Thursday, June 5, 2014


Our family doesn't live off the grid, but we live just far enough outside of Lexington that we cant connect to the water supply or sewage system.

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."
"The kind, generous nature of the human spirit is one of the most wonderful of things."


  1. Oh shit! indeed...and how about this one?
    When a man attempted to siphon gasoline from a motor home parked on a Seattle street, he got much more than he bargained for.
    Police arrived at the scene to find an ill man curled up next to a motor home near some spilled sewage.
    A police spokesman said that the man admitted to trying to steal gasoline and plugged his hose into the motor home's sewage tank by mistake.
    The owner of the vehicle declined to press charges, saying that it was the best laugh he'd ever had...
    Keep smiling amigo...weebobbycollins.

  2. As I sat in the living room my five year old shouted at me from the back door.

    "I can't hear you if you're shouting from outside." I said.

    Again, he shouted back.

    "I told you, I can't hear you from there. It's rude to shout. If you want me to hear you, walk into the living room." I replied.

    A few moments later my son appeared in the living room.

    "Dad, I've got dog shit all over my shoes"



  3. Its very good ideas have to share and home improvement is necessary for house safety and drain services looking. Thanks for it.

  4. setting free the bearsJune 8, 2014 at 5:25 PM

    I think I prefer living on grid.

    Anyways, if practice makes perfect yet Nobody's perfect, then why the hell practice?

  5. My date with a woman who lives in a lighthouse went really well last night.

    She's a keeper


  6. I feel your pain. We had our septic drainfield replaced a couple of years ago. Some idiot (not me!) had planted a huge tree in the front left corner of the drainfield. You could see that the roots were huge on the septic side. Also, the old drainfield looked like it was sized for a couple not for a three bedroom 2 1/2 bath home occurpied by a family. Fortunately, we did need any major engineering thanks to Florida's sandy easily drained soils. The new drainfield must be four times the size of the old. one. When it comes to homes, it is always something! Life and shit goes on. I admire your perseverance and attitude.

    1. Oops! I'm missing a "not." That is "we did NOT need any ...."

  7. hi Tony,
    big start to the world cup today,what do you think of U.S.A. group ...
    will they make the last 16 ?

  8. somebody gave me a lemon today....
    don't know what to make of it .....!!

    Good start for the U.S.A soccer team..not too enamoured by the uniform very
    much like some old Glasgow team....