The Septic Tank Saga

The septic tank. Well it was fun whilst we knew you.  Okay, it wasn’t. Let’s be honest for a moment.

Can you see the problem?
Can you see the problem?

The plumber arrived late on Monday afternoon and was able to get a few temporary measures in place.  Grey water only into the house’s sewage system, and no paper or other debris of any kind because the septic tank had been disconnected and basically the grey water was going directly down the hillside (when technically mountainside because we are at over 750m here which is 2,500 feet or roughly twice the height of Hallin Fell).

So the current solution is....
So the current solution is….

We did have a toilet for no2’s; it was just (actually it still is) in another building and it was due to rain overnight and most of Tuesday as well. It is also missing its seat but i had at least cleaned it and the building itself, whilst old, rickety, leaking and generally rotting, is actually fairly clean and free from insects and rodents alike. There’s not even a cobweb!

Monday night did indeed rain. As did Tuesday morning, but it stopped around mid afternoon.  I hadn’t expected the plumber to return on Tuesday, so I wasn’t disappointed when he didn’t.  Given that I knew they needed to get a digger in there and the place was under water there was no surprise when it was left until Wednesday which was forecast to be clear and dry.  It was indeed clear and dry and I had 3 loads of washing done and on the line before they arrived in 2 lorries, one with a trailer towing the mini digger. To be fair to the it was still the morning, I had started the washing at 7am.

They were not to complete that day, but they have it a good try working until after dark and meeting Stuart at the top of our track. They had run into one or two little issues, like the fact the old septic tank was empty because it was cracked. It had in fact been sitting on the tip of a jagged rock which should have been taken out and was one of the causes of the issues we now faced.  A call was put through the our landlord, and as Stuart was later to find out directly from our landlord when they met on Spring Creek Road on Thursday, they were told to ‘just sorry it’: so sort it they did. Out came the old septic tank in pieces: out came the digger to dig access to the problem: out came the jack hammer and in climbed the younger of the two plumbers: away went the other plumber to get some 1 inch rounded gravel and a much deeper hole arrived…  The place resembled the Battle of the Somme crossed with Ypres.

Action on the septic tank from.
Action on the septic tank front.
The old septic tank was literally ripped out.
The old septic tank was literally ripped out. It later transpired that it was cracked at the bottom and was leaking..
The new one waits.
The new one waits.
There is actually a big hole there that a person is standing in drilling a sharp rock out.
There is actually a big hole there that one of the plumber is standing in drilling a sharp rock out with a jack hammer.
...
The rounded gravel goes in as the sunsets literally.

Sometime around 6pm I was asked to turn off the (bore) water the was filling up the new septic tank in roughly 1½ hours time.

Thursday came and they arrived in the afternoon. They were fitting their planned jobs in around the emergency here. The place still resembled a quagmire, but that quagmire now needed filling in after much pipe work had been redone. The mini digger was to get stuck, the tipper lorry was also to get stuck, neither thankfully badly, but it meant that they were to end up working until after dark yet again, but they did complete the job.

It also means that whilst the septic tank has been ticked off the list of jobs I have for them, there are 6 or 7 others still on the list, including a badly leaking emergency water tank (leaking from some interesting joints which raised an eye brow and an ‘I’ll sort that out for you’. It would be nice come the summer if the emergency water tank still had water in it! Similarly the tap on the bore water tank that you open to get bore water or close when topping the tank up, also leaks and there’s no one way valve on the system so I’m pretty certain that’s where some of the water that’s disappearing from the tank is going to; back where it came from!

He’ll be back at some point next week.

I’ll post up a photo or two of the end result tomorrow.

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