Report: #334643

Complaint Review: Consolidated Treatment Systems - Multi-Flo

  • Submitted: Sat, May 24, 2008
  • Updated: Fri, July 06, 2012
  • Reported By: Lake County California
  • Consolidated Treatment Systems - Multi-Flo
    1501 Commerce Cneter Dr.
    Franklin, Ohio

Show customers why they should trust your business over your competitors...

It took only two weeks after moving into my BRAND NEW HOUSE for this brand new self-contained septic-type system to overflow into my back yard, covering my kids' toys in poo water and foam. Supposedly, it treats all wastewater and then lets it leach out under my lawn. This is a joke. Approximately every three-four months the alarm goes off and it spews crap all over the place. So disgusting.

The man who installed it for us comes out to empty it, by shoveling the s**t foam out and DUMPING IT IN THE WOODS BEHIND MY HOUSE. Apparenty it is partially treated or something??? It bothers me anyway....
He warned us to be careful about using certain types and amounts of soaps, and not flushing anything other than toilet paper, and we follow his advice, but it still happens. We've had to pay $185 three times during the last 11 months alone just to have the huge truck come out to pump the entire thing. My husband and I have on numerous occasions had to shovel the top of the thing out ourselves because a professional was not available.
The company has been no help at all. They swear that the 500 gallon capacity is more than big enough for our family of 5 and that we should just be careful not to do more than two loads of laundry per day or run the dishwasher while someone showers. We follow their advice to a T. The company reps were not concerned upon hearing that our service provider just chucks the waste into the trees and bushes. They were also not willing to provide a new system, or a bigger system for our 4-bedroom house.

My friends with regular septic systems only have to have theirs pumped once every year and a half or so, and nothing spews out into the environment before the pump truck gets there.

I hope others thinking about installing a system like this will think twice. It's a terrible waste of money and causes a lot of nasty pollution.

Right now I'm pissed because we were supposed to be on a 6-month pumping schedule to avoid the overflow, and it hasn't even been 5 months yet and the overflow happened again last night. Brown sludge is cascading through our yard and down the hill, past the neighbor's house and into the wilderness. We can't flush our toilets, do the wash, or take showers until the thing is pumped out for another $185. It's Saturday, and thankfully my hero Craig from a local septic service is here to handle this situation.

The health department will be my next call. Has anyone else had trouble with this type of system???

Tired of the Crap
Lake County, California
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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 05/24/2008 12:07 PM and is a permanent record located here: The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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#1 Consumer Suggestion

multiflo septic system

AUTHOR: terry - (United States of America)

I have had a multi flo septic system for 16 years.  At the very begining, we did have some problem with effluent leakage.  There was very little, just around the lid.  Our installer first put in a 600 gallon holding tank, in front of the multi flo.  The waste goes into that tank, then into the multi flo, and there is another tank after that.  From there it goes out to the drain field (pumped).  The only problem we have had is the areators that dont last too long.  we have just purchased our 4th one.  But otherwise it has been a very good system. 
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#2 Consumer Suggestion

Sounds like an installer's poor design problem

AUTHOR: Greg - (U.S.A.)

I have been servicing Multi-Flo aerobic wastewater treatment systems for 13 years in Florida and have found that if a trash tank has not been installed in front of the aerobic unit, the filters will clog within a few months. When installing these, maintenance needs to be taken into consideration. With a trash tank, the service person can plug the inlet in the Multi-Flo unit with a 4" pneumatic pipe plug and using and effluent pump with a hose, pump from the center of the unit back to the trash tank allowing the serivice person to clean the filters without calling a pump truck.

Also, if allowed by the health department, when there is no trash tank, the aerator can be shut off to allow the biological solids to settle, then pump off the top of the unit with the effluent pump over the top of the drainfield, then spread lime over the area.

The reason for the trash tank is there are 30 cloth filters in the Multi-Flo and if everything is coming from your house directly to the unit, toilet paper, grease etc. and gets caught up on the filters. The trash tank holds the solids and allows the liquid waste to cant off. The trash tank only needs to be pumped every 2-5 years depending on the size and load.
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#3 Author of original report

Thank you

AUTHOR: Anonymous - (U.S.A.)

Thank you for the good advice. I wish it was as simple as we were just using the wrong products. Anyway, there appears to be a very good turn to this story finally. The Lake County Health Department just started to act on its own regulations and has sent out notices requiring all owners of these types of systems to file a notarized statement that their systems will be monitored on a regular basis by a licensed service provider. My concern that the crap runneth over all over town, completely unregulated, is now being addressed. Those of us who know how things usually operate in Lake County know that this is really amazing!

Our family is trying really hard to be so careful with the amount of water we use. I think that's probably the main culprit in our case. With 3 kids, there are a lot of baths, showers, laundry, etc. (We were advised to use Tide, by the way...) I try to be vigilant that someone doesn't start taking a shower while someone else starts the laundry or dishwasher. Our Service Provider wishes he could install some sort of pre-tank for the water, but the ground is solid bedrock and it's just not possible. He has graciously covered our cost for this year's service agreement, which covers two cleanings. Very considerate I think. I hope there won't be any more emergencies!!!

I appreciate hearing from others out there. Thank you so much.
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#4 Consumer Comment

Multi Flo operation

AUTHOR: Len - (U.S.A.)

I am a service provider. It would help to know the layout of the system in order to provide some suggestions. I have had a few units that didn't seem to operate properly, but once investigated, it was found that the problems originated from the home. I recommend checking the waste strength coming into the unit, BOD and TSS as well as the pH.

Is there a trash trap proceeding the Multi Flo unit?

Are there high flow periods during the day?
Is the a water filter backflushing into the unit?
Is there a garbage grinder in the home?
Is there any disinfectants being disposed of down the drain or toilet?

All of the above situations can be dealt with, but it is important to figure out what is being done in the home to upset the process.
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#5 Consumer Suggestion

Corrective measures will help with problem

AUTHOR: Jimmy - (U.S.A.)

I have a Multi~Flo system installed at my house we the same problems as you are having. We found out we were using products that were harming the system and killing off the bacteria used to treat the wastewater. I was using chlorine bleach and everything anti~bacterial that I could get thinking I was doing the right thing for my family.

Well I was killing off the bacteria in the system and harming the system. We had sludge coming out the top and it was gross. I talked with our service provider and he asked me what types of soaps and cleaners we used and he said that we were harming the system. We had the tanks pumped out and he changed the filters for use and we started from scratch. That was 7 years ago and we haven't had any problems since. Being a brand new system I would have had the installer put activated sludge into the Multi~Flo tank. This helps with the start-up process. It tanks a normal system twelve weeks to build up a bacteria base in the system. If you are using products such as liquid bleach or anti-bacterial soaps that are going into the system you are going to have problem. Some medications will also cause the bulking or foaming of the tank in which you are experiencing.

I was told that tide laundry detergent is bad for any type of septic system and was told to use wisk. And instead of using liquid bleach we use oxi clean or powdered bleach (non-chlorine bleach). Your friends with regular septic systems may be having problems but, you don't see them right away. They will see them down the road when the system fails. Proper maintenance and watching the products you use will help out a lot. Your service provider should have told you what not to use and what products are alright to use. Anti-biotics are also harmful because of the antibodies killing off the good bacteria. The sludge that you have coming out on the ground is not harmful. It will degrade in a few days to a powder.

Hopefully you can take this advice. We love our Multi~Flo and it is very environmentally friendly. You have to treat it like it's a living organism and the waste you generate in your home is it's food source. If you don't give it the proper food than it will starve and cause problems. Best of luck. You just have to educate yourself and do some homework.
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#6 Author of original report

Multi-flo Service Provider

AUTHOR: Anonymous - (U.S.A.)

The SP just finished servicing the system and did not charge us one cent.
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#7 Author of original report

Multi-Flo Three Days Later...

AUTHOR: Anonymous - (U.S.A.)

My Service Provider (SP) called me back on Memorial Day to schedule another pumping. He needs to be here when it is done so that he can clean the filters. Today is Tuesday and I've had to pay another pumping charge (minus $25 - how nice of the Septic service) and the SP is actually replacing the filters. We now need to be on a 4 month service schedule to try to prevent overflow. The SP has been very helpful and prompt in responding to this crisis, especially considering it was a holiday weekend. He was here today before 9 a.m.

The Health Department called back this morning and said that the original permit for this system was for a 3-bedroom house, but that it shouldn't matter since the Multi-flo is designed for 500 gallon capacity, more than adequate for a 4-bedroom house. They said though, that it definitely should not be overflowing so often. Also, they mentioned that UV light is sufficient to kill any bacteria that is left on the ground after a leak. This gives me some major peace of mind, since so much sludge has gone all over the place on and around my property.

So, now my dilemma is: Do I want to continue paying $185 to pump out the system every three months? And what about in an emergency, like last weekend, when it has to be pumped and the SP isn't available? He's the only guy in Lake County, so if he can't be there, I have to pay again when he CAN be there, which is usually a couple of days later. It seems like Consolidated Treatment Systems should have some sort of emergency phone number for customers to call in case of a crisis.

Perhaps, for whatever reason a Multi-flo should be bigger than 500 gallons to support a 4-bedroom house ........OR ..........we just got a bad apple.

Is there anyone with experience out there who can help clarify things???
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