A walking sewer


Whenever I see the Nickelodean Slimefest Awards I am reminded of a really bad job at work where a similar scenario of being slimed played out on me.

Nickelodean Mark Wahlberg


Dad and I were contracted to make a floor good which meant removing all unnecessary plumbing fixtures and pipes back to the waste stack and seal up the hole in the main sewer stack that travelled from the base of the building to the top.

The building we were working in had been unoccupied for a while but the property owner was able to source a new tenant, hence why work was being done on the floor. We had to disconnect an old sink located in the corner of the floor, which had a 20 meter run of 65mm PVC pipe back to the opposite corner of the building where the main sewer pipe stack was.

The sink was on level 3 and we had to work in the Level 2 ceiling to remove the waste pipe. The long stretch of waste pipe had little fall which meant the pipe would be full of water and since it was an open ceiling, as the ceiling tiles had been removed, we put plastic down on the carpeted floors to prevent wetting the floor when taking down the pipe.

At the time I was around 20 weeks pregnant with Esther. I found it difficult to climb and keep balance on a ladder, so my dad stood on the ladder to disconnect the pipe and I would stand underneath to catch the pieces of pipe and then use a hand saw to cut the pipe into manageable pieces to be transported off site.

Unfortunately, both dad and I underestimated how much water was in the pipe so while dad was cutting the pipe and started to lever the pipe out of disconnect socket, black sludge sprayed over the walls, on the plastic flooring and all over my head and shoulders.

The sludge smelled like fermented yogurt with a touch of sweetness and then the most nasty smell of poop. I knew it wasn’t poop because we were disconnecting a sink after all. Unless someone hoisted their butt over the sink and let a number 2 rip… which I sincerely hope and highly doubt, a person could or would.

Anyway, I continued to be sprayed with the black sludge because even when I wasn’t standing underneath the pipe, dad’s constant yanking of the pipe out of the brackets caused the sludge to be flicked everywhere. There was nowhere for me to hide.

My pregnant nose was on high alert and I prayed that I wouldn’t get sick from getting covered in black crap.

Unfortunately I didn’t have a spare shirt to change into, so I cleaned as much of the crap out of my hair and shirt as I could.

Once the sink waste had been disconnected and sealed, another trade arrived to do their demolishing work and I remember the tradie walking onto our floor and shouting, ‘F**k, the plumbers got here before we did and the place smells like Sh*t’. I wanted to advise him that the floor wasn’t the only one that smelt like crap. I was literally a walking sewer.

After dad and I cleaned ourselves as much as we could with our towels that were solely used for mopping up brown messes when disconnecting toilets, we met my mum for lunch at McDonalds at Albion.

Mum said she could smell us a mile away. I won’t repeat what she told us we smelt like.

I was very grateful for my shower when I got home. And upon inspecting my shirt I found that some of the sludge had been hiding under my collar, covered over with my dark hair.

No wonder I smelt that crap all day. Some of it was still caked on my shirt!

Have you ever been sprayed with something nasty?

I’m linking up with Laugh Link.

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