Tallahassee, FL - We all know how messy and smelly it is when our toilet overflows, but what do you do when your septic tank does the same thing?
Who you gonna call? C.J. Malphurs Septic Service - here's the latest Art, Do My Job!
Charles Malphurs, Septic Tank Service Expert: "you could say this job really sucks, couldn't you?"
But that doesn't mean that Charles Malphurs hates his job - quite the contrary. As Malphurs states, "I enjoy dealing with the customers."
Charles has worked on sewage systems for almost twenty years.
Our job today: pump a thousand gallons of waste water out of a faulty septic tank and get it working.
Charles wouldn't dream of working without gloves but when I asked for a pair, I was out of luck, Charles responded, "that's all right man, I'll go without gloves. That's what a real man would do."
The truck is a huge vacuum cleaner that sucks all the muck into it's big tank. We grab the heavy hose sections, which have a bit of a ripe smell, snap them together and remove the lid.
Charles can't forget the time when the lid of another tank caved in, and he was up to his chest in, well, deep doo doo!
When asked how he cleaned up after that, Charles responded, "a lot of showers!"
Charles says that when cleaning septic tanks, "you really don't want to use a lot of chemicals, bleaches, anything that'll kill bacteria."
That's because the bacteria helps break down the waste, and don't even think about using "flushable wipes," as they're more cotton than paper so they don't break down in the septic tank.
I've often argued with my wife about pouring grease down the kitchen sink. She says some is okay, but what does the expert Charles think? "It messes up the tanks as well as it blocks the plumbing lines. In other words."
Some indications that your septic tank needs cleaning are, the sink gurgling when you use the facilities, water standing in your yard, or toilet bubbling while the shower is running.
Part of our job was to put a new cover extender on one of the lids so I and my co-worker Chris Jones grabbed shovels.
Thinking he was a veteran at this, I asked how long he'd worked for Malphurs. "Today's your first day? Me too!"
It wasn't smart, but I hefted an 80-pound bag of concrete mix and dumped it around the extender, maybe that's why my back went out later!