Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Cottage Life Update

We had said a number of years ago that we would no longer go to the cottage on Thanksgiving weekend.  Oh how soon we forget just why...

Our drive there and back was horrific!!!  This is the first long weekend home for all the university students.  And it showed in the quality and quantity of not great driving.  High numbers of young people piled into cars stuffed full of stuff.  Lots of them were texting or talking on their phone while driving (subject to $155 fine out our way) with frequent slamming of brakes.  Perfect recipe for road rage, if you ask me. 

The weather up north was cool.  We both felt more normal after four nights of 8 hours of sleep.  We got over an inch of snow Sunday night to our surprise.  It didn't last long but still!  D packed up all liquids to bring home as we may not be up again before the plumbers come to close it up.

I noticed we had a wet mark underneath the elbow joint of the gas fireplace.  Upon closer inspection, there is a rust stain right at a seam.  D went up on the roof to inspect the chimney and couldn't see any obvious signs.  He concluded it could have been a weird angled rain that just happened to hit at the right place.  We are going to keep an eye on it before calling a professional. 

One of our neighbours has been contending with some major cottage issues over the last year and we think he may have finally turned the corner with them.  He is a contractor by trade and being "old school" by nature, feels he ought to be able to figure everything out himself instead of hiring an outside "expert". 

Being a contractor in a major city center doesn't always translate to being able to fix well and septic issues.  That's my thought.  Over the last year we've seen multiple areas get dug up, multiple contractor friends up to help out, them never staying overnight, a sump pump get installed and finally a month ago, the first "real" water contractor was seen. 

D has a marginally better relationship with him than I do (ever since he took down a couple of trees of ours without permission...) so he has been the one getting updates on what's going on.  His well went dry and his septic is getting filled too quickly so there must be a leak.  Our water table is high being within a stone's throw to a major body of water as well as multiple streams.

It will cost many thousands to replace both.  My estimate is at least 12K as he will have to comply with current environmental standards.  All cottages septic systems are currently subject to testing every 3 years with repairs or replacement within a mandatory time frame.

And his water pump also needs replacing.  I know that will cost around $800 alone assuming his holding tank is still good.  We got ours done a couple years ago.  (Knock on wood our system has tested excellent all three times)

Because he has access to a stream, water for toilets is possible.  He buys his drinking water anyways so
nothing new there, just more for cooking etc.  Until he gets running water again, he has a camp site.  The issue we foresee is difficulty with finding a location for a new well. 

His property is quite developed with multiple outbuildings and water may not be found in what he considers a "convenient" place.  Without water, his property value will plummet.  I'm sure he knows that.  The wait and see approach hasn't garnered a solution.  Digging deeper in the same spot isn't always fruitful as another neighbour has found out.  It's Man vs Nature over there.

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