Sewer tales, part 1


#1

If you are eating a meal, you might want to read this post at a later time.

Those of you who know me understand how anal I am about sewer lines:-) Well, here’s why:

Had both a plumbing company and a survey crew on site at the park I am buying in Ohio. The idea was for the plumbers to video the main trunk sewer line for any problems and locate the laterals for each space where they tie into the trunk line. A transponder on the camera would give the survey crew both the location of the trunk line/lateral tie-ins plus the depth of the lines. Then I would have everything located nice and neatly on the final survey map. This is not cheap but imagine how much money I will save if ever I need to excavate.

Well, you know that line about “…the best laid plans of mice and men”? Things didn’t exactly go according to plan.

The plumbing crew started at the TOP of the hill and ran into obstructions within the first 50’. There was so much p**p, TP, paper towels, general debris and even ROCKS that they were trying to use the camera as a battering ram to break through this mess. Didn’t work. Plus there was so much standing water in the lines that they couldn’t even locate a single lateral. It’s really hard to see through brown water.

Why are rocks such a big deal? Rocks get into a line via one of more of the following ways:

  1. Kids drop them into clean-outs for fun.

  2. Deadbeat scum, er, tenants drop them down pipes just to piss off the landlord.

  3. There is a break in the lines.

So I get a call at 6:00 AM PST asking what should these two crews, who are charging me by the hour, do. Damned if I know. On the phone to the agent who connects me with the seller who claims never to have had a problem in all the years he has owned the place. Yeah, right.

The outcome of all this is that on Wednesday a hydro-jet truck is coming and for the low, low price of $90/hour will blast out of my lines and put all the accumulated junk into the city sewers. Then the camera crew and the survey crew get back to work.

I told the agent to relay to the seller that we are not done negotiating.

The reason I put this up for everyone to see is that I don’t like to see buyers get burned by unscrupulous sellers. (I’m starting to wonder if there is any other kind.) You can deal with anything as long as you know about it and you can discover pretty much any problem if you know how.

Stay tuned. More on the adventures of sewer line exploration coming to a forum near you soon.

Rolf