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D I Y septic system

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By the Brook Farm
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2003-04-22          53566


Anybody install their own septic system?? I have a set of approved plans and permit for a standard septic w/20' X 45' leach field and 1000 gal concrete tank. It doesn't look all that difficult to do yourself. Looks like the labor to install one of these is around 2 grand here. Tank, pipes, stone, and distribution box will run another $1,500 and the company will set the tank for free. It doesn't look all that tough, but you never know. Anybody actually install one??? thanks........

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AC5ZO
Join Date: Jul 2003
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2003-04-22          53569


I have done some septic tank field and drain line repair work for myself, but I am not sure that I saved any money if I account for my time. I guess it all depends on whether you have the time, equipment, and motiviation to do it yourself.

You just have to remember that water runs downhill and that local codes will tell you how much slope to put on the lines. If there is no code in your area, do not go less than 1/8 inch per foot of run and more is better. You should do perculation tests to determine how much drain field to use.

Some septic systems require additional permits from the state for runoff water contamination.

Also, make sure that they set the septic tank properly. It must be level and there is a specific direction. The outlet is generally lower than the inlet to pick off the middle fluid layer between the sludge and floating scum. I know of one tank installed in reverse and it has always caused problems when the outlet port (should have been the inlet) plugs up with floating debris. ....

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By the Brook Farm
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2003-04-22          53573


I have plenty of time, we are off all summer (both wife and I are teachers) and have little $$$. I do have a JD4600 w/backhoe and loader. Also picked up a nice transit for shooting elevations. The septic is not my design, but one done by a soil engineer specific to our building lot. I already have the approvals, just need someone to do it (inexpensively). Prices are around 3,500 to 4,500 dollars and far as I can tell, about 2 thousand of that is "labor" for about three days work. I think I can do it, since it has to be inspected I will know before I cover it if I did it right. ....

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
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2003-04-22          53576


Normally the 'cheapest' way to do any job is the barter system. You trade your 'labour' for someone else's 'labour'. It is VERY prevalent around here and has been since pioneer times.

Ask around, I'll bet there are several septic tank contractors in your area with school aged children. Ask them if they want 'free' tutoring in exchange for 'free' labour.

If you're going to do it yourself I have only one peice of advice for you, BE CAREFUL!

Double (or triple) check absolutely everything. The health of your family and neighbours may depend on it. Recently there was an area near here where the careless handling & storage of cow manure was the cause of an E. Coli contamination in the municipal water supply. Seven people died and hundreds more were VERY sick.

Best of luck. ....

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harvey
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2003-04-23          53606


BTBF It is a some what labor intensive. Get some upside down paint. Walk yourself thru the plans. Get your tape measure out and mark it all out. Labor is leveling the bottoms of trenches to grade to prevent high and lowspots.

AS MURF SAID: Your most critical step is setting the tank. Your grades have to be perfect. REASON: You do not have a big enough piece of equipment to reset tank if grades are off.

And like Murf said measure the distances figure your pipe slope you must have it very close to code requirements. too steep and the "stuff" will enter tank to fast stir tank and some "stuff" will head toward your leach field. To slow and you'll be cleaning your house, SOON.

As you dig if you are a little rusty with controls and get a litte deep here and there have your stone company bring you a 10-15 ton load of course sand (depending on how far your main line is) Use the sand to level the bottom of trench to grade. (Stone will also work but sand is usually half the price) Sand does not compact so you will not get any sags in the line. You should not use sand in the leach field use youe 2's (or what stone is required in your area) to level those runs to grade. You can loose what ever sand is left in you main lin trench.

The project is dooable if you have some operating skills, common sense and think things thru before you do them.

P.S. Hopefully you do not have any under ground utilities in that ares. Here we must call before we dig any thing.

Feel to free to yell at me anytime. Been there done that only with the big hoes.

Harvey ....

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dsg
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2003-04-23          53642


1/8" per foot is preferred for slope. In this case more is not better, you don't want the water to flow faster than the debris.

David ....

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Peters
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2003-04-23          53645


Personally I have only ever worked on the conventional 4" pipe and drain rock systems, but the newer systems with the infiltration chambers seem easier to install than the drain rock etc. I don't believe they need to be as accurate on the slope and require less area.
Maybe some one that has installed this type can comment. ....


Link:   Infiltration chambers

 
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TomG
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2003-04-24          53670


I looked at doing the work for a replacement system at our camp. New codes made the idea seem undesirable and costly for a recreational property. I also concluded what most people here have said. Doing the work is one thing but getting it through inspection is another. We ended up with a farm pump for water and a composting toilet for septic and they've worked out just fine. I think I'd use a contractor to put in a real septic system.

Neighbours around our camp say the old septic system probably was an old car, and that most people around there used cars at one time or another. Despite the comments here about the precision needed for a system to work, cars or oil drums with a single leg for leeching worked well around here in the past--or at least they seemed to. Environmentalists say we been contaminating our ground water and they' may be right so improved systems are likely a good thing.

The trouble with codes is that they seem to be designed for the worst possible scenarios of every potential future property use. Sure does run up the real costs to present property owners to cover some hypothetical future owner. My notion is that I should pay for what I do and let some hypothetical future owner pay their own costs, but then I never have gotten along with planners very well.
....

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BillBass
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2003-04-24          53673


My only comment would be to make sure you know what you are doing. We have been on a septic system for 18 years with never a problem. Our neighbors on both sides unfortunately can't say that. Their builder used the same septic contractor for both houses (we had a different builder and different septic contractor). They fought septic problems for years before finally hiring another contractor to come in and rebuild their systems. Very annoying to have a toilet that won't flush. ....

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AC5ZO
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2003-04-24          53693


I think codes and allowable practices vary all over the place. A friend of my in another state has to use electrically powered aeration on his septic system. I have never seen anything like that before in any place I have lived. Aeration is used in large sewage treatment plants, but it seems to be required in some new codes.

I had never heard of using barrels or old cars before. I guess that any settling tank should work, but I am not sure how you could ever clean out a barrel or car used in this way. Perhaps the idea was to use it until it stopped working and then it was time to buy a new car and bury the old one. The infiltrators are very beneficial from what I have found out, but my system is also conventional pipe and rock.

The septic tank is supposed to do only a few things. It catches large inflow of waste; allows light matter to float and allows sediment to settle; and it is the site for bacterial action to break down the waste. The outlet is positioned to take off the center water layer between the floating matter and sediment. The only thing going into the drainfield should be this fluid. Sediment or other material going into the outlet will clog the drainfield and eventually make it useless. The better that the septic tank is at separating the waste streams, the longer the system will work well.

Slope is important as has been mentioned. 1/8 per foot is the standard that I know, but I have seen twice that slope used. Comments about sticking with 1/8 per foot make sense to me. Your local codes should tell you what is considered proper in your area.

Pumping the septic tank removes the built up sediment and floating material. If you do not pump the tank, eventually sediment may build up, especially in colder climates where the bacterial action is slower. If the tank fills up, it will do a poor job of separating the waste streams and this can lead to clogging the drainfield.

You do need to know what you are doing. I just moved into a new house and within a couple of weeks I had problems with the sewage/septic systems. It is no fun to come home on Friday evening and have your wife ask you why water gets in the bathtub when she is using the clothes washing machine. The former owner paid for roto-rooting the main drainpipe under the house after I asked about the problem. The septic tank had been pumped as we were buying the house. (Hard water deposits, soap, cooking grease and who knows what else had accumulated in the main line.)

When I was looking at houses, I saw one where the guy was using a shallow well to water his lawn. The water smelled terrible and he said that the water (methane) would catch fire so you had to be careful smoking while watering the lawn. I am pretty sure that he was watering his lawn with water out of his septic tank leach field or the local groundwater was so contaminated that it was a neighborhood problem. I did not buy that house.

The point of this is that the systems need to be put in correctly. They need to be maintained to continue working. And nobody needs the headaches that they cause when they stop working.



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harvey
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2003-04-24          53711


Tom you bring up an excellent point about camps. Yep I agree 100% about the old barrels and single leach lines working fine at a camp. Now put a family of four or more on that year round. Here camps on the lakes either use a storage tank and pump it weekly or when it's required. Others have property way up above the lake and pump it there with as many as 2 or more pump stations to a septic system.

I take exception to your lack of concern about slope being very accurate. Slope angle is critical to insure proper drainage with out material moving to fast stirring the tank and moving sediment into the field. Cleaning a used field is not fun ask me how I know. Generally you have to totally rebuild it which if code people are involved want engineer stamped/approved plans. Do not even think of cutting a corner here in the Finger lakes watershed. Sand filters are a requirement and have to be maintained.

If you are doing it yourself do it right with the best information avaiable the first time. It saves headaches later. A well designed system properly installed will function for a very long time with only pump outs every 5-10 years depending on use and climate. ....

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TomG
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2003-04-25          53745


Sorry if my comments were interpreted as slamming codes, inspections or skilled installations. Not my intent at all. My point was that in the case of our camp if we put in a new septic system it would be a standard residential capacity system and would cost a lot. Such a system would be no better for the environment than an oil drum for our uses. We would pay for some abstract idea of potential future uses and circumstances that are extremely unlikely to ever occur. At best you could say that we would have to pay to subsidize a hypothetical public good but pay for it privately.

I'm also not complaining about inspections. There are more than enough unknowing or simply irresponsible property owners to go around. Nor am I under-rating the importance of well-designed and skilled installations. Many of the home grown systems around here have worked well for over 20-years. I imagine the builders simply eye-balled things and concluded 'Well that should work.' By and large they did work and are still working even if the angles and leveling may not be quite right. However, these systems may not support city habits very well. Most people with home-grown systems continued to use in-door plumbing like the biffeys and gray water pits they were used to.

I imagine the 'car systems' used around here were actually old car bodies used as open bottomed secondary tanks. I have heard of aerobic systems that may be systems of last resort where conventional systems just don't work or can't be approved.
....

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Peters
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2003-04-25          53749


I understand what you mean Tom. At our cottage near Apsley we had a pit toilet for years. We were never there that much, weekends and maybe one or two weeks per year and therefore with a little lime served well for 45 years.
We were finally required to install a new system which assumes some one is there full time. This costs a lot as it need to be pumped away up the steep slope away from the cottage. ....

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WillieH
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2003-05-04          54302


WOW -
We still have our outhouses !

You mean to tell me that there are new fangled inventions that "suck" away the "stuff"? Gol...ly Gee!

Not bad during most of the year, but watch out for bee season!

Willie H. ....

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TomG
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2003-05-05          54316


I guess having a bee in a bonnet would be mild by comparison. My dad told a story about being charge of quarters during WWII. He decided to reduce the number of work details by asking the troops to throw a shovel of coal in the boiler when they went passed. Seems like the idea worked too well--too many shovel-fulls. The hot water went to steam and backed up into the cold water system. Somebody flushed and got steam. I don't recall if the guy was standing or not. If it were a sit-down, I'd probably prefer a bee.

I know you're joshing, but what has happened with the new codes here is that many waterfront properties can never have septic systems. The property has to have enough space for a leech field on top of riverbanks and back a minimum distance. People who are lucky enough to have the space can pump the stuff (bees and all) to a system on top. People without space are stuck with out-houses if they didn't already have a septic system (which probably shouldn't be there in the first place).

The unlucky ones took a big hit on their property values since the buildings can't be converted for full-time residential use. It probably did mess up a few retirement plans to waltz from city jobs to a cheap piece of paradise and watch sunsets forever. But maybe I don't have a lot of sympathy. I toured a house in the middle of a city that was entirely off-grid and met all codes. It had it's own electricity, water, septic and trash systems. All sorts of things can be done but paradise can get expensive. It's easier to crap in the river and let down-stream folks worry about it. Chicago did it for decades.


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WillieH
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2003-05-05          54321


Actually, TomG, we still do have the outhouses, mostly set behind barns and under apple trees and the like. When we need to move them, we get the new pit dug, then corral a few neighbors and move the house. I guess this was the initial or debut of what we know today as the porti-torti.

At the lake where my house is, there are many camps and cottages with the exact situations as you described TomG.
My house sits on land that once accomodated a hotel and dining hall at the lake. The septic tank, a whopper of 13.5 thousand gallon tank, sits in an adjacent lot across the town road. When I wanted to put in my own personal septic system, with a 1000 gal. tank, I was told that my clearances would be marginal at best. I have well over 100' in any given direction, not to mention clearance distance from the lake itself is some 200'.
The primary concern was the distance between the well and the proposed septic site. Still outside of the minimum distance requirements.

Last week, a well drill rig showed up at a neighboring camp. Somehow, the owner received permission to have a well drilled, within a 25' distance from three different leach fields and septic tanks located in a tringular configuration where the new well is about in the middle.

GO FIGURE! Though the design of a functioning leach field, is to supply potable water at the exit point, I certainly won't be drinking there water any time soon.

I have been installing septic systems, drainage systems, etc for many years, for many people, without problems. When I want to put one in for myself and process the papers, I am told I can't, yet the guy up the road can get away with these fiasco of a well. GO FIGURE!

Sometimes it is not WHAT you know, rather WHO.

Willie H. ....

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WillieH
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2003-05-13          54835


Well, pardon the expression, here is a follow up to my last posting on the septic / well situation up the street.

After enduring nearly a week of what seemed to be endless drilling noise, the rig stopped. No more noise! Yahoo!
Good for me, and the rest of my neighbors...not so good for the land/wellowner. The neighbors well is now set at 550+ feet, with a PINT recovery.

Now that is an expensive well, an expensive DRY well!

Though talk of "fracking" is looming, they sure have to go some to get a reasonable amount of recovery.

FYI,
Willie H. ....

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TomG
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2003-05-14          54851


A neighbour within earshot had a well drilled to replace a dug well that was going dry (lot of that around here the past few years).

Lots of noise and smoke for days. A few days later the noise stopped. Story is that the driller got impatient and used some dynamite and then went back to drilling with a very expensive rotary bit. Rock shifted and trapped $10 or $20 thousand worth of equipment in the hole. The driller tried for several days to get the bit free and then nothing for weeks. Story was that the owner was worried he might have to pay for lost equipment. Some types of contracts with drillers are called 'easy-dig' contracts. The cost per foot is less than for regular contracts but costs go up if the hole has problems, and owners may be liable for equipment damage or loss.

It's worth knowing about down-side risk stories and really reading contracts before taking low cost drilling contract. Our neighbour could have paid for a well that was dry plus pay for lost equipment. The driller eventually did recover his stuff and the well is working so I guess everything worked out.

Willie's neighbour could end up having a real liability even if the well starts producing water. Things that don't come up to codes always can become problems. You can't do much work on them unless their brought up to code and future regulators may not be 'who you know'. Grandfathered non-complainant approvals may not transfer to future owners. At best you can't do much work on them without brining everything up to code. Besides, who'd want to buy such a property. It's real hard to believe that a poorly maintained septic system wouldn't start affecting even a deep well that's only 25' away. Actually I wouldn't buy any rural property without having an environmental inspection done. I can think of a dozen or so nightmares or potential nightmares from around here and several of the potentials were ours.
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WillieH
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2003-05-27          55768


UPDATE -

Here is an update to the ongoing saga of the new 550' well, perched between three septic systems, no more than 25' away...

Well, pardon the expression, the day started out bright, sunny ,and without alot of racket from the drill rig as the boys no longer were drilling now for about a week. As I sat on the porch, I wondered what the low pitch rumble was cresting over the knoll some 3/4 mile away.

OH NO! Here comes the well drilling crew again! I thought well at least they're not coming close to me again, as the neighbors all have their respective wells now. BUT WAIT A MINUTE...they're pulling in next door again!

I thought this was a bit strange as I watched them place the rig back atop the set well casing. I thought for a moment that it was a hydrofrac'ing unit...but it wasn't.

Long story short...it seems that the well drillers office never told the well drillers on the site that they had to put in a minimum of 125' of casing, due to the close proximity of the three septic systems. When they originally set the casing, they set one, 20' length and left. Now, they had to realign, and set five more on top. Still, 550' deep with a pint recovery makes for one expensive glass of water!

Willie H. ....

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jeff r
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2003-05-29          55950


Concrete tanks of any size are rarely used any more. The Big black and yellow plastic tanks are what everybody uses now and for good reason. CHEAP and LIGHT WEIGHT and easy to set. 4 inch corregated pipe with nylon net covering. Use pea rock on the bottom and you are all set. NO BRAINER when you get your drop set. ....

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TomG
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2003-05-30          55966


Good grief. With a 20' casing and low recovery rate the well likely would contain mostly surface water, and those leaching fields are 25' away. Doesn't sound like the drillers found an aquifer in their 550' of drilling. I wonder if they even have their pint recovery now with the added casings? Expensive isn't the only thing that glass of water would be with only 20' of casing there.

The boomer of a system that put our local hotel out of business did use concrete tanks, but I haven't seen any but the plastic for residential use lately. Like Jeff's good reason, our Township had to have a concrete tank dug and reparged after about five years. The system sits near a riverbank and not many feet above high water. It probably shouldn't be there in the first place so they have to take extra care with it.
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WillieH
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2003-06-09          57159


Well update -

So, the well was put in, the rig had returned to install an additional 100 feet + of casing after realignment with the original piece, then the plumber showed up to connect to the house/camp.

I awake to the sound of an excavator chewing up the newly refinished lawn area where the rig once stood. I take a walk over only to realize that the excavator has dug up almost the entire front yard. I thought he was merely digging a trench to secure the house water supply pipe to the pitless adapter, no way!

Come to find out, being so close to the existing leach / septic fields, the drill rig apparently crushed the septic system...now having to excavate and repair the damages.
One boat load of trap rock went into that yard that day!

The homeowner, you ask, where is he during all this?...
He still has not showed his face, as I'm sure that he is merely assessing every element of this fiasco, and getting his information inorder for one heck of a court battle!

Can't wait for the first cup of water that he offers!

Willie H.
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TomG
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2003-06-10          57251


Yikes Willie! This saga is starting to make my neighbour's problems sound like a picnic. The next chapter could be that the health inspector gets involved and decides the septic systems aren't up to code and the leaching field can't be repaired without bringing the whole system up to code. And then, a following chapter might be that a survey determines that a conventional system can't pass codes on the property. That's how a hotel near here got the $60K system that eventually bankrupted the business. It's story also started with equipment breaking leaching field tiles. Last chapter in a terminal story might be that the owner took an easy dig contract and can only argue negligence in court. Oh well, there's always composting toilets. Hope the real story comes out a little better.

There are a few things in this saga and my possible subsequent chapters that rural property owners should think about.
....

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2003-06-19          57981


Time for an update on the new well!

The yard is now all backfilled with "second quality soil", seeded, rolled, and hayed/strawed over.
I commented to the guy seeding and rolling the area about how nice it was to see it all closed up again. He, being quasi close with the owners, agreed. Soon after, he left.

About two hours later, as I was walking my dog up the street, I saw one of the local propane delivery trucks approaching the area. Still being only 100-150 feet away, I saw the tanker, back-up into the yard that was recently finished.

I thought to myself, there ought to be some good ruts left when he leaves. Turns out, that was the least of the problems for the truck driver.

As he has delivered to this address for several years, he was quite familiar with where he needed to place the truck for filling. The only thing was, he never realized that there was a two foot high well casing, now sitting at the aft end of where he usually parks.

To hear the sound of the heavy steel frame bumper on this tanker back into and push/bend the newly installed well casing, was a sound that I won't soon forget! OUCH!!!
Campowners yet to arrive for the season.

Willie H.

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TomG
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2003-06-22          58110


Sure sounds like this is passing the work around local insurance adjusters--assuming that the contractors are insured. Wonder if the camp owners know that they'll likely have enough water from all this to brush their teeth and little else, if that's what they really want to do (assuming the deeper casings actually work). ....

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WillieH
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2003-07-08          59113


I visited with the owner's of the new well over the fourth of July weekend. (NO, did NOT have any water to drink). They did not have much to say about the well, however, he is sporting a very attractive, heavily equipped, new sport fishing boat package, and in great spirits. Hmmm?, the plot thickens...

Willie H.

....

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Murf
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2003-07-08          59117


That is beginning to sound vaguely like a story that unfolded just up the street from here about 10 years back.

It was a house on a 10 acre parcel that had been severed out of a farm years ago. At the time of landscaping the new house the (then) owner had planted a row of Colorado spruce trees along the entire south and west sides of the property as a means of buffering against the blow sand that comes from the freshly plowed fields. Thirty'ish years later the house sells and the new owner calls a local land surveyor to update the survey and to mark out the property lines. It seems the surveyor had a keen new employee with a keen new axe, the employee skinned all the branches off the far side of EVERY tree (1000' worth) on the west side of the property.

When the surveyor dropped off the new plan and asked for payment the owner showed him the trees and asked for HIS payment. The insurance company obtained 3 quotes, one from yours truly, and paid the owner in CASH for the lowest one.

To this day there is a line of one-sided trees there, but from the new swimming pool the view is the same as it always was, only the farmer can see the bare side.

Best of luck. ....

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WillieH
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2003-09-14          63870


<<<< NEWS FLASH >>>>

Ok, so it is not a news flash - just an update!
So the summer went by, the neighbor enjoyed his NEW fishing boat, and one by one, the camps are being closed up for the season once again. Now...the road contractors come out and start repairing / repalcing roads and bridges. Just about in front of our houses, sits an old bridge, concrete abutments that were poured in 1928, that don't exactly run parallel to the town road or it's curve that meanders thru it. In fact, the curve invites you to T-bone the bridge abutment as it is skewed from parallel from both the road, as well as the other abutment. Anyway...
The bridge crew showed up with all the equipment - cranes, excavators trailers, etc. No place else to park except...that's right. Right over the new septic and well fields that the neighbor had put in in the spring. LOL (I'm laughing anyway). The goof... the contractors merely blame it on the "rain", that of which we have not had in a long while now, as the trailers and crane now have sunk nearly a foot and a half into the new "lawn"! Sounds to me like another insurance settlement on the horizon!
Stay tuned...

Willie H. ....

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TomG
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2003-09-15          63882


This saga is starting to recall Forest Gump--'Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you'll find.'

Our township has a mild version right now. The well tested positive for bacteria and the explanation was that town hall isn't using enough water. Running a tap for a half-hour each morning didn't solve the problem. Crew dug up the well and discovered a very strange one. It looked like somebody used two 30" dug well tiles on top of a drilled well casing that was buried 5.5' below grade. The cover was about a foot below grade.

The well sits just outside the left field foul-line of our ball field, and that part of the field accumulates a lot of water on the surface during heavy rains. It seems like water runs around the cover and the tiles hold it on top of the drilled well casing. There was almost 2' of wet muck on top of the well head. It might not have been too bad an idea except that it's not really a drilled well. It's only one section of casing that goes down about 20' from the well head. Odd, but they couldn't pump the well dry. Speculation is that water in the tiles percolating down along the drilled casing contaminates the area.

What's the connection here? Well, the tile cover was cracked and only the reinforcing mesh was holding it together. I don't imagine it got cracked from fielders diving for line-drives and I imagine a 3/4-ton driver nearly got a surprise. After we figured it out it took the Township about 3 days to motivate their contractor to get those tiles out of there and weld an extension for a pitless adapter. So now we've got a hazard sitting near the field with a picnic table over it. Figure that one out later I guess. ....

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WillieH
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2003-10-15          66338


Just when you thought it was all covered up...for good!

We have seen enough dilemmas stem from this septic / well nightmare that the neighbors have endured to last a life time and beyond. Now with the heavy storm winds that came thru last night, wouldn't you know, that one of our 2+ foot diameter pines decided to uproot along side the neighbors line and topple over on his house...besides disturbing the recently repaired leaching field ! ARRRGH! The amazing thing about this, is that so long as the tree was in good health prior to its toppling, the other homeowner's policy is responsible for the damages / repairs...not mine. Had the tree been dead or dying, then my homeowners policy would be liable for damages, as it would have shown negligence on my behalf for not taking it down earlier.
Straight from my insurance agent to TP...No kidding!

-Willie H. ....

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TomG
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2003-10-16          66357


Well Dang! And the Township's well fix didn't turn out either. I guess that unlimited flow from a 6" casing and a 20' hole is running pretty close to stream water. They're now talking about running a line from a deeper well used by the maintenance shop and maybe I want to dig the trench--but I think I'll pass.

At least I understand the insurance company logic in your case. Around here some policies treat bear damage as 'acts of God' but at least we're covered. Last month a guy was out hunting bear, had one break in to his house and do a bunch of damage. His policy covered bear damage to the outside but not the inside--that I don't understand.

Your hypothetical case of a dead tree that damages your neighbour's property could lead to interesting discussions with your insurance company. We had a bunch of waste oil from a previous owner of our camp tested and pumped. After the fact our broker noted that there wouldn't have been any insurance coverage if a spill had occurred. Her logic was that insurance is to cover accidents and something that can reasonable foreseen isn't an accident. Not her problem but I really hate dealing with industry mentalities. I suppose the logic does keep us more responsible though. ....

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WillieH
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2003-10-16          66364


It is just a strange reasoning on one hand. "Usually", the responsible party would be the one that is at fault - not the recipient of bad luck. Oh "well"!

- Willie H. ....

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Murf
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2003-10-16          66369


It is pretty much standard procedure in the insurance industry to subrogate (ask for repayment for) a claim to the insurance carrier for party at fault.

However, as mentioned, there would be no fault in this case, the tree was healthy, the only reason it went horizontal was the wind storm, nothing the property owner did, or failed to do.

We do some restoration work for the insurance industry here, anything that involves 'earth-works' on the high end properties, big fancy estates, etc.

Some of the claims are pretty funny. We had a job two summers ago that was hilarious to everyone EXCEPT the owner. It seems that this very high-end property is EXACTLY below the approach to the Toronto airport. What happened was the 'liquid waste' tank drain valve had a small leak, at the height the aircraft was flying the temp. was so cold that everything froze into a .... 'fudge-sicle' ... on the outside of the plane, as it came down for a landing the temperature of the aircrafts skin climbed enough for it to break off.

It landed in the pool with enough force to punch a hole in the Gunite lining, causing all the water to leak out into the surounding soil and erode a big part of the raised area the pool had been built into.

It was a tricky job to do the repair without destroying the rest of the yard to get equipment, material, etc., in and out, which is why we got the job, it's just like working on a golf course while 'in play'.

BTW, last I heard this guy and his wife had REALLY reduced airfare anywhere they wanted to go.....


Best of luck. ....

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HuckMeat
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 121 Colorado
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2004-02-05          76072


I saw mention of the infiltrators in Septic systems. I've been doing my own research. My excavator (after interviewing several) really dislikes them, citing that the end run infiltrators rarely get an even load. He highly discouraged them if there is any way a moderatly conventional system can be used. He also made the point about too much slope being a problem, since then solids get outrun by the liquid, as mentioned here.

He did have one positive thing about infiltrator systems though:

"They are like a tank trap. If some bozo drives over your leach field, you're gonna catch him" :)
....

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grinder
Join Date: Oct 2003
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2004-02-05          76078


Huckmeat
If you are talking about the black plastic ones they are
trouble waiting to happen. They are cheap, thats all nothing else.
Let me point out one problem, you have them all laid out ready to
cover. If, when putting the dirt on one or more move,your screwed.
The grey water will not make it to the next chamber. Chances are
you will not notice this for a few years,usually in the middle of
the winter. Unless you are on a slope,you can't beat a stone bed.
....

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Ravenn
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 11 Minnesota
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2004-04-25          84207


Huckmeat, I'd never hire any excavating contractor who talks about solids getting outrun in a drainfield. It shows he doesn't know much about septic systems! Solids should NEVER be in a drainfield. The drainfield will fail sooner or later if they are getting in to the drainfield.

Grinder, I really disagree about what you said about chambers for drainfields. I've had my chamber system for 6 years and it's a good system. Probably 75% of the newer systems in this area (n. MN) are chamber systems. As far as the possibility of the chambers coming apart is concerned, if you've hooked 'em together (which is easy)correctly, they can hardly be taken apart again without really trying. The problem with any drainfield is not getting the septic tank pumped regularly and allowing solids to eventually get out to the drainfield. That's a recipe for failure. ....

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