Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Forgotten thoughts.

Hello Everyone,

Happy New Year to all our family and friends.

I just wanted to clear up a couple of leftovers from last year. I know some of you are aware of another blog that mentions our water and sewer system up here, but I thought I'd give you a similiar review although mine will be correct. All water taps ad fixtures appear normal and operate the same way as they do down south, however there are no sewers or inground plumbing available due to permafrost levels. In each dwelling there are a couple of tanks hidden away usually below the floors, one is water and the other is sewage, both have pipes allowing access from the outside. In normal circumstances the water tank would be approx 1/2 the size of the sewage tank (in our house they have a little problem where the water tank was replaced but the sewage tank wasn't, as a result we have 1000 gallons of fresh water, and 500 gallons of sewage space). Now these tanks are filled or emptied on a regular basis depending on a few things, how large your tanks are, how many people live in your house, and who you are. We recieve 3 pump outs and fills a week, I've heard of as many as 5 but most are 1 a week. The Hamlet has 4 trucks of each type which operate 7 days a week from about 7 am to as late as 10pm depending on how long it takes to finish the route. Now running out of water is bad, running out of sewage is worse. If you run out of sewage room then your water switches off as well (after all there is no where for the water to go). When your water truck arrives it simply hooks up and fills the tank. When the sewage truck sucks out your tank you know it. Your house will shake with the vibration and soon the smell will start to waft around your house. When you are pumped out all your tiolets will be dry, if you have your sinks or tub plugged the plugs will get sucked down as well. The other main concern with this process it that both these trucks have 2 settings, suck and blow, If the sewage truck uses the wrong setting you are going to have a problem that will involve cleaning your house from the ceilings down to the floors. In our house we have alot of water, I've never seen it go below 3/4 full, however we only have about 4 days of sewage room with normal useage. Now this is cutting it close, we have 3 days between our friday truck and our monday truck, there have been storms that stop the trucks as long as 10 days, so before you do laundry or have a relaxing bath, check the weather against your next delivery, Bad weather=bad hygiene. Ok thats about it except for your stink pipe. Stick pipes are a fact of modern sewage systems, they have them on southern houses as well as Northern, they allow gasses and smells to escape as well as equalize pressure from all that flushing. Up here these pipes freeze and your house will smell periodically because the smell can't escape.
Opps something happened to my font... oh well. There are lots of things you can do to defend against the stink and people do them, no big deal.
Now from the hamlet side, they get the water from the lake and process it before loading it on the trucks. Raw sewage however is not processed, it is released into the river east of town unless tests show it is drifting into the town system, if that happens it is dumped west of town. Simple enough, this is one of the reasons that there are limited chemical products avaiable for purchase. Ok I think thats it for B.L. water treatement system, any questions?

Take Care
CG

1 comment:

Rosalie said...

Hi Curtis - I am writing this at 3 a.m. after being awoken by our dog barking. I thought I would take a chance and see if your blog was back and was pleasantly surprised. I have tried over the last few days only to discover a black screen. I am happy to see more news from Baker Lake.

I just discovered that our temperatures have actually risen since I went to bed, so guess we are again going into a "warm" spell. I was wondering - if it stays warm, I would imagine we might see some bikers making the trek to Port Dover this coming Friday the 13th.

How is your TV reception and will you be tuning in to see the leader's debates on Monday night? I am not sure we will see anything new or startling, but it is rather fascinating to watch - sometimes. Polls are showing that Harper is poised to take over 24 Sussex Drive on Jan. 23rd, but if he is given a minority, we may again be facing another election before we exit 2006.

I was wondering if you get to drive much? You say that you walk to work and have access to a snowmobile (or whatever they are called). Is your Ontario license valid there? What about people growing up there? Do they have to take a driver test? hold a license?

You mentioned that the water and sewer tanks are above ground, are the fuel tanks as well? I would imagine they would use a lot of diesel, more so than gasoline. Just curious how these things are handled in the far north.

I know in some parts of the far north, ice roads are essential in bringing in supplies etc. Does that happen in your area as well? I have heard because of changing conditions,i.e. global warming, this type of travel has been greatly reduced and has driven up costs.

Well hope to keep the dialogue going and continuing to learn more about Canada. Take care - Rosalie