A Not So Crappy Job

“Whatever goes up, comes down, they say. But whatever goes down doesn’t always go away.” – Winston Rothschild, The Red Green Show

We installed a septic system! Hopefully it keeps everything away for good.

The process began over a year ago when the county approved the location of our drain field. They inspected test holes that Sam dug, evaluating the rock and soil composition for drainage. Then the county health department provided the requirements and helped design our septic system.

The waste exits under the North side of the building and enters an underground septic tank about 15 ft away. Solid gunk settles in the tank, and waste water exits the tank and runs downhill to a drainage area or “leach field.” (There are no real leeches in a leach field.)

Sam started by excavating the hole for our tank. Not just any hole, but apparently the nicest hole in the state of Washington!

Sam even put a little stone dust in the bottom of the hole and rented a compacter. Aiden ran the “nervous turtle” while Sam checked its levelness. This might seem like overkill, but we don’t want the septic tank to settle since movement could cause a pipe to break. Yuck!

We purchased a concrete tank because the lightweight plastic ones are currently three times the cost! It was by far our heaviest single item purchase, weighing in at 9260 lbs! We named the tank “Wilbert” after the company we got it from.

Sam and I eagerly waited for Wilbert one morning, passing the time by taking photos of each other.

Wilbert had to travel about 3 hours through hilly, confusing, rural roads. At last!

After all the prep work and anticipation, Wilbert was off the truck and perfectly situated in the hole in less than 5 minutes.

The truck driver who set Wilbert in place was impressed by Sam’s excavation work. He gave Sam praise numerous times, saying that Sam did a finer job than professional excavators and made setting the tank easy. After we said our goodbyes and got the bill, the truck driver drove off. But he didn’t make it very far. He stopped the truck, got out, marched over (we thought he forgot something), and said, “I really wanted you to know that that is the best hole I’ve ever seen!”.

We chuckled and admired Wilbert for a minute. Then Sam began filling the hole back up, concerned that Wilbert might shift in the wind. Normally one would use the excavator bucket to pack down the dirt, but the bucket wouldn’t fit, so Sam found a tamper.

Next, we glued the pipes going from the house into the tank.

“If your ground seems unusually soft, if each time you breathe, you let out a cough, if the cows roll their eyes and barf in the trough, better call Rothschild’s before the lid blows off.”Winston Rothschild, The Red Green Show

We bought risers for the lids, to make the lids accessible from ground level. This enables the tank to be pumped clean every few years without digging anything up. The lids are heavy duty, and no aroma should be able to seep out anywhere.

Next, Sam dug a 120 ft long trench from the tank down to the leach field. Aiden helped lay the pipe.

From here, waste water enters a distribution box or “D-box”, which equally distributes the water to two rows of drain pipe.

“There once was a young man from Turkey, Whose septics were plugged up and murky. They blamed it on lead, From the pipes in the bed, When the culprit was too much beef jerky.”Winston Rothschild, The Red Green Show

Well, lead pipes are no longer, and it looks like we have a sausage problem rather than jerky. What are those things?

EZ flow bags!

EZ flow bags are pretty much a nylon netting filled with packing peanuts. We have two rows of these. Each row is 60 feet long and 3 bags wide. The center EZ flow bag has a perforated pipe in it. It is sandwiched by two “dummy bags”. This system should evenly distribute the water along both rows.

Drain fabric covers the EZ flow bags to keep fine dirt out.

We passed another inspection with flying colors!

Afterwards, Sam back-filled the trenches and drain fields. Hopefully no one needs to look at our septic system for a very long time.

3 thoughts on “A Not So Crappy Job

  1. You guys are amazing! I keep saying this because it is true. .And that is the best hole I have ever seen!


  2. “Then Sam began filling the hole back up, concerned that Wilbert might shift in the wind” – this made me laugh : ) i’m finally catching up!


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