Friday, July 30, 2010

Stinky stuff

Ah, the joys of living in the country and not being hooked up to city sewer and water systems.

Septic tanks and septic fields, two things new to us in this home of ours.

First off, where oh where exactly is that septic tank of ours!

With site property map in hand, the company we hired to inquire about (ie; pick brain to find out all about the wonderful world of septics). We had hoped to find out if our tank required his services, not sure of when to do it or not. Before winter sounded good to us, so when his card appeared in our neighborhood, he came to call.

"What type of tank did we have, rather what size?", he asked.

shrug... No idea

"No problem", he said, let's find out, and with our property site map in hand, he and my husband began to pace off to find the approximate area from house to tank.

Then said; "I have special tools to poke down to find the caps".

There is more than one cap?

Two, in fact.
Okay now.... learning in progress.

So here's what else we've learned;

  • Our septic tanks holds 2000 gallons of stinky stuff. Inside there are three chambers, and through gravitational pull from our house to septic tank, all settles in first chamber, eventually overflowing to settle in the second chamber, (sounds like the lock system in the Panama Canal to me), and then eventually flooding into the third chamber where it continuously leaches out into the percolating ground (sounds like a brewing coffee pot) further beyond toward the septic field, out further near the forest area.
  • The tank itself is about 4 meters below the surface.
  • The sediment that doesn't get flushed out through the gray water compartment processing, the stuff that sits at the bottom, must get pumped out every 18 months to two years or so, all depending of course on how many users and poopers live in the house, how many bathrooms there are, and so forth.

All I know about this whole thing is this is just not a type of career I would like to have. Hooey!

Okay, then, a poke here, a poke there. At last he found the two lids for access to all three compartments.

A general stake was placed in one of the holes until the following day when a crew would come around and complete the task.

Surprised to come home in the afternoon only to find they had already been to our property well before the scheduled hour.

The crew must have left in haste for the promise of landscape completion with all the soil returned into the holes, and finally the grassy sod compacted back down was left undone.

A funny timing occurred just a short while after our boys made their way out with shovels and rakes in hand, wanting to complete the deed so the cut up grass could be salvaged in the heat blaring outdoors. That's about when the owner of the company showed up for payment at the front door.

Directed to the back, he was very apologetic and assisted not only by rolling up his sleeves to get all back into place, but also leaving a discount on the billing.

I'm not sure if it was a win/win situation though yet, because the crew left a bill for a lower amount, and the owner proclaimed the amount emptied was originally calculated incorrectly, thus changing it and adding in almost another 80 bucks before offering the discount!

Now, we can breathe a sigh of relief, for it will be two years or so, until the next time this service is required.

At least we know WHERE the thing is!