Grange Notes for August 4, 2018 by Time Swartz, President (with everyone’s help)
Playing in the dirt–getting ready for the septic tank clean-out
We decided that since the last time the septic tank was pumped out was in 1994, it was probably time to get it checked and pumped again. Please note–we have had no problems with the toilet or sink drains, and didn’t want to wait until we did.
We had good measurements (see the top left photo) for the location of the clean-out hatch, thanks to former Grange Master Les Skinner. On Sunday, July 29th, I dug down the foot or so of very hard-packed dirt to find the access hatch–only to find that it had a piece broken off. I found out that Hartigan’s septic service would not pump the tank unless we got a replacement ready to put in place, and was lucky to find one in stock at S.D. Ireland, near the Montpelier train station. Kurt Giavara helped me get it out of my hatchback, with the aid of ancient technology–the inclined plane. Thanks also to Merry who suggested it!
By Thursday, Aug. 2nd, we were ready for the Hartigan’s truck to come. While I waited, I made a grid of pressure-treated lumber to bridge over the lid, to better support the weight of the cars, snow-plows and sand trucks that will roll over this access hatch.
The best news is that when Hartigan’s truck came, the 1,000 gallon tank was pumped out with no problem. The driver told me we should get it pumped a little sooner–maybe in 5 years instead of 24!
And in other news about a hatch…the robins have produced a 2nd set of chicks!
Working near the porch has given me a chance to check in on them–and to be subject to a lot of robin insults, as I disturbed their obsessive feeding of the insatiable offspring!
The plumbing inside will get upgraded, too!
While we have the plumber at work, we will also have a frost-proof faucet installed on the outside of the Grange, so we can finally water plantings, clean paintbrushes, etc. without carrying buckets up the stairs, or running a hose through a window. We will also have a couple of sprinkler heads installed over the furnace, as has been strongly suggested by the State Fire Marshal. As we have worked with him on Grange Hall improvements, he has made it clear that this is an important step to protect the people in the building, and the Hall itself from major damage if anything happened to cause a fire in our furnace/water heater/electrical service entrance room.