Yesterday I warned you there was more muck to come. Today it was the turn of us humans.
Like around 100,000 other "Einzelanwesen" isolated properties in Bavaria who are not connected to mains sewage, we have our own sewage cleaning system. There are several basic types one can choose from one that uses a series of open ponds with plants to clean the water before it enters the nearest public water system, stream, river. Or like us, a mechanical biological 3 tank system using bacteria and pumped oxygen to do the work. Whatever system one has, it has to be approved by the water/county authorities and then checked by an approved technician twice a year.
And so it was today that Rudolf came as he does every spring and autumn. Always enjoy his charming 30-minute visits. Always the same routine, we both know what needs to be done. So while the water probe undergoes some electronic test (on the ground by the van door) for temperature, clarity, COD (chemical oxygen demand) are determined, I make him a coffee and with his long plastic tube, he measures the amount of solids that have settled in the tank, thus determining whether it's time to have the tank pumped out.
As I come out with the coffee he is just finishing and we move to the electronic/mechanical heart of the system. The box with the air compressor and microprocessor that controls all the timing of the various aeration and back umping that goes on. Clean out the various air filters, check the motor brushes on the compressor etc.
Then a short chat about family and the world at large before we part. Of course, the invoice and report follow in a week or so. But I don't mind. It's sensible legal controls on a sensitive environmental issue. Even if the fisherman on Lake Constance (3rd largest lake in central Europe not far from us) complain bitterly about the huge decline in fish stock since the strong sewage treatment regulations have got rid of almost all the "food" and the water is as good as drinking quality.
Rudolf (or probably Rudi, we are on a mixed form of impersonal you and surnames) is the sort of person that makes the world go round. He runs his own one-man business from home connected with such sewage units, has a solid training in his craft with a little building, electrical, computer knowledge such that he can turn his hand to almost any handcraft. Young family, he's an active member of the clubs and organisations in his village, enjoys his free time and earns his money fairly, without any sign of greed. We always manage a joke or two and a moan or three about the latest bit of political/world nonsense.
Every four years we have to get an independent approved sewage surveyor to double check Rudi is doing his work and the system really is OK. The letter from county hall has been lying around for a month or two. Must organise this before we are closed down! This check, again at our expense, does, however, annoy me as unnecessary Big Brother money-making nonsense.
While I was indoors in the afternoon, I missed perhaps the only person in the entire county that I cannot stand, come and chop away at part of our property with a chainsaw. Nasty selfish person. Like Trump, there is only one person in his world. My shrub hanging in the stream alongside our property has disturbed him and while Angie agreed with him 2 weeks ago that we would cut it back, we hadn't yet done so as the ground conditions hasn't allowed us to get the tractor to the spot. So he simply came today and sawed the shrub down to the very base. If he could he would cut down all our hedge with probably about 100 various trees and 15 or so 30m high poplars alongside the stream. The instruction to do so was his first ever words to me in 2002. He has even sent around contractors to cut back the trees and hedges who I have of course turned away. The land on the other side belongs to the parish council and will hopefully be one day included in a re-naturalisation scheme to allow the stream to refind it's natural flow after it was "straightened" back in the 1960/70's as were so many rivers such as the Rhine and Danube which in turn created so much flooding as the "braking" bends had all gone.
And although my friend has turned over the farm to his son, is still responsible for huge amounts of plastic that are swept from the sheeting on their monstrous, eyesore silage heaps and blown over fields into the nearby Schwelk river. The plastic is never cleaned up by them. - somebody else's problem. Our shrub was not a problem or threat to anyone.
Rant over. It's the weekend and there is just a chance it will be snow free and get above freezing point. On both morning and evening walks it was at least dry. Yesterday afternoon I was in Memmingen briefly for a doctors check up and exchanging a block of Aldi Cheddar cheese that had gone completely mouldy! On the way home on the autobahn, was confronted with a snow blizzard of worlds end proportions. At least it didn't settle.
Somehow can't get in to spring feeling though as a check of the previous years Blips confirms:
28th April 2017
27th April 2016
4th April 2015
24th March 2014
1st April 2013