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Who needs Y2K when you live in Italy????? I now have raw sewage in my backyard....For months there have been hints that this was coming...I notified the landlord, but until it breaks, nothing happens...sigh.

Okay, so Now I have raw sewage flooding my backyard..inspection revealed that they have removable tiles that have been popping up due to the methane buildup underneath. The sewage was NOT in an enclosed system. We are using a hose to dissolve the sewage and flush the system out to the street runoff (underground, that is how they do it here...it all mixes...grey water, sewage, EVERYTHING....yeah, I KNOW , some system...sheeesh...

So my big question is: HOW LONG BEFORE I CAN LET THE CHILDREN AND CAT OUTSIDE?? Is there any way to "clean" this up. I can wipe down the tiles, but the yard is soaked.....@#$@#$@#@#$# italian plumbing!!!!

So will I notice Y2K? sigh.....argh....HELP! PLUMBING EXPERTS OUT THERE???



-- Ynott (Ynott@incorruptible.com), November 25, 1999


Have you solved the problem of it flowing into your yard yet? If so a good washing with a hose or a good rain will take care of the rest. Had that problem here. It happened in winter and was not noticed untill spring. Had a new sewer line put in, and God took care of the rest with the spring rains. Talk about greeeeeeeeeeeeen grass! :)

-- FLAME AWAY (BLehman202@aol.com), November 25, 1999.


What do I know about it? Hmmmm, let me think...

I know that it stinks,

I know that you better not light any matches for a while,

And I know that I'm glad it isn't in MY backyard!

-- Hawk (flyin@high.again), November 25, 1999.

Can't help you with anything but sympathy from one mom to another.

I wouldn't let the kids out for QUITE awhile, though.

I will keep you and your family in prayer today, as I will all on this forum, which I am ever thankful for.

God Bless you.


-- Mercy (prepare@now.com), November 25, 1999.

NIMBY! Sewage Back-Up, not good, Will Happen. At least it's outside, not running down your hall.

Have packets of wildflower seeds? After it's all clean and washed away, sprinkle seeds liberally. Resulting springtime thicket will be pretty and keep people off area. The birds, bees, bugs, worms, earth, & time will do their magic.

-- Ashton & Leska in Cascadia (allaha@earthlink.net), November 25, 1999.

Hey Ynott, Do you know the song we sing in Girl Scouts:

Don't chuck your muck in my backyard, my backyard, my backyard

Don't chuck your muck in my backyard, my backyard's full.

In 3/4 time - all together now! 1 2 & 3 & 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 Don't chuck your muck in my backyard, my backyard, my backyard

1 2 & 3 & 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 Don't chuck your muck in my backyard, my backyard's full.

Now the tune:

1 2 & 3 & 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 Don't chuck your muck in my backyard, my backyard, my backyard C C D E F G E E F D D G E E

1 2 & 3 & 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 Don't chuck your muck in my backyard, my backyard's full. C C D E F G E E F D D C

Or as the older scouts sing it: Don't shove your shit in my backyard...

Sounds like a tetanus situation to me. My dad's in Arizona - a water man - and not awake yet and someone here probably will give you answer before he does. I'll check back.

This is Agent 3 from Monday afternoon. Are you having turkey today, even so far away? My husband's working today, which is odd, so I might as well be in a foreign country!! He got another buck last night - a spike.

-- Becky (rmbolte@wvadventures.net), November 25, 1999.

I like A&L's suggestion of plants and worms dealing with the situation - I would also add that you should wait for as long as it takes for the sun to dry it out - Please keep in mind that Hepatitis (several nasty forms), Typhoid, internal parasites, etc. can be present and contagious in the raw sewage - so be careful! Even if your family is healthy, who lived there before?

Plants, worms and lots of sunshine..... Good luck!

-- Kristi (securxsys@cs.com), November 25, 1999.

Aw shucks. I had that song all lined up with the rhythm and tune. I bet some of you could get it to scroll with a bouncing ball and real player . . . waaaaah.

-- Becky (rmbolte@wvadventures.net), November 25, 1999.

--yes, there is one reactive step you can take. but first, be awazre of normal hazardous materials procedures, as you will be walking in the yard. Got the local hardware store, get several bottles of the bacteris that they use for eliminating septic tank buildup. Not drano, I mean the biological stuff. You will need to heaqvily sprinkle this bacteria all around the yard, then let nature take it's course while the "stuff' breaks down. Best i can offer you besides, GET THE HECK OUT OF THE CITIES. This is for EVERYONE. Now. Do WHATEVER IT TAKES to relocate RURAL. This is the BEST advice anyone anywhere can have. If you STAY in the cities you are playing RUSSIAN ROULETTE with your safety and health. ALL cities social, economic, health and security infrastructure requires everything high tech working smoothly all the time. Everyone has seen what some part of that "not working" does to the cities. Now just extrapolate in your mind when a certain percentage of "everything" ISN'T WORKING. AT what percentage does it switch from a hassle-like a blizzard and the power goes out temporarily, to LIFE THR3EATENING? It's a real fine point there, it can "go over the top" to life threatening really quickly. I repeat. GET OUT OF THE CITIES. You'll either go now, under your own steam, and with all your stuff, or you are taking a gamble that a some certain point you'll be walking out pushing a wheelbarrow with your belongings,like all those middle class people in kosovo, IF YOU ARE LUCKY. REALLY, REALLY LUCKY.

Good luck, friend, and better skill.

zoggus warningus

-- zog (zzoggy@yahoo.com), November 25, 1999.

On a serious note: the school disrict where I used to work had continual septic problems. The county health deptartment always required the area with the poop to be sprayed with household bleach right out of the bottle. Bleach really is a good disinfectant. Something to keep in mind for y2k.


-- Todd Detzel (detzel@jps.net), November 25, 1999.

Use your spreader and dehydrated lime. Any garden center can advice the requiremants.

-- Tommy Rogers (Been there@Just a Thought.com), November 25, 1999.

How about powdered lime? (The mineral, not the fruit.)

-- Deb M. (vmcclell@columbus.rr.com), November 25, 1999.

We have an old 1910 original blackwater septic system that makes periodic cesspools in the yard. I'll be taking the biological approach ie- use it as a kind of wetlands. In Philadelphia they did some studies and found that the native wetlands type plants absorb and clean a tremendous amount of pollution.

So I'll plant things that like wet feet- Elderberry, Cattails maybe bamboo shhould help absorb the water so contaminates don't spread and clean out the bacteria too.


-- EC (JHnck1776@a0l.com), November 25, 1999.

Hire a truck and spread 6 inches of new soil over contaminated soil and replant come spring,better yet find a new rental.

-- fecal gardener (caca@nightsoil.com), November 25, 1999.

This is what I know about this smelly subject from personal experience:

"In a ditch we found a military-type canister inside of which was a lot of salt and a rotten egg. Nearby we found a steel helmet and ribbons of bullets that we carried home. We spread the shells out on the cover of the cesspool and hammered off the bullets to empty the powder. Ma came out and was horrified. I didnt know why she was horrified because I wasnt horrified and I was always the first to be horrified. She lifted a board from the cesspool and dumped our powder into it, creating explosive fertilizer. Then she took away our remaining ammo and had a neighbor pound a flat spot on the helmet to make her a bowl....

"There were two cesspools behind our house  a covered one for excrements, another open one to receive wastewater from washing and bathing. The latter one was the sanitary one because the stinky black goo was all on the bottom. Whenever the covered pool was full, a farmer scooped it out with a long handled bucket into a wooden cask. His oxen pulled it to his field where he spread about this grubby soup and plowed it under. This made big cabbage, beets, oats and delicious potatoes pop out of the ground." "There were other problems caused by poor hygiene. Since there were no public toilets, we often relieved ourselves wherever we could hide outdoors. On one occasion I felt a sudden urge, so I squatted in some bushes. A tickling sensation at the terminus of my sigmoid flexure informed me that this product was going to be different. I turned around to see what I had created: Dozens of live worms wriggling on the ground. I leaned over to study them.

"Are they eating me? Or the food I eat?

"Scared to death I went home and asked Ma if worms could eat people.

What kind of worms?

"I am full of worms."

"Ja, but we will get rid of them," she assured me. Days later she fed me a bitter powder to exterminate the parasites inside me, but this did no harm to the ringworms outside of me."

-- Not Again! (seenit@ww2.com), November 25, 1999.


I'm still trying to find out why you are in Italy...are you married to an Italian??

-- K. Stevens (kstevens@ It's ALL going away in January.com), November 25, 1999.


Yes, the problem was solved, but the problem remained if you know what I mean (argh) :(

We hosed it down, but this is the rainy season...Still, we had a nice sunny day yesterday and the weather reports look good for the next few days. I'll hope for the best.


Very astute. But, I'm glad it's not in your backyard either. I wouldn't wish this on anybody. Hope your Thanksgiving was less aromatic!


Thanks for the prayers and kind words. They were well received on Thanksgiving, from an American far from home and family. God Bless.

Ashton and Leska~

Good ideas...if a little slow in their work...hard to keep two little ones out of their play area that long. Still, if worms help, we have lots of them..assuming the sewage didn't kill them. Thanks for the advice.

Becky/Agent 3~


Thanks for the song. Made me laugh and cheered me up to no end. I thought it was a Wee Sing Song. We sang it all afternoon! How many points on that buck. Congratulations again!!


You had me worried with the naming of the infections and diseases possible....esp. since my 8year old was throwing up last night. She is staying home today and we will watch her. She was not playing there so I'll attribute it to too much pumpkin pie..of which she ate a gracious plenty..but I'll keep a close eye on her as well. Thanks for the heads up!


Sure wish I could get that stuff at out hardware store. Know how to say it in Italian? Never mind, I'm sure they don't carry it. Would make too much sense.

I learned that the cities is not the place where I want to be come Y2K! You are VERY, VERY right!!!!! Our house is built in the "cut" for those of you familiar with the term. It is below the street level. One floor is anyway. I learned that a pump is used to pump the sewage up to street level and that the sewage was blocked. Well, it is not blocked now, but I didn't even think about the pump! When (and not IF) the power goes off we will all be using the second floor (read ground level) toilet. Even if we throw water down it, it will run downhill to the street level underground pipes. Maybe this happened for a reason. I believe that all things happen for a reason. Maybe this was a blessing in disguise.


If you haven't thought about your sewage system before now, START!!!


Thanks! How dilute can I make it? Full strength would surely kill the bugs, but it would kill the grass as well, wouldn't it?

Tom and Deb~

No spreader and no lime....sigh....I'll ask the landlord. He might be able to find some for us. Thanks for the input.


Thanks but this is a very small yard and in the summer, that and all areas get very hot and dry...my wetlands wouldn't take in this cool weather anyway. Still, if it happens to me again somewhere else someday , I'll be armed with your knowledge. Thank you for taking the time to write back.


How can I thank you? You are all so very kind to take the few minutes that you did on the holiday. I appreciate it very much. I am sending each of you an imaginary piece of pumpkin pie, but my very real thanks. God bless!


-- Ynott (Ynott@incorruptible.com), November 26, 1999.

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