Monday, June 01, 2015

A Really Crappy Headache

Last week, our tenant complained that the toilets were not flushing properly. We went to the trailer and pulled up the clean out cover. The tank was full. It has been eight or ten years since we last had it pumped, so this was not unexpected.

We called in an outfit to pump the tank. That is when we found that the tank has a crack. Apparently, during the drought, the ground around the tank dried out and shrank. The internal pressure of the stuff in the tank caused the concrete, which is at least twenty and probally closer th thirty years old, to crack in one of the segments near the top. As soon as the tank was empty, ground water from the recent rains started flowing in through the crack.

The toilets still did not work.

We called in Roto-Router. They replaced an in-line clean out and tried to run a snake toward the tank. They failed. They dug up the line and found that the PVC pipe had collapsed and had detached from the tank. They informed us that the scope of the job is beyond their license.

Now, we are dealing with septic tank companies.

When the septic system was installed, the standard practice was a single tank system with a leach field to distribute the effluent. The laws have changed. Now, the requirement is a two tank system with either a leach field or a pressure sprayer system. Ka-Ching! The County Environmental Officer dropped by and gave us a list of three "recommended" septic tank companies. We called all three.

The first company we called came out and took notes and pictures. Their technician will take the information back to the office and give it to their engineer. The charge for coming out: 89.00

The second company we called came out, took some notes and pictures, and did a quick soil test. The verdict: the soil does not drain well and, for that reason, the standard two-tank solution will not work. They are saying that the "aerobic" (or pressure spray system) is the only choice.

The third firm...The technician "didn't have anything to write on" and asked us to text the address and a brief description of the problem to his cell phone. Note the presumption that we have cell phones. They will stop by tomorrow and give us their opinion.

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