Backyard Archaeology

There we were, no-shit! Hunkered down behind the concrete bunker….
After my plumber-friend came by to help with his expertise and professional acumen (“feel”) for setting the throne, I mentioned that when one flusher is dumped, there is a “blurp-echo” in the other. Which he observed before we set to work, and said perhaps it was something to do with the construction of the toilet we were removing – and to test after the install.
So we did. *Blurp.*
And so he asked about the previous inhabitants, and upon hearing the words, “wife and two little girls” he abruptly said, “That’s it! You have no idea how quickly wet-wipes and XYZ add up in a system! Why didn’t you have a septic inspection prior to the sale?”
Problem was that this place sold in just one day with multiple offers, and to complete the sale we (and all the other buyer-competitors) released all contingencies… We “won” because of a variety of reasons, not just on price.
“You probably need to get it pumped.”
So I set-to, digging to find the caps.
I had one re-bar loop to navigate-by, but remember seeing another. Found that corner and then began to dig for the others. Fortunately with all this rain the ground wasn’t as hard as a rock, as is normally. So I made some progress and excavated down to one long-side of the tank. My aching back. Thank-God for the rubber Muck boots. Anyhow, found those two and discovered the orientation and called it a night.
In the morning around 9:30AM I called Sweets and talked about getting onto their schedule, which as it happened they have an opening today.
Awesome! “Do you have a strong young kid to dig?” Sure at $115/hour! Oops I better keep moving dirt myself. I hit the blender with a blueberry smoothie, and an egg for protein and got my gloves. At that price I could afford a bit of exercise.
After working digging till Noon I finally got the entire tank-excavation uncovered and hosed down, and using my Archaeology skillz and Marshall town trowel everything looks nice.
Marshalltown trowels because they are forged and the strongest ones for plying the dirt and rocks at an excavation site.
UPDATE: Yeh it was full – had not been pumped in several ownership turnovers.

About NotClauswitz

The semi-sprawling adventures of a culturally hegemonic former flat-lander and anti-idiotarian individualist, fleeing the toxic cultural smug emitted by self-satisfied lotus-eating low-land Tesla-driving floppy-hat wearing lizadroid-Leftbat Califorganic eco-tofuistas ~

6 thoughts on “Backyard Archaeology

  1. I think our respective “projects” are near-identical in their horrors.

    You’re dealing with a backed up septic tank, and I’m dealing with termites in a house just barely eight years old. Replaced the back door, threshold, surrounding wood, and one window-sill, so far. And yes, have spent the buck$ with the pest control guys, too. But I’m still chasing damage-as-discovered.

    Not quite the shitty deal you’ve got, but close.

    By the way, did you hear that Texas A&M has a Brigade of Septic Tanks, just in case of an attack by UT?

    Sunk New Dawn
    Galveston, TX


    • Hi Jim! Termites are Aarrgh! You have to do Pest Control AND replace wood.
      My solution was to pump the tank that had not been pumped in ages. Cost $375. I think the leach-field is still good. The new risers,, covers, and bits of concrete were $245. Doing it myself was a learning experience and a big cost-savings at $115 an hour to dig! If I pay myself I get a new gun! Still gotta back-fill it…


  2. Nice job on the digging and those trowels are the only ones I know that can stand upto the rigours of lime mortar. I had the same issue with drains on my gatelodge a couple of weeks back something I suspect involved wet wipes,nappies and a daft sister in law.


    • My shoulders and back are killing me! Next-up the risers.
      This thing had not been pumped in nearly 12-ywears, and wet-wipes and nappies just don’t disintegrate so problems can happen there. Like explosive eruptions…


  3. You might want to consider putting a border or fence around the tank, to permanently mark its’ location.

    TL;DR: Drive something heavy over it, it might get damaged.

    One of my early jobs was driving a trash truck. Mostly handling dumpsters. Got a pickup site added one day, that had not been serviced for three months. This was a nightclub, but there was a lot of concrete and other construction material in the bin. I decided that the angle was too much for the weight, so I drove around the field to get at it from the other side of the pad it sat on. First stop of the day, so the truck was empty. I dropped the entire rear axle into a septic tank. Had to call for a 10 wheel dumptruck to pull me out. Boss was not happy.
    Eventually, I figured out my assistant was trying to get rid of me, as this was the second time he had given me bad info about where the truck could go. He had worked the job for a couple years, but didn’t have a drivers license. The first time, it was giving the ok to run through a small field to turn around, instead of backing down a driveway that wandered around three sides of the business to return to the street. I saw tire tracks, so I figured it wold be ok. Turned out to be deep sand, with just enough grass and weeds to hide it. First empty 10 wheeler got stuck. Loaded 10 wheeler got stuck. They finally had to send a large frontend loader to pull us all out. Another first stop of the day, sigh…

    The final straw, for my boss, involved a dumptruck, a broken driveshaft, a tracked loader, and a motorcycle gang Pres (or VP), that was under indictment for murder.


    • Trash trucks are huge! Phil at the blog Random Nuclear Strikes used to be a dispatcher.
      Fortunately or not, it’s too close to the house to get a truck up there or anything heavy.
      I’m going to get some risers and back-fill it to the tops so the lids are visible just at-grade. More shovel work. Ibuprofen.


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