Final word on the septic system

I’ve decided to never mention the septic system again. After this, of course.

  • The septic system is designed to handle 1,800 gallons per day. We will have 5 adults plus up to 10 guests, so even on a full day, assuming each person takes one 5-minute shower and I run 3 loads of laundry, everyone will have to flush the toilet 37 times each before we exceed capacity.
  • There are two fields, each 60′ x 220′. Together that is half the size of a football field (or the full size of an arena football field, if you’re into that sort of thing). In city terms, my septic field in Pennsylvania is 5 times bigger than my entire property in Los Angeles.
  • The “nitrate plume” area (which we can never build on) is 10 acres in size. The minimum lot size in the area, I believe, is one acre, so that’s the equivalent of 10 homes. At a conservative value of $10,000 per acre, that is$100,000 worth of land sitting idle.
  • The pipes run a quarter-mile (1,350 feet) long, and 93 feet up. Now, I don’t design septic systems for a living, but even I am pretty sure going uphill is a bad idea.
  • There are 5 tanks, totalling 7,500 gallons, which all had to be custom-built for our project.
  • The system requires access points every 50′. That means 27 manholes will dot our property.
Septic System or Sub-division? It's hard to tell

Septic System or Sub-division? It’s hard to tell

Everyone tells us they’re happy we’re restoring the property, but then they make up these ridiculous requirements that defy common sense and cost a fortune. If I ever meet anyone who is considering restoring a property in the area, I will tell them they’re crazy.

Come to think of it, everyone we talked to who had restored a property in the area told us we were crazy.