Thursday, July 28, 2011

Septic Celebration

What is the proper way to celebrate getting your septic system working again?  Champagne?  Cartwheels?  Dancing? 

After a week, yes, a WEEK of using the barn toilet and jumping in the pool instead of the shower, we are finally able to use the house toilets.  No more laying awake at 2 am trying to decide just how badly I need to go, if I can wait till morning, or if I need to hike down to the barn. 

It wasn't easy.  As you may recall (or maybe conveniently forgot which would be my choice), last Thursday we woke in the middle of the night to water gushing out of the shower and covering the bathroom floor.  Friday morning Brett tried to find the septic tank.  We were sure it was full and backing up into the house.  He couldn't find it before leaving to visit his daughter in Colorado for three days.

I spent the weekend in the barn.

Monday he resumed digging around, trying to find the tank.  No luck.  I had carpet cleaners come in the afternoon.  Our bedroom carpet was shampooed and deodorized.   Fortunately, we had been able to stop the flow of water with the bathroom area rug so we didn't have to replace the bedroom carpet.  Cleaning did the trick.  The bathroom area rug went into the dumpster -- all 6x9 soggy feet of it.

Tuesday, the septic company didn't show.  Brett called and they said they had been tied up on another job and would be up by noon on Wednesday.

Wednesday noon: no septic truck.  1pm, 2pm, --nothing.  Brett called and the company informed him that they had decided they didn't want to drive up the mountain.  Thanks for telling us.  Brett called another company.  They arrived a few hours later.

It took them awhile to find the tank, but they finally did.

Part of it was under the gravel.  Part of it was under the walkway.  Brett broke out that part of the orchard walkway.  He got his exercise swinging a sledge hammer.

And, voila!  There was the tank.  They took off the lid (smelled wonderful as you can imagine) and pumped it out.

But, it didn't fix the problem.  Oh, great.  The septic pumping guys had a snake so they tried to find the clog.  Their snake went in about 15 feet and wouldn't go any further.  They said it felt like the pipe turned 90 degrees and the snake couldn't make the bend.  They said they would come up this morning and try jetting it out. 

They came up.  Jetting didn't work.  They suggested we call a plumber.

We didn't want to call the plumber that put the pipes in when the house was built because we have had constant issues with his work.  Every time we have something fixed, we get comments about the shoddy way the plumbing was done initially.  I got a referral to someone from a neighbor and he came up this afternoon. 

After two hours, he fixed it.  Broke the clog loose.  I could hear the water rushing into the septic tank (which is thankfully closed again).  I could have hugged him.  Instead I took him to the barn and got him a soda of his choice (Cactus Cooler).  Heck, he could have taken a case! 

I am giddy with happiness.  And, seriously, we might have champagne tonight.


  1. I'll never turn down a glass of champagne! I would suggest that...

  2. Wow! Sounds like a nightmare!
    When is the last time you had your tank pumped? We have a contract with our septic tank company. They come out every 2 years and pump it out for our family of 5. We have to keep the area around and above the septic tank and septic field clear, for obvious reasons (as you discovered. Too bad you had to tear up your concrete walkway.), and it goes like clockwork for each septic pumping visit.

    I'm glad you got it all taken care of, though. But I'm thinking margaritas are in order!


  3. We've been there with septic and (even worse) well issues. It always happens in the hottest part of summer, it seems...or when we're out of town and have someone staying here to watch over the place. I know how you feel, and I'd definitely celebrate with champagne. Huge relief.

  4. Wow! You have really been through it. We just had our tank pumped; I thought we had it done 2 years ago. I was wrong! Enjoy the modern plumbing conveniences!! :-)

  5. OH MY GOODNESS! Well I said I would stop by from your small stone blog-just to see what you were really up to... I think you have been as "sturdy as a rose"!!

  6. Wow, you really had a tough time, I'd say "go for the champain", too!

  7. I'm getting ready to put my septic connection in this week - very important business!!

    Glad you solved your problem - and that you had backup while you waited ;)

  8. Glad your ok now! Its a real problem, our septic tank, burst last winter! Turns out, we had a blockage in the runoff pipe. It all backed up and eventually appeared in the rear garden!

    Two days later, and with waste everywhere, we sorted it! Thank God! `Cos it stinks!

  9. I was waiting for the part explaining how you kept the goats from joining/falling in all that. Congrats on your new flushability and Hooray for stinky heroes.

  10. oh god bless you! i HATE plumbing problems (and when it's septic and it pretty much stops you from using EVERYTHING it really sucks!) i hope that champagne was flowing freely - just like your toilets!

  11. I'm soooo happy the problem was fixed! And now I'll go pour ridx down my toilet because I don't remember when I did it last lol. :)


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