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 12-29-2003, 21:27 Post: 72646
DeTwang



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 Need to learn about methods for different climate

I'm a contractor in sunny southern ca.. I'm going to be making the move pretty soon (probably early spring) to my property up in northern ca. (about 4000', 1-2' of snow/5-40 degrees in winter, 80-90 degree in summer).

I plan to build some storage buildings right off the bat, and I'm wondering about what things I need to take into account considering the new climate when it comes to pouring pads, underground plumbing/electrical, roofing, etc.. At this point I'm planning on 8x16 steel reinforced block construction on a concrete pad with double steel doors. Haven't decided on roofing yet (possible steel).

There is currently a double wide trailer on the property (plus a couple outbuildings), and I want to start planning for an in-laws/guest quarters, as well as adding a bathroom to one of the existing outbuildings.

I know nothing about septic systems and almost nothing about wells. There is currently one of each on the property and they are working fine. How do I tell if the septic system is big enough for adding the additional bathroom and guest quarters (also with it's own bathroom/kitchenette)? Is this something the county (Shasta) is likely to have me dig up and replace if I build either of these things?

At some point I'd also like to add a small pond (maybe 30k-50k gallons) also serving as a fire water resevoir) and stream/brook (barely moving) on the property with a solar powered pump to give it some circulation (maybe with a couple little waterfalls/elevation changes where the pump returns the water into the stream). Probably going to use a simple plastic liner (4 to 6 feet maximum depth) for the pond/stream with part of the stream buing built up/tiered above ground. What issues do I have to worry about as far as freezing/frost?

Thanks,
Mark S.






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 12-29-2003, 21:40 Post: 72647
DeTwang



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 Need to learn about methods for different climate

Also,

how much pond evaporation can I expect in the summer months (pretty much stays in the 80s and 90s)?

Mark S.






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 12-29-2003, 23:44 Post: 72652
loghouse95



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 Need to learn about methods for different climate

California has some very strict building codes, You will have to get a permit for almost any thing you build or replace.. The size of your septic tank and leech field will determine if they will let you connect to it..






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 12-29-2003, 23:47 Post: 72653
loghouse95



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 Need to learn about methods for different climate

also the size of the tank is probably on record if not not you will have to uncover it to determine the size






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 12-29-2003, 23:59 Post: 72655
DeTwang



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 Need to learn about methods for different climate

I talked to the building dept last time I was up there, and found out that as long as I keep the square footage under 120, I can build as many storage buildings as I want without permits. So those will be 10x12. I'm initially planning on building three of them.

As far as the in laws quarters go, I will have to permit it but am limited in size to a maximum of 690 sq ft (I think that was the number) if detached, or 1100 sq ft if attached to the main house.

I just don't know what to expect in regards to the septic tank and was trying to get an idea about this in advance of talking to the county. I'm pretty ignorant in these subjects being a city dweller all my life (very excited at finally getting a chance to escape the zoo though Smile).

I am told that I dont have to permit the pond as long as it isn't fed from any streams or whatever (by either diverting streams or damming them). If it is fed from my well it is not a problem in any way.

In reading about ponds I have come across a term called 'frost heave'. Does anyone know exactly what this term means, how it is calculated or measured (as it's name implies some sort of movement to me), and how it is prevented or accounted for during construction?

Mark S.






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 12-30-2003, 00:00 Post: 72656
DeTwang



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 Need to learn about methods for different climate

How deep is the tank and leech field typically below the surface? Just Curious.

Mark S.






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 12-30-2003, 07:45 Post: 72665
TomG

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 Need to learn about methods for different climate

Frost-heave is the ground expanding when water in it freezes. the amount depends on quite a few things. It changes from year to year and may be different even on adjacent properties since drainage has a lot to do with it. It can't be prevented but protection for structures is built into codes. Even so, frost-heave around here destroys conventional foundations in buildings when basements are unheated over the winter. Applied to ponds I imagine the issue has to do with rocks heaving up and puncturing liners. The pond size mentioned seems pretty big to be well fed. You'd want to be certain of the well flow and you may want some through flow to keep the water nice.

Septic tanks and fields usually are buried around 2' deep. It's good to not drive anything heavy around unless you know where the tank and field are. I'm guessing that inspectors wouldn't allow additional connections. Most systems in operation don't conform to current code and the connections thing is a device used by authorities to require people to install new up to code systems. Composting toilets and gray-water leeching-pits can be an alternative for a larger system some places.






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 12-30-2003, 07:47 Post: 72666
shortmagnum

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 Need to learn about methods for different climate

DeTwang,
Frost heave happens to buildings when the soil freezes lower than the building's footings. When that happens there can be tremendous pressures built up that can shift your foundation. Up here (WI) we place footings at least 4 ft deep. Your permits will require some minimum depth for your area.
Dave






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 12-30-2003, 08:35 Post: 72672
DeTwang



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 Need to learn about methods for different climate

Quote from Tom G
________________
The pond size mentioned seems pretty big to be well fed. You'd want to be certain of the well flow and you may want some through flow to keep the water nice.
________________

It's supposedly tapped into an underground spring. Seems to be no problem getting plenty of water from it. There are a kazillion streams and small lakes in the area.

I was envisioning the pond/stream to consist of a pump in the pond that dumped water into the brook/stream which would then feed back into the pond through some cascading/tiered mini ponds 2-5 feet wide by ten feet or so long each.

My main concerns with this plan are

a) aforementioned frost heave

b) how much water has to be circulated to keep it healthy

c) can this amount of water be moved with solar power without costing a rediculous amount to set up.

anyone done anything like this?



quoted by Tom G
___________________
Most systems in operation don't conform to current code and the connections thing is a device used by authorities to require people to install new up to code systems.
___________________

That's exactly what I'm worried about.. ... Smile

Thanks
Mark S.






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 12-30-2003, 08:40 Post: 72673
DeTwang



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quote by shortmagnum
____________________
Frost heave happens to buildings when the soil freezes lower than the building's footings. When that happens there can be tremendous pressures built up that can shift your foundation. Up here (WI) we place footings at least 4 ft deep. Your permits will require some minimum depth for your area.
____________________

So I guess I'd better find out what is required and do this even on my unpermitted storage buildings.

This isn't due to water impregnating the concrete and frezzing but rather the soil around the foundation expanding, right?

Does the concrete in contact with earth typically have to be sealed in any way? Are membranes under the slab a good idea?

Thanks,
Mark S.






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