Repairing the Boonville Cabin’s Outhouse Septic System

Monday-Wednesday November 3-5 2016 Boonville CA.

Headed back up to Boonville

Monday I got up and got it going and loaded the last things in the van. I was headed to the Boonville cabin with the parts to repair the septic system that got loaded up with redwood roots and stopped working.

I arrived around two PM and found Marty and Patti in the nice warm cabin taking it easy, so I joined them and we mostly sat around and shot the bull for the rest of the day as it was drizzling on and off.


Patti left for home around noon and Marty and I got to work on the outhouse project. This outhouse has a flush toilet and a hot shower in it, but the redwoods didn’t take long to plug up the  septic system we put in the ground with lots of roots trying to get all the waste water.

Here’s our lovely outhouse.outhouse


And here’s the supplies for the job. Two barrels, some pipe and some


The work begins

We started by cutting into the old pipe and installing this one going to our plastic barrel septic tank, just out of sight. I dug the ditch last time I was up, so things went fairly easy.pipe


Here’s the spot for the barrel. The pipe on the right coming down from the outhouse and the one on the left will go to the other barrel with the leach water.tank


Inside the barrel

We put an elbow on the leach water pipe inside the barrel, instead of the usual tee that is normally used. The tee might cause a problem in this system as there isn’t much room in the barrel, so we opted for an elbow which should work best for this job.We added a short piece of pipe to the bottom to make it just a little bit deeper.elbow

This system is designed to work like a regular septic tank where it decomposes the poo and turns it to dust, so the tank should hold a lot of poo before filling up. Since it’s all above ground we can inspect the system to make sure it is working and make any modifications if we think we need to. But right now, it all looks like it’s going to work real good and only time will tell.

All hooked up

It wasn’t long and we had it hooked up which looked like this. You can just see the leach barrel down in the brush.tank2


Here’s the leach water barrel. Just a plastic barrel with the bottom cut out of it and placed on the ground and the sides covered up a bit. The leach pipe just drops into the center of the barrel near the top to stay as far away from the roots on the ground as possible. If roots do get into this and plug it up, it will be easy to repair as it’s all above ground where we can get at it.tank4


Filled it up with water and flushed the toilet

We hooked the water hose into the line and filled the barrel up as that is how it is supposed to operate, full of water. We flushed the toilet a couple of times and listened to the water come down the system. It all seems to be working as designed.

The idea of this system was to get things so they are serviceable which meant putting things above ground so we can get at them and also this would help keep the tree roots from getting into the system and plugging it up.

Except for maybe a bear tearing it up

We think this system should work out good, barring a bear coming in and tearing things up. We are experiencing more bears coming around when no one is here. They’ve gotten into two tents up here this summer and tore some things up.

Up on the roof

A good break was in order, then I supervised as Marty went up on the roof of his cabin and put the stove pipe top back on his knocked off the other day.cabin


Finished the day with a little walk

After another break we took a short walk up the hill road to the spring area where there is a nice bench to sit on and then headed back down the hill.walk


Tomorrow I will head on home and get ready for another trip.


I left Boonville around noon and made it home without any incidents. So now I have enough break in miles on the new V8 in the van. So all I have to do is change the oil and the filter and check things over and I should be good to go on a longer trip, maybe leaving on Sunday if all goes well. I’ll  be off to Gold Lake in the mountains near Downeville CA. for a few days then headed east towards the Jarbidge area if the weather holds.

Nice day.


That’s my day.

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One Response to Repairing the Boonville Cabin’s Outhouse Septic System

  1. Upriverdavid says:

    Be sure to tell us about Jarbridge..As you usually do….If it was 20yrs ago I’d take that adventure…
    With the new V-8 you will be waaay happy…..

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