The Countdown

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Maybe Compost or Septic.

Last week, I had planned to write about fun pretty things, like some of my design ideas, until, well, yuck happened.

Yuck is a gross under-statement.

Remember when I briefly mentioned issues with a sanitary sewer line that was troubling the Builder? They thought at the time it was a lot deeper than they originally expected. The City was sent out to clean it because the lines were thought to be so deep and covered in dirt, that they couldn't be seen. It turns out, they needn't have worried about the line being backed up. It simply does not exist. Anywhere. No where.

To clarify, there is no place to put our poo water.

In the City-published GIMS maps below, the ones the Builder (and the entire public) relies upon for underground public utility information incorrectly represent a 6" sanitary sewer line running in the street in front of our house (see the thin red line in front of the red box - our lot). There is a manhole about 50' to the right of our lot, and one 50' to the left as well, but no line was ever put in between the two, connecting to any sewer system.

When we heard this, I pretty much lost my sh**. Which is ironic, considering the circumstances.

The City permitted us for a 6" line which does not even exist. After some research, it appears that the City paid a contractor to install this line a few years ago, but it was never put in. Great contractor. It would seem that this would be the City's problem. We pay taxes for public utilities for which we were not given full access. The City ordered a line and never verified it was actually installed. The City publishes information which is inaccurate in its portrayal of utility access.

We are trying to get ahold of someone at the City to help us, but there is a huge, looming chance that they'll shrug their shoulders apologetically (best case) and say "oops." And never do anything about it. Try suing the City. We'd have a valid case, but that would mean extensive delays in construction, no guarantees, and legal fees out the wazoo. I die inside a little when I think about the implications of going that route. We are 100% at the mercy of the City, and it's infuriating.

This week the Builder needs to figure out what is the closest and most cost effective option to connect to a nearby-ish line. I can't even comprehend the dollar signs which will be associated with this. This kind of scenario? This makes me feel like we're a stereotype - the new home builder couple stereotype, learning the hard lessons the hard way.

And I fear our old friend "unforeseeable circumstances." If that isn't the biggest catch-all phrase in a contract that's eating my lunch. We will have to discuss how this works with the Builder, but I'm pretty sure this exact scenario is uncharted territory for them as well. If I were a betting woman, my money would be on our money making an exit from our bank account rather soon. I will keep you up to date, as soon as I'm done crying softly in the corner.

To end on a positive note, in spite of the drama unfolding in sewer-land, work on the house itself has been moving forward regardless as far as it can. All plumbing, electric, natural gas work is complete, all the windows are in place, the balcony railings have been put in place, and the siding is totally complete. Once inspections are done, we will be ready to start closing up the walls with insulation and sheet rock, but not before the sanitary line hook-up is complete (the walls have to be open in order to test the line once it is connected). July 1st completion looks like it's slipping away...

Week 8 - The good news is all the windows are in, and the balcony is nicely railed.

Keep Calm and Carry On!

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