What We Gave Up To Go Off-Grid

| 1/2/2014 9:30:00 AM

Tags: off grid, homestead, Ed Essex, Washington,

Four years ago we moved from our cozy convenient condominium to a custom off-grid home in the mountains of Eastern Washington State. We are located 20 miles from the nearest small town and 40 miles from something larger.

Our new home is at 4,200-foot elevation and is a homestead of sorts with goats, chickens and horses. We grow much of our own food and have learned to garden the year ‘round.

I’ve always defined 'off-grid' as providing your own water, septic, and power. So what did we give up by going off-grid?

Gravity Septic System


We installed a larger than needed septic system on our property. It is designed in the simplest form. It is gravity flow down the hill from our house and consists of two 60’ lines and a 1,000-gallon, two-compartment tank. The only maintenance required is to have the tank pumped out periodically. Recommendation is once a year but with only two of us using an oversize system it won’t be necessary to do it that often. We are now responsible if anything goes wrong but with this simple gravity system it should last for years to come trouble free. If there is an issue we have 40 acres to choose from on where to relocate our present system. Once installed the only thing we have given up to provide our own waste management system is the monthly bill (from the local government sewer provider) which always seems to go up.

300' Deep Water Well

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