S.O.S.-Save Our Septic® Volume 3: Right Day to Go to the Aquarium
Application: Expand your treatment capacity with a RetroFAST® Septic System Enhancement to handle additional loading.
The ﬁsh’s oval body was a bright, almost electric blue, with a yellow tail. It played against the ﬁfteen-foot glass wall in front of wide-eyed six-year-old Sophia Brown who was totally enraptured by all the sea creatures in the city aquarium.
Her father, Mark Brown, was standing next to her, but mentally he was miles away, in his backyard actually, wrestling with the details of the guest cottage he was trying to get built, thinking about all the applications and permits he had to ﬁle, all the costs involved, and the looming mortgage he hoped to help pay by renting out the cottage when it was completed.
“Dad!! What’s that ﬁsh called?” asked Sophia.
Mark looked at her and reminded himself that his attention should be right here, right now, and not steeped in building challenges. He studied the ﬁsh in question. “Um, I actually don’t know, Soph.”
“It’s called a regal tang,” said a friendly female voice to Sophia’s left.
They turned to the …um…”man?” …and “woman?” standing beside them. They looked like they would be as much at home inside the tank as on this side of the glass. Their bodies were plastic, rubber and steel with shimmering silver, black and blue colors.
Aquatic Knowledge Isn’t Just for the Fishes
They look like aquatic robots, thought Mark; and thinking they’re part of the aquarium staff. Sophie chimed into his thoughts. “Do you work here?” she asked them, impressed.
“No, I just know a lot about aquatic life,” said the woman.
“She also read the sign over there,” said the man, jerking his head toward the display. Mark laughed.
“But I already knew the ﬁsh, wise guy,” said the woman, elbowing her counterpart playfully.
Suddenly, Mark’s cell phone vibrated.
He pulled it out of his pocket and saw his wife’s face on the screen.
“Hey! How’s the aquarium?” asked Karina. Meanwhile, Sophia was
quizzing the woman on every ﬁsh she could see.
“Fun, actually. Soph’s having a blast. Are you home already?”
“Not yet. But I just got an email from the guy who inspected our septic system.”
Uh-oh, Mark thought to himself, If this call couldn’t wait until Karina got home, this can’t be good. Mentally he was immediately right back in the backyard, with the ﬂurry of paperwork around him.
“Good news or bad?”
“Not so good. He said we might need a separate system for the cottage. He said to have a licensed septic professional come over to make sure.”
“So our current septic tank might not be able to treat the cottage’s sewage, too?” asked Mark.
Overhearing this, the robotic man at the aquarium glanced over, interested.
“We just don’t know at this point,” replied Karina.
“Well,” Mark said, “I guess tonight we start looking for that septic tank pro. See you at home.”
“Sorry, I couldn’t help but overhear…” said the robotic man after Mark had put his phone away, “but you need someone to look at your septic system?”
“Yeah! Do you know someone?”
“Yep. Me. Or I should say, both of us.
My name’s Robust,” he said, extending his hand. “You can call me Rob. Bubbles and I work at a wastewater equipment manufacturing company.”
“Bubbles?” Mark looked over to her.
“I’m AEROBE!” she said, shooting Robust a withering look and shaking Mark’s hand. “I’m a BioMicrobics Onsite Treatment Specialist—or B.O.T.S., if you prefer. Aeration is one of my areas of focus. The nickname just sort of stuck.”
“It suits her personality,” Robust said, not bothering to suppress a grin. “if you’d like, Bubbles…” Aerobe glares at him again with her Control Panel eyes. “I mean Aerobe…or I could inspect your system.”
“You got to do this last time,” Aerobe told Robust. “It’s my turn.”
“That’d be great!” said Mark. “Looks like we picked the right day to go to the aquarium.”
Inspecting the Current Septic System
The next day, Aerobe knelt in the Browns’ backyard, peering into the septic system’s viewport, and periodically looking to where Mark had indicated he wanted to build the cottage.
Karina looked at Aerobe and then up at Mark. “You said you found her at the aquarium? I stayed here and you had an under-the-sea, robotic adventure with a bionic, septic-expert mermaid. Unfair!”
“I didn’t. . . I haven’t . . she’s not” he began stammering, until he saw the teasing gleam in his wife’s eye. “Besides, she’s a B.O.T.S.”
He walked swiftly to where Aerobe was working, with Karina following, chuckling to herself. She always knew how to push his buttons.
“How’s it look?” he asked Aerobe.
“Well, I have good news and bad news,” said Aerobe, straightening.
“Story of my life lately. Which do we WANT to hear ﬁrst?” asked Mark.
“Bad news, I’d say,” replied Aerobe.
“Okay – shoot.”
“Your septic system is not equipped to handle the additional sewage from the cottage.”
“Which means we’ll have to install a whole other system?” guessed Karina.
“Maybe not,” answered Aerobe.
“Because the good news is that BioMicrobics makes a product called a RetroFAST®. It installs into your existing tank. We could set up a gravity ﬂow from the cottage to the RetroFAST® so that you wouldn’t need a new tank or drain ﬁeld.”
Mark realized he’d been holding his breath. He exhaled in relief. “That is good news. We have enough on our hands as it is, trying to get this cottage built. RetroFAST®? Tell us more.”
“Here’s a brochure, and you have my card if you’ll need more info. And the BioMicrobics website has videos that show how a RetroFAST® works.”
Getting to Know Their New Aquatic Life
Sophia skipped over and looked up at her parents, “Can I show her my new pet ﬁsh?”
“Sure! Would you like to meet Sophia’s new goldﬁsh?”
“I’d love to,” smiled Aerobe.
Sophia squealed with delight as Aerobe picked her up and jumped lightly into the air. Aerobe’s jet backpack whirred softly as they skimmed the distance to the back door.
“I guess you’d better get those permit apps going. Looks like the Brown’s guest cottage just might happen after all,” Karina smiled happily.
Mark stared at the area that was nothing but ground with a few stakes in it and envisioned the weathered grey board siding, the wraparound porch, and a hammock in the yard.
His reverie was broken by the hearty laughter coming from the kitchen as Aerobe discovered that the goldﬁsh’s new name was “Bubbles.”