Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Oil Drum Septic - Six Month Update.

(warning: Picture of excrement ahead)

Six months full-time, anyway, since we moved into the Lair in mid-November. The septic system's been on-line for nearly a year.

I confess I decided on the old standard 55-gallon drum thing with a lot of trepidation, and only after reading many testimonials that it actually works. Even while shoveling in the last of the trenches, I had a very bad feeling about this. That first barrel's gonna fill up solid with crap and there I'll be, crapping on the hillside and trying to find a place to rent a pump and a place to pump it to.

Lately it's been bothering me, even though the toilet still works just fine. What's really going on down there? So I went to my lumber pile, found an eight-foot length of PVC, pried the cover off the cleanout pipe...

...and convinced myself that it really was a good idea after all. The PVC clunked on the bottom of the first drum as though it were empty. Pulled it up, and there was like a 2-inch smear of nearly decomposed crap. The drum isn't even trying to pack up.

Okay. I'm convinced now.


MamaLiberty said...

My family had one years ago, but it was far, far more primitive than that one.

Just be very careful what you flush down. Keep a trash can by the toilet and discard as much paper as possible THERE, only flushing the really bad stuff. And buy tissue made for septic tanks because some of the other stuff will decompose about the end of the next ice age... and it will eventually plug things up.

We learned the hard way. :)

Jim said...

As they say, "shit unhappens." :)

Before the petty green tyrants took over, the 55-gallon drum system was very common in the Midwest. I don't recall that they created problems worth mentioning.

Craig Cavanaugh said...

Well I WAS gonna eat dinner : )

Joel said...

Yeah. Sorry about that...