Getting Things Done in the Mountains


The ongoing saga of trying to figure out what’s wrong with the plumbing continues. Over the 2 years of being a permanent resident here I have had issues with the downstairs bathroom. I don’t need to go into detail — you can figure it out. Several weeks ago, I had to call Homer’s (again) to clean out something or other (baffle?) which they did. At that time, Jay told me the septic tank was tilting and I needed a new one. So, I called Koberlein, the supposed experts, for a second opinion. After all, they have the most trucks around and has been out here before and they said, “No. You don’t need a new tank (insert my sigh of relief here). You need the pipes replaced from the house to the tank.” Fortunately Jay from Homer’s was working next door so we all headed over there and discussed my waste removal issues. Jay was skeptical but agreed to come back today and replace the pipes. Here’s where it gets interesting if you are into these kinds of icky things or just annoying and frustrating if you are me!

intakeJay arrived this morning with a Bobcat, removed fencing and started digging. Under the baffle is a slightly tilting tank (intake?) filled with sludge and the pipes are cast iron so no chance that there is a “bowing of the pipe” as determined by Koberlein. Here’s where everyone starts talking bad about everyone else (and apprently whoever you are talking to is MUCH cheaper than whoever you might call), which seems to be par for the course up here. Jay explained things to me in gruesome detail and, while he was standing there, I called Koberlein. The person who took my call was not at all happy with me telling her that they hadn’t done their job properly (I really said it in a nice way), so I had no confidence that they would call me back. Jay recommended someone else to come and pump it out — he called right then and there and Blake said he’d be here at lunchtime today. Victory! It turns out that Blake is the guy who just got disengaged to the daughter of my friend so now I’m feeling like I’m being disloyal just to add to the drama! In the meantime, Koberlein called me back and reiterated their initial diagnosis. “But,” I said, “the guys never even looked and were just guessing that it was the problem.” “And,” I further stated, “you never pumped out sludge when I called you, only water.” Gary (from Koberlein) said that they did make mistakes from time to time but not to believe anyone else because I probably wasn’t getting the truth from either Homer’s or from the other guy. Ack!!

Who to believe? What to do? I have several comments on this. First, Blake (the newly-disengaged) will be here to pump out sludge. Second, Jay will come back afterwards, make sure the fence is back the way it should be and will shovel the dirt back in and check everything out. Third, we will look into the possibility of a new septic tank. This takes care of the immediate problem (if it does indeed get done today as promised). What it doesn’t change is that everyone talks about everyone else up here and not in a good way. Add to that the guys up here that assume women don’t have any brains at all. PLUS…being a single woman with no man to back her up, I am beyond hope and help altogether! I want to be a renter in the big city with a super that has to deal with this stuff! But I must resign myself to staying here and making the best of it. On the upside, I am pretty sure I am neither stupid nor am I clueless in matters of home improvement and now being out of patience, all I can say is “Look out people!”