poo rising

I am perfectly ashamed of myself.

As mentioned on my birthday post, I had the most horrific thing happen to me a couple years ago and never blogged about it.

To explain:

Back when BandGeek and I lived in Tacoma, we were living in an older house (built around 1930) with a below-ground basement.

there’s an actual “pee stream” of water coming out of the wall!

One night, after weeks of straight rain every single day, I went down to the basement and found some water on the ground. I could see that there was water creeping in through a crack in the wall, and dribbling down to pool on the floor.

At first, it didn’t look too serious so I just threw down some towels and assumed that it would dry out as soon as it stopped raining.

Unfortunately, the next time I went down into the basement, enough water had pooled in the corner (right where my washer and dryer was, of course) that the floor tiles were actually floating on top of the water, and squished down with a slopping noise as I stepped on them. At this point, I started getting really concerned.

this PVC pipe goes straight to the poo highway.

BandGeek came to help me try to figure out what was going on. We isolated the biggest leak, which was coming up through the floor through the hole that this PVC pipe was resting in. What I found out later is that some enterprising owner of this house in the past had jury-rigged an outflow for the washing machine by (trying to) attaching this PVC pipe to the pipe below the house that runs out to the street.

Since our house was on a bit of a slope, and the houses on both sides had also been around for a while, this subterranean pipe ran from under the house on the left, under my house, under the house on the right, and ending up in the street. Basically, just gathering poop as it goes along.

Until now.

At this point, I thought it might be a good idea to see whether I could plug up the hole through which the water was gushing, at the base of the PVC pipe. So I convinced BandGeek to pull it out, whilst I would be standing ready with a bundle of old sheets and garbage bag to stuff in the breach.

the floor tiles floating on top of about a foot or so of poo water

It did not work out so well.

Finally, we decided that we should call the landlord. I went upstairs, got the phone, came back downstairs, only to find that some sort of alarm was going off, and that most of the basement floor had at least an inch or two of water.

What you’ll enjoy about the following video is me freaking out over the siren, then BandGeek freaking out over an electrical cable floating in the water, and then me screaming like a bitch because I can’t figure out what he’s freaking out about.

All my stuff that had to be thrown away due to contamination.

The siren turned out to be the sump pump alarm, which was letting us know, in no uncertain terms, that it was being overwhelmed by all the poo water which was getting deeper by the minute.

By the time the poo stopped rising, we ended up having about four feet of water throughout the basement. You’ll note here the truck full of my belongings that was taken to where ever they throw away pooed on items, my red birthday dress, and most of my Starbucks bears collection. Nothing sadder than seeing a line of soggy, pooey bears in cute outfits all lined up on a piece of plastic so you can catalog them for the insurance guy.

all my drowned starbucks bears…drowned in poo!

BandGeek, Dog and I had to stay in a hotel for a week while they decontaminated the basement. We found out later that the flood was caused by a blocked sewer main in the street that the city of Tacoma hadn’t been out to clear in a long time. Since the house is so old, it lacks the backvalve that lets poo out of the house but prevents it from coming back in. So basically the poo running downhill (which is where it’s SUPPOSED to go) hit the blockage, backed up and ran right into my basement (as well as my neighbors’ on both sides).

I lost my washing machine, my Starbucks bears, several boxes of photographs, and some camping equipment.

Sadly, I never could replace my red birthday dress. 😦

my poor birthday dress got ruined!

Has anyone else had any disgusting adventures of a rather pooey nature? Or is it just me that these type of things happen to?

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