AstroNerdBoy: Home Owner 08

Part of the fun of owning a condo is having a Home Owners Association to take care of certain aspects of things, such as mowing the grass, painting the buildings, or dealing with the sewage.

When our condominium complex was built, for whatever reason, grinder pits (also known as “grinder pumps”) were installed at ever building. For those that don’t know, these are big tanks that store your sewage. Once the tank gets to a certain level, the grinders turn everything in the tank into slurry and it is then pumped to the main sewer line in the street. That can be quite a ways away, depending on how far a building is from the street (the roads through the complex do not currently have sewage lines).

Regardless of the reason a proper sewage system wasn’t put into place, the grinder pits cost us home owners a lot, somewhere on the order of $80,000 a year. That’s a lot of money that our association fees cover. Plus, these things can malfunction, which is why we are told that if the big, red “fire engine” light goes off, we are to call the number on the sign at the grinder pit immediately. Some units have had sewage back up into their basement when the grinder pits fail.

As such, the HOA decided to install a proper, gravity sewage system on the complex. They took bids and as these things go, the low bid won. An HOA meeting was held Monday evening with the contractor making a presentation on the work to be done over the next few months to convert us off the grinder pits to the gravity sewers. I think the thing that surprised me most was how few home owners even bothered to show. Discounting the members of the HOA and their spouses, there were only about 10 of us there. One would think that major construction on the property would have brought out a lot more people.

Regardless, things won’t be quite as bad as we feared. The city is requiring the contractor to fill in the trenches down the roads through the complex that they dig up to install sewage lines at the end of each work day. So for the section currently under construction, those garages will not be accessible from 08:00 until about 17:00. After that, people can use their garages again until the following morning. Also, there will be no work done on weekends and each section should be done in 2-3 days, meaning those garages won’t be blocked again until it is time to repave all the drives that weave through the complex.

So, the next few months will be interesting for the complex. I imagine a lot of angry people showing up once construction starts considering how few people came to the meeting.

Reader Comments

  1. Maybe, in the interest of profits for the builders, they are intentionally built with certain flaws and to be replaced at a later time.

  2. Possibly. It is also possible that in 2000, things were such that the grinder pits were seen as a better solution, or at least a cheaper one for the builder.

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