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.

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.