Backed Up Sewage-Yuck

jannieMarch 28, 2008

We have a home with a cesspool, similar to a septic tank. We bought the house in 1981, yeah,we've been here a number of years. The cesspool was new in 1979, we had the paperwork. Supposedly they last 25-30 years so Time Is Up. It's been cleaned, chemicals put in, and airated (sp). It backs up every few years, we get it pumped out and chemicals added. It backed up twice this week-Tuesady, we got it pumped Wednesday. But it happened again today, Froiday. Called the cesspool company and they are sending someone tomorrow. Don't need advice. I just need to vent. This is a very unpleasant expereience. I'd call it a Disaster. It is to me. Smelly water in the basement. Can't do laundry or dishes or even take showeres till this gets resolved. New cesspolls are aropund $3 grand. My hair is so dirty greasy,I need a shampoo.

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It's Saturday and I have no phone service. On my land line that is. They can't come to fix it till Tuesday. But the cesspool should be fixed today brefore 2 pm. I still need a shampoo, Maybe I'll go to the nearest beauty parlor and see if they can squeeze me in.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2008 at 11:23AM
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I grew up in a house where we had the septic system in the backyard. (no public sewers). With 7 people in the house, there were many 'incidents' where it backed up. All of us adult siblings have vivid memories of my father screaming at us to get out of the shower or we would 'back up the septic'. We dreaded having friends home from college who would take normal showers and not the 3 minutes get clean and get out ones that we did. My father would get more nervous by the second as he heard the shower running. We would have to go upstairs and tell our friends to hurry it up and get out of the shower.
My dad kept a case of something called C-N at the house. When he thought the septic was starting to smell, he would send one of us out with a bottle of C-N to pour on the septic tank area. This was usually done at night, and only the kids got to do this task. My father would supervise from the back door. He would turn off all the lights in the backyard because he didn't want his arch-enemy (the back yard nosy FBI agent neighor), to see what we were doing. So, here you are, 10 years old, in your pajamas, pants rolled up so they wouldn't get wet, and old sneakers, making your way out to the wet spot in the yard where the septic tank lay. You had to pour the entire bottle in some special spot that only my father knew, and rush back into the house before the FBI agent (who really did spy a alot), realized why you were out there.
Then, when it really backed up, we got into the car to go to a friends house to take our showers.
Oh, the memories...

    Bookmark   March 30, 2008 at 10:30AM
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Well, our cesspool has been drained and the lines cleaned three times and it keeps backing up. It appears there's a crack in the pipe. Next week we'll have the pipe dug up and replaced, only $800 vs. $3K for a whole new cesspool. Oh, the phone got fixed in one day. Interesting story, Cearab. My father was crazy about us four kids putting nails in walls. He would scream "We can never sell this house if you kids hang pictures." Turned out he passed away in 1998 and Mom still lives in the house, nail holes and all. When I lived in dorm rooms and various apartments I learned that toothpaste will fill a nail hole. You don't even need to re-paint.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2008 at 9:24PM
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Jannie, the cesspool is 29 years old. Changing a pipe wont fix that and is a waste of money.

If a pipe was the problem cleaning would fix it. A crack in a pipe wouldn't cause sewage to back up into your basement.

The pit failed and it sounds like the people you have hired are trying to take you for every penny you have.

Also it is better and less expensive for you if you replace the pit before it leaks, and a neighbor complains about the smell. Then the EPA gets involved with hazardous waste removal rules.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2008 at 4:12PM
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Our septic backed up a couple weeks ago when we had a houseful of guests for Easter weekend. Eeeewww.

Here is a link that might be useful: Our backup

    Bookmark   April 11, 2008 at 11:01PM
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I am sorry to hear that, my wife and I just went through that same thing in our 1960 bungalow... I have to tell you that your damages don't have to hurt your finances... Have you tried speaking with your home insurance agent? I know that we found help through This article was also helpful: You may want to speak to your agent, they may be able to help you...

Also, you can try calling your county water and sewer emergency hotline, they came out one time and fixed ours for free... Even a local plumber will tell you that the local county services will help you...


Here is a link that might be useful: Home Insurance

    Bookmark   April 14, 2008 at 3:11PM
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Insurance doesn't pay for worn out stuff, only for unforeseen emergencies.

Are you looking to sell insurance here, kight?

    Bookmark   April 17, 2008 at 4:05PM
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I realize that you just wanted to vent. Sooner or later, you really need to put in a septic tank system and a separate gray-water line so the washing/bathing water does not mix with the waste. This will make the aerobics in the septic work better and the volume passing through the waste tank will be much less. If you can't to that in the foreseeable future, at least try to drain the washing/bath grey water to another area away from the septic-field. See bog gardens! Your problem is very unhealthy and in places illegal - unless you are on 10 acres or more. Good luck.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2008 at 10:40PM
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Oh no! That happened to us in our last house. We did a few 'fixes' to buy us some time but really, our septic system had to be replaced. $20k later... ouch!

I have to admit, the trouble with our septic system has caused us to bypass a gorgeous house during our house hunt as I never want to live with a septic system again. We ended up with a house with sweet sweet municipal water. I feel your pain, our septic system caused us no end of stress. :(

    Bookmark   June 9, 2008 at 1:42PM
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