Country & Cottage Water Systems is the extensive update to the now out-of-print Cottage Water Systems. This much anticipated edition is the single most complete out-of-the-city guide to on-site water & sewage systems you'll find anywhere. If you live in a rural area or spend your leisure time at a waterfront cottage or vacation property in the country, Country & Cottage Water Systems will save you time, money, and headaches. Packed with solid, easy-to-understand advice—and clear, detailed illustrations—this indispensable guide takes the mystery out of country and cottage water systems and all their components, including such topics as pumps, plumbing, water purification, & alternative toilets. From getting water in to getting waste out, it helps you choose the systems that are best for your property—and your family—and simplifies their installation, maintenance, and repair.

Troubleshooting guides and do-it-yourself tips assist in keeping all aspects of your water systems working the way they should. And if you’re hiring a professional, you'll learn what you need to know before picking up the phone to call for help. Whether you’re planning a new system or rethinking, updating, expanding, or troubleshooting an existing one, Country & Cottage Water Systems provides the ideas, the know-how, and the solutions, helping to ensure that the choices you make, and the systems you have, will provide clean, safe water and minimal-hassle and environmentally responsible waste disposal.

Country & Cottage Water Systems gives the reader more solutions (both for seasonal and year-round residences), more alternatives (including off-the-electrical-grid water and sewage system solutions), and more detail than any such guide before, including the much-praised Cottage Water Systems. If you own a rural residence or vacation home, you need this book.

(See note on Max's writing style for service and how-to journalism in The Dock Manual overview).

Adventures with Neddow

Country & Cottage Water Systems

Unresolved Connections

These are a few of my favourite roads

Around the Bend (again)

On Any Wednesday

The Dock Manual

Cottage Water Systems

The Winged Wheel Patch

The home page

The stats
Title: Country and Cottage Water Systems
Subtitle:A complete out-of-the-city guide to on-site water & sewage systems including pumps, plumbing, water purification, & alternative toilets
ISBN: 978-0-9696922-7-0
Publisher: Cottage Life Books
Suggested retail: $39.95
Technical stuff: 8x11 wirobound (concealed) colour hardcover, 192 pages. Fully indexed, illustrations throughout.
Where to buy: Temporarily out of print but copies are still available at Cottage Life Magazine

Current Table of Contents
1. Introduction
Demystifying on-site water and sewage systems: New technologies and new solutions
Congratulations! You are now an owner/operator / Local regulations may vary / Ignore the bafflegab / Go for the best
2. Sources of Water
How to tap into all the options
Can we drink it? / Surface water / Rain collection / How to locate groundwater / Types of wells / Natural springs / Recommended setbacks / Storage systems / Avoiding well pollution
3. Pump and Circumstance
The how and why (and where and when) of water-moving devices
Pump theory and pump practice / Manual pumps / Electric pumps / Water-powered pumps /Pumps for special places / Features to look for
4. Hooking up the System
From the source to your shower – it’s all about connections
The art and science of intake lines / Repairing cracks and splits / Strainers, foot valves and check valves / Lightning protection / Options for interior plumbing / Guide to plastic pipe / Pressure tanks and switches / Waste lines / Troubleshooting guide
5. Checking your Water Quality
What could be lurking in your lake, river, or well?
What’s in the water? / Waterborne pathogens / Algae and cyanobacteria / Minerals and chemical compounds / Hard, soft, acid, or alkaline? / Nutrient enrichment / Getting a water report card
6. Purifying the Water
How to ensure your H2O gets a clean bill of health
Types of treatment systems: Boiling. Distillation. Filtration. UV treatment. Reverse osmosis. Ozonation. Chemical disinfectants / How they work and what they remove / Minimum requirements / Combination systems / Non-electric options / Troubleshooting guide
7. Septic Systems
There’s a lot going on at the other end of the pipe
Parts of a septic system / Types of tanks / Absorption areas / Raised beds / Aerobic systems / Reducing the system’s footprint / Why things go wrong / Care and feeding / Effect on the environment / Septic do’s and don’ts / Troubleshooting guide
8. Stand-alone Toilets
No plumbing? No problem. alternative options for the seat of ease
Composting toilets / Incinerating toilets / Chemical toilets / Operating costs and maintenance / Venting / Regulations / Brochure braggadocio
9. The Humble Outhouse
Still considered by many to be the best seat in the house
Advantages of an outhouse / Where to put your privy / How deep to dig / Solving the odour problem / Variations on the theme / Design considerations / Cold-weather comfort
10. Grey Water
Neither fresh nor foul, it’s in a league of its own
What is this stuff, anyway? / Putting in a leaching pit / Testing soil permeability / Alternatives to the pit / Separate tank systems / Grease traps / Recommended setbacks
11. Getting Water in Winter
Designing a system for cold-weather convenience
The hole-in-ice approach: Ice and augers and axes / Importing water / Winterizing pressurized systems / How to insulate the lines / Self-draining systems / Heated water lines / Thawing-out frozen pipes
12. Closing and Opening up
rituals for a seasonally adjusted water source
Draining and storing lines / Shutting down the pump / Where to use antifreeze / Tanks and appliances / Winterizing waste lines / Flushing antifreeze / Priming the pump (Max’s amazing easy prime) / Seasonal guides: The flow chart and the unflow chart
13. Index

What others have said about the first edition, Cottage Water Systems
“The do-it-yourselfer's dream for household water systems. Cottage Water Systems is a well-written, well-illustrated guide to providing your "cottage" (or rural home) with water-in and water-out.” Whole Earth Review #85

“The subtitle for this attractive paperback is "An Out-of-the-City Guide to Pumps, Plumbing, Water Purification, and Privies," and it deftly fulfils its promise. Mr. Burns uses humor interspersed with excellent illustrations to convey technical information in layman's terms. He provides a comprehensive overview of all possibilities... the pros and cons of each alternative are thoroughly examined.” Old-House Journal

“The definitive bible on how to keep everything working. Supplemented with excellent illustrations and drawings, Cottage Water Systems is indispensable. This is a truly outstanding book.”

“A must-read for new home owners who are dealing with wells and on-site sewage disposal fields for the first time.” Alex Murdoch, Health Inspector, New Brunswick

“Beautifully illustrated, easy to read, humorous, and educational. The explanations could not be clearer. This is an EXCELLENT book ... and if you are interested in the subject matter, I would rate it a MUST READ.” Posted on an internet forum discussing rural retreats

“Max Burns provides 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. 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. 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.” George Mathews

“This book is worth reading just as an education on home water technology.” Woman Source Catalog & Review: Tools for Connecting the Community for Women

“I strongly suggest this book for anyone attempting to set up interior running water for your rustic retreat, cottage, or cabin in the woods. Max Burns has supplied the ins and outs of drinking and waste water systems that are set up on a shoe string budget.” Jamaica Cottage Shop

“If you have a pump, a well, a septic system, or an outhouse, if you winterize your water system or use it year ‘round, or if you simply care about the quality of the water you drink, this book will save you time, money, and headaches.” The Preparedness Center