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Monday, 31 March 2014

Where's my bed?

I was up at 6am with Pépe, and woke Marcela as I left as she wanted to be out by 8am, she was going to Medellin to sort out the Permissions for the Septic Tank.

I got started by painting the garden street lamps, they had been left in anti-corrosion grey! first I repaired the cracks around the bases, using metal putty, rub it in your hands for a minute or two, to mix it, as it warms up, use it fast before it goes rock solid, it worked a treat.

John then arrived, but no Ramiro, so after discussing one or two problems, he went off looking for Ramiro, who arrived about 20 minutes later looking rather sheepish. The plan had been for him to finish all the outstanding jobs today, but whilst finishing the surface of the parking area, he announced that he had a Dental appointment, and would return tomorrow to finish off.

I then fitted a new window in the upstairs shower room, we couldn't open the window, because of mosquitoes, so I purchased one with a built in mosi screen, it was a straight replacement, and for once went like clockwork.

Marcela then rang me to say that she had sorted out the paperwork for the Septic Tank, it was now being registered in our names, and then there would be an inspection, but they  wanted unhindered access, the top had to be easily accessible, no grass no soil...easier said than done, we only had a vague idea where the tank was!

I started digging, this is an understatement, the ground is rock hard, and there is only about an inch of soil then rubble, from the demolished fincas. I found what I thought was part of the system, by digging from the ventilation pipe, and I hit metal, I dug, and dug, and swore! and then nearly cried, the metal sheet, was enormous, and goes back under our new brick BBQ. Lifting the metal sheet, as far as it would go, I found what I think is the grease tank, but it is not a tank, but a series of at least eight terracotta pipes, with carbon in between, quite how it works I have no idea.

But this was not the Septic tank, and that is what we had to find. I started excavating exploration holes, but I was getting no where, only a shorter and shorter temper, and unfortunately Marcela returned in the middle of this. I was frustrated, my back was killing me, and no nearer finding the tank.

I had thought I would replace the metal sheet, which is showing signs of corrosion, cutting along the section that goes under the BBQ, putting a brick border, and then cover it, however as no access is needed, I have taken the risk, and back filled all the earth, this will be a job for another time.

We now think we may have pinpointed the site of the septic tank, by Marcela making phone calls to Don Pedro, who was more helpful than Don Hernan, the original owner, who built the tanks, he kept cutting Marcela off, I think because he didn't get the work to upgrade the house. This is work for tomorrow, if I can get out of bed in the morning. Marcela has suggested employing Ramiro for a day, to locate the Tank. Once it is located, I am going to build a brick border around the lid, which documents say is concrete and 60cm x 60cm, and we can put a potted shrub on top. There has to be an inspection every ten years, it was five, but has recently changed.

Now we have a garden, that doesn't only look like a dump, but a dump that has been attacked by a giant mole!

So I didn't get into the house until dusk, and now I'm ready for bed.

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