Going through the motions

I received a permit yesterday.

I am now cordially invited to connect my drains to the main sewer.

Up to the mid sixties, we did things the rural way here.  In the event that we were caught short, we nipped out behind the bushes and that was that.  The fact that we had no bushes, hedges or trees at that time didn’t matter a damn, and in fact led to a lot more intimacy with our neighbours.

In the mid sixties, we decided to modernise and go all posh.  We built a septic tank.  We slightly over engineered it and built one that was capable of feeding a small housing estate, though why anyone would want to feed from a septic tank is beyond me.

That tank has worked beautifully for the last forty five years.  It has sat silently doing its business with our business and has never caused us any grief.

In a fit of insanity, I applied to the council to connect our drain to the main sewer that runs along two of our boundaries.  I don’t know why I did that.  I was testing our latest crop at the time which may explain it.  I think it was really just a case of going through the motions.

I read the permit carefully.

First of all, they want me to connect at the most awkward spot.  In typical council fashion they have ignored the fact that my tank is beside the main sewer, and want me to connect to the secondary sewer at the other end of the property.  This would not only involve a massive trench, but would play havoc with my main crop.

The second thing I noticed is that they want me to hire an engineer to check levels, and then hire a contractor to do the entire job.  I pay.  That would cost an arm and a leg.

Finally, once I have remortgaged myself to pay for all of this, they want me to pay them €250 for the privilege of connecting to the pipe, even though I have to make the actual connection.

So much for the council wanting to go eco-friendly and get us all away from septic tanks.

I’m sticking with my tank.

The council can go shite.

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Comments

Going through the motions — 21 Comments

  1. Apparently reed bed processing of, err, waste, is the green way forwards these times anyway. Of course you could compost it and once safe apply it to your crop to encourage vibrant growth…

  2. Paddy – This country is going down the toilet.

    Thrifty – I might divert the pipe to the neighbour’s garden. He can plant reeds if he likes. I must say, our best crop comes from the run-off area from the septic tank. A whole new meaning to ‘smoking shit’?

    Maxi – Very aromatic! :)

  3. Quite right Grandad, sod the council. You’ll be in France in a few days anyway and if you are at all interested, the sewers of Paris are actually a tourist attraction. So if you get bored laying about getting tanned, relaxed and full of cheese and wine, you could always pop along and study how the French make money out of their own ‘doo doo’; with an eye to adding your magnificent septic tank to the Oirish tourist route. Of course you’d charge the gawking public an arm and a leg for the privilege of sticking their noses into House Ramble’s..er..business.

  4. TheChrisD – The bastards sould be paying me a grant to get rid of my tank, and not charging me for the privilege. Being charged for sticking one pipe into another smacks of prostitution?

  5. You could always wait until something goes wrong with the present system – then plead poverty and blame the council!!! Life’s shit sometimes isn’t it???? :-)

  6. Hmm…I was wondering whether or not to share this story…oh what the heck…I arrived home from a weekend away last year to find my apartment covered in 2 inches of effluent. Problem was, it wasn’t the Council’s fault, it was my Mgt Company. The Council are easier to track down for liability. I am still fighting with the Mgt. Co. 17 months later…..

    Er, have a nice holiday, Grandad!

  7. Kate – Are you casting nasturtiums at my construction? I’ll blame the council anyway, even when nothing goes wrong!

    Spaghetti – I have a few stories I could tell about Management Companies, but I can’t. Litigation is too strong in this country!

  8. I can guess them all. It happened just after the New Orleans hurricane Katrina flooding. We were only out of home for 4 weeks and stopped reaching after 6. The ‘shit happens’ jokes wore thin but we were known as the “poo-house” for ages after.

    Don’t mess with shit!

  9. Personally Grandad, I couldn’t give a shit 1
    We had a similar thing at Mum’s, the difference was the sewage pipes were so old, the had shifted slightly, and meant lots of clockages, and clearing those is no fun I can tell you !!!

  10. My posh ‘friends’ kids still call us ‘Poo house’ and won’t visit. The effluent has settled down now underfoot and just looks like a retro 70s carpet.A blessing from a tragedy.

  11. Pay your contractors a bit extra (or a little of the crop)and just connect to the sewer system, you shouldn’t be bothering the council with these little problems.

  12. This very much fits my “Rule of Bureaucratic Logic”

    Figure out what makes sense – then do the opposite.

    Particularly the council.

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