Friday, January 20, 2012

Poop 101

We have had the contents of our septic tank sucked out 4 times since we moved here in 1981. Without fail, the men who show up with their tank trunk to cart off the contents have been very pleasant and cheerful. Perhaps part of it has to do with the amount they charge for this service, but even so, they seem genuinely to enjoy their job – or at least not to mind it.

It invariably seems that the tank needs to be pumped out in the winter, and poor Richard has usually spent several hours in the freezing cold trying to figure out if the reason the toilet is not flushing correctly is that the tank full or if it because the line leading out of the tank is frozen. He has some handy dandy gadgets to achieve this, including a snake thingy that attaches to his drill and a device that fits on the hose to shoot water at high-pressure down the pipe, but today, he couldn’t get it flowing again.

As I got in my car at 8 am to drive to town, he said, “I’ve used up all my tricks. This is beyond me,” and by the time I returned home 1 hour later, the poopologist with the truck and a tank on the back had arrived and was backing up the driveway.

He was a delightful man. He gave us a very humorous lecture – Poop 101 he called it – on how the process works and how to keep the bacteria happy that are vital to the tank functioning properly. I listened for a bit with a grin on my face and then went inside to commence work. I have a feeling he kept up a steady stream of humorous conversation the entire time he was here. Richard came in with a smile on his face just having paid him almost $200.

It is possible that this guy who spends his living hauling… uhhh… stuff may have had other dreams for his life when he was younger. His dad owned the business – in fact, the first time we needed the services of the “septic system sucker" he came with his dad, but I know he doesn’t take his work home with him in a brief case, I doubt that he has a stress-induced ulcer, and I imagine he sleeps pretty good at night.


Far Side of Fifty said...

We have ours sucked out every two years..whether it needs it or not. There is always a certain amount of sludge in the bottom..that effects the bacteria in the tank after a while. Nothing worse than having problems in the winter:(

Have Myelin? said...

Makes you wonder about people who choose to do colonoscopies for a living. LOL!

Funny post....!

Paula said...

Kinda glad I live in town now. Its a good thing someone will do it.

Leilani Lee said...

Re Have Myelin: I used to edit manuscripts for a proctologist. Some very serious things can go wrong with that end of the tube, but you are right, it does make one wonder!! Yes indeed.

Oklahoma Granny said...

When we built our home in the country we were advised to have an Aerobics system installed. We were told that it should be "sucked out" every 3 years. Last November (just before Thanksgiving) was when it was due. It caused me to wonder what would bring someone to that occupation too.