Lagoons — They’re Full of … Dirty Water

In our case, gray water.  One of the wonderful things I bought when I moved to Nebraska was a dysfunctional wastewater plan.  The septic system carries the really bad water (“blackwater”) out through the septic tank, but there is no leach field.  The septic tank just has a straight pipe that runs out over the ground 200′ south of the house.

The graywater system for the house (graywater is all wastewater that isn’t blackwater) just ran out through a pipe to a ditch along the side of the road.  The ditch is fine for graywater, but that isn’t exactly legal.  I wasn’t too happy about the graywater system, and was happy that the two systems were handled separately — it gave me the option of recycling the graywater at some time in the future.

So we were digging out this addition to my house, and we knew we would hit the graywater line, because we knew it was down there.  We found it, but it smelled foul.



A house’s wastewater line is supposed to use gravity in order to move its contents from one place to another.  What we found here is evidence that gravity is not working for us.  Rather, we have at least a section of this pipe that isn’t falling.  The filth from the graywater is accumulating in this section of pipe and you can see how it is taking up at least 30% of the pipe’s size.  When it was still in the ground, it was closer to 50%.

So, I made the executive decision to put in a lagoon.  A lagoon is a legitimate way to handle wastewater in Nebraska and is relatively inexpensive (relative to a septic tank and leach field).  It is basically an open pond that wastewater drains into and nature does its job of decomposing the various nasties.


This is my new drain line as it exits the house.  The old drain pipe was too high to start, so Gary had this new pipe drop down several inches before it starts its run towards freedom, er, I mean, the lagoon.


The pipe is now running further away from the house.  Just for perspective, the 2×4 laying on the ground is a 12′ board, so the end of that board is where the wall for the addition will be.


You can see the lagoon now (this picture was taken from atop that mountain of dirt we created).


The goats are really enjoying lounging and watching the big machines.  I would have figured them to run and hide.


Here is Gary working (talking on the phone) while Randall digs.  Really though, what a great crew of guys those three were.


Same caption as last one, only different angle.

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