Septic Shock... A Real-Life Adventure in Sovereignty

in #storylast year (edited)

“ You might be a redneck if your anniversary present was getting the septic tank pumped”
- Jeff Foxworthy...

Ever been up to your armpits in sh*t?

Believe me, it's not much fun. But I probably don't have to convince you of that.

It's been a while since I've done much writing, for reasons that should become crystal clear as I catch my breath and tell a story or two about things I've been up to lately.

Let's start with this picture-book tale of how I dealt with a life-disrupting problem while trying to avoid meddling from the state.

The john

It's stopped working... Now what? (source)

Septic Shock...(Part I)

An Adventure in Sovereignty
by Duncan Cary Palmer

When I flush the john, I hear an ominous gurgling sound...

My plunger has no effect, and I feel a knife twist in my gut. The spectre of tens of thousands of dollars being literally flushed down the tubes appears in my mind.

I hire a pumper truck to the tune of nearly half a grand $$$, and buy myself some time... But the clock is ticking! Momma ain't happy, and you know what that means.


Septic Tank 101 (source)

Once both chambers are pumped,

the operator tells me that the septic tank output Tee—you know, that thing that's supposed to protect the leach field?—is lying on the bottom of the tank.


What now?

The original outlet pipe is made of ceramic, and was probably broken by a careless tank pumper. Subsequently, someone, somewhen, did a half-assed job of "repairing" and installing a replacement Tee, and it fell out and sunk.


One crappy septic Tee amid other discarded parts (author image)

The obvious outcome?

Septic solids (paper and other crap) have undoubtedly sailed gently down the stream into the outlet pipe. Over time, they have plugged up the holes in the leach field pipes and the surrounding gravel and earth.

Worrisome thoughts...

As a recovering statist/engineer hybrid, I have some serious concerns:

I know I'm in deep doo doo, but I don't want to hire a contractor of unknown ethics who might misdiagnose the problem and sell me far more than I need. Besides, I want to know—when all is said and done—exactly what I have underground in my front yard.

A second, possibly greater concern, is that a "licensed contractor" (i.e. a state agent) will bring county government officials into the picture, along with an endless round of "inspections" and "fees." I have absolutely no interest in that at all.

Feverish internet research turns up some hopeful ideas.

Locating a pick and shovel,

I dig up the outlet end of the septic tank, where I discover (and inadvertently, but unavoidably destroy!) an old-school bituminized fiber pipe segment.

Oy, vey!

Never mind; thank God, it's just a short segment. Five feet further along, I find a 45 degree turn connecting to some good, solid PVC sewer pipe. I snake out that pipe as far as I can, but hit an impassable obstacle.

Having learned that others have remedied some similar problems using an oxygenating chemical flush, I order a supply and spend a week flushing it down a temporarily installed vertical tube.


Flushing the line (author image)

Chemicals and water seem to go down the tube fairly fast, and (for the moment) my hopes are running high...

Stay tuned!

The next installment of this real-life drama will be along soon—almost before you have time to take a potty break...

Septic Shock... Part II


For much more of @creatr, click on the library image below:


Ah yes, the joy of septic systems.

We're in need of a pumping here, as well. I have become well-versed in the shitty business of hosing the filters on the outlet side and backwashing the main pipe from the house on a quarterly basis to get caky buildup out of there.

In fact, it all went into my very first "shitpost" on Hive...

Good luck with your system. I hope you can fix most if it yourself, because the "pros" seem to charge $250 just to start the truck for a service call.

Hello my friend,

Thank you for stopping by and "sharing my pain!" 🙏

"In fact, it all went into my very first "shitpost" on Hive...

Hahaha, I'll have to look that one up!🤣

"Good luck with your system. I hope you can fix most if it yourself..."

Thank you very much. I have actually succeeded, thank the Good LORD, as you shall see in the next installment or two of my story...

So happy to hear from you today!❤️😁

Oh no! Poor you. I remember helping my brother dig up his septic a long time ago. The digging alone was rough. I hope you can get it fixed. We've been doing construction on our old house to sell and finding people to work on it is so hard. Everyone charges insane amounts and some just don't do a good job at all for what they charge. It's made me try to learn to do a lot of things myself if I can.

MY FRIEND @marxrab!!!

What a lovely surprise to hear from you today! I've missed you!

I've come looking for you from time to time, and am now so happy to hear from you.
I see you have other good news (peeked at your blog) and will get in touch with you there... :D


Awwww!!! It makes me happy to see you checked in on me. I have missed the place and am glad old friends like you are still around!


(Sneak preview; the repair job is done and working well... SHHHHHSH! Don't tell anyone! I just have to finish telling the story, but I've been working on another intense project).

Later, my friend!