Last year around this time our toilet started to evacuate at a more slower speed than normal. This did not impress me one bit. I let it develop hoping the toilet fairies would fix it one night but no luck there. The bowl started to fill almost to the rim and then it would slowly drain down. Oh no. I man up go round the back of property and find the evacuation pipes. I dig for an hour and find 2 pipes 1 big and 1 small soil and grey water. The soil pipe comes out and has a 90* elbow then runs down to the garden along the back of the house.
The house isn’t a longere but it has a house with cave then wood store and then potting shed or originally house,horses,cows and pigs. Where the pipe exits the building the joints were glued. I dug a trench of 2 meters following the pipes. No the toilet is still filling, even with the minimal use so this suggests to me the pipe is full. I’ve walked the line of the pipe and tried to guess where the fosse septique may be, there is one lonely large tree stood in the garden looking quite smug, hmm according to the records of the house the fosse septique was installed in the early 70s . I’m trying to think logically is this tree 40 years old I’ve put my arms around it I’ve tried to gauge the height of it. I have no idea how old it is, all I know is it’s big and tall.
Back to job in hand hopefully with me messing around in the garden hugging the tree and pondering, the water level in the pipe has gone down. I get a drill and make a hole in the top of pipe about 2 meters away from were it exits the house. To my satisfaction there was no dirty water leaking out. I get an old saw and make a cut, so I can remove the 90* elbow to give room to rod the pipe. I have no rods. I make a list of all pieces I need so hopefully it will be 1 trip out for supplies. Rods, length of pipe, joiners 90* and some kind of a rodding point for future reference. To Espace Emeraude my favourite shop. I return with all pieces, even jointing compound. Back to job in hand I put 4 rods together slide them down add another rod until all rods are become 1. Ahh school boy error on my behalf each rod is 1 meter so 12 = 12 meters. I paced out over 12 meters to the end of last building. Back to the shop for more, add the other 12 rods and still nothing. It is now defiantly beer o’clock. How can something so simple be such a test. Back to my favourite shop, I explained my problem eventually and said I can’t keep buying rods at 40€ a pop, the guy said that it might just be a tube that for over a 100 meters and goes into nothing. This is not the kind of news I want to hear. He asked me what rods I bought then took me to the solid black water pipe and stuffed a rod in the pipe and said secure it with some screws. So I bought a 50 mtr length of water pipe and to look at and hold it seems very similar in its make up to the rods I bought, so quite confident this time I pay and leave. I stuff the rod up the pipe, secure it with self tapper screws and away we go.
About another 20 mtrs of length have been stuffed down the evacuation pipe and we have struck something solid. Woo who.!, I pull it all out put the mangled crows foot attachment on and back in. I’m trying my hardest to get some rodding action going, I can’t get a rhythm. I pull all the rods out and lay them down following the back of house, they finish about 2 meters before the previously mentioned smug tree. Well here is a good enough place to start digging. I’m fortunate enough to have my own mini digger so I use it as I am knackered. I dig a trench across where the pipe should be, going very carefully I see light grey, jump in the trench with shovel and eureka, I have 2 pipes, 1 small 1 big. I re position the digger and start to dig down the pipe to find fosse septique, if I have one. I work down the pipe and in front of the tree the pipe disappears, my next couple of digs I hear metal scrapping concrete, I open the hole up for a better look and yes we have something that could be described as a tank. Back in with shovel, clean up the top, get all loose soil off. It all becomes crystal clear. The pipe runs down behind the house and how they terminated it at the fosse tank was interesting. Rather than the pipe running straight into the fosse THEY ( previous installation team) decided that it would be good to go 90* to opposite 90* making a kind of S shape instead of straight in. The mind boggles. I need access to this strange array of pipe so start clearing around it, the soil is like clay, really tough, sticky. I’ve already gained 6″ of height due to the clumps of clay on my wellies. This is hard work. I make the executive decision to change bucket on digger to a smaller one. I’m in there making small progress around the S pipe I can see almost under it, I’m slowly pulling away, well rolling up clay in the bucket.
The bucket is completely full of clay I swing round in digger and bang it on the ground to try to break some clay out no luck so I get shovel and try to remove, eventually a big clump falls out. Now a little heads up about my digger, it is an attachment that goes on the back of my tractor, not the most precious piece of equipment in the world but she does dig. I swing round in the hole a bit fast and put the arm down and clip the top of the S configuration piece of pipe and destroy it. I move the digger to the side to see the damage. Big big mistake there is the biggest poocano eruption ever, there is a fountain of effluence covering me head to toe, I’m trying to climb off digger but I have to go through the fluid to get off. There is dirty water going in my mouth, it tastes sour,but the smell is ingrained in my nose. My wife comes running out saying what have you done, there was a huge gurgling noise that came from the back of the house. She looks at me dripping with effluence and starts laughing at me. The kids have heard it from next doors house and all come running over for a look. Not good! I get stripped in the garden, hosed down and disinfected with victor disinfectant. I can’t shower as it will all leak out the side of house. I get dried and dry clothes, I still have to put it all back together yet. My wife says at least you found the blockage,. Yeah great. I put everything back together, fill holes and finally have a hot shower. Got out of shower, changed into clean clothes and had a beer and cigarette. I roll my own and could not lick the paper to stick it, as my hands were to close to my mouth. I couldn’t eat my dinner as I knew where my hands had been. I had to wash my hands in bleach so there was a reassuring smell of cleanliness. The next day when I had the final clear up and wash down of tools I worked out that a 2 litre bottle of water fits perfectly in the pipe and about 3 to a meter I reckon that there was about a good 100 litres of effluence that showered down on me. The only worse thing I could imagine would be falling in a septic tank. You can never get clean after something like this.
This is my first blog ever. My wife thought the story was funny. A year after I can now laugh with her about it. I apologise about grammar in advance.
Blog by @electriceye