My neighbor’s wife and I welcomed two, hearty, drain cleaning lads this morning and led them to our previously discussed manhole in the back yard. They lifted it up and immediately said we’d need to get the muck cleaned out (several feet of it, evidently) before they could get in there and work. They recommended a septic company and, about a half hour later, a big truck pulled up in front of our house with a storage container and many, many feet of thick hose.
In the meantime, I called the Town of Arlington, to let them know we had some sewer problems. They sent a truck out, to check the municipal lines. They opened another manhole, this time in the street, and snaked a tube through. Clear sailing, evidently, so the problem is in our economic jurisdiction.
I left a message with the hubby, then took another piss at Starbucks. By the time I got back the septic truck was doing its odoriferous thing. The neighbor’s wife and I chatted at a discrete distance. Then we started cracking jokes, starting with “no shit!” while the septic guy vacuumed away. Then we talked about our respective husbands standing over a smelly hole and discussing its contents and pipeline architecture. Holy shit. Yes, that about says it.
After the effluent was safely removed and the cleaning man paid, the drain crew came back and immediately declared another problem. There is a vent pipe above the sewer line. It’s a small manhole and there’s no room for a person to wiggle down there. So, they said, they’d need to call the plumber back to saw off the offending portion of pipe.
Okay. Another bucket-load of money…uhhhh, down the drain. But, what choice? The neighbor’s wife (Mary) and I decided to get some lunch so off we went. I was about halfway through my Cobb salad when my phone rang again. “Uh, hi,” the guy said. “This is the plumbing company again. I’m afraid we have another problem.”
This is where it starts turning into the keystone cops. After the vent pipe was out of the way, the drain guys started working, only to find that the sewer pipe was rotted out. So, the hole filled back up with water. Could we call the septic guy to come back and clean it out again? I was turning various shades of purple as I was hearing this and poor Mary was obviously wondering what the hell was going on now. I explained and she finished up her lunch to return to the scene of our worsening disaster, cell phone in hand and trying like mad to remember the phone number of that septic guy.
By the time I got back, we found out the septic guy was out of the area. Now there were three drain guys standing around our manhole scratching their heads and trying to figure out what to do next. Finally, one of them mumbled something about pumping it themselves, only they didn’t have enough hose line. In this case, the contents were liquid, so they didn’t need a huge hose, just a little one.
On that note, both Mary and I pointed to our various lengths of garden hose and said, “what about these?” Sounded good to them, so they ran the connected hoses out to the sewer manhole on the street an attached the other end to a sump pump.
So, right now we’ve got a little congregation of drain guys and plumbers sucking the water out of the hole with two lengths of garden hose that neither of us ever plans to use again. I’m waiting for the next problem – either the hose blowing up and gushing sewage up to the second floor or the town sewer suddenly backing up. I can just see the Town DPW guys standing there and swearing to God that nothing was wrong with it this morning.
Oh…wait! I hear motorized equipment. I think they’re back at work. Hooray!