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Perpendicular Problems


We all know crap runs down hill but then what happens to it?


A year ago, we had our septic tank placed on our property but then our excavator disappeared on us. Since the priority last year was about getting the house structure up and covered, we just left it and moved on. Obviously, a heavy cement septic volt wasn’t going anywhere.


One of our biggest frustrations starting this year’s work was having all the things we need to run a house (a septic tank, solar panel rack, and a well) but having nothing connected. You might not know this but when you put a septic system in you are required to pay permit fees and draw a map of where everything will be. It’s easy, people told us. It’s a simple map, they said. When we began to look into it, it wasn’t so simple, and the map had to be approved before you could move forward on the septic system. Oops, our volt was already set.


We weren’t concerned, we had a nice downhill slope, but the map wasn’t so simple. It required detailed measurement with symbols from our well, our neighbor’s well, the house, so many other things. The good news is the county did approve our map, but it looked like flunked homework assignment when it came back. Red writing was all over my beautified detailed map.


Most of the information was helpful but also confusing. While crap runs downhill, the liquid overfull runs to a drain field that needs to be perpendicular to the downstream flow. Not only that, it needs to be almost level, not sloped! Our property has all kinds of different slopes but flat it is not. Did I mention we have trees, lots of them.


We spent two weekends digging with our tractor and hand shoveling to make eight-six foot by 3 foot level area into two shallow twelve-inch-deep trenches, per the county’s requirement. It’s a miracle I survived and not from the labor. I think the mosquitos decided we were invaders or fresh meat, I’m not sure. All I know is that I have bites everywhere, even in places where I was wearing thick clothing.


Jer and I rose victorious! The system is ready for inspection. Still not connected to the house but getting closer.

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