A Stinky Rotten Scare that was a Septic Tank
This morning I got up to go to the toilet thinking that I’d return in a minute to grab another bit of sleep. When I got in the bathroom I smelled this awful rotten, stinky, smell. I heard a noise outside and I thought the person next door was having his septic tank cleaned.
A septic tank, that was the smell. It was a distinctive smell one never forgets if they have a septic tank that is cleaned.
We had had our tank cleaned out at the beginning of the year and have been hoping it would not need cleaning for a while. The tab for cleaning the septic tank can be quite high. If you don’t have one you are lucky. Here where we live, practically against the side of some foothills of the Cleveland National Forest, the few homes (83) have septic tanks instead of being connected to the city sewers. In fact we are not within city boundaries – we are about three or four blocks from the city border.
I was hearing that noise which sounded like the pump when they pump the septic tank clean. I finished, walked back into the bedroom and happen to glance at the tub on my left. It had water in it, about two inches. I immediately knew we had trouble. The strong smell was coming from our house. Our septic tank had overflowed. Yikes – that could be another $1500 bill and we were already up to our necks with bills.
I called my wife, told her, and she went immediately to call a company to come out and clean the tank. Think about the big bill we were going to face I quickly told her I wanted to check to see if I could do something – wait to call for the septic tank pumping company..I am the opposite of my wife. I don’t like to throw away things that are good. We sometimes get into big arguments about it. Well this time I was going to use an old cable from a sewer rodding machine I happened to acquire. I don’t even remember where I got it from, but I thought it might be handy one day. Well today was a day to use it. I grabbed it and stuck the rod down the septic tank vent or overflow tube sticking out of the cement of our patio. It took me all of about two minutes and I had rodded out the long tube and I saw the water receding. It had been within four inches of the top of the vent pipe, and overflowing outside.
I felt relieved, and vindicated for saving “that dirty sewer rod” that I was told to get rid of years ago. It had just potentially saved us up to $1500. Later, after I had taken a little three mile walk I had to “test” it out by doing poo poo. I was hoping it wouldn’t clog up again. We have a lot of people in the house and cannot prevent excessive use of the toilet and water, all of which flows into the septic tank.
I lucked out. So far there is no overflow into the house and all is back to normal.
Note: There is a wide variance on prices to clean out a septic tank. Where we live the prices range from about $250 to $1500 and up.