Sewage Systems in Sri Lanka

There aren’t any.

That’s the first thing you should know.

Now let’s be clear about this. I’m not saying that there’s no way to deal with sewage. There is. No, no, no. I’m saying there’s no system in place with pipes to bring the sewage to a sewage treatment plant. Nope. That don’t exist.

What do exist here, though, are septic tanks.

Let me also be clear on something else. I don’t know if it’s every single house or building that has a septic system – for all I know, some areas do have alternative means of dealing with sewage. I don’t know. But Fahim has only ever heard of/dealt with septic systems here. As far as he knows, that’s all there is.

Here’s the thing about septic systems – when they get full, they gotta be emptied – or something like that. At least, the ones here do.

And here’s where I throw in my usual disclaimer that I have no education involving septic systems so I can thereby in no way, shape, or form be considered any kind of an expert on this topic. It also means that if I’m giving wrong or misleading information, it’s your problem if you believe it. 🙂 But I’m never wrong, so it’s not really a problem. Yeah, yeah, of course I’m kidding. I’m not that arrogant. That’s Fahim’s job, oh loving husband that he is.

Septic tanks. They gotta be emptied when dey git full. Ours, apparently, is full. Our downstairs neighbor has been having problems that seem to indicate that this is the problem. We won’t get into details here. If you have a decent imagination, you can figure it out for yourself.

So, according to the natural order of things, our downstairs neighbor, Saranjeet (another name that I am doubtless butchering the spelling thereof) called the landlord about getting it emptied.

Today, some guys showed up to dig the septic tank up.

Normally, there’s a thing that you lift up and voila you have access. Or so I’m told. We did not have such. Ours had to be dug up. So dig and dig and dig-ged they did. They dig-ged the whole yard up. If you can call it a yard. It ain’t – it’s a patch of gravel, even where the carport isn’t. And there’s also a servant’s shower and bathroom down there, and they’re kinda gross. But I don’t have to use it, so I won’t.

Fahim parks his motorcycle there. Normally.

But I got ahead of myself. Let me take a side trip down a seldom used lane.

Fahim’s in the middle of Ramadan. If you read previous entries of my blog, you probably already knew this. As such, he can only eat when the sun is down, and while I don’t know all the intricacies of this, I do know that Fahim has to be up by 4 am in order to be able to do everything he needs to do so he can be finished eating in time.

What doesn’t help is that I’m a light sleeper, especially compared to the likes of Fahim. When the alarm goes off at 4 am, I wake up, too. Fahim gets out of bed, I stay in bed, I try to sleep longer. Some days it works, other days it doesn’t. But even when it does work, it tends to be disjointed, more of a napping than a true sleeping. I drift in and out of consciousness far too frequently, so it’s not as restful sleep as what I need.

What does all this have to do with the septic tank being dug up? A lot, I assure you. I took a nap this afternoon – I was really really tired. And when do these men dig up the septic tank? You got it.

In all fairness, they had no idea I was trying to sleep. In all fairness, they had no reason to suspect someone, anyone, would be trying to sleep. I don’t blame them at all for ruining my nap.

And if I’d had half a brain, I’d have worn my ear plugs that were mere feet from my ears. But I forgot, I was so tired. Drat.

They obviously didn’t know where the trap door to get into the septic tank was – there were no tell tale signs on the surface that either Fahim or I could see, either – so they dug up the whole area around the septic tank. It’s now one huge earth scar – about ten feet long by five feet wide of mounds of dirt and depressions over a whole bunch of the septic tank.

Anyway, now the septic tank is all dug up, but these guys who dug it up aren’t the same guys who need to drain the septic tank. Someone else is supposed to come and do that. But when? Ach, but we don’t know. All we know is we got piles and piles of dirt all over the heck and gone.

Author: LMAshton

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