Good news - no need to dig up landscaping

schoolhouse_gwFebruary 15, 2012

Whew. The guy who I hired to come and give me an estimate on digging up and replacing some or all of my septic line suggested that I let someone come in with a camera to scope out the tile first to see just what the problem was first before taking drastic action. His business routinely has another company come in esp. for this job, and both came this morning. The cost was going to be between $200 - $300 just for the use of the camera! But, hey, you have to do what you have to do.

Long story short. John says the camera shows the old clay tile is still in good shape with minimal roots for most of the length. No bottoming out of the tile, that is, it's running level and flow is good. Then the camera crew went to the cellar and put the camera through the old cast iron pipe that goes from the bathroom to the tile. Here it found more of an accumulation of "long thread-like" roots. This portion of tile line runs under the garage. Uh-oh. I told him I bet it was the Virginia Creeper growing up the side of the garage! They went ahead and snaked them out. (probably another $200) need to dig up the edge of the courtyard garden and sunken garden shrubs! Hoo-ray. But - it was suggested I might want to remove the Virginia Creeper. Ugh. I did take it off the one side of the garage when I needed to paint two summers ago and have managed to kill off the roots and new growth there and keep it under control. But it's always so beautiful in the Fall on the side facing the courtyard and creates a green wall in summer. Oh well, all good things come to an end.

The camera was well worth the $300 in my opinion. Plus John was honest enough to bring those guys in and not do $2000 worth of digging and replacing tile and carving up the garden when it wasn't needed. However, he said if I wanted to really do it right I might think of someday replacing the tile line under the garage. That is, close that off and lay it somewhere else.

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I grew up in a yard with a big willow tree next to the driveway. The neighbors draintile got plugged by that willow tree(it went under the driveway and into their drain tile) and I remember my Dad was so mad cuz he had to fix it, that that willow got bucked right down/back!!! It grew back of coarse, and I remember we had taken the wood rounds away to a campsite and the rounds had sprouts a few months later!!!

    Bookmark   February 15, 2012 at 9:17PM
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Schoolhouse- That's good news! Sorry about the Virginia creeper, but hopefully, it will transplant happily to its new location.

Calamity j- We used to have a big weeping willow at our house, too, when I was a kid. It was fine for years, but then my dad started watering it less and it went right for the sewer pipes. They ended up taking it out, but I loved that tree. It was a great hide out, in the summer! LOL

I'm thinking about planting a few out here, if I can find just the right spot. Weeping willows are so romantic, in a way. All 'Wind in the Willows' and english gardens, to me :)

    Bookmark   February 16, 2012 at 6:17PM
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Thyme2dig NH Zone 5

Schoolhouse, Thank goodness you had a guy who advised to check with the camera. I agree that is worth the $300 to not have to have your garden torn up and then deal with all the work replanting, etc.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2012 at 8:47PM
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gottagarden(z5 western NY)

So nice to have honest contractors.

A few years ago I had a tree with slime mold and I called an arborist to see if it should come down. Fortunately he was honest and said that was not necessary and saved me $$$. You can bet that I recommend him when people are looking for a good arborist.

(and the tree is fine now)

    Bookmark   February 18, 2012 at 6:25AM
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Money well spent! John deserves cookies or something for being so honest.

Having septic lines redug is one of my biggest money worries. We only have one line leading out from our tank and it's working well right now, but if we have to have it redone, I was told it would have to be brought up to code which (for my county) is one line for each bedroom in the house. They didn't require that when we built our house more than 20 years ago. It would cost thousands and I'm sure they would have to dig up a lot of my shrubs and perennials to make room for the new lines.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2012 at 11:48AM
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christie, cookies? Well, I did one better - try cupcakes! Just the day before my neighbor and good friend up the road dropped off four cherry cupcakes with pink icing and a red hot heart in the center, and a batch of homemade walnut fudge. AH-HA! This might just do the trick. So as the men were loading up the trucks I walk out with this container of cupcakes and fudge and boy did their eyes light up. There were four guys so each got one, imagine these big men standing there munching on pink cupcakes! ha. The fudge was a big hit too. I could tell the younger guy had his eye on that from the start so I told him "Here, take a few more pieces". General consensus? "This is good stuff!"

I did save one cupcake for myself and plenty of fudge and when my friend called later I confessed to sharing her baked goods. But, if it also helps the total of my bill she was happy about it.

One line for each bedroom in the house?? Oh my. I never heard of that before. I only have one bedroom but let's hope I don't have to come up to code in my lifetime. The neighbors had to do what you are speaking of, including putting in a brand new septic tank to boot. Plus they didn't have enough acreage to put it all in the back of the house, it all had to be installed right out in their front yard. ugh. Now they have an ugly looking apparatus sticking up out of the ground and have to look at it every day. However, the same guy who talked me into the camera also did their work and everything was done well and neatly. They even came back and spread grass seed and replanted a tree that they had moved earlier.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2012 at 12:36PM
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It was very kind to share you cupcakes and fudge. Bet that made their day.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2012 at 6:59AM
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