Running a French Holiday Gite in Rural Brittany

Monday, July 30, 2012

Learnt a new French word today - unfortunately

After yesterday's posting where I wrote about using the new electric pump to empty out the sump chamber on our fosse septique (septic tank), finding that the pipework fitting were a different size, and getting a face full of liquid sewerage whilst trying to hold the joints together, I got up this morning and had to reach for the English/French dictionary to learn a new word.


(You can look it up yourself as to what this means in English, but it's not all that difficult a translation)

3 trips to the bathroom before breakfast was over so I quickly got in the car to buy something for the Diarrhée and a screw fit joint adaptor for the pump so I could install the pump properly.

The pharmacy in nearby Brehan was very helpful and one packet of Imodium tablets later I was sorted out; the plumbing joint took much longer to solve and took more than one shop before I managed to find a joint that would fit the pump.

Back at the septic tank we connected up the pump to the existing pipework, turned it on and watched the liquid all get pumped out to the filter bed.

And then 5 seconds later I started seeing waste liquid draining back through a hole in the side wall of the concrete sump, partially filling the sump up again. Hang on, this isn't supposed to happen, the pipework is all sealed and although I've not glued the joints together yet I shouldn't have had as much leakage as we were getting.

Nothing for it but I'm going to have to dig down to expose the 40mm waste pipe from the sump to the filter bed. with the volume of liquid draining back into the sump I guessed that the pipe must have cracked so I need to find and fix the problem.

Only challenge is that the waste pipe is buried about 18 inches underground so it's a fair bit of digging required to find where the broken pipe is. Spade and trowel in hand I started digging ...

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