Real Estate Show with Marty Easter and Megan Hendrickson

Real Estate Show with Marty Easter and Megan Hendrickson

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Real Estate Show with Department of Environmental Quality

Alice Lema: [00:00:00] Well, Hey there, everybody. Welcome back to the real estate show. I'm Alice Lema. I'm your host of the show. I'm a broker here in John Scott real estate locally. So glad you could join us today. We're gonna be talking to a couple of folks from the state of Oregon, D E Q office, department of environmental quality.

For those folks that live in the rural districts well, and even some folks that live in town we frequently deal with the D E Q department environmental quality when we're making changes, improvements, and repairs on our property. So today we have Marty Easter and Megan Hendrickson, they're from D E Q wastewater division.

And they're gonna be talking about not only some new technological advances, but some grants that have been set for property owners in Oregon to take advantage of. So Megan Hendrickson and Marty Easter are gonna be with us today and cannot wait to hear all the updates that are going on in department of environmental quality.

Before we [00:01:00] jump into that, let's take a quick second and talk about our local market, always very interesting. This week, we had a little announcement from the federal reserve bank and it did cause some havoc in our financial markets, the markets weren't super happy about it. The federal reserve bank did a statement predicting that there was going to be pain.

So it's, it's always a big deal when the government says that. So but not to worry, our Southern Oregon markets are definitely holding their own. And I just wanna remind you that even though there's a softening in the prices, we're still up in Jackson county, from week to week this time, last year, we're up 12%.

In Klamath county we're up 22%. In Josephine county, we're down, but only 6%. And again, this is just residential week to week. We're tracking the micro movements right now, just looking for the beginning of trends and, and see what to what gets legs and what doesn't. But with that announcement from the federal reserve [00:02:00] bank, that there's gonna be more interest rate increases we are getting phone calls. People definitely have the jitters, but just to remind you, people still need to move. People still need bigger houses, smaller houses, especially with the work from home and, and more folks doing schooling from home or, or at least hybrid that is gonna make changes to what people need in their real estate.

So deep breath, everybody. We're gonna get on with our interview with department of environmental quality, talking about waste water issues in our rural districts and also some grants and money for state of Oregon property owners. So that's gonna be a good one. Make sure you stay tuned. We're gonna have a quick break from our sponsors. We're very thankful to say we appreciate you. John L. Scott Ashland and Medford. We have Guy Giles of Churchill Mortgage, and also our local Rogue Valley Association of Realtors.

Welcome back to the real estate show. So glad you could join us today. We're so excited to jump into some great educational conversation with [00:03:00] our D EQ department of environmental equality. We've got Marty Easter today and Megan Hendrickson. Thanks for joining us guys. So I am just a big fan of how you guys run your department. You've got onsite, septic, water, quality, those kind of things going on. And because real estate interacts with that so much, first of all, I just wanted to say thumbs up for how you guys run the show.

You're part of the good guys. Yeah. I know people sometimes make jokes, but we don't do that here, cause we're actually fans. So one of the things we wanted to kind of bring people back to thinking about is the summer's almost over. Septics are a big thing in Southern Oregon. So Marty let's talk a little bit just about the technology because not everybody remembers what our choices are now when we're putting in new systems.

Marty Easter: Yeah. Great, great question. For years and years, the only thing that could be put in was a standard [00:04:00] system. That's still something that we strive to put in on a, on a property as well. Not only is it cheaper, so the property owner wants that. But if we could put in a standard system, less moving parts you know, septic systems are a tried and true method of how to dispose of your waste and how to have it treated before it hits the water table.

And that's really what we try to focus on. So for years and years, that was it. You know, most people who are out there have a septic tank and then have a drain field that follows that. Now we also have other things that the years went on. One is a sand filter. If you live in Southern Oregon, you for sure have seen a sand filter, even though you may not know what it was.

Oftentimes if you're driving, especially in Jackson county, maybe the Sam's valley area, that if you see a big mound in somebody's front yard, that's usually what that is.

Alice Lema: And they're kind, kind of like rectangle or, or, yeah, they've got angles to 'em.

Marty Easter: Yep. You can set 'em up a couple different ways. Most of the time they're usually 10 [00:05:00] feet by 36, four feet deep filled with sand and gravel. And a from the septic tank the effluent would get pumped over the top of that sand filter. And then it would be cleaned up before it hits the water table. In most places where that was. Needed just cuz of poor soil quality, really clay soils, especially in Jackson county.

And so these sand filters were a way for individuals to build on their homes or on their properties, put a home on there when in the past they might not have been, they might have been denied. And then recently in the last 10 years or so there's been what we call ATTs or advanced treatment technologies.

These, these technologies and these they essentially look like a septic tank about the same size. So a lot smaller footprint than the sand filter. And they go into the ground. So they're not sticking up outta the ground as well. We've done a quite a few swaps of sand filters and we've [00:06:00] decommissioned those and put in an ATT system.

Alice Lema: Oh really?

Marty Easter: Yeah. And so a majority they do, I I'll say generally they do basically the same thing, cleaning up the, the effluence so that you can have that go out to your drain field as well. And there are alot easier on the eye as you don't have this giant mound out front of your window. So I would say that I don't know the exact numbers, but I would say at least 90% of all the sites that need advanced treatment are going towards the ATTs rather than the sand filters.

Alice Lema: So when you say advanced treatment, just so that our listeners understand what, what is the goal of that? And, and what is advanced specifically?

Marty Easter: Great question. So when a, when septic tank, if you think back to the standard system, a septic tank is essentially a settling tank where the, they have solids and a liquid layer in the middle there, and then they have bacteria inside that tank, which cleans up the sewage that came in [00:07:00] and has turned it into what we call effluent, or kinda like a, think of it as like a dirty water that's then put out into the drain field. Most soil, if you have a standard system can handle that, you have enough soil and before it hits the water table or a restrictive layer to be able to clean that up. So that, as it continues down to the water table, it will not affect it negatively.

Now, when you go to an advanced treatment system that advances inside that ATT, there are pumps and additional treatment time. So depending on what type you have some of them will have a blower in there to aerate the, to kinda activate that those micro those bacteria in there. And they're gonna clean up the effluent quite a bit.

If you look, you can just do a simple Google search and search Seppic tank effluent versus advanced treatment effluent, and they usually you'll see a bottle and the septic tank effulent kind of looks just like I said, dirty water. You can't see through it. [00:08:00] And when you look at the ATT effluent, you could see right through this glass bottle, really.

It's definitely gonna have a smell to a still . It doesn't make it perfect. It's not drinking water standards, but it makes it so much easier for the soil to take it. And then a lot of these areas, they, the soil and the water table need all the help they can get. So these advanced systems help out a lot.

Alice Lema: Wow. That's very interesting. So that's a lot of mechanical parts under underground.

Marty Easter: Yeah. Yep. All contained within these ATT units.

Alice Lema: Okay. So are there electrical hookups?

Marty Easter: Absolutely. Yeah. So one of the big things that, you know, we try to get a standard on every site, just like we said before, to make sure that you, you're gonna have less moving parts, but it's also cheaper. Once you get into these advanced treatment systems, you, it can be almost double the price. So because you're looking at pumps, like you [00:09:00] said, if you got a pump, you have electrical, you have those other things that need to be checked. And it also, when you have an advanced treatment system, it has a, a maintenance provider contract. So someone out there coming out there at least once a year, checking the system and all those things add additional costs.

Alice Lema: Okay. So so the advanced treatment is really working well, much better but it needs to be monitored. And so are they coming out once a year? Like a subscription service maintenance service.

Marty Easter: Yeah. Yeah. You'll get in, in a contract with a maintenance provider. We have several in, in the, in the, in the valley here that do a really great job of coming out. Cuz you have all these moving parts, you have blowers and pumps and everything else. And the last thing you want is one of those to go out because it wasn't maintained properly. A lot like a car, you know, you wanna make sure that you check your oil, that you change, that, that you get new air filters, same thing for your septic system. Except [00:10:00] oftentimes it gets overlooked because it's under the ground. Stuff just keeps working. I'm not gonna pay attention to it. And oftentimes these older systems have been neglected so much in the past.

Alice Lema: So well, and people don't realize that you're even supposed to maintain a lot of people don't even know to maintain their septic.

Marty Easter: Oftentimes we'll hear someone say, you know, almost as a, as a badge of honor that they haven't pumped their system in 30 years.

Alice Lema: Yeah. That's so Southern Oregon, isn't it?

Marty Easter: And that's, that's not a great thing. There, there are some systems that'll kind of get that equilibrium and be able to work pretty well. But if you get more than one or two people in a home you're gonna need to pump those systems out every three to five years is what we suggest.

Alice Lema: Yeah. Plus you do wanna know what's going on. So speaking of expenses, Megan, before we went on the air, you were talking about some possible help for homeowners. Do you wanna kind of bring us up to speed about what DQ has to offer?

Megan Hendrickson: Sure. So [00:11:00] D E Q does not issue any funding directly to homeowners, first of all.

But we do partner with Craft Three and they provide loans to various borrowers, including low income borrowers for the purpose of repairing and replacing their septic systems. D EQ also partnered with them in this last year to get some additional grant funding out for anyone who had their system burned out in the 20 20 wildfires.

So they've got some grant funding depending on where your income sits, and those are both going to be pretty good resources to get your system repaired or replace because it's hard to get financing for that through a traditional bank. And so this is a nice spot to start and they're at Craft with more information on how that works.

You can also go to our website. I say we don't issue any kind of finance support directly, but we do have a link there and that has like the U S D [00:12:00] A will offer some loans occasionally. And as we find other funding resources throughout the state, we're going to put all of that there. So a homeowner can look there and find what's available.

Alice Lema: Wow. That's super cool. Has how many, do you know how many people have taken advantage of Craft Three program.

Megan Hendrickson: I don't have Craft Three numbers.

Alice Lema: That is, oh, that's okay. It was just, just curious. So when we had the fire, some people don't understand that even though your septic tank is below surface, that it can be damaged from heat. Yeah. Plus things driving on it.

Marty Easter: Yeah. I could tell you a bunch of stories of people making, you know, the firefighters cutting in fire lines. And with those bulldozers, they aren't asking a lot of question.

These fires? Yeah, a couple up north in the Sanam canyon where a sand filter, like we talked about kind of bring it back. I it's usually sticking up outta the ground was destroyed because [00:13:00] they plow right through it. That was their fire line. So that's just something we're gonna have to replace in, in the future.

Yeah, there is, there is kind of going back and we could touch on this more later about the repairs that are needed, you know, after a fire, depending on how hot it is, a majority of these systems, especially now have a lot of plastic. And so a lot of that plastic piping PVC was burned. Whether it's drain field material or from the tank to the drain field, and even the risers that allow for pumping can be melted as well.

And oftentimes people think, you know, I had a concrete tank. I was fine, but if they're really old and they have some cracks at it, those fires will do some really bad things to the structural integrity of that. So not only the ones that have happened in the past, but also going forward, unfortunately we know wildfires are always gonna happen. We just kind of don't know when, when that does happen and if your home ever is involved with that, making sure you have a [00:14:00] good inspection from an inspector. We have a lot of installers and pumpers that can do those inspections just to make sure that you're safe.

Alice Lema: Mm-hmm mm-hmm and that those providers have a special certificate. Don't they saying they're DEQ authorized repair people.

Marty Easter: Yes. Yes. All license installers. And we also have an inspection program where they are also certified through DEQ, not just anybody. So when you get into that situation, ask those questions. Make sure that, you know, the person who's out there is is licensed to do that.

Alice Lema: Mm-hmm and if you're buying and selling or doing repairs those are also available online. You can double check, but your agent will know. Absolutely because we like people that are licensed and bonded and certified that's important. Absolutely. So we're talking to Marty Easter and Megan Hendrickson of D EQ department of environmental quality.

They're in the wastewater and program grant section. We're gonna take a quick break [00:15:00] to have a word from our sponsors. We're brought to you by John Scott Ashland, Medford, Guy, Giles Churchill Mortgage, and the local Rogue Valley Association of Realtors. We will be right back.

Well, welcome back to the real estate show folks. I'm Alice Lema broker here in beautiful Southern Oregon with John Scott real estate and today getting to talk to Marty Easter and Megan Hendrickson of D E Q department of environmental quality. Always one of my favorite favorite interviews to do with you guys. You just have so much information, plus you're always moving forward to make things better for Oregon homeowners and also Oregon water.

Speaking of that during the break, we were talking to Megan a little bit about what kinds of repairs you can use this grant for. They have homeowner grants through Craft Three on their website. So Megan, let's pick up a little more detail on that. I thought that was pretty interesting.

Megan Hendrickson: Sure. So Craft Three is offering not just their standard loan program for low and [00:16:00] moderate income people who need to replace or repair their septic systems, but they also have some grant funding that they partnered with DEQ to get. And as Marty was talking about, a lot of times what you don't see, you don't know, and your system is fine.

And. There's a lot of damage that can happen in the 2020 wildfires, there was a lot of surface damage. So even if somebody's home remained largely intact, they may have still had damage to their septic system. And that might just look like some melted pieces on top of the ground. It might be a matter of, we don't know what's happened.

We don't know how good our system is anymore. And getting that checked, getting that evaluation done, that's some of the costs that can be managed by this. So it's not just a homeowner out on their own dime for everything. So there's a lot of different ways to verify that you were impacted by those fires, there's county certification. There's your insurance there's FEMA disasters. There's lots of ways that you can say, hey, my property was impacted and I could really use some help. [00:17:00]

And so then you take that information and you go talk to Craft Three and you say, hey, I'd like to see if I qualify for some funding. And they'll, they'll work with you on that. And they'll be able to tell you if you actually do have damage that's qualifying or not.

Alice Lema: So that's really interesting cuz here we are a couple years down the road and you're saying that people can still go back and apply for that grant funding.

Megan Hendrickson: Yep. So this funding doesn't apply, unfortunately, if you've already done the work.

But it okay. It is, we've got it out there trying to get more homeowners in. We know that there's a lot of challenges with getting back into burn areas and that started right away with the cleanup. You know, you, you can't go in until everything has been mitigated. And this is another challenging point. And especially since there aren't a lot of funds available, this is one of the small things that we can do to support that.

Alice Lema: So what would be the first step in verifying if you have a problem, how do you do that?

Marty Easter: Yeah. First step, I think we touched on it last before the break there [00:18:00] was making sure you get your system inspected. Oftentimes, you know, if you walk over the ground, you're like, well, nothing's coming up. So everything must be fine. I don't have a backup in my home, but like, like Megan had said, there's oftentimes a problem. That isn't known because it's underground and you may have a problem here shortly. And so, you know, they have cameras and they have the ability to look at your system in a different way, than maybe you would as just being the homeowner.

You know, one thing I wanted to, to say on this was we had a lot of individuals whose home burned in 2020, not only down here, but also up in the up in Eugene area, up up the canyon from Salem as well. And a lot of those individuals don't know where their system is. And so that, that, that would almost be before this inspection portion.

[00:19:00] Oftentimes you go out and, and say, okay, where's your system, maybe they're a new homeowner. Maybe they it's been working so they have no idea where their system is. And they say, it's it's in that area. And so I would say the first step, and you can do this now would be to get your system records. Oftentimes even if it, your systems is, is, you know, was put in the seventies and eighties we have some pretty good records there as well.

And luckily we have all of our records online Jackson and Josephine county. And so we can direct individuals on how to get those records. Oftentimes it's a little challenging when you're, when you're in an online database, trying to look for your system. You can always contact our, our D E Q Medford office and we can help you figure that out. You. As well, as you know, we talk a lot about fire season, getting ready for, if you live in an area, you know, you have your go bag and your important [00:20:00] documents and copies. I think those should be in there as well. Because when you come back to the property, your people are gonna have questions about your septic system.

And if you can produce this, this piece of paper, right then, it's gonna speed everything up, and it's gonna really help for your preparation. I can send you the the link for our online database. And I can also send you, we have a, a fact sheet on, on our website that kinda walks you through those important steps.

And again, my, like you said, we're always trying to help individuals. That's our main goal. And so if you have problems do you wanna give our office a call at DQ, Medford. Not the testing not, not the office where you go to take your car to get the smog testing, but the one down on Stewart. So , and I can give you all that information.

Alice Lema: So that's right, because as we were talking earlier, DQ has different departments and today we're talking about waste water yeah, yeah, yeah. Even I get, get it [00:21:00] confused sometimes. So Megan, Marty just showed us how to take that first step. So having a site map, boy, that's excellent idea. So then after you have that and you've located your system, What would folks do next?

Megan Hendrickson: So once you've got your site kind of mapped out and you know where things are, you're going to want to figure out if you're part of a fire impacted area from those 2020 fires or not. Because they they're different bits of funding through Craft Three. Only people who were burned in who had their property burned in the 2020 fires qualify for the grant. And that that's part of a federal disbursement. So that's, that's why is there's some extra rules around that.

Whereas the standard funding is still available and there's still very generous grants and interest rates, but at that point, you're going to need to go down and talk to the the local county services to make sure that you can get your permits and see what D E Q is going to need when you go down to their office visit. Because each site is [00:22:00] different just because you had a standard system before doesn't mean that your site is going to qualify for the same system now. Oh, so you may have to make changes and that might impact what funding you need. Depending on if you have to move to an ATT system or even just finding out that your system has to be moved further from your buildings.

So those are your next steps is to determine, am I fire impacted or not? Do I need to go down and get verification from the county or my insurance that I did experience burn property. Or do I need to go and start immediately on that permitting process and see what has to happen there?

Alice Lema: So just to be clear folks, you've got two opportunities to get grant money from craft three and that's with a C, C R a F T, and you do not necessarily have to have had fire damage.

Megan Hendrickson: No fire damage won't have any grants, but they will still have loans that are very loansthat are very competitive. They've got good, low interest funding [00:23:00] available.

Alice Lema: Okay. So that's the part where you can still get some help repairing your septic, even if you were not damaged in the fire. Got it. Yes. Very cool. Very cool. So when people are doing their evacuation and is there something they should do if they think that there's gonna be a fire through their place, or do you just, is there some preparation ahead of time that you could do to save your septic?

Megan Hendrickson: I don't know that there's much you can do to save a septic from fire. I would really prioritize your, your health and welfare first.

Alice Lema: Absolutely. Yeah, but sometimes, you know, people can do things during the off season, but there's nothing really homeowners can do. Just make sure it's well marked and you know where it is when you come back.

Marty Easter: I think that's, that's the main point. I think Megan hit that too. We can fix, septics make sure that you're safe. Right. Some individuals after the fact, after a fire's gone [00:24:00] through have taken you know, caution tape and some Stakes and put it around their drain field. The big thing about this is in the recovery phase, there are a lot of questions that come in about, okay, where are certain things?

Where are water lines, where are septic systems? And that's why I said, if you have that that site plan at the ready, you can kinda speed that process up. But speaking with individuals up in Marion county, that was one of their big questions that they would get every day from ODOT and others was okay, we're going to this property, what's there.

And as the property owner is more prepared, it just sped everything up. And so I think that's one of the big things like Megan was saying as well was, recovery takes a long time. Like we're 20, 22, and there's still properties out there that are vacant because they're still struggling to get through the process.

So just trying to be as prepared as you can be. And [00:25:00] some of these funding opportunities through Craft Three are hugely helpful to get that funding to move back onto property.

Alice Lema: So mm-hmm, mm-hmm and it was interesting what Megan was saying that just because you had a standard system before doesn't mean you get a standard system now.

And one of the things I noticed in our water waterfront sales when people are buying, selling riverfront, or they have a pond or something naturally occurring on their property, that in the old days, the Wells and the septics were closer, allowed to be closer together. Mm-hmm . And so that that's, there's new rules about that now.

Marty Easter: Yeah, new, like the eighties so not hopefully new. Okay. But I , but still there's a lot of homes that were built before that.

Alice Lema: Well, people don't realize that that even changed yeah.

Marty Easter: Yeah. You know, back in the seventies. And permitting really became a thing that you had to do back around 19 72, 73. So before that, you might struggle to [00:26:00] find any of these records. And you might not have systems that meet current setbacks. So you're absolutely right. Luckily with when we're having a repair to assist them and you have a lot, that's tough like some of these riverfront properties, some of them are really difficult to maintain setbacks.

And I think you nailed it on the head that we have certain types of systems that can reduce those setbacks now. And we can yeah, just make your property one, have a functioning septic system, which is the goal. Even though it may have reduced setbacks to Wells or ponds, creeks.

Alice Lema: What are those setbacks?

Marty Easter: There's a whole list of 'em. Real quickly the if, if you're looking at a the river, like riverfront properties, it'd be a hundred feet, is what you're looking at. So oftentimes that's really difficult, really difficult.

Alice Lema: That could be the size of your whole lot.

Marty Easter: Yeah. And a lot of these lots on the river, depending on where you're at are, you know, three quarters of an acre. [00:27:00] So trying to get a well and setbacks and everything else, those are some of the most challenging lots out there. So, but you know, like I just said, wells they have a hundred foot setback also, traditionally, like you said, it was 50 feet for years and years and years setback to, to the drain field was 50 feet. So yeah.

Alice Lema: Well, we're gonna have to take another quick break here. We're talking to Megan Hendrickson and Marty Easter of our state of Oregon, D E Q department environment equality. And don't don't touch that dial cause we've got more great conversation happening. We'll be right.

Well, welcome back to the real estate show folks. I'm Alice Lema, I'm a broker here in Southern Oregon with John Scott real estate. And today we're talking to Megan Hendrickson and Marty Easter of state of Oregon, D E Q department of environmental quality wastewater water, water and there's some really cool funding available, not [00:28:00] only for fire victims for your septic, but non-fire repairs, but that's not a grant. So Megan, can you just remind us of the difference of those two program?

Megan Hendrickson: Of course. So both of these funding resources are through Craft Three at their website, Craft, and they have grant funding that can assist homeowners who had property damage to their septic systems during the 2020 wildfires.

But they also have regular loans available to both those people. And also for people who just have general need for those repair and replace. They've got very good rates. They're open for low and moderate income as well as everyone else. So I would encourage you to check them out and see what they can help you with.

Alice Lema: And the technology is really quite amazing. We were talking about that earlier in the show. And I, I wanted to ask, are there computer chips in the new advanced. Treatment technology or is that next evolution? Are you gonna tie it to your, to your Alexa.

Marty Easter: [00:29:00] Alexa, turn on the pump to the septic system, right?

Alice Lema: Alexa, is everything working?

Marty Easter: I think you got an idea on your hand. Yes. A a lot of the advanced treatment systems do have the ability to be hooked into the internet.

Alice Lema: Oh for reals. I was just trying to make a joke.

Marty Easter: No, no, we're in the future. Alice . So if you have a problem and you contact your maintenance provider, your maintenance provider can get on to the internet and kind of troubleshoot what's going on.

You know, oftentimes the problems don't happen when you are middle of the day. No, one's at home except for one of the parents, you know, perfect timing, it's usually like Christmas, right. Or you're having a party. So they have the opportunity to jump on their computer and not every one of the advanced treatment systems has this. A majority of them do and they can potentially troubleshoot, oh, wait, it looks like the pump isn't going on or this or that. So yeah, [00:30:00] there there's a lot of, of things that can be done remotely with this new technology.

Alice Lema: So. Wow. I it's mind boggling. I was only kidding. oh, there you go, Siri start my septic. That's awesome. So in the future then maybe the smart houses could manage septics. Maybe we'll have to have smart Wells in additionally. But there's, there's the Jetsons for you. Yeah. So let's, let's go back to reality today and talk about drain fields. Because a lot of people, when they're buying and selling real estate, they don't want to do a drain field inspection. Can you talk about what it is and why it's important?

Marty Easter: Yeah, drain field. So the basic components of a septic system, if you've never lived on one, you've never seen one before from the house, all your plumbing gets put into a septic tank. This is usually a concrete [00:31:00] box or, or plastic box. That is about a thousand gallons capacity can hold your daily flow coming from your home for two to three days. And that's where that separation of the solids and the liquid happen. That's a, that's a, a, a gigantic component of the septic system that we often overlook. But a lot of treatment happens there. Then from that septic system that clear zone goes out to a drain field.

And a drain field could be set up in a lot of different ways. Usually there's anywhere from one to five or six different lines that are in the ground. Usually two to three feet down that a lot of times they say drip into the soil. So as water comes out of the home, it pushes water out of the septic and goes into the drain field.

And that's where the real treatment happens of the effluent. There's bacteria in the soil that's cleaning up that water before [00:32:00] it gets back to the water table. So a majority of these drain fields are anywhere from a hundred, 150 to 300 to 400 feet, depending on the soil type. And that's really driven by the soil type you have.

If you have clay soil, then a majority of your drain fields are gonna be bigger. And, and you could think of it this way if you have sand and you have clay on the other side and you drop a glass of water into it, how quickly is it gonna go through? And it's gonna go through a lot quicker on the sand. So you have smaller drain field. So that's just a real basis. Did you have any other questions about it though?

Alice Lema: Well, just what does a drain field inspection actually look like? What are you looking for?

Marty Easter: It can be difficult sometimes you can be able to camera. Put a camera down these lines and you can inspect that way, especially from the tank to usually where the drain field starts.

And then depending on [00:33:00] what type of drain field you had, that can be difficult to actually camera down. So oftentimes some sites have, will have an inspection port. Or a Dropbox at the end of every line to see, oh, where the effluence is, how high it is. If it's really high in one and, and low in another, there could potentially be a plug there.

Oftentimes if you walk over an area and you notice that the ground is really squishy, that there are evidence of standing water and it hasn't just rained. That's not a great sign. Those are the things that you can look at as prospective buyers and as real estate agents of if there's a potential failure of the drain field.

Alice Lema: Mm-hmm mm-hmm so the, what kind of pipes are going from the tank to the drain field? Like, are they, what are they made out?

Marty Easter: Usually PVC pipes. There's PVC pipes. Okay. Yeah. From the, from the tank to the drain field. And then once you get to the drain field, there's basically three [00:34:00] different types of products.

The standard rocking pipe, which has PVC pipes rounded by rock. Easy flow, which looks a little different when you first see it. It's got a netting with a perforated pipe in the middle. It's surrounded by packing peanuts. They also use that around foundations to help with drainage. And then there's also chambers, which is like a half circle. That's plastic that just sits right on the ground surface. A majority, especially the older homes are gonna have rocket pipes since that was the only thing approved up until I wanna say the mid nineties. So if you see anything different than that, your system's probably a little newer.

Alice Lema: So in Southern Oregon, it's common to have homeowners with their own heavy equipment and they like to do their own repairs. How does that work with you?

Marty Easter: Yeah, that's fine. If someone has the knowhow and the ability and they come in and apply for a permit, property owners can install their own systems.

The trick to that is once you get into the advanced treatment [00:35:00] systems, a lot of the manufacturers only certify license installers to install those systems. So you can put in a standard system yourself. We will definitely be there as inspectors to help out with some of those questions that if you've never done this before, it could be a little complicated, but overall Yes. You can put in your own system.

Alice Lema: Yeah. Cuz people, people always say that tongue in cheek. And I say, actually I think Oregon lets you do that. Mm-hmm as long as you do it well and follow the rules. Yep.

Megan Hendrickson: One of, one of the few challenges was that is that if you are going for a funding supplement, is that you may not be able to do your own or you may not be able to be reimbursed for that.

Alice Lema: Good point, Megan Hendrickson, Marty Easter, D E Q. Thank you so much for being on our broadcast will be repeated tomorrow, Sunday at 6:00 PM. Go have a beautiful Southern Oregon weekend. Bye now.

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