My entire evening yesterday was taken up by the kind of activity that makes me realize I'm entirely too old and responsible. My husband and I and our neighbors attended a lengthy informational meeting about the feasibility of switching from septic tanks to sewers.
Our neighborhood was established in 1947, and for some reason that I'm sure seemed very valid at the time, all of our houses have septic tanks instead of being tied to a sewer line. About once a decade, a couple of people on our street decide that this Can't! Go! On! and start the process of informing the rest of us about the joys of spending massive amounts of money to fix something that's not broken. Most of us stop the process in its tracks at Step 2 (a postcard that asks, "Would you sign a petition in favor of a sewer district for your neighborhood?" No!) and everyone lives happily ever after until the subject comes up again.
Anyway, to prove that we're responsible homeowners, we sat through the world's most boring presentation. They showed us a map of our backward neighborhood surrounded entirely by progressive, sewer-using people who are probably mocking us when we're not looking.
For some reason, there was an exhaustive (and exhausting) PowerPoint presentation detailing every type of septic system on the market, which seemed odd in that all of us already have septic systems and I'm willing to bet that most of us don't have any idea what kind they are. The presenter used terms like "scum layer" and "solids" that made me glad I hadn't eaten dinner beforehand.
Finally, a planning engineer made a case for installing low pressure sewers (LPS to those in the know), introducing another disgusting concept: the grinder pump unit. Ick.
The question and answer session got rather heated, mainly because there's a new regulation in effect that requires an extensive septic tank inspection when you sell your house that could possibly force you, the seller, to establish a connection to any sewer line that's within 200 feet of your property.
After more than an hour and a half, we finally left because, despite the increasingly angry questions, it seemed clear to us that there was no way the majority of homeowners in our neighborhood were ever going to agree to step forward and pay $15,000 to $20,000 each for no good reason. I'm sure it'll come up again around 2012.