A surprise epilogue to my build

grichard

Bronze Supporter
Apr 25, 2017
31
St. Louis, MO
We finished pool construction last year right around Memorial Day, and we enjoyed our pool all last summer. The backyard mud-pit was a distant memory. But oddly enough, a funny issue with the construction popped up last month. It's all fixed now, but it makes a good story:

We have a big 1-story ranch house, and it has a total of three sewer lines exiting: one from each end of the house, in crawl spaces about 4 feet below grade, plus a central basement floor drain that runs 9 or 10 feet below grade. My builder needed to re-route one of the shallow sewer lines around the pool when he built it. This involved making a new connection with the other shallow line, and then the combined pipe connected into our main lateral. A small unexpected plumbing expense during construction, but no big deal.

Last month, a toilet backed up. I went down to the basement to get a plunger, and yikes! Sewage was dripping from an overhead cleanout at the *other* side of the house. Oddly enough, the basement floor drain was doing fine. Once I got my panic under control, I figured that the problem must be beyond where the two shallow sewer lines connected, but before they hooked into the main lateral. Called various rooter guys. Cabling didn't solve the problem. A camera could show us where the shallow lines dropped into the main lateral, but the camera couldn't turn upward. When we sent a water jet up that line--horrors--dirt started coming back.

Back hoe. Big hole. Sweating bullets that they'll need to tear up my pool deck. To my utter surprise, this is what they eventually found (with captions):

hole small.jpg


During construction, the builders hooked the two shallow sewer lines together, but instead of connecting them back into the municipal sewer system, they connected to an old lateral from the disused, 70-year-old septic system that’s presumably buried in the backyard somewhere. In retrospect, this also explains why our back yard has been kind of soggy this spring. (Ew!!!)

At this point, it was easy to fix: they just ran a new line into the 10-foot-deep hole to connect to the main lateral, and everything was fixed.

Fortunately, the builders are doing the right thing. My general contractor for the project was a landscape design company, and they subbed the actual pool construction out to a reputable pool builder. The landscaper has put my yard back together, and the pool builder and/or his insurer have agreed (in writing) to reimburse me for the plumbing/excavating.

Here’s my yard, after sodding this week:
yard small.jpg


And here’s the pool in action (last season):
party small.jpg


Not what I expected to happen this spring, but I'm happy things got corrected!
 

grichard

Bronze Supporter
Apr 25, 2017
31
St. Louis, MO
Yeah, I suppose the septic system did more-or-less work from last June until the rains this spring. At that point we started having a persistently soggy yard that in hindsight was clearly due to this problem. Sort of amazing that it worked as well as it did.

The tree sculpture is a DNA strand. The tree died last summer, although apparently this was due to a disease and not related to the pool construction. We thought it would be neater than the more-usual choice of a woodland critter. I'm pretty happy with the carving, except for one thing: it twists the wrong way. DNA twists to the right and the sculpture goes left. (Darn it, Jim, I'm a chainsaw artist, not a biophysicist!) But it's something to talk about, anyhow...
 

propjetprop

Gold Supporter
Jan 5, 2018
103
Douglasville Georgia
Yeah, I suppose the septic system did more-or-less work from last June until the rains this spring. At that point we started having a persistently soggy yard that in hindsight was clearly due to this problem. Sort of amazing that it worked as well as it did.

The tree sculpture is a DNA strand. The tree died last summer, although apparently this was due to a disease and not related to the pool construction. We thought it would be neater than the more-usual choice of a woodland critter. I'm pretty happy with the carving, except for one thing: it twists the wrong way. DNA twi sts to the right and the sculpture goes left. (Darn it, Jim, I'm a chainsaw artist, not a biophysicist!) But it's something to talk about, anyhow...
BY FAR the coolest back yard accessory I have ever seen!!!