The past week has been a week of plumbing challenges. We found the first problem in the middle of last week when I hiked up the hill to make sure our water tanks were filling. We have our water system set up so we have a 1000 gallon tank near the pipe by the road which is filled either from the pipe or from rainwater off the shop roof. We then either pump water from that tank up a 60 foot hill behind our house, or, if we have sufficient water pressure, let the three tanks on the hill fill directly from the pipe.
As I approached the top, I realized that the stand was sagging. I told Tom and Selwyn about it, and Tom made this temporary fix, but decided that we needed a new sturdier water stand so we didn’t have 1400 gallons of water washing down the hill when the stand broke and the tanks burst.
Here you can clearly see the break. Good thing the 1000 gallon tank was emptied and moved!
Tom and Selwyn emptied the tanks and took them off the stand. It may be a good thing the stand broke, because all three tanks up on the hill were due for a good cleaning.
Tom and Selwyn poured some new concrete footers and built a bigger, sturdier stand. Lucky for us we’ve had enough water pressure the past week that the tanks are refilled and water is flowing into the house just as it should!
The problem was that at this point the gray waste line clogged, and water was not flowing out of the house properly. Fortunately the toilet is on its own line with a real septic tank, so all Tom and Selwyn had to do was dig up the pipe from the house into the soakaway.
Every segment of pipe, from the drains in the house all the way into the soakaway, was clogged to some extent. Between a snake (the plumbing kind, not the living kind) and the hose, we cleaned out the pipes.
After living with septic systems my whole life, I’d like to say that we’re very good about not washing anything down the drain that shouldn’t be, but after seeing and smelling what came out of the pipes, I have to wonder if I need a better system. Yuk!
Tom is now in the process of inventing some sort of waste trapping system, probably by running the water through a barrel with a stone filter shortly after it leaves the house to prevent the pipes in the soakaway from getting so badly clogged again.
As we were in the middle of this project (I helped with the cleaning out part), a truck drove up the driveway. Three men from the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) got out and said they were in the area so they stopped by to see what we were doing. Two of the three had helped us when we registered in the BTB, so we did a little catch up on progress we’ve made since February as we gave them the tour. They said they really liked the rooms and the furniture, and the only suggestion they made was to decorate the guest rooms with Belize/jungle art – a good suggestion which we can now start to think about since the basics are done. They were intrigued by the cages, and snapped a lot of photos both inside and out, and were brainstorming about what we could do to turn the cages into an attraction since we’re lacking any natural attractions beyond the jungle on the property. Camping for security conscious back packers? A haven for parents with out of control children, or for spouses who literally want to lock one another in the dog house? We haven’t come up with anything brilliant yet, but we’ll keep thinking!