22 September 2015

An unwelcome Overflow

Last week, while sitting in my office downstairs, I heard gurgling coming from the garage next door. Upon investigation I realised the gurgling came out of the downstairs toilet. Soon after that I saw waste water coming up from the floor waste. It kept coming until it eventually flowed into the garage. I realised Diane was in the shower upstairs. I sprinted up there and told her to turn the water off.  That stopped the water flow.

So we called our plumber and told him of the urgency. No dice, he said. Can't get there until tomorrow. Oh, great! What do we do in the meantime? Neighbours were good, they all offered for us to use their facilities until the problem was fixed. Kathy and Rob across the street even invited us to dinner, so we didn't need to wash dishes. It's good to have good neighbours.

Anyway, the plumber arrived the next day and stuck a camera down the drain further and further in without seeing any blockages. When the camera reached 30 meters, he told us that the problem was not on our property, but instead in the council's main sewage pipe. He phoned the waste water department and as he couldn't wait for them to get here, he advised me that the council would automatically deny that the problem could be in their pipes. With that he left.

Within the hour, the council workmen arrived and after explaining the problem, they assured me that the problem couldn't possibly be theirs. "Hang on a sec," I said and phoned the plumber. He explained to the council workers what he thought the problem was. They listened and disbelieving said they too would send a camera down this time from the main manhole, "just to prove to you that it is your problem", they said, adding, "what would a plumber know?"

To get to the manhole, which is actually on our land and totally covered by plants and trees, they had to call for a backhoe to start digging for the manhole. They eventually found it and were able to send a camera down the main pipe to the point where our pipe meets theirs.

After a couple of hours, the Forman came and informed me that they had found the blockage in THEIR pipe and that they would fix it at their costs. Then they started digging at the junction point, looking for our connection. They went deeper and deeper and by now late afternoon, they found it some 2.5m below the surface.

The work crew arrives

They start digging
And deeper
It looked like they were digging for ever
Until they find the inspection hole some 2.5m down
They cleared the roots from the drain and filled the hole
I must admit, I was very happy with the council. Not only did they fill the hole with good soil but they even covered the area with mulch again and planted some Grevillia trees. 

They left a surface inspection hole which is now regulation. Unfortunately it wasn't when we built the house in 1988. They advised me that in future, if there are any blocked drains, they can fix it through that inspection point. Unfortunately, the melaleuca tree next to the inspection point will have to be removed as they had to cut most of its roots off when they were digging. 

The Blogger is happy again. Garden fixed plumbing working. She is happy, so I am happy.


  1. Well done Bill
    A victory over the council - miracles do happen.
    Now I have to see how I go with these depressions in the footpaths and on the lawns next to
    the footpaths where water mains, gas mains, telephone lines etc once were - these are all sinking
    and as I found out dangerous.
    PS: I reckon I am in store for the game blame - as they each say it is the responsibility of
    each the other!!!

  2. I will be more happy when I see the trees removed and new ones planted

  3. YIPES..... So sorry that this happened... I'm sure your Sweetie was NOT a happy camper. Sorry about the trees --but hopefully things are all now back in good shape... Those problems are NO FUN...


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