I have been living in a city for a large part of my life. Over a year ago, my husband (who grew up in a very large city his whole life) decided that not only did he want to live in the Northern part of Canada, but he wanted the “True Canadian Lifestyle”. Read about our journey to the Great North.
So, when we decided to move to Fort St John he was adamant that he wanted to live in the rural surroundings of the city, so we could have a large yard, garage, and garden. We both had this wonderful fairytale idea of what life in the country would be. Like pictures out of the country magazine where chickens roam freely, gardens are full of vegetables and fruit, and there is always a quiet comfortable seating area around a campfire with a large dog and some cold drinks…
What we both didn’t realize nor were we really warned about is that being part of the rural area means certain city luxuries that you normally never even think about are not offered…you have to haul or order water?! What do you mean I need to call someone to get my septic cleaned out…gross!
But, I guess many rural properties have lagoons or septic fields, and maybe a well, but a smaller acreage, like half an acre, is too small to have a septic field and well. So, here we are, like all of our neighbours, with two tanks one for water and one for waste water. Read my previous post on 24 Hours of Light on why we moved to the regional district.
The first few weeks were trying as every couple of days we anxiously opened the lid of our water storage tank to see how much we used and to scold each other for using too much water.
Before moving to the North Peace, we lived in a country that was in draught majority of the year, so we thought we had water preservation down to the “t”, but obviously you quickly realize that those 5 extra minutes daydreaming in the shower quickly become a top priority habit that needs to be broken. No, baths in this household!
A couple of weeks came and went and the first trial of our water hauling skills was put to the test. We borrowed my sister’s trailer and tank and off we went to the water station. We are lucky as our house is close to two water stations (Charlie Lake and Fort St John). Saying this before you can haul your own water you need to set up an account at City Hall. With an ID number, we were set to go!
We passed with flying colours and the hubby even went as far as declaring, “this isn’t hard! We can do this year round and save some money instead of calling the water guys!” I quickly reminded him that I doubt he will want to haul water in the middle of winter and that we will keep those lovely water hauling guys in our contact list.
After a year of on and off hauling, we finally saved up for our own trailer and water tank. Look at that shiny new trailer! We still call the water guys once in a while, but now that we are set up they will only hear from us in the winter. The septic hauling is another story. Unfortunately, we will become great friends with our hauler as we see him every 2-3 months (depending on how much water we use).
Who knew there are areas in Canada where properties are not connected to a facility! It sure makes our property taxes, water, and sewer bills a lot less each year than people living in the city that have the facilities. We are really living off the grid now!