fayetteville True, the sun has been around for awhile, and very conveniently has provided its,own solar system heating a time or two, but the solar heating systems I'm talking about right now are those that people have devised to capture the sun's energy and use it for people type purposes. Bill Kisor, of Fayetteville, Plumbing and Heating, recently sent two of his men to school in Colorado where the men learned how lo install solar heating equipment. Kisor said his company is:-arranging to install a solar heating system at an area'restaurant in the near future. He also wants to experiment with a couple of other solar heating devices before he starts advertising his company's expertise. i The company won't slock solar equipment but will order it specially for each Job. Most of the work is expected to be.done in residences Kisor pointed out that the domestic hot water heater is one of the appliances most easily converted to solar heat. Because solar heating etMjipment and installation -on a commercial basis 4-- is new to this area, Kisor said he and his men "are having to feel our way around." He added, "There's no question. It's coming. Solar healing is going to be here to stay." A benefit show at Poor Richard's, on Dickson Street, is planned for Wednesday According^lo show organizers, the proceeds raised at the door will be contributed to the Newlon County Wildlife Associati6n ! wtiich is currently engaged in a suit againsl the US Forest Service The Wildlife Association is trying to prevent future use of the toxic herbicide, 2,4,5,-T, in the National Forest .in Arkansas. The herbicide yas being used to kill hardwood trees in order to replant the areas in the forest with pines -- a more commercial trep The benefit show will begin about 3 30 p m and conlinue until midnight. A few. of the rriusicil people donating their lime and talents to the' show include the Free Samples Band, Sam (Calfish) Rouln, Preamspeaker, and Djck Lodge Boogie Boys. If You Smell the Odor We Place in Natural Gas Inside a Building-- Report it immediately to Arkansas Western Gas Company /Â· Our operating personnel will make an inspection and determine whatever is necessary to correct the situation, You can help and play it safe by ventilating the area- open windows at both top and bottom-start where the odor concentration is the strongest. Shut off any open flame device by operating the manual control Do not operate electrical switches. Remember, properly handled, Natural Gas is the safest of energies and we want to keep it that way. , Arkansas Western Gas Company SCflUt other..- organizcd en' established 'at" five parks r family oups and rties. Reservations 'should he ideiin advance of contacting e f lake i mamgci s \\hcrt es have'been esttiblished, fee^ are SIO per nigtit Iho oup sites Tre loc ilcil at 1 ost ridge Park Bea\ cr Lake arkr'lste cPark;-''Bull- Shoals ike, Hwy.' 25 Parks ! 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