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12 Reviews
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cottage Water Systems - A Bible for Cabin and Cottage Owners
If you are going to buy one, and only one book about maintaining a cottage water and sewer system, this is it. The definitive bible on how to keep everything working. Supplemented with excellent illustrations and drawings, Cottage Water Systems is indispensable. About the only criticism we have is that there could be a few more options for pump hook-ups and that some of...
Published on March 30, 1999

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88 of 95 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars As valuable as a "Time Life" book on how to drive a nail.
This book is a glossy generalists dream. If you don't know what a well is, buy this book. If you don't know what a septic tank is, buy this book. If you can't tell the difference between a submrsible pump or a jet pump, buy this book.
If you want to design or install your own hideaway water system, forget it. The author makes to frequent use of "consult your...
Published on January 21, 2001 by Clinton J. Fisher


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88 of 95 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars As valuable as a "Time Life" book on how to drive a nail., January 21, 2001
This review is from: Cottage Water Systems: An Out-of-the-City Guide to Pumps, Plumbing, Water Purification, and Privies (Paperback)
This book is a glossy generalists dream. If you don't know what a well is, buy this book. If you don't know what a septic tank is, buy this book. If you can't tell the difference between a submrsible pump or a jet pump, buy this book.
If you want to design or install your own hideaway water system, forget it. The author makes to frequent use of "consult your owners manual", "local authorities" or "hire someone" to have any real value.
This book would benefit the rural homeowner who has never owned a well, septic, etc. and needs to talk with a repair service. It would be unadvisable to attempt installation or repair of any system with knowledge gained from just this book.
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cottage Water Systems - A Bible for Cabin and Cottage Owners, March 30, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Cottage Water Systems: An Out-of-the-City Guide to Pumps, Plumbing, Water Purification, and Privies (Paperback)
If you are going to buy one, and only one book about maintaining a cottage water and sewer system, this is it. The definitive bible on how to keep everything working. Supplemented with excellent illustrations and drawings, Cottage Water Systems is indispensable. About the only criticism we have is that there could be a few more options for pump hook-ups and that some of the addresses are out of date. But all-in-all, this is a truly outstanding book worth the money.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful source of information for anyone with a well, January 7, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Cottage Water Systems: An Out-of-the-City Guide to Pumps, Plumbing, Water Purification, and Privies (Paperback)
I am a Health Inspector in New Brunswick and many houses in rural areas require well and septic disposal fields. I found this book well written and informative. A must-read for new home owners who are dealing with wells and on-site sewage disposal fields for the first time.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Information - Not Quite Enough, January 30, 2006
This review is from: Cottage Water Systems: An Out-of-the-City Guide to Pumps, Plumbing, Water Purification, and Privies (Paperback)
I'm on the fence here. One reviewer thought that it was way too basic. And no, I would not attempt to install a pumped water system in my cabin based on this info solely. On the other hand, I learned TONS of things, seriously. I mean TONS. I also learned (big time) what my options are and "how these things work." There is a WONDERFUL appendix in the back containing the contact info for all kinds of suppliers, which I found very valuable. In fact, I would be pretty comfortable building a small grey water drainage system or something simple. The one thing I was dissappointed about is this - We plan to use hauled water and roof drainage in a cistern, and there is absolutely nothing about that in the book anywhere. Still, I enjoyed it.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent material on water and septic systems, February 22, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Cottage Water Systems: An Out-of-the-City Guide to Pumps, Plumbing, Water Purification, and Privies (Paperback)
This book should be a MUST addition to anyone's library who deals with a well and septic system. The reference material is well documented and the color diagrams make the book easy to understand. Although written for a Canadian cottage, the principles are the same for cabins/cottages anywhere...
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully illustrated, easy to read, humorous, educational, August 25, 1998
By A Customer
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Cottage Water Systems: An Out-of-the-City Guide to Pumps, Plumbing, Water Purification, and Privies (Paperback)
I posted this review on an internet forum discussing rural retreats...
"Cottage Water Systems: An Out-Of-The-City Guide to Pumps,Plumbing, Water Purification, and Privies" by Max Burns.
ISBN 0-9696922-0-x. 1993. $24.96 Retail, I paid $19.96 at Amazon. 150 pages. 4 color, large size paper back book.
This book is like a "Time-Life" series... it has many colorful and well-drawn illustrations about water systems. Maybe that's why the publisher's name is "Cottage Life Books."
This is a very informative and easy to read book... particularly given the unusually narrow focus of this book.
If you are about to build a cottage out in the woods (maybe for Y2K)... then this is the very first book you should read to understand how to obtain a water supply and how to handle the sewage/septic systems. The explanations could not be clearer.
The author even shows you several beautiful designs for outhouses. He also discusses and illustrates such alternative toilets as: electric, self-contained composting toilets.
His clear diagrams show how leaching systems work. Same with pumping water in from lakes or up from wells.
This is an EXCELLENT book... and if you are interested in the subject matter, I would rate it a MUST READ.
The author is Canadian, I believe... and he refers to the bathrooms as "loos". I would imagine they would say... "Hey Joe... Let's pull over so I can hit the loo."
Here's a sample discussing water quality:
"...The nutrients of primary concern to cottagers are phosphorus, because of its effect on aquatic life in our waterways, and nitrogen, because of its potential health effect on humans. They also tend to travel together.
Most fresh-water ecosystems, like lakes, are phosphorus limited in their natural state, meaning that phosphorus is in relatively short supply in that system. So aquatic plant life is also limited. But as phosphorus is introduced into the water - the process being greatly accelerated by faulty septic and municipal sewages sytesm, continued use of phosphate-based soaps... (and he goes on to discuss blue-green algae)...
Other than affecting taste, phosphorus doesn't directly degrade the quality of water for drinking purposes. Nitrogen, however , is another matter. High levels of nitrates have been linked to methaemoglobinemia, a disease causing oxygen deficiencies in blood... (and he continues on about the negative side of nitrogen)..."
OK, this was just a short passage on the nutrients and contamination of water supplies that would affect a cottager. He spends most of his time discussing the practical/how to side of getting your water supply ready. But without the ability to show the beautiful illustrations, you would not appreciate the clarity of his explanations.
Again, I think it is a great read, and good luck on your cottage water system.
John [...]
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cottage Water Systems tells you what you need to know!, April 1, 1998
This review is from: Cottage Water Systems: An Out-of-the-City Guide to Pumps, Plumbing, Water Purification, and Privies (Paperback)
The importance of establishing a good water supply is unsurpassed for those living beyond the reaches of municipal amenities. This simple fact requires an effective manual dealing with all aspects of water-- its acquisition, preservation, use, and disposal-- because it's up to the homesteader to know all about it. Max Burns provides this invaluable companion text in Cottage Water Systems, an easily read and remarkably entertaining guide to being your own little water and sewer company. This he accomplishes with a folksy wisdom which transforms the potentially tedious subject matter into the common theme in a series of interesting fireside chats. For the reader with a limited attention span, the book is expertly sectioned into short how-to passages with timely sidebars and very effective illustrations.The chapter on outhouses finds the author in his best form and should not be missed. I found Cottage Water Systems to be the definitive guide I needed to confidently tackle the indispensable project of successful water management. However, the reader must consider how much he or she agrees with the author when he declares,"..part of the fun is in the fixing." If your idea of an enjoyable cottage experience does not include extensive labor (sometimes requiring a backhoe), then some of the tasks explained in the book will be passed on to others. Still, the reader/cottager enjoys the future benefit of knowing what he or she is talking about. I get the feeling that I'll be going back to Cottage Water Systems again and again for its complete how-to information and learned wisdom.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome DIY home water system book, January 14, 2005
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Cottage Water Systems: An Out-of-the-City Guide to Pumps, Plumbing, Water Purification, and Privies (Paperback)
Gave me the knowledge to troubleshoot my existing system, and build a better one. One that is economical, and environmentally friendly.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Informative and Well Written, November 28, 2004
By 
Ted Ward (Toronto, Ontario) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Cottage Water Systems: An Out-of-the-City Guide to Pumps, Plumbing, Water Purification, and Privies (Paperback)
An excellent book that covers in detail all the aspects of water required at a cottage or remote site. The manner of writing is excellent and manages to make what could have been a deadly boring topic, quite interesting. I can't imagine a book on this subject being more informative or presented in a better style
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This ones a keeper., December 18, 1997
This review is from: Cottage Water Systems: An Out-of-the-City Guide to Pumps, Plumbing, Water Purification, and Privies (Paperback)
Mr. Burns does a good job in this book telling you how to; for me as a youth camp site manager this book has been a big help, but Max also tells you the why. Any one who has a camp of any kind would find this book helpful. Thanks Mr. Burns.
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Cottage Water Systems: An Out-of-the-City Guide to Pumps, Plumbing, Water Purification, and Privies
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