While progress has been fast and varied inside the house over the last few days, we’ve also had the crew from B.J. Cooper back on site to do a couple of big jobs outside.
As we’ve noted before, Wolfe Island has no mains water or sewage. One of the first things we had to do back last year was put in a new advanced septic system, now it was finally time to deal with water – and install the new rainwater cistern which will store all the water collected from the roof of the house and the porch.
One of the advantages we’ve had in building a new house on the same land as our existing house is that we’ve been able to continue living in our old house for most of the time that the new house is being built. But we always knew at some point that we’d have to remove the old septic system in order to make space for the new cistern.
So, on Monday the septic tank company emptied our old tank for the last time and that means we could no longer use any water or toilets in our old house. But there’s no water in the passive house and the toilets and sinks there haven’t been installed yet anyway, so we are having to rely on friends and neighbours for a while.
Then on Wednesday, Brian Cooper’s crew turned up with their machines. First of all, they removed the old deck which was built over the top of the septic tank. We had intended to salvage what we could, but most of the wood was pretty rotten. We kept the deck blocks though. Then the old septic tanks were dug out, broken up and removed. It wasn’t the sweetest smelling task ever! Then, the new 5000L cistern was installed, and a channel for the piping dug to the passive house. Finally the space around the cistern was filled with sand and soil.
It all took less than 2 days. However, we still need to install the pump and pipes, as well as the eavestroughs (gutters) and collection pipes. Hopefully this will all be done next week, along with the installation of toilets and some sinks, so we will at least be able to live a half-normal life!