Family? Perhaps not. But I loved these delightful creatures non-the-less.
When we installed our very first (trial) Scarab sewage treatment plant, at the late John Bizzell's small holding in Drummond - KZN, we were pretty anxious to see if this contraption would actually work. This was in 2002. John was an architect, and so he designed and built the infrastructure, sewer lines and concrete works.
The small treatment system went in, connected up, and fired up. Tonto (aka Gary Brown) came through and visited the system, went away professionally insisting it would never work. Soon after that, Durban metro sent no less than three officials to inform John that he had an " illegal " system on his property, and it should be removed. Then Umgeni Water completed their evaluation (see here).
I was checking the plant one weekend, when I noticed something strange in the final settlement tank. I had never seen this anywhere before - ever. Or since. This water had always been crystal clear, but today it was cloudy. Scooping out some of the water, I found what looked it like mosquito larvae, swimming around. But these were much smaller, like a dust - many thousands of them!! I took a 2 litre sample home, 'state captured' my son's microscope, and then chatted to Mrs Know-it-all (aka Google). She identified them as cyclops copepods, (read here) a harmless fresh water crustacean, commonly known as water fleas. A good omen. (These creatures are often used to test water quality)
As for Durban Metro - I told them my systems has fleas, and they never bothered me again.