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5,478 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This short story will soon get some serious mileage across the net, but I'm sure there are those who have heard of far worse.

Customers I work for, they are from England. They bought a house 3.5 years ago in my area, had Culligan come out to check inspect a Culligan brand RO system along with a softener.

Culligan did a on-site water test and once they found out it was cistern water, test proved to be that the water was fine.

Fast forward 3.5 years, no filter changes on the RO system, cistern never cleaned and never refilled with trucks hauling water in because the cistern is so large, in combination with roof area to compensate/refill during the smallest of rainfalls.

They've never cleaned the gutters either.

They told me that about a month ago, the water started to smell like "hot dogs"

and she took that as kinda comical. Remember, in England they don't have the problems they do here in the states.

3.5 years that cistern was never cleaned, neither was those RO filters. I lifted that cistern lid and almost puked right into the opening when I flashed a light inside there.

Inside, was cat's corpse, half floating inside this cistern with a mold pattern growing around where the body is,

The opening from the gutter that runs into the cistern and down the wall? Black sludge all the way down the wall with green mold edges,

A yellow haze in the water itself along with debri galore.

I asked if they poured any chlorine in the any time, no. Never. They went off that statement by Culligan and not once did anyone mention maintenance of this private water system.

I can't even begin to describe the smell of this water when I opened the lid, but these people have been drinking, and bathing, using this water for cooking all this time.

The last snowfall when it melted is what triggered the smell change.

This woman, the more I divulged this to her, the more scared she became, and grossed out. I wouldn't swear to it but I bet she went inside and ralphed after I told her what was in the cistern. You could just tell that she was getting queazie real quick.

The only thing I've seen somewhat remotely close to this situation was a old lady who was fighting mad about being forced by the state to put a bathroom inside her house, which she thought was absolutely disgusting to do so, crapping inside the home. She had a outhouse she'd been using for years without any problems, and thought it was dead wrong for putting such vile things inside a home. ???

Her kitchen was built right over top her cistern, the person who put the kitchen sink plumbing in shot it right out the wall, where a gutter picked up the rest of the travelling wastewater and dump it immediately over a hill to the road.

I was called out to this property to replace a water pump and bladder tank that was strategically placed in this same bathroom where a door with a cutout for a sink was used above it.

The call was "Soap suds coming out of the faucets" ????

When I walked outside to the front of this house where the kitchen sink drain did a redirect through an old gutter laying on the ground that when they cut grass, never got put back...

You could see where the ground sunk down 2' right at the wall of this kitchen, the same wall that served as the cistern.

When I went into kitchen to pull the cistern lid that was covered with a old carpet, a light revealed it all;

That kitchen wastewater was wicking through that cinder block wall because the water level in the cistern was considerably lower. Nobody ever thought to tar that wall to stop infiltration from the outside in.

That water was so murky and milk colored, and apparently food particles made their way back into the cistern because cracks in the mortar were clearly evident from the daylight that could be seen from afar.

This woman prepared meat, food, vegetables, anything you can imagine and when she washed her dishes, cleaned anything in that sink, whether she'd dump poisons or chemicals for whatever reason...

it was coming right back into that cistern, diluting into the water supply.

That woman offered me a glass of water that day, 18 years ago and I refused because the glass looked dirty and the water wasn't cold enough, even though it came out of her fridge.

People can become their worst enemies of themselves when they don't know the specifics of their plumbing systems, and how to correctly maintain them.

If you have a horrible water quality situation that you've seen heard or witnessed, post it here.

22 Posts
How these people are not sick constantly is what amazes me. The only water I drink anymore is filtered or bottled.

I know a guy that would load his female copper fittings with flux and female screw fittings with megalock to the point that the aerators on the sinks would be clogged with the stuff.

I can't imagine drinking recycled drain water, think I would rather drink my own piss.

24 Posts
I had done some work for a guy that had a cabin near a national park. Shallow well that had a 6' point valve. pump had ffailed and i replaced it for him. Next year , renters are in cabin near the end of lease and I am called out for a loss of water pressure. Checked pump and point valve . both are good. Cleared the areators and removed debris. water flow still no good. Owner says to stop and he will look at system. Owner calls me 3 hrs later He found lid on shallow well rotted away and leaves, alge and dead rat in well. He cleaned well and i installed new lid. He refunded rent to tenets and they finished last week of vacation in a hotel at owners expense.
I told him last year to drill a new well and he wanted to wait. He is now going to drill new well
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