We have completely overhauled the site utilities.  In the previous post I noted the new water line.  In this post I'll discuss both the new sewer lines.  The next post will discuss the electrical and communications infrastructure.

Now...I know this will expose my incredible grasp of the obvious...but there are a lot of piping, construction, and other assorted assemblies that have been built outside of the permitting process.  This cabin is no different.  In fact I am quite sure that nothing in the cabin and on the site was originally built with a permit.  I have pulled permits for building, plumbing and electrical.

That said, the original sewer line that served the cabin was done in the same vein.  I had the sewer line scoped a year ago in order to understand what we had.  Why?  It turned out no one had a real clear idea where the existing sewer line was...and that can be problematic.

I had the site surveyed in order to really understand the topography and the property line relationships, setbacks and planning criteria for the new home we are planning on constructing. Getting accurate utility locations on the survey was important for me for planning purposes.  It should be for anyone.

When you purchase an old property there will be surprises and the sewer line was the big surprise.  The sewer line was a 4" thin wall (really cheap) pvc pipe buried anywhere between 2' and 3' below the ground.  There were multiple breaks in the line and the tree roots had successfully invaded the pipe cavity requiring us to water jet the line to get it to a point of temporary usability.  It was a long private line that went down the street about 1-1/2 blocks tying into the Town system at that point. 

When we scoped the old line we were able to document the location and transfer that location to the survey.  (I would recommend PSI in Avon, CO for this type of work - Aiden was great)

Aiden scoping the existing sewer line - spring 2012

The evaluation of the system set into place a number of discussions with the Town regarding the existing system.  Turns out there were a couple of issues that impacted the direction we finally chose.  

First:  Our line was one of several in the town that were considered orphan lines.  These lines were never correctly connected to the town lines, were non-compliant with existing standards, and the town knew of their existence.

Second:  The town indicated there was the possibility of new sewer work being done in the neighborhood to address this situation and a few others within the same couple of blocks.

Fast forward to October, 2013...and new sewer line here we go.

The new line is a schedule 35 pvc pipe with welded joints to meet Town of Eagle code requirements.  Welding in this instance means the joints are glued together (welded) with pvc cement.  Why welded joints?  Welding the joints together means the tree roots cannot infiltrate the pipe unless there is a break in the line.  We went right by one of the elms on site and elms have very invasive root systems.

New trench and existing elm tree

One of the considerations in line placement was the location in relation to tree roots.  Why is this important?  My landscape architect colleague Terrill Samura of Samura & Associates has -  during the course of working with him over time - educated me on tree roots.  As a result I generally get site surveys that document the drip lines of trees because that is usually the outer reach of the tree roots.  

In our case the new sewer line ran adjacent to a beautiful elm tree that we quite enjoy now that we have taken down the trailer.  I field adjusted the location of the sewer line and staked the general location of the new line so it would have a minimal impact on the tree roots because we were digging down 4 1/2 feet which would sever important roots if we got to close to the core of the tree.  We want to keep this tree and want it to be happy.

With the town bringing the new sewer line in this allowed us to bring lines from the street to both the cabin and the rough-in for the new residence.  The lines were buried to at least 4' below grade and the grade set for a gravity flow down hill from each structure.  Stuff flows down hill you know.

New SDR 35 sewer lines

The Town of Eagle Public Works Department has been outstanding to work with.  Probably doesn't hurt I am an architect with site planning knowledge.  Never-the-less, they were great.  The planning was excellent, communications outstanding, and executing was very smooth.  Compliments to them for a very professional project.

Finally, and once again, the planning of the crawl space excavation at the cabin paid of in spades.  I located the entry point for the excavator on the exterior of the cabin.  He was able to quickly bring the line into the cabin.  Access from the inside of the cabin to set entry points, and access the pipe was spot on.  No problems.

So we now have a new code compliant 4" sewer line from the cabin.  All that is left to do is hook up the waste line inside the cabin to use the system.