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Phytorem Listserv FAQ

This document serves to answer some of the questions posed to If you have a question not listed here, feel free to send it to Note: If you need help with subscribing or unsubscribing from the listserv or performing other common functions, see the subscribe/unsubscribe instructions on the main phytoremediation page.

Q: I sent a message to the listserv days ago, but nobody ever received it. What's up?

A: There are actually several situations that may cause problems with the delivery of your messages. Here is a list of common problems members encountered.

You may not be a member of the list. Only email addresses that are subscribed to the list may broadcast a message. If you are a list subscriber, please verify that the email address you are mailing from is the same one subscribed to the list. If you need help subscribing to the list, please see the following URL:

You may be sending a multipart or mixed message. The Phytorem listserv software works well with text, but it does not work so well with other formatting in the message. Please make sure you are sending a text-only message. It is important to note that while you may only be sending words in your message, your email client (such as Microsoft Outlook) may be formatting it into HTML or other encoding, so the message is no longer text-only. See your email program's help file for information on how to send text-only messages.

You may have files attached to your message. Again, because the listserv software is friendly with text and not much else, attachments may cause problems because of their non-text format. Attachments can be any type of file attached to the message, including (but not limited to) image files, pdf files, word processing files, programs or executable files, and even HTML files. Sending file attachments to the Phytorem listserv is currently disabled as a security measure. If you need to share files with others on the listserv, please include a URL to a web server or other resource in your message.

You may not be sending the message to the correct address. All correspondence to the Phytorem listserv should be sent to Again, see the following URL for information on this topic:

You may have encountered an error not associated with the problems above. Further information on this type of error is not available at this time.

Q: I just sent a message to the listserv. How soon will people receive it?

A: This depends on server traffic and other variables. Email messages begin their broadcast immediately upon submission, but not every member is emailed at exactly the same time. The software sends the email out in waves to its members so that the load on the server is balanced and not overloaded. Again, because of traffic issues, this could take a matter of fifteen minutes or four hours.

Q: I'm trying to add or remove myself using an email address different from the one subscribed to the list. Why do I have to wait for approval? Isn't this system automated?

A: Yes, the system is automated to a certain extent. The problem you are having has to do with a security issue. The listserv is set up to prohibit users from subscribing or unsubscribing addresses other than the one they are currently using to send commands to the software. This ensures that only the authorized user can choose to be a part of the list or not. If you are unable to subscribe or unsubscribe to the list using the email address you want to subscribe or unsubscribe, please contact, describe your situation, and the list owner will add or remove you manually if they determine the request is legitimate.

Q: Can I subscribe a friend's email address for them?

A: Try to avoid this situation if at all possible. Please contact, describe your situation, and the list owner will add the address manually if they determine that the request is legitimate.

Q: Can I send an announcement about my mother's upcoming yard sale or other irrelevant information to the listserv?

A: NO. The Phytorem listserv is a means to broadcast questions and information regarding phytoremediation and related technologies or topics.

Q: Help! I'm trapped in the list and I can't get out!

A: Relax and see for information on how to subscribe or unsubscribe, as well as other functions of the listserv.

Q: How can I get a list of commands for the Phytorem listserv?

A: A guide on how to use the listserv system is available at K-State's listserv help page.


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