As with many "out in the county," we're then faced with getting our own water and disposing of our waste water.
Getting water - for those of you reading from overseas - is achieved by drilling a well deep enough to find water flowing at a good rate, and the putting a pump at the bottom to get the water up to the surface. The top of the well, which is about 8" in diameter, is then covered with a tightly secured cap.
Disposing of waste is a bit trickier.
Most households have a main drain line that exits the house buried almost 2 ft underground. The drain line empties into a large underground tank, a septic tank. The waste water slowly drains through pipes near the top of the tank, and slowly drains out of a number of long perforated pipes via gravity. The drain lines slowly seep waste water into the ground where it is soaked up.
We had a problem with our septic system.
Our problem was two-fold; the old system appeared to be installed by 5 year-olds working on a tight schedule, and the soil around our house is mostly clay. Obviously, clay isn't known as an absorbent substance. Combine all of that and you wont be surprised to hear that damp patches were appearing in the area where our old drain lines ran. Yuck.
To cut to the chase, we had to replace our old system and the project was just completed. That's the good news.
The bad news is that the lack of good soil meant we had to get an engineered system installed.
An engineered system requires that our waste water be treated in two tanks before going to a third tank and pumped out under pressure. The drain lines had to be replaced with many more, thinner lines, buried 6" deep. The new drain lines then had to be covered by 8"-10" of proper top soil.
We're delighted that the work is finished. We're amazed at the kindness and support of the community at Oxford Presbyterian Church, who made a huge contribution towards paying for the work. Thank you.
At the outset of this blog post, I really didn't know if I had a point to make. I suppose I felt like I should explain what's been dominating our time...besides ER visits and catheters!
In recounting the whole story, which took a year to transpire (from discovering the problem, through the government paperwork, and fixing the problem), a couple of thoughts did spring to mind.
Several times during this issue, I recall thinking:
"Life really doesn't ease up. Even when you're dealt a shitty hand."and
"The kind, generous nature of the human spirit is one of the most wonderful of things."