Home » Skeptical about the septic tank

Skeptical about the septic tank

“Yes … that is completely blocked …” I say somewhat delusively, “and I don’t really feel like messing around in it …”

It also doesn’t smell particularly attractive, and I see granules of corn floating around in the brownish water.

The neighbor also sees it: “Yes, we eat a lot of corn …” he says almost apologetically.



He also is a little discouraged. Maybe they had no experience with a fossa – a septic tank. Neither did I, city girl that I am. I can still remember that we once washed turpentine and paint through the sink, and cleaned the brushes there. Hot tap on hard, and brush well. Food leftovers from the plates – stuffing it right into that drain!

No wonder we’re faced with climate change now. Nature no longer deals with our sh*t. And the septic tank as well not

In my ignorant innocence I once have tried to rinse a redundant and not-so-bright cauliflower through the toilet. In pieces, that’s a point for me, but it didn’t work anyway. The plumber put his hand in a large plastic bag and then fearlessly in the can, to surface with a few cauliflower florets and a bewildered expression on his face.

Now I have been the proud (!) owner of 3 fossas for years – without problems

Eh, that is, except for that one time, when someone flushed a diaper. How they managed to do that – nobody knows, but we were faced with a huge challenge. We had to break open a whole terrace to discover what & where it was exactly.

That was the time that I learned everything about PVC pipes, sewers, what to do and what not with a septic tank

Well, I’ll tell you: even though you’re still connected to a beauty of a city sewer, flushing a diaper through the toilet is never a good idea! And now that we are talking about it: rather throw the wilted cauliflower in the bio. (We didn’t have that yet!)

I have absolutely no desire to break my head again – and the whole thing open – to discover what went wrong. You must have done everything once in your life; this is ticked off. I quickly come up with Plan B – and call the contractor for how much a new fossa is.


Although the municipality is in the process of installing sewers in this area, it has been going on for a year or two, and no idea when that finally comes true. Moreover: I am a fan of fossas *. It works well, if you just make sure you keep putting the good stuff into it.

Corn: excellent! Bleach: out of the question! You can throw in a forgotten kilo of chicken – the fossa bacteria feast on it


After a week passing by and calling, they’re suddenly there. Surprises, that’s what contractors are fond of – but okay, this is a pleasant surprise. Sérgio drives the small excavator to the scene of the disaster and starts the good work.

I get a hunch of a decadent feeling. Kind of: I’m tired of this couch, so let’s buy another house. ON the other hand: it goes pretty quickly, and it is solved in 1 day!

Let me be decadent then …

* We may even continue to use our fossas for all eternity! Yessir, you have to have a permit for it, as with everything here in Portugal.