Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Septic Stone

Septic Stone:

As it turns out - there is not much humor in my septic stone. But for those of you who revel in my misery, there may be more humor than I can predict.

a learning preface: If you don't live on a sewer line, you must have a septic system. There are different kinds. I have an aerobic system. That does not mean "to exercise." Aerobic systems have an air pump that runs 24 / 7 putting air into the mess. Somehow, someone, somewhere, sometime - figured out that putting air into sewer helps to clarify the end result. Now, frankly, who would have thunk?

Sewage / waste water leaves the house. It delivers itself into a large concrete tank. The tank (that I have) has 4 compartments. The septic people have cute names for each step of the process. I call it as I see it. The 1st compartment collects the sludge. As I type this I am watching the 1948 film The Three Musketeers with Lana Turner & Gene Kelly. You may notice that I lose focus at times.

So the junk falls into the first tank and commences to percolate. Little gooey bugs (I'd say bacteria but have an uncomfortable feeling that the spelling is wrong) - bugs start eating away - they love the mess. [I'd swear that is June Allison playing a supporting roll while they play the theme from Romeo & Juliet ] Eventually the tank has enough liquid that the clearer stuff goes over the top into the 2nd tank. This tank has the hose that puts in the air. It bubbles all the time. Somehow this works (see previous paragraph). If lumpy stuff gets in here, it magically works its way back into the 1st tank. I don't know how.

Cleaned in the 2nd tank - it moves into #3. I have no idea what happens in the 3rd compartment. It just does. This brings us to compartment #4 where we have a water pump. This pump shoves the clarified liquid into a small black hose that is under the entire back yard. The water goes into the hose which has a tiny hole every 2 ft or so - "weep holes" we pros call them.

I have maybe 10 to 15 lateral lines dripping water under the yard. Some system have water sprinklers attached - but, being on the lake, this is not allowed. We drip under ground. When the water gets to the end of the tubes - it dumps into another hose that returns it to the concrete tank to be repumped. All so democratic.
Now you almost know as much as I know.

Our problem: water was bubbling up in the back yard. A fountain of clarified sewage water. Not good. Before today was over, repair guy Garrett repaired two of these fountains - he is so good with his hands. What led up to this remains for another stone.

The main water pump was dead. I got a brand new water pump - so pretty and new and shiny. I asked if I could have the dead pump to hang on my office wall. We opened up and looked inside every compartment - sludge is so nice to visit. No dogs fell into a tank (they were locked up inside the house). Everything is back together - looks like a $700 bill has been eaten up by bugs, sludge, & pumps....there is more.

We have discovered a long, vertical crack in the last compartment. This implies the concrete tank MAY BE falling in on itself. We are watching it for a couple months. If it is indeed falling in - a new tank may have to be installed. If the holes in the long lines are plugged, they will have to be blown out. Should any of these possibilities happen, I will bore you with the stone.

Today is over - septic is working (to the best of my knowledge) - and we move on.

No comments:

Post a Comment