Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Nasty Part of Living in the Country!

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Ewww, there are some things that are not all that pleasant about living in the country.  Running into skunks, dealing with extra bugs, shoveling manure and the least to dealing with the septic!

We have a large septic....1500 gallons.  Top of the line when it was installed with a leech field rather than a mound set-up....I don't like the mound style.  Just a personal preference.  The time does come however that the septic does need to be cleaned out and this past week ... well, it was time.  

This isn't a pleasant topic but one that goes hand in hand with living in the country and having to deal with such things as wells and septic systems.  Ours had not been pumped for the last three years so the call was made and our favorite septic guy (Charlie) came out and took very good care of us although the smell was something to be desired. 

When the tank was first opened it looked like a layer of concrete.  Once Charlie broke through that with a long steel rod and began to pump, the contents just amazed me.  

Now looking at poop wouldn't be interesting...or so you would think....but ignoring the fact that it is what you are looking at and seeing the actual contents...well....there was plastic caps, floating sheets of black grease (Charlie identified that ..for which I was thankful because I was really starting to wonder what was being flushed down the toilets!) and cigarette butts....yes, nothing can destroy cigarette butts... that rotten hubby of mine!  

Charlie pumped the tank for an hour!!!  

His pooper scooper had a 3500 gallon holding tank so we didn't have to worry about filling his truck.  Charlie was very knowledgeable...although I would not want to be his wife and have to wash his work clothes each night!

Love the mascot on the front side of his hood.....

and I thought this was just sooooo fitting (besides pumping out septics, they rent port-a-potties for get-togethers)!

Some tips we have learned from our septic maintenance man:

  • do NOT use Charmin bath tissue.  For some reason Charmin will not break down in septic systems and will just continue to float and layer the top half of your tank resulting in a mattress pad type situation when it is time to be cleaned out.  Very, very difficult to remove successfully.
  • using bleach in the laundry room is another no-no.  We were told that bleach actually kills the bacteria in the tank and you want the bacteria.  It is what breaks down the solids and liquefies the contents of the tank.
  • do not use products such as Rid-X.  They do not work and can actually harm the septic system. If you feel the need to have to add something to the tank, then it is probably time to get it pumped.

Just another day on the old homestead ..... smelly as it was. We are set again for another three years....and that my friends is the scoop on poop!   Remember to give your loved ones a hug!


  1. We have never had a septic tank but when I lived in the country, somehow, we got toads in the loo. I had a moment of panic whenever lifting the lid. Still gives me the creeps when I think about it.
    Cath @ Bits 'n Bobs

    1. LOL, do you now have a phobia with toads Cath? My Grandma had one of those too and I hated it! We didn't have any of the toads in the septic....they wouldn't have survived anyway! :0)

  2. Oh, Charmin is the worst! We added enzimes to ours once a month....when all 6 of us were here with 1 bathroom. I think we went 10 years before we thought to have it emptied & it could have gone longer they said. We added a small packet of this stuff at night (flushed it down) and it "ate" everyting in the tank...or helped it break down. I'll find out what it is and let you know. Saved us thousands!

  3. Ick! We have a septic that was pumped when we bought our house in 2003. Guess it's time! Ick again, LOL!

    1. LOL, yep...ick it is! Thanks for stopping by Pam!

  4. We always had septic growing up, but I don't remember the Charmin warning--I'll have to tell my mom. Thanks for the information!

    1. No problem Kristi. The septic guys say it is the worst!

  5. This is great because soon we will have to install one.I always look at the toilet paper to see if it says"septic safe".I m thinking though it would be better if we put a compost toilet in and just use the septic for pee.I know about not using dawn dish detergent because it's bad for the system too.What do you think?


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