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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Good Neighbors

One of the "features" of our new house is a septic system. Every couple of years you need to pump out the tank to give the leach field a rest and get the solids out of the tank. Today was my day. Its the first time we have had to do this so it was a bit of a learning experience.

First step, figure out if you have a single tank or a divided tank. How do you figure that out? You are either smart enough to ask the previous owner (I wasn't) or you dig up both ends of the tank. Did I mention I have a tractor? At least digging up both ends was easy. For future reference, I only have a single tank. Good lesson.

Next step, find somebody who pumps out septic tanks. My neighbor, Bob, has lived in the neighborhood since he built his house there in the late 60's. Ask the neighbor. We talked a bit a figured out that he needed his tank pumped as well so we set up the truck to do us both at the same time. That worked well.

Step three, figure out how to get the truck into my backyard. You see, the hill into my back yard is to steep for most large truck to use. They can get in, but they can't get out. Thank heaven for good neighbors. Bob said the truck can use his driveway to get into my back yard. How, you may ask? Simple, there is a nice double wide gate between our yards. He lets us use it all the time to take the horses out into the greenbelt. (This will become a problem shortly, as you will see.) The truck arrives so I need to go open the gate. It has a chain around it as the horses figured out how to open the gate and get into Bob's yard for afternoon snacks.

As soon as the three horses heard the chain rattle they came a running, well, at least a trotting. They saw the gate open and the large rumbley scary thing behind the gate was not a problem. They split up, one from the north, one down the center and one from the south. I was running back and forth trying to shoo them off just long enough for the truck to get through. It took a couple of minutes but I did it!

20 minutes later it was time for the truck to leave. This time I decide to do it the easy way. A flake of hay spread out just enough that the three of them could each nibble on a pile and we had no problems opening the gate to get the truck out.

The only thing that really surprised me was the Beamer did not have his head in the middle of things. He usually does. When I am using the tractor I usually have his head in my face. Doesn't scare him at all. But he didn't like the truck. Maybe it was the smell he didn't like.

Oh, and there is a step four. I need to fill a 5 gallon bucket up half way with horse manure (preferably hot and steamy) and dump into the tank to get the right bugs back to work. At least I have a reliable source for horse manure. Unfortunately, it also seems to be an endless supply.

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