Shipping Container Septic Installation

After literally months of waiting for the rain to subside enough for the level of the water in the ground to drop enough so that the septic system can be installed… it has begun, the shipping container septic installation is underway. This project has been a frustrating hurry-up-and-wait since December when the cabin was placed on the foundation. Had we known that septic installation wasn’t an option in the winter we probably would have held off on rushing the foundation setup and cabin drop. Well, live and learn. It’s wet in Elma!

The cabin is located well away from the nearest city… out in the forest. And, so the only public utility available in the area is electricity. Water comes from a 150 foot well dug as part of installing the shipping container. Septic is now also being installed to complete the three-legged-stool that is the basic utilities to a house.

Delivery 2In December Montainer brought in their trucks and cranes and determination and installed the cabin on the pier foundation our contractor built and at the time we were very excited at the possibility of starting the new year with our first night in the cabin. Unfortunately we were not aware that we wouldn’t be able to install a septic system for a few months. Because of the layout of the site and the season it made much more sense to install the cabin first, then the utilities to it, rather than to stub in the utilities, as is the typical process. So, with the cabin welded down we found out that we were in for a wait.

I’m one that loves the rain, a lot. I love the fall, winter, and spring for it’s precipitation. This winter and spring however is the first that I have ever wished for a week of sunshine. Finally in early April we got it. Temperatures went all the way up to 70 degrees, which is quite rare for this early in the year. So, with a week of sunshine behind us we were given clearance to install.

shipping container cabin septic boxInstallation took about a week and included clearing an area for the drain field, the three runs you see in the picture, digging and placing the tank, and piping it all together. We’ll have to figure out if we let the forest just take the cleared area over again, if we replant something specific, or maybe, make it grassland.

The most exciting part is that next the water and electric will be run from the utility shed to the cabin. Once those are in, and maybe a better deck, we will be ready to furnish it and stay in it for the first time. This has been a very long time coming, so long that I’m rather numb to the fact it has taken so long and I’ve clearly convinced myself that this isn’t something to be excited about so that I don’t get disappointed by the delays along the way.

To give you an idea of how fast this can go… Montainer installed their third unit in the first week of April. It is a 20 foot container that is an accessory dwelling unit. Once the foundation and utilities were stubbed in installation to final inspection was just 48 hours! Maybe I’ll get to experience that on the next one we build.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *