Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The search for Camp Stranded

Lewis and Clark West to the Pacific by Frank R. "Bob" Davenport
Photo and Copyright held by:
Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation, Inc.

Jim from The Travis McGee Reader left a comment on my Camp Stranded - Fail post that he thought I should keep everyone informed on the land search. Okay, but I'm gonna keep it a little low-key as I'm trying to keep my optimism to a minimum.

I'll share what I've learned along the way so that others may learn from my fail (or success). I have learned a few things about land laws, surveys, septic systems, drain tile, rural water systems... and I've gained something out of my fail.

This first segment to share is entitled:

Everybody Poops, The discussion of septic systems.

We started looking at small 5-10 acres with a house in a neighboring school district, but now that #2 son received the open enrollment okay, we expanded our search to include acreages without a house. Without an existing home, we need to worry about access to water and installing something to get rid of the morning constitutional.

This site covers installation of a septic system and gave me a chance to talk to the county sanitation director and know a little of conversation. Found out that the county requires a "perc" test or test holes designed to find out how fast your soil drains. Also, they only approve concrete tanks - no plastic tanks that you can get at Menards. The size of the tank and leach trenches (fields are so passé) depend on the number of bedrooms, not the number of toilets. And they are not as deep as the one we had built for our first house 20 years ago.

I also found the Saniflo toilets. Designed for flush mounting in the basement, one idea I came up with was installation in a garage and pumping the effluent over to a sewer line. No need to cut the concrete floor and the added advantage of taking a poo while changing the oil.

No septic? No problem. I also looked into a composting toilet. Interesting and expensive. I'm not turning green, but exploring all of the alternatives since the wife has no interest in using an outhouse in the middle of winter. I'll use one but only if I have to.

Sorry if this was a bit off from my usual posts, but writing about sewage reminds me of the work we need to do to clean up the legislature in Des Moines and that big septic tank in Washington DC.

Now talk about crap...

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