February 18, 2009 – Calling the Turd Herder

OK,  so this won’t be the most fuzzy and warm news from high hopes gardens, but it’s February, so expectations cannot be too high.  The last couple of weeks whenever a toilet flushed, other drains in the house have gurgled.  It most likely means that the vent is partially or completely clogged, or the septic tank needs attention.

The vent was the first thing to check. The roof of the house is about 30 feet off the ground and the extension ladder is 28 feet.  So, I put the ladder in the tractor bucket and raised it up a few feet.  I crawled up there and on the north facing slope, saw some ice, a steep slope, and encountered a general unwillingness to make the full crawl up on the roof.  I thought it would be best to call a plumber.

Then, just two days later, when liquid started backing up in the basement floor drain, and I made the call to the “Turd Herder.”  Well, the herder had had the unfortunate experience of having a 300 lb cement lid to a septic tank land on his foot the day before, but he thought he could make it out when his boy got out of school at 3:00.  He called shortly after and said he wouldn’t be able to make it after all, so I had to call AAA Septic.  Somehow, it seems like a letdown to call AAA Septic after having a chance at the Turd Herder.  But AAA was fast and efficient.  Here’s a view into the opening of the tank.

To make a short story long, he relayed the “good news, bad news.”  The good news was that we could flush, the bad news was that he couldn’t get the bottom 2/3 of solids out of the tank and said we’d need to hire a backhoe this spring to dig the tank out to the bigger cleanout six feet under.  Because we have discovered we have a rinky-dink system (a 500 gallon tank, draining through an old cistern and then through one drain field), instead of that fix, we signed up for a new system this spring.  So, you could say the the backup in the basement was our stimulus package.

one year ago…”Same Story, Different Day”