Just last week while I was driving home from work, I happened to pass one of those big septic tank trucks. You know the ones with the humongous tanks on the back and the giant hose wrapped around it 50 or 60 times. They always have the funny sayings like, "You dump it, We pump it"or something like that. Are you with me so far?
Well anyhoo, that got me to thinking about, the art of cleaning out said septic systems. My first and foremost thought was "I wonder what they do with all that shi....take', once the tank gets full, and they have to empty it. Do they take it to a city's sewage treatment plant and somehow dump it in there? Do they go out and secretly shoot it all over some poor farmer's fields. I can tell you right now that, I think thats probably what really happens to it. Have you ever been driving out on Interstate 70 or on Route 40 sometimes and smell some of those smells coming from the fields ? Holy Crap-does that ever stink.
Or I really hope that they don't go dumping it in the river or any streams.
Kinda makes me wonder about the river though, when you are entering TH on 70.
It also brought back a childhood memory that I had totally forgotten about. My Dad use to work for the city, and at one time, was in charge of the sewage treatment facilities- you know the place where all the peoples waste goes who have city sewage, instead of septic tanks.
Well every other weekend, he would have to go to the these sewage plants, and check them to make sure things were "flowing" as they should be. Sometimes as a "special treat" he would take my sister and me with him. Of course being kids we thought this was awesome! They were like huge tanks, buried in the ground, open on top, so you could see down into them. They were full of what looked like creamy hot CHOCOLATE-only you knew thats not what it was ,by the odiferous scent! The really cool thing was, they had a 3 foot wide walkway, to walk across the churning abyss. They had metal rails on the walkway, so of course my Dad, the cool guy that he was, would let us walk across them. He was right there though, to make sure we didn't fall in.
I can still remember the butterflies I would have when we walked across, thinking that we were goners if we slipped and fell. Great family fun times together!!
OK, I got off track there-fast forward to earlier this week-there's a note on our front door from a guy from Rex Vault Co. They put our septic system in when we built our house. He comes twice a year to add chlorine to our septic system and checks it to make sure it is working properly.He always leaves a note that says what he did and tells us if all systems are go. My favorite part is at the end he tells us what he sees. How cool huh.
For the past 6 years it has said "a few solids", "some solids", "lots of solids", but this time it said
TANK IS FULL -NEEDS PUMPED!
This set my mind into motion, of the above mentioned trucks and questions like, How long should we wait to have this done?, if not soon, are we going to come home to a "full house"?
"Which company should I call?" -the ones with the coolest slogans on their trucks?
So I got in the phone book, and found someone to come pump the poo!
They were suppose to come today, but of course never showed up. This really offended me,
"Did they not want my poo?" "Is my poop not good enough for them?" " Oh well", I thought, "maybe they will come tomorrow."
I had went into church about 5:50 pm this evening, when I got a phone call from Maren.
"Dad--you need to come home, the guys are here to suck out the crap!" she exclaimed while snickering. "OK, I'll be right there!, I said, suddenly feeling so much better knowing that they did want MY poo. I drove home in a hurry to find the GIANT Septic tank truck sitting in my front yard. I hurriedly showed them where our beloved tank was, and they started unwinding the mile long hose-well it wasn't quite that long-or they wouldn't had to park in my yard, and leave giant ruts in my yard.
It was dark by now, and it looked like, from what I could tell they were fastening something around the hose to hook it to the ground. I thought to myself "Is there going to be so much suction power running through that hose that it is going to flop around?" Awesome.
Now was my chance to ask my questions, that had been burning in my mind.. "I started with, "How much does that tank hold?" "Two thousand gallons",was his reply. I quickly followed it with,"So what do you do when it is full?" "We dump it." "Well, I KNEW that", I thought to myself. "Where?" At this time the guy in charge, came up and started giving directions to the guy I was talking to and the conversation was dropped. DARN!
Anyway, they finally succeeded in getting the covers off our tank and got the hose stuck into the hole. It was at this point, that I can tell you it got really UGLY! It required the garden hose with running water and a shovel at this point to be able get our tank sparkling clean. You have to know that I can honestly say, we will never tell you or act like our s#*t doesn't stink because IT DOES PEOPLE!!
I felt kind of bad at this point, and actually thought about apologizing to him for the smell. "I'm sorry sir, I know I shouldn't have eaten all that Mexican food for the last 6 years, but it just tasted sooooo good to me!" Then I got a grip and realized he's probably used to it.
At one point, during this period of cleansing, the boss guy was bent over the hose which was laying in the grass about 10 feet away from me ,and the poor guy (who had his head in our sewage tank sucking out the gunk.) I graciously held the flash light for him so he could see what he was doing. It was the least I could do.
He asked his boss, "Is that part springing a leak where the hose is coupled together. " All of a sudden, I had a flashback to the scene from the movie RV, where they went to empty the septic tank on the RV. Remember that one? I thought about running for my life at that time, but needless to say, the hose held up and the job was completed.
Josh and Maren even came out to watch the festivities a few times. But Josh has a sensitive nose, and didn't want to stay around for long.
Oh well, it just another fun evening at the Milbourn's, and by the way I never did get the chance to ask again where they dump their tanks.
The question which started this little adventure still remains a MYSTERY!
One thing I did learn is that the toilet paper we use-really does live up to it's packaging claim-that it is safe for septic systems and is biodegradable With the boatload of toilet paper, this family of 5 buys, I was half expecting to be swallowed up by a giant toilet paper man, when they uncovered the tank. But there was not a square to be found! That sure takes a big burden off my mind.