First, a definition: bio-slime is black, gelatinous goo usually found in clogged plumbing. Its discovery is cause for revulsion.
I was recently introduced to bio-slime, but only after years of preliminaries. The original sink in my basement bathroom had a drain that slowed periodically. I'd pour a drain opener down it, followed by hot water and things seemed to improve for a while. Once I removed and cleaned the P trap, but concluded that sink would never be anything but high-maintenance or par for an old house with old pipes.
One Sunday afternoon in the local IKEA, I had a mind to fix everything by buying one of their turnkey bathroom sink setups and installing it myself. I did mostly, but needed a plumber to stop a leak or two. Still, I had a new sink in the basement bathroom and thought my days of the slow drain were over.
I was wrong.
Before long, the drain slowed, like its predecessor, and so I'd toss in the drain opener, use a long screwdriver to dislodge stuff, and ran a lot of hot water. It sort of worked: The drain was slow, but never stopped completely.
Recently, it did. The sink had standing water going nowhere. I got out my plumber's helper for some plunging. Was I ever in for a shock.
I mean the plunger's back suction brought up chunks of the black, gelatinous, gooey slime. Bio-slime. I kept up with the plunger, taking out the bio-slime chunks to flush down the toilet. Eventually, the drain flowed again. But for how long?
Part of the problem, I was to learn, was the drain doesn't flow quickly, being only a few feet above the floor sewer line in the basement floor [as contrasted with the second floor bathroom sink drain, which drains quickly, given gravity times distance to fall ...] .
A search of sink drain problems on the Internet revealed that a usual clog culprit--hair--isn't involved in bio-slime, so what causes this gelatinous clog? bio-slime in a slow-moving drain apparently thrives on nothing more than brushing one's teeth. All those food particles, the toothpaste, mouth saliva add up to ingredients ripe for the production of bio-slime. The recommendation was to brush your teeth and spit into the toilet! I now do so religiously.
As for keeping bio-slime at bay, I'm not inclined to use drain openers anymore [they can harm pipes] and prefer pouring down monthly a cup of cheap bleach. If that maintenance fails, I'll take it to Stage Two with a drain cleaner full of organic enzymes guaranteed to be antagonists to one and all manner of bio-slime.
Image credit: google images: terrylove.com
Read Charlie Dickinson's
story collection, The Cat
at Light's End, as an ebook in these downloadable
.epub (most other readers)
.pdf (for PCs)
Also, a flash fiction, "Ylena Thinks Nyet," is at Cigale Literary Magazine.
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