When **** hits the fan: The Septic Tank Experience

To those reading, if you have a property that is set up via a septic tank system…I salute you, for those of you set up through your city’s sewer system will never know the struggle. My initial elation at being freed of a monthly sewer bill by the city has quickly dwindled, though perhaps my first experiences amongst this new adventure has jaded me.

Now then, without further ado…let us begin.

Remember this view? I remind myself daily because this is what everything is for, this lil’ slice of heaven we call home now.


When a house has been sitting unused for some time, it’s important to ensure that the tank is inspected for structural integrity as well as emptied and flushed to rid it of previous build-up. This prevents further complications down the road. See! I’m learning things already! Yesterday I knew nothing about septic systems aside from I never wanted to personally clean one and now I know it must be cleaned every 3-5 years. Two things learned today. #crushingit

Every now and again you have those days where nothing really ‘goes to plan’. Despite your meticulous calculations one little bump creates a ripple effect. I don’t suppose I’ll ever view a skipping stone the same again. Anyhow! I watched the cleaning company drive past our home only to see them return a while later. GPS and our home…they don’t get on too well we’ve found. But they made it! …a couple hours later, but they made it!

They set to work and located our septic tank. To those that have never employed this service for your home…these folks work HARD, and I mean HARD.

Located, dug up, and inspected within 10 minutes! Color me impressed!

In minutes they had the cap dug up and began hooking up their hoses to clean out the system. …and then their truck broke down. …while blocking the driveway.


Let’s just say that I coped via tours of our home, sharing these little gems with friends and family.

(P.S. A good sense of humor can make everything right again.)

Patience is a virtue. I believe this became my mantra over the next three hours as I waited for them to discover the reason behind their vehicle’s breakdown and then repair it. Hats off, once more, …these folks work HARD.

As we hadn’t moved furniture into the house yet, I elected to fold down the back seats in my Ford and take a nap. It was a nice day out and I didn’t really have anywhere else to sit anyhow. I was awoken to the sound of a loud hissing noise as they had the work truck back on its feet and hoses were a go!

A few hours behind schedule but already forgotten as it seemed we were a mere fifteen minutes away from completion. False. Now that the truck was running, the hoses decided to fail at the junctions that clasp multiple hoses together. So I stood in mute horror watching Lord knows how many years of previous refuse pour out onto our patio.

What began as a slight leak became an endless flood of thirty year old refuse…

What began as a small leak began to spread until it reached our lawn. Fare thee well, Bermuda grass. *ensue bagpipes*

They could not turn off the valves to their hoses for fear that they would not turn back on and so they proceeded to “fix” the problem by means of the most backwards solution possible … kicking the leaky connector with the heel of a boot. Naturally, this only furthered the problem as the leak began gushing forth.

I believe it was around this time that I walked away, there are just some things amidst home repair and renovation that one can’t watch. I can tell you that the leaky connector was replaced, that they cleaned off my patio and sprayed the lawn with eco-friendly disinfectants however it was a bit disappointing to see how long it took to get us to that point.

All things said and done, the tank was in good working condition and they were able to fully clean out the entirety of the system. We have a functional septic tank now. That’s right, I can use the bathroom WITHOUT fear. While that is amusing, what wasn’t amusing was the joking mention of an outhouse the Mr. mentioned digging.

No, no, and no. I’ll deal with a day of inconvenience to maintain the ability to use our restrooms.

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