Friday, July 29, 2011

Maintaining the Septic Tank

This year the summer in Asturias has yet to fully bloom. It's warm but a distinct lack of daily sunshine has been upon us now for a good few weeks. We have had more rainfall than average and periods of stronger winds resulting in cooler temperatures than to be expected however, it is still very pleasant.

For some reason, days like today, subdued and dull, bring to mind routine maintenance jobs that need doing around the place. It was on a day like today when we noticed a slight odour coming from the septic tank. Normally there is nothing.

Living so far from mains services necessitates a septic tank which like many other things around the house and garden needs regular maintenance if it is to work effectively All the grey water and sewage is deposited in it and rain water is either collected for the garden or drained into it's own sump. Every six month or so we inspect the septic tank and make sure it is functioning and not in need of emptying. This time, it did.

A quick phone call to Benito and within 30 minutes he is here with his huge tractor, tank and pump. Now I am sure that he quite likes coming here because unlike many of his other customers, he gets help. Luis is always eager to get involved and helps him with the extension pipes, lifts the drain and tank covers, gets him the clear water ready and generally assists. Twenty minutes later, after the system is flushed, Benito and Luis dismantle the gear, we wave goodbye and then swill down the paths and drive. They don't really need it but somehow it feels better for doing it. Then shower.

Other maintenance jobs we tackle at this time of year are making sure locks and hinges are given a bit of WD40, checking sealants and draft excluder, dusting off electrics in the workshop, checking the house for painting jobs, maintain the dry stone walling, check drains, repairing lawns from rato damage, checking waterbutts....and so on. Jobs such as these tend to get forgotten if we are not careful but if kept in mind can save a whole bundle of time in the long run.

Futher afield Ribadesella is once again buzzing with a large influx of people and much preparation work happening ready for the 75th International Canoe Descent of the River Sella on the 6th August. Many thousands of people descend on Ribadesella and Arriondas for the weekend bringing much needed revenue into the area. We'll report back on this years anniversary event.

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