...........a septic tank.
(Health Warning - do not read if squeamish! You may feel ill after reading!)
We've had septic tank sewers in more homes and for more years than we've been on mains sewer. Trouble is that when there's a blockage it's up to us to sort it out (apart from calling out Dyna-rod I suppose).
So there we were on Wednesday morning getting ready to head out to see daughter, granddaughter and then back via Ipswich for Col's regular blood test, when he finds the loo hasn't flushed properly. Lift manhole cover nearest house.............Oh Yuck. Something not right, chuck buckets of water in, no movement. Climb into overalls (him) don rubber gloves (both) and fetch draining rods from shed. Fit draining rods together, shove down pipe. I'm instructed to peer in other manhole near septic tank to see if anything is moving. Well, it is but so slowly and it's not pretty! He chucks more water in, I flush loos, no sign of water at other end, pull out draining rods, find the twisty bit that fits on end, fit it on end and shove down pipe again. I'm at the other end again, still a bit slow. "Can I see end of draining rods?" "Well I could if it wasn't for the s**t!". He chucks more water in manhole. He goes to look at other manhole and decides to chuck buckets of water in there too while I'm at other end shoving draining rods in and out. At last we have movement and whooosh off it goes. Manhole nearest house all nice(?) and clear. Replace manhole covers.
Remove overalls and rubber gloves, have a good wash and try to get visions of sludgy s**t out of head.
Now a discussion on why this has happened..........no, I am NOT using too much loo paper but there is probably not enough water going down drain because we are trying not to use so much water. When we wash the dishes we run the cold-before-it-gets-hot into a jug and use that for flushing loo and we have a short flush function on the new toilet. So trying to save water now we are on a meter means the drains might get blocked more often!
Oh Great Joy!!
The drainage is old, not enough fall from house to tank. Not a lot to be done unless a whole new drainage system is put in - a HUGE job that would be.
We've now bought a plunger bit that fits on the end of draining rods so they'll work better! I can see I'd better get used to this job just in case.
Thank you everyone for comments yesterday. I've not seen TV adaptations of any Mary Wesley books so I come to them unhindered by any knowledge of them. I watched Vera before reading any of the books so Brenda Blethyn is the only Vera I know, But I read some of the Shetland series before seeing them on TV and agree that Jimmy Perez in the book doesn't look a bit like Douglas Henshall in the TV series, he should be dark and Spanish looking!