04 December, 2005

Fun With the Septic Tank

At least I think that's what it is--being that there is no municipal sewage system in this town...

After a morning of several huge loads of laundry, I walked into the half-bath and noticed the water level in the toilet seemed a little high and cloudy. Figured I should check the full-bath for comparison's sake, only to discover ten inches of flithy, brownish water in my bathtub. Yuck!!

Being the independent female that I am, I soon returned from Walmart with "Emergency Septic Tank Cleaner." The instructions said to put it directly in the tank if I couldn't flush the toilet. The water had all receded, so I crossed my fingers and flushed the toilet just to check. It flushed! Being thus reassured, I emptied the bottle into the toilet bowl and immediately flushed again...


After creating an emergency dam at the bathroom door and cleaning up the half-inch of water on the floor, I called the property management company's "Emergency Line." Emergency? Yeah...right! Still haven't heard from them. Meanwhile, no showers, no toilets, and no more laundry...

I tried to find the septic tank cover in the dark last night to try a second application of the cleaner, but I'm not sure what I'm looking for... a plate in the ground? a capped pipe? I can't remember seeing anything like that even in daylight hours, but I'll look again after dawn.

So, anybody out there got some advice for a helpless (hapless?) female who is getting increasingly cranky about all of this?

Update: Finally got ahold of the property management company at 10:00 this morning. Plumber just arrived (Yay!!!) and is checking to see what's going on.

Update 2: The latest quote from the plumber: "Not good. Not good at all." His snake has been caught somewhere in the main drainage line for an hour now. Ugh!

Update 3: Five hours after he started, the plumber is gone. Turns out it was tree roots in the septic line. He said they're very fast-growing and root-killer may or may not be effective. If not, we start taking down trees and digging up the concrete floor to repair the pipe. Should be fun! *mirthless laugh* I am soooo glad I'm not the person paying the bill for this!