Infrastructure – The (Hopefully) Inconspicuous Substructures of Every Day Life
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:
driveways and walkways – includes snow removal, tree clearing
typically a well
supplied by your local power company
your local phone company
This can be a major challenge in certain rural areas
if you’re using propane (bottled gas), then you’ll have a tank and lines to the house
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
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.