Infrastructure – The (Hopefully) Inconspicuous Substructures of Every Day Life

Infrastructure

This is a catch-all term to describe the boring, everyday operational underpinnings of your home. When all these systems are functioning properly, they’re invisible – you don’t even know they exist. If you notice them it all, it’s probably because something has failed.

If you live in town, you probably have your water and sewage installed and maintained by a local municipality, as well as but if you’re in a rural area, responsibility for the proper operation falls on the landowner.

When we’re talking about home infrastructure, we mean these:

Access

driveways and walkways – includes snow removal, tree clearing

Water supply

typically a well

Electrical

supplied by your local power company

Landline

your local phone company

Internet

This can be a major challenge in certain rural areas

Gas lines

if you’re using propane (bottled gas), then you’ll have a tank and lines to the house

Septic System

handles waste water from bathrooms and household drains

Storm-water drainage systems

culverts and sumps

Ponds and dams

You wouldn’t think these need maintenance, but they do

Trash hauling

This could be a local commercial service, or you may have to haul to a landfill

There are other services and systems that you could include on the list, depending on your location and your circumstances (irrigation, for instance, or home security), but one thing is pretty certain. Somewhere along the line, there will be a failure, and as the landowner, your ultimately responsible for the repairs.

Certain elements of your infrastructure tend to fail at particular times – pipes freeze in winter, wells go dry during droughts, drains and septic tanks wait for heavy use times – like big parties, or Thanksgiving – to fail, driveways need to be cleared after significant weather events.

But if you have a working knowledge of how these systems work, likely failure points, and preventative measures, you can save yourself a lot of expense and aggravation.

If you’re interested in more of the antics and fiascos we create and endure, check out our social feeds.

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