Tuesday, May 1, 2012


When we first moved to Kentucky, a good friend who had a huge background in water resources insisted that we have our septic tank pumped out.  So we did just that.  Not knowing a soul down here, I chose a name out of the local phone book which, as memory serves, was a very professional name, such as “Jim’s Septic Service”.  Well, it is Kentucky and a fella has to name his company something. 

Jim showed up in an older pump type of truck, hopped out, greeted me, shot the sh*t for a few minutes and we sized each other up.  Then he asked a question that I had no answer for.  “Where’s the tank?”

Uh.  I dunno?  I looked at him helplessly.  He surveyed the ground, thought about it for a minute and then said “I’ll bet it’s over there” and pointed to an expanse of grass just where my yard starts to ease into the horses’ pasture.  He said “We can find it.”  I thought maybe he had a map or something in his truck of where everyone in the county had their septic tanks, I mean, they do this for property lines, so maybe down here they added other important stuff, like the septic tanks and buried wires and things.  Nope.

What he pulled out was a highly unscientific piece of equipment.  It was a dowsing rod.  You can read about them here:

I would like to point out to you the last sentence in the first paragraph:

There is no accepted scientific rationale behind dowsing, and there is no scientific evidence that it is effective.

Well, I saw this guy use this device and I saw it work.  He didn’t strike me as the kind of guy that would show off.  He just wanted to do his job and by golly, he found the septic line and then the tank, a couple of quick digs with his shovel and he found the lid easily.  I know the studies say it’s chance but I SAW this myself.  I asked about a hundred questions about it.  And unless it worked, why would he carry these metal posts around?  So he must have had good success with it.

The “how” and “why” questions still remain with me, though.

1 comment:

  1. Dowsing is an art or a gift. My great uncle Fred had it and found many water sources for people so they could dig a well. He used a stick with a forked end. Quite amazing. My husband just said "some people really believe in that kind of thing" So you've got your believers and your doubters out there. For me I'll stick to the believing end and watch as the dowsing rod dips toward the earth when water is located.