14 May 2009

Nobody knows...

...the trouble our septic system has seen. But I have some ideas.

First of all, and you can consider this a public service announcement: if you have a septic tank, do not flush condoms down the toilet! I mean, really. They should cover this in sex ed. They clog up the drain line.

And yes, they clog up the drain line. I mean, like... like, dozens. Dozens of condoms in my drain line. Old, too. They had turned black. It was vile; visions of it will keep me up tonight. It's barely 1230 and I'm drinking already.

So at any rate we know that our septic system has not been suffering from simple neglect; this is a case of serious, long-term abuse. The gravel into which the old drain field supposedly drained was basically identical to the driveway gravel, and perhaps came off the same truck. Tough to say.

If you'll recall, the previous septic company to come out here, Carolina Septic of Simpsonville, replaced ten feet of the drain line out the back of our septic tank. Apparently they did this without digging up the entire tank because the lid at the back of the tank is cracked and sagging--sagging by about an inch, and this is concrete. Not supposed to sag. You'd think if they'd dug that up and seen that--and I don't know how they replaced ten feet of drain line without doing so--they would have at least kindly informed the homeowner that the lid needed replacing. The plumbing company we've had problems with in the past at least was kind enough to tell me to replace the other lid.

Fortunately the tank itself seems in good enough shape to last for a while more, but I am going to rebuild that lid next week. Oh, and lest I forget to mention, the ten feet of new drain line they put in connected to about two more feet of the same old brittle drain line they replaced... and there wasn't anything else beyond that, to speak of, just a pile of gravel. Seriously. Drain field? What drain field? Isn't a gravel pit good enough? Makes me wonder if that was the established method for installing a septic tank in the early 1940s.

Carolina Septic screwed us.

What we're getting now to replace the former setup is an actual drain field, with pipes with holes and gravel and recycled tire bits (which actually makes sense to use for this purpose), and it's going pretty much from the property line to the garage, a good sixty feet wide, and probably twenty feet down the hill from the tank. This is going to be a big damn septic field. That said, when the contractor came out here to quote me a price, he said when he was done we wouldn't have any more problems. Here's hoping.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sorry about flushing all those condoms when I was visiting....I won't do it again.