Wednesday, September 24, 2008

What I did today:

So, it wasn't bad enough that the house is being painted this week. I cannot park my car in the garage, or even in the driveway because they are in the way. Today, the plumbers came to fix the connection from the house to the city and that was so much fun.

First, they unloaded a backhoe and started digging. We knew they were going to have to go ten feet down so it had to be a big hole. They had to make the top big enough to be sure that the sides wouldn't cave in on anyone in the hole.

But the first guy that came and marked the location of the connection on the lawn was off by about 4 feet. That means that they started digging 4 feet too far into the lawn. So they got down the ten feet and found absolutely nothing.

So they dug and dug and then they dug some more. The dirt is clay and more like solid rock than like dirt. It was absolutely amazing to hear the teeth of the scoop cutting into the hard, rock-like clay. And it came out in big hunks that looked a lot like rocks, but were just big clumps. It was also amazing just how dry everything is here - dry as a desert from the surface to the bottom.
This is the guy who operated the backhoe - and did a really accurate job of it. He's standing in the hole, but not quite at the bottom of it. He's pretty tall and you can see that there is a good 5 or more feet over his head.

That's the culprit right there. It was about 12" from the driveway - the orginal green paint mark was about 5 feet further into the lawn. The big side of the connection is the city's line and the small piece joining it is the house line. There was a rubber ring between the two of them and the tree roots didn't even let it slow them down on their quest for water.
No, I did NOT get down in that hole. The very nice plumber man let me hand down my camera and took the pic for me. That pipe is about 8" in diameter and those roots are already broken off and pulled out some - some of them were over an inch in diameter.

This is the clod of roots (and let's not think about what else) that came out of the pipe. It's about 5' long with one end of it already partly burried. The part that was about a foot or so into the pipe is a solid mass of roots and that part was about 4' long. It's a wonder we didn't have much worse problems than we did.

The plumber tied a rope to the root end and then hooked it to the backhoe and pulled it out. About 6 inches of the roots broke off during the process, so it was longer than it looks here.

After they fixed the plumbing and redid the pipes, they put a vent in so the city can access their pipes if they need to and then reburried everything. Next time, we'll know exactly where the connection is, and will have easier access to it.

They put all the dirt back as well as they could and leveled it as well as they could. They packed it down as they filled it in, but it went from hard and compact to loose and dry and it takes up more space than it used to. It should settle but I wonder if we'll ever get grass back there since we cannot water it.

And a pretty flower to end the day . . .

1 comment:

Eve said...

What a pain! Until we get rain, what will you do with that big bare spot? Mulch it so it looks like you planned to do it?