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No shit.

Our fancy, computer-controlled, hippie-approved septic system broke down over the weekend and took our electricity with it. Uncle B spent all Sunday morning isolating the source of the power outage.

We didn’t install this thing on purpose. It was a condition of the sale of the house because our waste discharges into a stream. Our neighbors are grandfathered in and don’t have a fancy system *grimace emoji*

It’s been a maintenance nightmare.

Outlet pump this time. We were told they usually last 5 years and ours lasted fifteen, so yay I guess. Somehow it doesn’t feel lucky.

If you’d like an explanation of how it works, you can watch this video on the Septic Tank TV channel. Or don’t. He does a lousy job explaining how waste water gets from the dirty side to the clean side. You will learn the charming old English term “poo water” however.


Comment from ExpressoBold Pureblood
Time: February 12, 2024, 7:54 pm

I didn’t realize you have been living in Olde Blighty for more than 15 years…

Comment from BullDawgGuy
Time: February 12, 2024, 8:05 pm

Interesting Video.

In the states we have electric but the electricity is used to run a compressor/blower for aeration purposes. The aeration process is what breaks down the Poo. There is no mechanical item inside the tank. You can actually hear it gurgling when the aeration compressor/blower is on.

The other non-electric is just a septic system with field lines. This means the water is distributed in the field lines and you do not discharge water into a waterway.

Both of these type systems Over-time might require pumping out to remove solids that do not breakdown in the process. In some locations it is a requirement to pump out the system on a time based schedule.

Comment from Skandia Recluse
Time: February 12, 2024, 8:55 pm

There is a bacterial product you can buy at your local Ace hardware store that you dump down your toilet that turns solid organic waste into a liquid. Helps keep your sewer line flowing also.

When I first bought this residence I had the septic system pumped and had a conversation with the driver, who might have been the business owner and he confirmed the bacterial injection does work. The people at Ace Hardware knew exactly what I was talking about when I asked if they had the product. There is also an enzyme that breaks down ‘fat bergs’ if you dump fat down your kitchen drain.

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: February 12, 2024, 9:28 pm

BawlDawgGuy; It’s the same system, here – a compressor that blows air though what they delicately describe as ‘sludge’. We had the latest replacement compressor fitted four months ago (about $700). Today it was the electric output pump ($900).

It’s cheap living in the country. Or so they claim.

Comment from Some Composted Vegetable
Time: February 12, 2024, 10:07 pm

I had often wondered what business British Leyland had wandered into after they quit making cars.

Comment from Durnedyankee
Time: February 12, 2024, 11:24 pm

Poo Water.

Isn’t that a song by Kenny Loggins?

“Help me if you can
I’ve got to get
All the poo water
Flushed out of our tank…”

Yeah, that one.

Comment from Bob Mulroy
Time: February 15, 2024, 5:51 pm

Meanwhile, Los Angeles and some other Western cities are treating sewerage and returning it to the potable water supply.
What could go wrong?

Comment from Tim Carlson
Time: February 15, 2024, 6:17 pm

Poo water. Ugh.

We have a 4m x 4m x 4m tank under the slab of our master bedroom. Divided into two, one for the incoming slop, the other for the ‘poo water’ overflow. These tanks are only fed by our two toilets – all other drains (gray water) go directly to the rainwater drains.

The bottom of the tanks are just soil (not concrete like the top and sides), so hopefully most of the ‘poo water’ leeches into the ground and eventually the ground water *grin*

If the ‘poo water overflow’ tank fills, it empties into the rainwater drain pipes and into the neighboring empty lot – which is an abandoned rice field. It should be _years_ before the overflow tank begins to fill.

Eventually, we’ll have to call the honey truck to empty us out. Hopefully I’m dead by then. More than likely the master bedroom will collapse into the tanks, taking me with it. A fitting end.

Comment from Tim Carlson
Time: February 15, 2024, 6:28 pm

Ugh. It takes a special person to maintain septic systems. I can’t imagine thinking “I’m going to work with other people’s poo for my career”.

Just like being a proctologist or gynecologist. Double-Ugh.

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