Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Planning, Building…and Boondocking

Well, it’s official. I’m now boondocking on my own lot. I couldn’t be more delighted. Here’s the setup. I had a front loader combination back hoe and pneumatic drill dig two holes, one for a water reservoir, the other a septic tank. The tank was dropped and filled with water and surrounded by Pomex to preserve it from potential piercing hazards. Then Michel dropped a PVC tube into the tank with some gizmo (can’t remember the name) to prevent reflux, connected it to a hose that ran to my RV pump and bingo, water directly from the outside tank, which I must add is quite larger than the one in the RV. And it’s treated water. Inside, I have a countertop filter/purifier that removes 99% of solids, chemicals, and bacteria. The water tastes wonderfully pure.

Here’s a photo of the tank. Eventually it will be covered and equipped with a trapdoor. An electric pump will bring the water to the house via underground plumbing. But that will come later.


Now the septic tank is quite an affair. Measuring on the inside 3 m. X 3m by 3m. deep, it is pure tepetate, a stone material that I encountered for the first time. It crushes easily but forms a solid base for anything from a road to a tank. At a depth of about 2 feet, it was pure tepetate and a ledge about a foot thick was made by removing the rich soil for a garden. A mason combined stones with cement over the tepetate ledge. This will form a base for the tank cover. Tubes to connect with the future plumbing were strategically installed, then armed concrete bars (called viguetas) were stretched over the stone base and across the gaping hole; bovedillas or cement blocks that fit right between the bars were installed between the viguetas and concrete was poured into the whole form. This will act as the base for a shed at a future date. Right now, I have a dump site all my own right from the rig into the septic tank. Here’s what it looks like now:


You will notice that, as accredited sniffers of all things new, Queenie and Mindy are inspecting the new installation. Note the metal contraptions rising from each corner of the platform. They will serve to arm cement that will be poured at the four corners of the shed and between which cement blocks will rise to form the building.

As a final note about construction in Mexico. The people here work incredibly hard and are relentless in finishing the job. Everything, or almost everything, is done by hand. And the constructions are solid stone and concrete, even all the way up to roofs. I’m not worried about an earthquake here. Even the septic tank would survive unless it opened from the bottom up. Then I pity those on the other side. . .

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow! Glad to see you making progress on your hacienda. Interesting to hear about construction methods there, as I worked in the building trades in my younger days. Concrete and rebar should make for a strong structure that will last. Hope it will evolve into your little paraiso. Hasta luego.

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