Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Hiccups and perc tests

So we had our first hiccup over at the new house.

We want to convert it from a 3 bedroom/1 bath house to a 4 bedroom/3 bath house. The house has an old septic system, and to add another bedroom means we have to increase the size of the septic tank. To do that, we have to move everything to the back yard where there is more room for the tank and leach field. To do that, the dirt has to be good. And by good, I mean dry.

Yesterday I met the backhoe guy and someone from the engineer's office (planning septic systems now requires an engineering firm!) to dig some holes for the perc test. The perc test measures the percolation rate, or how quickly water drains through the soil. When you dig for the perc test, the deepest hole is about 9 feet. And you really want to see dry dirt there.

Our dirt was wet. Like, really wet. About 30 minutes after we dug the hole there was several inches of water at the bottom. That's bad. Really bad. So we dug another hole in another area of the property that should be drier. And it was really wet at 6 feet.

So today is the official perc test and then the engineers and person from the county health department will decide what kind of system we can have. At this point, it's not looking good for a system that will work well for the future of the place as a horse property, or the cost will be so high that it just doesn't make sense. So I might be back to the drawing board with the house plans and we might be stuck with just 3 bedrooms. What a bummer.

1 comment:

  1. What a bummer indeed! Understand about the horse weight over the septic field completely: Had a neighbor whose septic field sank a few feet after the big earthquake (six years ago). Her fixit handyman suggested putting a layer of black cinder rock on top so it would be level with the rest of the ground. Big Mistake! The whole thing sank 8' further down & they had to have a whole new septic system installed. $$$


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