Although these are not formal policies, the following are some best practices for home and lot owners.
Each house in Liberty Woodlands has a septic tank that drains into a sewer system owned and maintained by the Okanogan Public Works Department. Our CC&Rs hold homeowners responsible if they damage the public system, so taking good care of your septic system is important!
As one sewer maintenance company says, all sewer problems start with homeowners. So here are some best practices to assure you do not damage the community system.
- Minimize the amount of water flowing into your septic tank. You can do this with simple actions like turning the water off when brushing your teeth, installing low-flow toilets, using faucet aerators and low-flow showerheads, etc.
- Scrape your dishes and wipe out frying pans instead of sending the grease down the drain. Grease solvent drain cleaners can harm your septic system and might also cause groundwater contamination if the solvents are not trapped in the septic tank.
- Minimize the use of your garbage disposal. Once in the septic tank, some of the kitchen scraps will break down by bacterial action, but most of the grindings will have to be pumped out of the tank. Using a garbage disposal frequently could dramatically increase the accumulation of sludge in your septic tank, causing you to have it pumped more often.
- Use sturdy toilet paper. It will float to the top of the tank and add to the scum layer. The scum layer, like the rest of the septic tank contents, can quickly and efficiently be removed by septic tank pumping as needed.
- Do not flush dental floss, tampons, cotton swabs, paper towels, hair or other bathroom items. They can clog and potentially damage septic components if they get trapped.
- Use liquid detergents for laundry and dishes. Powdered detergent can cake and clog your system.
- Install and maintain septic tank covers for easy access.
- Do not empty your hot tub into the septic system. If you try it, you risk stirring the solids in your tank and pushing them out into the drain field, causing it to fail. Even if you could keep from disturbing the layers in your septic tank, you would be overloading your system with all of that water at once.
Finally, Okanogan County requires homeowners to have their septic tanks pumped every two years. JA Wright Construction does this for most homeowners.
Lot owners are responsible for maintaining survey markers on their property.
Plowing Marker Poles
In winter, poles alert snow plows to the presence of underground water and fire riser (hydrant) valves. Please maintain these on your property. If you install a water meter vault in preparation for a future requirement, you still need the pole that helps us find the source if there is a water leak.
Reflective House Numbers
Homeowners are encouraged to use the blue, reflective address signs provided by the Winthrop Fire Fighters Association. They can be ordered by emailing John Owen at email@example.com or calling 509-997-5666 or 509-429-1346.
Bears are frequently seen ambling thought Liberty Woodlands. This is one of the benefits of living in the Methow Valley. To provide a safe environment for bears and people:
- Do not leave garbage outside or in cars. Garbage must be kept in a locked shed, bear-proof garbage can, or indoors.
- Clean BBQ grills promptly after use.
- Bring bird feeders (seed and nectar) inside at night.
Do not report bear sightings unless a bear becomes a nuisance – like this one, who drove a Subaru into a tree.
Liberty Woodlands water is supplied by an electric well. During planned and unplanned power outages, a generator kicks into power our wells. However, this is not fool-proof! It is recommended that all homeowners keep an emergency water supply in the event our well stops during a power outage. One to two 6-gallon jugs for flushing toilets and four to six gallons of water for drinking and cooking should be sufficient.
Sources: 2016 LWHA Best Practices, 2017 LWHA Property Report, & Septic Sense
Dark Skies & House Lighting
Liberty Woodlands homeowners are committed to protecting our dark skies by implementing cost-effective measures to ensure we are not lighting outside our homes unnecessarily. Watch the presentation given at the May 2020 homeowners’ meeting to learn more.