The joys of owning a floating home

While owning a floating home may be romantic and fun, there are definite downsides. Actually quite a few but I’ll only talk about the latest incident.

Janice had a party planned for her Portland relatives. They were to arrive in the afternoon on a Saturday. Coincidentally a diving service we had hired came out that morning to put  large blocks of Styrofoam  under the house.  If there is heavy snow or a large amount of icy rain in the winter it tends to build up on the roof. It weighs a lot and the house will further sink into the water, so the additional  buoyancy is insurance.

Immediately upon diving under the house the diver surfaced and told me that raw sewage was leaking out of our “honey pot” into the River.

What is a “honey pot” you ask. We do have city sewer lines but they are about 1/4 mile away. For our sewage to get into the city system it has to be pumped uphill. Our community (moorage) has one large pumping station at the foot of the dock. Each house has a 30 gallon tank which collects all the water and sewage from the house plumbing. That for some reason is what they call a “honey pot”. Inside the tank is a sewage pump with a float switch that pumps it up to the communities pumping station when it becomes full. Well the pump was obviously not working as the tank was overflowing.

Janice had to call 20 people to cancel the party as obviously someone would have to use the bathroom. (Most of these people are in there 80’s).

That was the easy part. Try getting a plumber on Saturday on a beautiful day in Portland (they value their beautiful days). Well I couldn’t. Then Janice reminded me of my previous profession (gastroenterology) and also of all the times I fixed the head (toilet) on our previous boat trips. I could fix it (so she said).

The pot is located under our front porch. It was covered with decking material that had to be unscrewed. That was a job in itself. After removing the planks I noted a round black container with electrical wires emanating from it as well as several plastic and rubber hoses. Leaking from the top lid was, you guessed it, sh**.  It was gross (as a gastroenterologist one rarely sees stool, contrary to popular belief).

Well not to prolong the story I and a neighbor friend did manage to take it apart, pull out the motor (which was dead), drive to Home Depot, buy a new motor and replace the motor. The tank emptied immediately and all was well.

Just waiting for the next thing to go wrong.




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3 Responses to The joys of owning a floating home

  1. LAURA says:

    What talent! Most people wouldn’t know where their honey pot was let alone try to fix it. But necessity is a mother. Good thing there are screws holding the deck rather than nails. Presumably this could all be done without diving under the water.
    My mini-sewer filled last weekend. I’m amazed since it doesn’t have to hold much. Then again, this is the first time it’s filled in over 20 years. At 5 AM Monday, I called the City of PSL Utilities to leave a message. But someone was there! It was pumped out that day. Somehow this was done in an odorless fashion.

  2. Dody says:


    I’m glad I’m not your floating neighbor. Sounds like you are used to and ready for the next dramatic disaster. It is sad that what could potentially be an amazing experience of living in a floating home, has not been an amazing experience for you. I am sorry. Try to remember that very few people even know of, yet alone get to experience floating homes. I hope you take a moment to remember how blessed you are. My wish is that you wait for the next thing to go right. I don’t know you, but I’m wishing for you too. .

    Best wishes,

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