Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Overwhelmed and Overflowed

Our septic tank backed up into the basement. I think it was a combination of being full and a clog somewheres in the pipes. The Husband mentioned several times before that we should get the tank pumped out, but money was always an issue, so it got bumped down to the bottom of the list.
I had piles of clothes on the floor by the washer, sorted and waiting to be washed, and they are now soaked with septic water. I cannot wash clothes until we get the problem resolved. Called around and found a local guy that would pump for a reasonable price, but does not dig. So we had to remember what the previous owner said where the tank was and start poking around with a rod. Found it!

I took measurements to remember, in the future, exactly where to dig. I'm relieved that we were not too far off from where the lid was.


The tank was FULL. If I remember right, the former owners told us they had the tank pumped before they put the house up for sale. This means there is about 5 years of poop and pee and other waste in here. Didn't stink too bad.

1500 gallons of waste pumped out and taken away.

Water is still backing up into the basement. I suspect there is a clog and we are currently waiting for the guy to come back with his de-clogging tool. The name escapes me. Super-powered snake something or other. I hope that it does the trick. I want to mop and disinfect the laundry room. When it backed up, the flow dripped into and onto the washer, so I also need to disinfect the washer. It will take me many washes to get all the clothes that were on the floor clean. The septic water also flowed to other areas of the basement and it gives me a good excuse to throw away some now-ruined things. Some of the plush toys got wet, the rolled-up rug from the playroom is wet, and some other various items.
We went to the lake beach yesterday and I was looking forward to having a shower last night. I am dirty, my head itches, we are using wipes to wash our hands, no flushing of the toilets, dirty dishes are piling up.... I hope, if it is a clog, that it gets unclogged and things will return to normal again. If it is something else, I don't know what we will do. We cannot afford much else.
***Edited to Add:***
We got the pipe unclogged! Water is flowing freely through the pipes and into the septic tank! I really appreciate being able to use our water now and have just gotten out of the shower into clean clothes. Ahh!


Teeeeeena said...

Eeeeewww! No advice for you. But hang in there. It'll be resolved before you know it.

jenny said...

Teena-- yeah, eeew!! I'm all pooped (!!!) out from all the stress and worrying and cleaning up. Still more cleaning to do tomorrow. Problem all solved-- whew! Dad and E are on their way south now. Loved their visit and miss them already!! :o) love you xoxo

Lantana said...

Hello, long time! I just came upon your post and wanted to pass on an old, old trick that us "old timers" used for our septic tanks.

Drop a piece of LIVER down your toilet and flush until it is gone. There is something "chemical" about this that really works! I wish my husband was still alive so I could explain more to you! My husband did this about once a month, just a cheap piece of liver that you can pick up at the supermarket!


Lantana said...

I meant RAW LIVER, not cooked!

Carol said...

That sounds like hell on earth!!! I am so glad that you managed to get everything sorted out...eventually :-)

C x

Wendy said...

Ugh! That's so awful, but I'm glad for you that it just needed to be pumped. A few years ago our system backed up into our house (we don't have a basement and the "stuff" was coming up into our shower (eeuch!)). The whole system had to be replaced. We got it working well enough to keep the "stuff" out of the shower, but it took almost six months of getting inspections and soils' tests and septic plans and permits before we could even begin the work. Anyway, it was a very long process and not much fun, but now, we have an almost brand new system, I know exactly where the cover is ;), and we have it pumped every other year ;).

K.L. said...

We used Rid-X when we were on a septic system, and never had any problems with the system. Can't say for sure that it works as advertised, but it is cheap, easy, and well worth it. Also, keep toilet paper to plain white. The dyes in colored or patterned TP don't break down as easily.

Other than that, you have all my sympathy. Yuck. Glad everything is flowing well now.

Karen Mayes said...

Oh wow! Whew, you got the septic tank unclogged and now happily empty... whew! I am sure you already scheduled for the next septic tank visit ;o)

jenny said...

Lantana-- Raw liver?? That's a new one for me! I'll check into that...

Carol-- well, not hell but pretty darn close! Still doing laundry, but at least the floor is mopped!

Wendy-- That's a lot of work you guys had to put into to replace the whole system! I worried the clog would have been tree roots, but it wasn't. It was likely when the tank filled up and the water floated around in the pipes, then no one used the water for a few houes (we went to the lake for the day) and then all of a sudden the toilets get flushed, dishes get washed and then all the water starts pushing the stagnant water in the pipes which then clogs it up with the floating tissues and whatnot. Well, that's my theory anyway. I'm just glad it is all solved now. :o)

KL-- We use RId-X, too. It was time for the tank to be pumped, but we just put it off due to money. We won't do that again. We'll try and pump it every other year, as recommended, especially since we have 6 of us living here.

That colored TP is also not good for your private parts, as the dyes can irritate the skin. We use the white stuff! :o)

Karen-- You bet! Next pump date will be August 2011!! :o)