Weekly Flush: Pumper in Trouble for Dumping in Secret Backyard Sewer Pipe

Also in this week's septic-related news, a crane tips over and damages a home after sinking into a septic tank; and actor Sean Penn writes a book about a septic tank salesman who becomes a mallet-wielding assassin

Weekly Flush: Pumper in Trouble for Dumping in Secret Backyard Sewer Pipe

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Ever get the urge to install a secret pipe in your backyard that connects to the city sewer so you don’t have to pay dumping fees anymore? No? That’s probably for the best, unless you’re into building up your rap sheet.

A pumper out of Rohnert Park, California, went through with the idea though, and now he’s charged with felonies for property theft and using an improper contractor’s license number with the intent to defraud. Not to mention 22 misdemeanors related to malicious commercial discharges, contracting without a license and failure to obtain workers’ compensation insurance for employees.

Investigators say the man, Carlos Chavez of Carlos’ Petaluma Septic Services, emptied his 2,800-gallon truck into city pipes six days a week, totaling more than 300 instances of illegal dumping.

“He was literally caught in the act,” Rohnert Park City Councilwoman Gina Belforte said at February council meeting, according to the Argus Courier. “They caught the flows going up, and that’s how they figured it out.”

Meanwhile, Minnesota’s lack of snow is contributing to an outbreak of septic-tank headaches, as a lack of insulation from Mother Nature is causing septic systems to freeze up.

The ongoing trend of less snow in November and December is allowing frost to drive itself deeper into the ground than it has historically.

Now, Minnesotans are tasked with pumping their tanks more often and using less water in the winter. And by early spring, the problem actually gets worse because road restrictions often prevent pumpers from getting to those frozen systems for pumpouts.

There were a couple of septic tank mishaps this past week, too. In Springfield, Missouri, a garbage truck broke through a concrete driveway and plunged 10 feet into an abandoned septic tank that was never filled in. And a crane working to remove a tree at a residence in Hanover, Massachusetts, sank into a septic tank, tipped sideways and caused damage to a neighboring home.

Oh, and actor Sean Penn apparently wrote a book about a septic tank salesman who becomes a mallet-wielding assassin. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental. You can even read an excerpt here.


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