Living In a Septic Situation
As most of you know, I live in the White Mountains of AZ and we have been having septic tank problems for years. We are having septic failure across the majority of the neighborhood. Failure so great, that leech lines are bubbling up into some of the back yards, and running down the easements. Green slime can be found right next to waterline tie-ins. Some toilets in the neighborhood are not flushing, and showers and baths need to be kept to a minimum. We have some neighbors who have to bathe on different days to be able to not have their septic back up in their homes.
For those of you that don’t know what a septic system is, here’s some info:
A septic tank is a key component of the septic system, a small-scale sewage treatment system common in areas that lack connection to main sewage pipes provided by local governments or private corporations. Other components, generally controlled by local governments, may include pumps, alarms, sand filters, and clarified liquid effluent disposal methods such as a septic drain field, ponds, natural stone fiber filter plants or peat moss beds.
These failing septic conditions have been present for the past several years, but they are increasing as time goes by. Because of the elevation of some our properties, there are many days in the winter and during monsoon season that we are not able to let our kids play outside because sewer overflow and the runoff from the neighbor’s home settle in parts of some neighbor’s yards. Also, the local school’s bus stops are at the end of our roads, where water often settles where kids wait for their bus. One of the property owners in our neighborhood, has called the local schools to inform them that those children are standing in sewer water, and bringing in that fecal contamination into the local schools.
Another concern is the potential for waterline contamination. The majority of sewer water is settling in the easements directly next to or over the water connections. While the potential for contamination is small, there is still a possibility that older water connections might be compromised and allow for sewer to get into the water system. The majority of homeowners in our neighborhood are elderly, and retired. It it something that could be devastating to their health, if they were to get a water born illness due to the failing septic in our neighborhood.
We are in the complicated and expensive process of requesting to be annexed into our local Sanitary District that will be able to provide our area with sewer services. As many of the homeowners in this neighborhood are elderly, they are on a fixed budget and cannot accept additional expense. Those who are against the sewer line installation have fought this from the beginning. What’s funny is that all of their homes are at the top of the hill, and they don’t realize that their waste is running down the hill into our yards.
I am asking you, if you know of anything that might help us with getting funding, to leave a comment below. Some neighbors have been told that their property is no longer in compliance, and there is a chance that it could start going out to more homes and end up with the “condemned” stickers on our doors. The current majority of homeowners are desperate to come into compliance, before any sanctions are assessed or properties are condemned. For the health and safety of the children and elderly in this neighborhood, I urge you to let us know of any help that you know of.
We have a few in the neighborhood that will have no problem with being able to pay for it, but our neighbors to one side are retired and on a limited income, as well as many others that will need help. We’d love to just start helping with a few, as the final cost is set to be about $15,000.00 for each home, not including the $2,500.00 + for the hook-up from our homes to the street. If you can find it in your heart to help with this – every little bit helps.