My Sewer Backup

This takes place on July 24, 2002 at 2908 Marshall Street, Falls Church, VA 22042.
  • 11:04 am: See flooding the basement, which included toilet paper, carrot shavings, celery stuff, and feces.
  • 11:05 am: Call the landlord. He suggests calling the Falls Church water place (703-248-5071).
  • 11:07 am: Call Falls Church Water. They don't deal with sewer. Say to call Fairfax County Water (703-698-5800).
  • 11:08 am: Call Fairfax County Water. They don't deal with sewer. They say to call Fairfax Public Works (703-324-5015).
  • 11:09 am: Use the bathroom.
  • 11:10 am: Call Public Works. They don't deal with sewer directly. Call Line Maintenance (703-250-2003) or Storm Water (703-934-2800).
  • 11:12 am: Call Line Maintenance. BINGO! They schedule a truck to be here within the hour. I'm relieved.
  • 11:20 am: Down in the basement I clean up around the shit (literally), throw out an old childhood pillow (sniff) and a blue blanket which have been damaged. I also throw out some CDs that have been damaged by shitsewer water.
  • 12:00 pm: The guys from Fairfax County Public Works show up, and within 3 minutes they find the problem -- a giant rootball had grown into the 4" sewer pipe. Oops.
  • 12:40 pm: Some more guys with a fancy truck and some specialized sewer toys show up. They throw a few of their RC toys into the sewer pipe and they cut away the rootball in under 5 minutes.
  • 12:47 pm: The water (and associated shitfeces, wet toilet paper and carrot shreds) fly down the basement drain and into the sewer where it belongs. I'm relieved. The stank still remains.
  • 1:03 pm: The cleanup crew shows up. What? A cleanup crew? Yep. They show up with disinfectant, mops, shovels, the works. I was hoping for biohazard suits and a get-up like in ET, but this was acceptable. They cleaned, mopped, deoderized, disinfected, and even took out and disposed of any-and-all stuff in the basement that was destroyed or damaged by the sewer backup. Wow. Fairfax County Public Works employees and the whole group RULE!
  • 1:20 pm: The crew leader (Joe) came to the house with some paperwork. Two forms, one a Property Removal Authorization, which allowed them to remove and dispose of items damaged in the back up. The second was an Affidavit that stated that we (me) in no way caused or contributed to the damage which occurred to our basement. I filled out the first, and then had to get a notary to sign and seal the second one.
  • 1:45 pm: Everything is cleaned up. I have to say, for being my first experience with sewer crap backed up into my basement, it was a much better experience than I ever expected it to be. I didn't have to clean it up! Fairfax County Public Works RULES! It was worth every penny my landlord paid in taxes.
July 29, 2002.
  • 9:03 am: "Knock Knock."
  • 9:04 am: I throw on a purple fleece robe, run down the stairs, throw open the door, and call to the guy walking down our front walk. "Hey!" "Hi, hey, could you flush your toilet?" "Ummmmmmmm, sure." "OK, thanks."
  • 9:05 am: I flush my toilet.
  • 9:15 am: After getting out of my morning haze (and unrelated hangover from the night before), I realize that this may have something to do with the recent backup mentioned above. I put on some normal clothes, brush my teeth (they deal with stank all day long, no sense in giving them more to deal with), and go outside. I open the door of the van to reveal Charles watching TV. Of course, he was watching the insides of our sewer pipe, not like Jenny Jones or anything. He showed me the inside of the pipe coming from our house (which was completely clean) and even told me that I could get a copy of the tape of the sewer pipe! I gotta get a copy.
  • 9:45 am: They are still here. That's not a bad thing, but I really gotta go "Number 2" and I'm a little self-conscious of flushing, since "The Man" is watching. I hold it.
  • 11:02 am: Are they making a documentary on sewer lines?!? How long is their cable? I REALLY GOTTA GO!!!!!!
  • 11:07 am: Self-consciousness is overridden by the incessant need to relieve myself... ahhhhhhhhhhhh
Damage to stuff
  • Mattress and boxspring ruined
  • Keyboard case damaged
  • Computer carrying case damaged
  • Pillow destroyed
  • Blanket destroyed
  • Bathroom Rug Set destroyed
  • Lamp too disgusting to use (felt bottom soaked through)