Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Cottage moments #2

As y’all know, we have a cottage. Which implies, if not quite the back of beyond, at least outside the beaten path, sort of… More importantly, it also implies no citywide sewer system.

Yeah, you see where I’m going here: septic tanks.

The fainthearted might want to go visit some other blog, there are several good ones listed just there to the left. Choose one now and go.

Anyone left? Alrighty then. Septic tanks.

Act 1, Scene 1

They have a lifespan you know, just like we do. Eventually they die. In May I checked ours and it was full. Full. Even though usually we only empty it once a year (it is a small tank) and the last time was October. Full. Full of water rather than “mud”. For anyone new to the system, this is not a good sign. Actually this is a very bad sign. Full of portents of doom and such.

Indeed.

So we had it emptied. Last weekend (three whole weeks later) it was pretty much 60% full again. We only go on weekends. Shit (no pun intended)

Act 1, Scene 2

Enter stage left: The well.

We also don’t get municipal water up in cottage country, so we have a well. It’s an old well. Back then they used to bury them, and hopefully mark the spot. A beacon would be really cool. Even a skull and crossbones would have been nice.

But nothing at all? Much much less fun. Because the well? It has to be found before anything can be done about the septic system. You don’t really want your septic tank sitting three feet away from your well. Unless you’re insane or are some kind of mutant who thrives on tainted water. I may be a mutant, but I'm a clean water drinking mutant.

How do you go about finding a well that was dug 30 years ago? You rent a metal detector. You call a friend. You supply beer. And you dig. And dig, and dig some more. And pee the beer in the woods because you don’t want to flush the toilet unless you absolutely must. People, you don’t realize how wonderful a city sewer system is until you don’t have one.

So that’s where we are now. This weekend we’re looking for the well… and trying to get our heads around the fact that this is going to cost us between $10,000 and $15,000. That hurts.

I guess we can thank our lucky stars that ours decided to die in the summer. It would’ve been hell in winter.

Act 2 to come eventually. *sigh*

14 comments:

Em said...

Ohhh...the septic tank issue just sounds...gross. Sounds like you are off to a tough summer at your cottage. I hope things get resolved quickly! And without too much mess!!!

geewits said...

And I could be wrong here, but my guess is that the original point of having the cottage was to "get away from it all" and relax.

somewhere joe said...

Your cottage is very advanced, Jazz - ours had two sanitary options: the outhouse, and the oak tree (more popular with the boys. But the well was easy to find - it went straight down into the ground from the hand pump outside.

Dan said...

The fainthearted might want to go visit some other blog, there are several good ones listed just there to the left.

How do I know this isn't an elaborate practical joke? Perhaps all those blogs listed on the left also have articles on septic tanks.

Oh ... wait a second. One of those blogs is mine. Never mine.

ticknart said...

But you still love The Cottage, right?

Jazz said...

Em - we're keeping our fingers crossed that it'll be easy(ish) going...

Geewits - unfortunately, one can't leave um... waste behind. That would be great indeed.

Joe - advanced, perhaps, but also more problematic it seems.

Dan - it was a practical joke. All the blogs listed had septic issues today. Except yours of course.

Ticknart - I still love the cottage, but I'll love it more when it's, um... sanitary again.

Ian Lidster said...

What a cesspool of woes. I have had both, and I will easily opt for city water/sewer. Ironically, though, if a septic system is working as it should it's actually more environmentally friendly than a sewer. It is, after all, the ultimate in recycling.

Ian

Voyager said...

You do have a fancy cottage! When I was a kid we had a cottage in the Gatineau Hills. The toilet was an outdoor privy, the water system was buckets carried up from the river. Cooking was done on a wood stove, and the refrigerator was a 1948 model.
I loved it there.
V.

Voyage Communautaire PEI said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Big Brother said...

Shit happens! (pun intended) There is also the option of going with the toilet kit... a spade with a roll of bum wipe stuck to the end. You have plenty of land and plenty of big rocks... just watch out for the poison ivy. ;o)

Dorky Dad said...

This post was full of crap. (pun intended) I'm sorry. I couldn't help myself.

Yeah, you know, I think that placing a septic tank near a well is a generally bad idea. Are you finding anything cool with the metal detector, by the way?

Josie said...

I can't imagine having a well, and not having some sort of a post or sign, indicating where it is. I would imagine when you find it, you'll have a neon sign flashing, "well this way".

Looking forward to Act 2.

PS, do you know what my word verification is? fabjazz. I kid you not!

Jocelyn said...

Oy. Such big bucks, and for such $h!t.

And if you insist on maintaining your clean-water drinking stance, you may be out of luck in the next few decades!

Jazz said...

Ian - A cesspool of woes... I like that. First pun bragging rights go to you.

Voyager - That does sound like lots of fun... for a kid at any rate. Me, I'm not so much with the roughing it.

BB - And yet another pun. I knew This would be the case with such a subject... LOL

DD - And you ring in at #3. We're picking up the metal detector this weekend. Fingers crossed that we find the thing, otherwise we have to call a company that specializes in these things and fork out yet more money.

Josie - You'd think eh? Maybe there was somehting 30 years ago when it was dug, but it's long gone. Fabjazz! I like that!

Jocelyn - And here you are at number 4! Yep, in another 20 or 30 years we'll have to do it all again...