Warning: this is not a cooking post.
We had our friendly, local honeydippers visit this morning.
They’re the guys who open up the septic tank out back, shove a big hose down into the Stygian Abyss, and pump it all out.
Being urbanites, this was new to us. (I have a vague memory of hearing about the Wyoming place having its tank pumped out once).
It all started with the shower downstairs not draining as quickly as normal.
Then there was this glugging noise coming out of the sink.
The toilet downstairs started to drain very slowly.
Then strange stuff started bubbling back up the toilet.
And finally, back into the shower.
Our intrepid cleaning lady (my Avon lady too, btw) came on Thursday and brought her husband along so I asked him if he would have a look.
He sent Scott to buy a plunger.
It didn’t help.
We called our very friendly, very nice plumber Mr. Saturday Night.
His real name is Mr. Szombathy (pronounced sort of like “somebody” and it’s a Hungarian name that means Saturday).
He has been a huge help in the past, with our water pump, the leaky pipe coming from the washing machine, and he installed our new dishwasher.
All for very reasonable prices.
He took one look at the toilet and the shower and told Scott to get the key to the septic tank.
They had a look inside and he immediately knew the problem was a full septic tank.
It was backing up into the lower bathroom.
He called the sewage pumpers, who were not able to accommodate us until today.
We spent the weekend keeping as much as possible from dumping anything down the drains.
And we fell out of bed very early this morning, expecting them at 7:00 a.m.
We learned a few things.
Our tank is five cubic meters. We have a one-cubic-meter water butt and I remembered how stunned I was that thing filled completely after one good rainstorm.
It’s a relatively small tank, because this place was built to be only a vacation/weekend getaway without permanent residents.
When you first open it up, the tank doesn’t smell much at all.
It’s only after the pump’s been going that the odor gets a little pungent (no breakfast for us this morning).
You can’t predict when you’ll need to empty it again (we don’t know how recent the last emptying took place, except it was before we moved here, 2009).
Our wonderful Mr Saturday Night (My cousin Gene gave him that name) will now have a look about every three months just to monitor.
He talks about putting some bacteria down there once a month or so. Scott looked online and the very reputable Ag Department at Michigan State University says it doesn’t add anything.
We’ve been pretty good about keeping coffee grounds and eggshells out of the tank (I learned that from Dad in Wyoming). And we put a lot of stuff into the compost.
I have a dishwasher and washing machine, three toilets and a shower.
I can’t believe it took five years to fill the thing up!
But aren’t the flowers nice above the tank.
Dear departed Erma Bombeck was right!