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septic system or ???

Discussion in 'Resource Conservation - Water, Air, Earth, Etc.' started by goatilocks, Oct 30, 2011.

  1. Oct 30, 2011
    goatilocks

    goatilocks Power Conserver

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    So hubby and I are looking at 60 acres. If we manage to swing this, funds will be tight for a few years. Our plans are looking something like this. buy land, build a tiny house in a front corner. In a few years, we will be able to afford to build our bigger, dream home over looking the pond. We wont have the money to buy the land and start building our dream home right away, we will have to wait. We will probably/maybe end up renting out the first small home eventually. Our problem and my question is this. It will cost us about $10,000 to have a septic system put in. Thats a lot to waste if we never end up doing anything with the little house a few years from now. Do we have an alternative to a septic system? We wont have public sewer out there.
     
  2. Oct 30, 2011
    dacjohns

    dacjohns Our Frustrated Curmudgeon

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    Check with your health department. They should be able to tell you the options for your area. There are many types of septic systems. What works for a sandy loamy soil won't work for a clay soil. You might be able to plan it so the system for your cabin will also serve your house when you build a house.

    Some of the alternatives could be a composting toilet (no idea what the cost would be), pit toilet (if you want to go that primitive), septic tank to just collect the waste ( that means frequent pumping which could get very costly).
     
  3. Oct 30, 2011
    Dawn419

    Dawn419 Almost Self-Reliant

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    Does the land you are looking at have city or well water?

    The reason I ask, is we want to do the same thing you are talking about with our land. Before we moved out here, we went ahead and had city water hooked up since the line runs across the west property line.

    When we went to get our temporary electric run, we learned that we wouldn't be able to get permanent electric lines run until we have a septic system installed. We didn't intend on putting one in as we plan on using a composting toilet in the small cabin we plan to start building next year and want to reuse any greywater for watering flower beds and the orchard. We were basically told "sorry 'bout our luck" as greywater is considered waste water in AR and needs to go into the septic system. :he

    Long story short, we can stay on our temporary electric for as long as we want so we're not getting in a hurry to jump through their hoops. We're looking at any other and all options to avoid putting in a system that we don't plan on using anyways.
     
  4. Oct 30, 2011
    Leta

    Leta Lovin' The Homestead

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    This is going to vary wildly by each locations building codes, but you could always go with composting toilets and a greywater system. You'd need a dry well (a deep hole filled with sand a gravel) for at least some of the greywater.

    Oasis design has some great stuff.
     
  5. Oct 30, 2011
    goatilocks

    goatilocks Power Conserver

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    Right now it doesnt have any water. Well, it does, it was planned to be a 60 acre subdivision so it actually has about a dozen fire hydrants. :/ But they will basically be unusable, as will the piping for them. The fire dept will cap the line at the street. Of course, like mentioned, it all depends on codes. But I was wondering if we had any options to look into. The grey water system and composting potty sounds interesting. Im hoping all this works. 60 acres, spring fed pond, bank owned. :D
     
  6. Oct 30, 2011
    ~gd

    ~gd Lovin' The Homestead

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    So you will own the hydrants and the piping to them? If so it might be possible to use them for an irrigation system and to pump the grey water all over the property so to disperse it I know that is what my city does. Basically they collect all the water and sewer from roughly 50 home sites around a city golf course. Settle out the solids do crude treatment to kill bacteria and pump the water back to the golf course where it is used for irrigation. I dont think this allowed for food crops though.~gd
     
  7. Oct 30, 2011
    Marianne

    Marianne Almost Self-Reliant

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    Agh, codes...supposedly for our protection, sometimes a curse. I agree, check the codes before you do anything.
    Since it was slated to be a subdivision, you might not have any choice. At least you wouldn't in this area. Especially if you might end up renting out the little house for a while. You might be willing to do alternative things, but your renter might not be as faithful about it as they proclaim.

    What about putting a used mobile home there and then just move in? It'd be faster and then you'd be on your property right away. It's a good thing to live on the property for a year before you start building, IMO. Then you get an idea of what happens during heavy rains, etc. Helps you in planning out the permanent stuff. We have friends that mapped out locations, installed the septic tank and ran lines to a cheap mobile home they bought and towards the area where they were going to build the permanent house. Worked out really well for them. The house isn't finished, but they have their garden, coop, everything they wanted, plus paying cash for everything as they build the house. Where they live, they can't move into the house until every last bit of trim is installed (local codes, again).

    Before we got started, I talked to the people in charge about greywater systems, black water, what I'd like to do, etc. They were very nice, but... in the end, we still had to do it their way. Soil perc testing, and we ended up with a septic tank instead of a lagoon (TG). We have been here over 5 years and have never had our tank pumped, nor do I ever plan on having it done. If you end up with one, you'll get a booklet or there's plenty of info online about them. I think our system cost around $5K.

    On the flip side, if you have to hook up to a system, it doesn't mean you have to use it all the time. I'd rather do the composting toilet thing, but when I bring it up, DH gives me 'the look'. You know the look, right?

    Ditto with what Leta said about Oasis. I have the book, it's great.

    We're the last holdout in this area for rural water. My thinking is $13K up front, then $30 a month before I use a drop of water...forever? Forget that crappola. Three chlorine tablets every other week or so, dropped into the well feeding our house ($13 for a big jug of them), a really good undercounter RO system ($50 for filters every 9 months) and a sediment filter changed faithfully every month ($2). My drinking water is better than the neighbor's.
     
  8. Oct 30, 2011
    goatilocks

    goatilocks Power Conserver

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    The only way we can use the hydrant system is to allow the FD a 20 foot easement anywhere they need. Since we hope to be able to one day fence the whole property in, that wont work, they would no longer have access to them. Plus we want our privacy. We thought about a trailer. That may be what we end up having to do if we have to go the septic system route. Theyre are lots of ifs and hoops, but if we can get this for even close to what we offered, it will be a steal. I looked into the composting potty, it seems really neat. Just not sure if hubby can get passed the idea of poopee being so close... And we already have the banks permission to have it rezoned back to AGIII, so some of the codes for the RES/DEV zoning will no longer apply!
     
  9. Aug 3, 2013
    robinhoodie

    robinhoodie Enjoys Recycling

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    If you have the chance consider a composting toilet. There are some modern ones which are fairly good and compact. Then you're pretty much totally off-grid on the human waste aspect.
     
  10. Aug 4, 2013
    Britesea

    Britesea Super Self-Sufficient

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    We had to install a new leach field for our septic system a few years ago, as the old one finally went kaput. It would have cost us 5K, but it turned out there was only one acceptable spot to locate it, and that turned out to be slightly uphill; so we had to pay an extra $2500 to install a pump that could send the water up to the leach field.

    We have a greywater system for the kitchen and laundry, but everything in the bathroom goes to the septic tank. This has caused me a certain amount of concern as we would be up the proverbial creek in an extended black-out.

    Id really like to get a composting toilet and hip bath for emergencies.
     

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