Monday, September 22, 2014

Keep digging and you'll find more surprises, including this thing, whatever it is

You don't have to be a plumbing expert to know that water (and waste) flows downhill. You don't have to be a plumber to know that if the main sewage pipe that's supposed to take water out of your house is actually sloped downward into your house, you might be in for trouble. I'll just let that sit here for a bit.

We made it through the weekend without any new and expensive surprises around the house. Of course, Monday brings the workers back, and the workers keep finding new things.

The nice folks at the basement waterproofing company finished up the back and side of the house on Friday. Looks bare, but decent:

New window wells. Swale!
Now they're on to the front of the house, where the agenda includes demolishing Amanda's new garden and busting up the front stairs and front porch.

Well well well, it turns out the front porch has a lot of concrete in it, so it was going to take an extra half-day of labour to break it up instead of just haul it away.

A half-day later, Amanda sends me this picture:

Septic tank? Cistern? Dry well? Mystery pit?

Uh?


A septic tank right outside the front door of this 1956 home? I know that the people doing this job are wise and experienced, but I'm not so sure.

I know the neighbourhood was built before the area was part of the City of London. It wasn't on city water. The homes had backyard septic tanks. Our neighbour across the street is in his 80s and has lived here since 1958, and he's digging through his vast records to find out when exactly we were hooked up to city water and sewer.

My amateur sleuthing suggests what we see here is a cistern. Rainwater (from what, the weeping tile system?) would be directed into this concrete vault and could be pumped out for use in the home. You'd have a well for drinking water and a cistern for bathing or toilets or watering the lawn, or whatever.

Your interpretation of my conclusions is welcome -- am I on the right track, or way off base?

Bottom line, anyway, is that this is a reinforced concrete box just outside our front door, and is going to take a whole extra day to break up. Another pricey discovery, no matter how interesting it is.

Amanda had her latest CT scan today and the results will be known in another week or so.

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