Sunday, July 24, 2011


I believe I have blogged about our sewer problem before, right? Wait. Let me check.

[Warning: I have had two glasses of sangria.]

[Warning: They were pretty big glasses.]

Yes, I referred to it here.

About 40 years ago, the City planted a lovely maple tree on City property at the edge of our front lawn. Unfortunately, they planted it right on top of the drain from our house to the main sewer line. D'oh!

We've had some intermittent trouble with it "backing up" and filling our big laundry sink with effluent, but it seemed to always drain eventually, so we let things slide until Steve could be home to wait for a city rep to show up at the house. He's on vacation starting on Monday.

Well, things kind of hit a crisis this weekend. On Saturday, we couldn't do laundry or take showers. (Emily and I spent the morning at the laundromat. It was kind of fun, but not something we want to do every weekend.) On Sunday, I was afraid to flush the toilet. So I finally called the city's emergency line. Someone was there within the hour to diagnose the problem.

This was not our actual technician.
This picture is from Wikipedia, by Pmsyyz
Another couple of hours later, the next-level technician started roto-rootering out the line. He pulled out about ten pounds of ... solid matter. Let's call it roots. Then he called for back-up: the big truck with the high-pressure hose that cuts through all the roots that have grown through the pipe. That took about an hour.

They've told us that this will have to be done every two years (and paid for by the city) unless the city decides to move the sewer pipe.

When all the men in boots had left, the house smelled of sewer. Badly. But it is too stinking hot out [pardon the pun] to open all the windows yet. (Although Brian said he would rather be hot than smell this stench.)

So we spent a while in the back yard, where the pool is (finally) nice and clean & clear. But then we came back in. You'd be surprised how you get used to smells after a while. Nevertheless, as I write, Steve is sanitizing the basement.

Not that I would invite any guests over right now. And we will open the windows as soon as the sun sets this evening.

So, at the end of the day, we have fully functional plumbing, and that is a very good thing. And we didn't have to dig up the front lawn, which is also a very good thing. Biennial maintenance is a small nuisance.

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