Water Conservation

The township sprung (no pun intended) a new ordinance on us: We have to prove that drawing down our well will not affect any other wells within a quarter-mile. Well, a quick look at the map shows that there are no wells within a quarter-mile of us, but somehow that doesn’t matter – we still have to draw down our well!

Normally this is done by just turning on the pump and spilling a few hundred gallons of water (ironic that this ordinance was passed to conserve water, isn’t it?) and then checking the nearby wells. Well, since there are no wells to check, they had to find some other method of determining if we would hypothetically affect them. A year ago I would have fought this kind of useless bureaucracy, but today I’m thinking it’s only $300 and just writing it off as a nuisance.


Septic Planning

Dawn met with the septic folks and walked the property with them, pointing out where we wanted the new septic system. We wanted one system to service all of the houses, but they are telling us a ‘community system’ is much more expensive and requires a lot more paperwork than several individual systems. Whatever. I don’t know the first thing about septic systems, so I won’t argue with them.

Addendum: Someone who wasn’t even involved in the initial meeting had the bright idea of putting in a ‘community system,’ so they changed our design without telling us. Again, whatever.


Second Pre-App Meeting

Not taking any chances, Dawn attended the second meeting. It was scheduled for a Thursday morning, so she took a red-eye Wednesday night, arrived in Harrisburg at 10:15am, had to be at the township office at 11am, and it was a 45-minute drive. If it had been me, everything would have gone wrong. She was five minutes early.

I already mentioned Dawn went to school with one of the township supervisors. At this meeting, the Brickerville fire chief was present, and Dawn recognized her old school bus driver! (He just wanted to make sure there was adequate access for fire trucks; we got sign-off a week later.)

As mentioned, the county agreed to the one-lane driveway with a pull-off, and all of the other requirements (storm water detention, ground disturbance, wetlands analysis, etc.) went away. The pull-off will add about $2,000 to the cost of the project.

We also agreed to use “porous pavement” to get around the water ordinance. This is just regular pavement without the top layer (which is what makes it waterproof) and a 15″ layer of crushed stone underneath (to trap the water). It’s more expensive than regular pavement, but cheaper than putting in dry wells.

So we are a “go” again. I had to call everyone that I talked to last month and eat a little crow. I don’t think Carole Wilson forgave me — I made a really stupid comment before — but everyone else was happy to hear.