A different kind of vacuum

So I had a new experience in country living last weekend. A big vacuum on wheels showed up on Saturday morning. Except rather than vacuuming up fluff and fur like our new Sebo, this particular vacuum sucked up the contents of our septic tank.

(Yes. I have actually written a post about our septic tank. Feel free to skip this post if your stomach just did a little turn. Rest assured that the photos don’t get more graphic than this).

Septic pumping truck

We never had the septic inspected or pumped when we bought the house, so when Matt’s Dad had his septic pumped by a new local company, we decided to hop on the septic pumping bandwagon. (What? You didn’t know that’s a thing?)

Pumping was as simple as taking the lid off the tank, sticking a big hose inside it and waiting until pretty much all of the contents were removed. (Seriously, people. You have no idea how carefully I’m wording this post).

Pumping a septic tank

Lessons learned during my first septic pump:

  1. It’s not stinky. Don’t ask me to explain why, but taking the lid off the tank and even pumping out the tank released no foul smelling odours into the air.
  2. We need to do a better job of mowing the jungle behind the house. Accessing the tank required Matt to do some serious bush-whacking, and apparently the weeds and little trees that have sprouted up on top of the septic bed could do some damage if their roots grow deep enough.
  3. We have an older model cylindrical concrete tank, about 4 feet in diameter (this is more a note for myself so I remember). It’s working fine and has been upgraded with a plastic outflow valve and a riser (where the lid is).
  4. It had been a little too long since our tank had been pumped. We should pump the tank every 2-3 years.
  5. Rocks and septic pumpers do not get along. There appeared to be some hunks of concrete in the bottom of the tank, likely from the old outflow valve. Our contractor didn’t see the rocks at first that and unfortunately a few got stuck in the hose.
  6. We apparently don’t use enough soap. Apparently the top layer in the tank is usually foamy with suds, but ours was not. On the upside, there was also no cooking grease. There was however a granola bar wrapper and a sock (not ours).

As a girl who grew up on city water, moving to the country has made me a lot more aware of where my water is coming from and where it’s going.

Rather than being grossed out, I actually found septic pumping pretty interesting.

While Matt made plenty of inappropriate comments, and I made numerous statements about the need for boundaries in a marriage, I also did say, “A sock? Let me see!”

Who knows what this Saturday has in store for me? What’s on your agenda? Have a good weekend everyone.

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4 thoughts on “A different kind of vacuum

  1. Around here, we know the local contractors and can call them in an emergency at a moments notice (it comes in handy).

    Im still haunted by one of them saying “Is that what I think it is?” when they pumped out our system right after we moved into our old house. Eww…

    I still don’t know. I never asked,

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