Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Poo Happens

Our septic next to the house w/the lid up.
To end our joyous holiday fun, our septic decided to CLOG.  I've always been on town water and have never quite understood the workings of a septic system and when we purchased our house we failed to ask exactly where it was located! 

My father-in-law who has built zillions of houses told me to take a metal rod and hammer and try to hit the concrete "block" located about 1' below ground level.  So I was banging away with a hammer in the backyard trying to find where the mysterious "septic tank" was located.  Well, the first thing you need to know is there is a septic "field" and a septic "tank".  The field will be way off somewhere from your home, the tank will be about 15' from your house.  I was hammering all over in the field way behind our house which was totally in the wrong location. 

We tried plunging the line and then snaking - neither came back with a clog - which means, it's time to call the experts in to uncover the SEPTIC TANK and check it out.  Cavalier Septic drove up carting a backhoe - I nearly fainted.  I envisioned that half of the backyard would be dug up.  But also in the back of my mind was an aha moment --- I could use that dug up area as a NEW FLOWER BED. 

They found the tanks location in two wacks of their metal rod and promptly uncovered the tank.  All the companies seemed to charge a similar fee which on the surface seems outrageous but when you consider there are three men and all that equipment and a job that hopefully won't need to be done for another 5 - 10 years, it's reasonable... and are YOU going to go down in that hole and manually scoop out that gunk and dispose of it --- NO WAY.  Plumbing work is up there on the top of the jobs that you would prefer not to think about.

Getting to the root of the problem.
It was an easy out to blame "holiday visitors" for clogging up the septic line -- ha ha -- but actually it was a TREE ROOT!  Darn those roots.  In our prior home which was on town water, we had to replace the entire run of the old clay pipe from the house to the street because of tree roots.  It's pretty much inevitable.  The largest nearby tree to the septic tank on Forsythia Hill is not that close but according to the septic company, it's close enough to cause an issue.  Oaks and maples love to spread their roots way beyond the "drip line". 

The guys discussing serious business.
Even though our septic was not full, we decided to let the pumping begin, the last thing we wanted to do is dig up the yard again any time soon.  I know this might be not the most enjoyable post, but poo happens and there is not a darn thing you can do about it!  At least you know a little more about how it all goes down.


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