Clay & Climate: A Few Unique Conditions for Plumbing in Southwest Colorado

Living in the Four Corners area comes with many benefits, including the ability to access many different types of terrain within just a few hours. We experience all four seasons fully and can bounce from the mountains to the desert within a short amount of time. In addition to that, we have several unique factors that make plumbing in this area just a little bit different than in other areas in the country. At Master Rooter in Bayfield, Colorado, we have spent many years figuring out how to work efficiently around the little quirks that our Southwest corner has to offer and here are just a few of the ones we deal with frequently.

Unruly Roots & Independent Septic Systems

In larger cities and towns, the homes are typically hooked up to a larger city septic system. But in areas like Southwest Colorado, many of us live in rural areas and consequently have our own independently installed septic systems. Many of these septic systems are very old and have very little maintenance over the years as houses passed from family to family, so issues are more likely to arise. One of the most common issues is the invasion of tree roots into the septic pipes. The roots of a tree are constantly seeking out moisture sources, and the pipes of a septic system winding through the yard can be an excellent source for water.

Since many homes in the area were built many years ago, the planting of the trees around a particular residence were also planted around the same time. And at the time the septic system might not have even been installed yet, so the home builders were not concerned with how close the trees were planted to the home. They were more concerned with provided adequate shade and improving the aesthetic of the property.  

Climate & Elevation

If you’ve lived in Southwest Colorado for a good amount of time, you’ve probably noticed that this area feels like it goes through all four seasons in one day sometimes. The climate can switch very quickly and locals have become accustomed to carrying every kind of layer with them at all times. With these rapid changes in climate, you may find that the ground freezes unexpectedly from time to time. So it becomes important to watch the weather forecast carefully to determine if your pipes are at risk for freezing overnight. Frozen pipes can be a huge hassle and we’ve dealt with our fair share of them over the years!

In addition to the ground freezing frequently during certain times of the year, since we are at a higher elevation this can also create a bit of a unique issue when it comes to water pressure. In areas with higher altitude the air pressure is lower which affects the boiling point of water. This means that when you have a hot water heater installed it has to be set slightly higher to compensate for this, but don’t worry- we will take care of this for you!

Soil Conditions

If you’re a gardener and have recently moved to the area, then you’ve probably figured out that our soil is quite unique and can be very challenging to work with. It is definitely not a “set it and forget it” type of planting environment. Our soil is very thick and very similar to the texture of clay, which means water doesn’t move through it as easily. This might come into play as you are getting anything done underground or installing the leach field for your septic system. Digging might be a little more difficult with the heavy soil or your leach field might not drain water as quickly as it would in other areas of the country.

Even though there are some unique situations one might encounter while working with the plumbing systems in our area, our team of professionals at Master Rooter in Bayfield, Colorado, will always make sure to do the job correctly and efficiently the first time!



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