ONETIME- Septic pumping: Don't watch if you don't want to know

Andy Wilfong of Rooter Man

One time, I was at this guy's house, cleaning out his septic tank. And he said, "What's all that?" about some stuff that was in there.

"Those are condoms," I said.

"Well, I don't use them," he shot back.

And I started thinkin', "Uh, oh– it's either his daughter or his wife– one of the two." So I asked him, "How old are your kids?"

"Well," he said, "I've got a daughter who just turned sixteen."

And I told him, "You might want to have a talk with her about the birds and the bees, there, brother..."

Sometimes you have to break parents' hearts when they watch you pump a septic tank. They discover a lot more than they want to know.

You'd be surprised what you can tell about people from their septic tank. For one thing, you can see if people are bulimic. That's the worst thing: to open a tank and see there's nothing in it but what looks like peanut butter. A bulimic's vomit will absolutely ruin a septic tank's drain field, because it's nothing but some pipes with some slices in them, and if they get gummed up with an oily substance, the only remedy you have is a hydrojetter and chemicals, and it's not guaranteed. We've seen some ruined.

And bulimic customers will say, "What is this?" I couldn't break it to them that I knew exactly what it was. It's the nastiest smelling stuff because of the stomach acid and the grease.

The homeowners were kind of frail– you could tell. I just said, "Make sure to get some Septic Scrub or some kind of bioenzyme– something to keep this going."

Condoms can be removed from a drain more easily, most of the time. They're solid and are still one object, so you can stick a hydrojetter in there, and it puts it all into the distribution box and you pump that out.

But it will gum up a septic tank and your outdoor lines, and condoms will never disintegrate– not within your lifetime, anyway. They will sit there sometimes and swell up like balloons. When you find them, it's like, "Oh, it's a party up in here!"

At one department store, they have several fast-food restaurants that share their septic pit station. And every time we would pull our pumps, you'd find stuff stuck in there like cell phones, radios, stolen merchandise that thieves thought they couldn't get away with. Shoes.

My God, how do you get a shoe down a toilet? But we've seen it.