While owning a floating home may be romantic and fun, there are definite downsides. Actually quite a few but I’ll only talk about the latest incident.
Janice had a party planned for her Portland relatives. They were to arrive in the afternoon on a Saturday. Coincidentally a diving service we had hired came out that morning to put large blocks of Styrofoam under the house. If there is heavy snow or a large amount of icy rain in the winter it tends to build up on the roof. It weighs a lot and the house will further sink into the water, so the additional buoyancy is insurance.
Immediately upon diving under the house the diver surfaced and told me that raw sewage was leaking out of our “honey pot” into the River.
What is a “honey pot” you ask. We do have city sewer lines but they are about 1/4 mile away. For our sewage to get into the city system it has to be pumped uphill. Our community (moorage) has one large pumping station at the foot of the dock. Each house has a 30 gallon tank which collects all the water and sewage from the house plumbing. That for some reason is what they call a “honey pot”. Inside the tank is a sewage pump with a float switch that pumps it up to the communities pumping station when it becomes full. Well the pump was obviously not working as the tank was overflowing.
Janice had to call 20 people to cancel the party as obviously someone would have to use the bathroom. (Most of these people are in there 80’s).
That was the easy part. Try getting a plumber on Saturday on a beautiful day in Portland (they value their beautiful days). Well I couldn’t. Then Janice reminded me of my previous profession (gastroenterology) and also of all the times I fixed the head (toilet) on our previous boat trips. I could fix it (so she said).
The pot is located under our front porch. It was covered with decking material that had to be unscrewed. That was a job in itself. After removing the planks I noted a round black container with electrical wires emanating from it as well as several plastic and rubber hoses. Leaking from the top lid was, you guessed it, sh**. It was gross (as a gastroenterologist one rarely sees stool, contrary to popular belief).
Well not to prolong the story I and a neighbor friend did manage to take it apart, pull out the motor (which was dead), drive to Home Depot, buy a new motor and replace the motor. The tank emptied immediately and all was well.
Just waiting for the next thing to go wrong.