06 September, 2007

Finishing Up The Septic Tank

Now that we've moved on from Dean and Felix, we can get back to our regular programming. That is, work continues on the septic tank and drain field.

We've progressed to nearly being done with the project. Here's some pictures to update you on where we're at.

Getting ready for the pour of the lid to the tank, Bob set up the forms, very similar to the way a floor would be done elevated from the ground. Sticks support the form from below. You can see the boards in place and the form for the hatch.
Tank Form
Hatch, and Rebar
Here's Bob finishing up tying the rebar. The hatch form is screwed to the deck to prevent it moving. And, here's the first shovel-full of concrete to start the pour.
Tying Rebar on Septic Tank
and the Pour Begins
The pour is moving along, first slowly, then after a ramp is positioned, it moves right along.
Pour in Progress
Using the Ramp
The pour is finished. Although, like most things here, it wasn't quite that easy. We were near the end of the pour and it came up about a bag short of having enough concrete. I zoomed into town to procure another bag. Well, guess what? Due to the hurricanes... You guessed it. There's a shortage of cement in Corozal. I tried Gomez's - the largest cement dealer in town. He said he hadn't had any for a day and a half. I thought he was joking at first. Oops, he was serious. Bummer, bummer. Well, I zoomed on over to Villa's Supply. Nope, they were out too and suggested trying at Gomez's. I went (no zooming now) over to another place. Again, no go.

So, I went back to Bob and reported the results. He thought maybe Greg had some, so I called him. He didn't have any, but his contractor Caliman, was trying to get some from Orange Walk. If he was successful, we could have one later in the day.

Luckily, we were able to score two bags - one to finish the pour and one to finish the hatch. You can see the results below.
The Pour almost Finished
The Pour Finished
The Hatch Poured
The Hatch Being Finished
Part of the project is that you have to pay the workers. The photo at left, Bob is making an interim payday for some of the crew. At right is the big payday, with a disagreement over what is owed vs. what has already been paid. It all got worked out in the end to everyone's satisfaction. It's a common occurrence here since none of the workers keep any sort of records of what they work. As the employer, you're always suspected of shorting them, regardless of what records you keep. So it goes.
Interim Payday
the Big Payday Discussion
All work and no play...

After a hard day of slinging concrete, Bob took advantage of the services of Nelson Jones, the sports therapist/massage tech we found courtesy of Frank and Linda. Frank is a retired LAPD officer who has suffered for years from back pain. He swears by Nelson, so I tried him. He's great. I recommended him to Bob, and these photos are the result. House calls, no less!
Nelson Tuning on Bob's Back
A Beer and a Massage - Hard to Beat!


DavidW said...

Loving your blog. If I ever get to meet you I'll pepper you with questions. For now, how in the world did you get the deck and supporting posts out of the septic tank after pouring the top?

Dave Rider said...

Hi David,

Thanks for the nice comments. Fire away.

Getting that stuff out of the septic tank is a puzzle. Not really. It's pretty simple. The hatch opening is molded into the roof of the tank when it's cast. After it cures, lift out the lid and cut the wood either with a chain saw or Skill-type saw, jump in, knock the supports out (one at a time) and start passing the lumber out through the hole you cut for the hatch.

I wondered the same thing myself. Pretty simple solution really.