We noticed that the water in our toilet bowl was higher than normal and was taking some time to drop to normal levels. Then Dad came in and asked if we had noticed the issue as he had the same problem. We checked the other two toilets and we knew we "had a problem".
Next morning, Lana did a marathon ring around to find a plumber that could visit us and clean out the septic pipe. Lana called about four and talked to answering machines. Then one answered his own phone and Lana exclaimed, "Wow! A real person!"
"Now, don't get excited yet." was the reply. All the plumbers had long lists and couldn't get to us before Christmas. We had eleven people who couldn't hold on quite that long!
Eventually one lady answered the phone and said, "Hang on, I'll just get him." and Lana grabbed Dad in excitement saying, "He is there! We have hope!"
The plumber arrived mid afternoon and went to work with his "electric eel" which went down the pipe and found the blockage. The plastic spade (pictured) was the culprit. It had been dropped in by "someone" into the access hatch (also pictured), and wedged in the pipe. Our relocator strikes again! $280 later and it was all over.
"Now you're back in business." said the plumber as he left.
"In more ways than one." replied Lana.
But this was only part one!
Unbeknown to us, the release of the blockage caused a wave of muck to rush into the first septic tank. This then surged into the cleansing tank and blocked the exit pipe which is designed to pump out excess water - not muck.
The first we knew of this problem was on Wednesday after lunch when the warning light and alarm on the septic started.
"Opa," Eric informed Dad, ominously, "The warning light is on."
We opened the tank and started a new call around. We needed a pump out of all the muck from both septic tanks on the day before Christmas. And all the muck disposal venues were closed for Christmas. Lana eventually got to a local fellow and mentioned we have eleven people here. He explained that he couldn't get it done until after Christmas. Lana then played the "sympathy card", talking about the number of bottoms using the system. He sighed and said, "Everybody should have a toilet - and a telephone."
Lana paused in hope and he continued with a sigh, "Give me your address. Give me half an hour to go down the shop and buy my wife a card and a couple of bottles of red and I'll be out there."
He arrived and cleaned out the tanks, with Dad helping and working together with him. Meanwhile, Dad pulled out the pump and cleaned out the muck from there. Eventually all was OK and we were once more back in business. He was supposed to charge us $560, but he only charged us $500.