Monday, October 13, 2008

Digging a Big Hole

Unfortunately I'm not talking about overreaching or anything remotely related to cycling. Instead, I'm literally talking about digging a very, very big hole. A hole that just so happens to be in my front yard, right next to my water meter. The dirt that used to be in the really, really big hole is currently piled on top of two 8x10 foot tarps. Did I mention that the hole is quite large?

You see, this morning, as I prepared to leave for the office, I moved our garbage and recycling bins out to the road for Monday pick-up. As I positioned them in the gutter I noticed that it was full of water - running water. Wondering who had forgotten to turn off their sprinklers after the weekend's big storm, I looked up the road only to realize the water was entering the gutter from my front yard. Walking over, I could see that the water meter cover was underwater. I quickly went inside, opened my Riverton City utility bill that had come in the mail last week and called the first number I found. The very helpful lady who answered the phone took down my name, address and phone number and told me somebody would be over in 30 minutes. Not 10 minutes later a truck pulled up and two city employees started pumping the water out of the meter shaft. After turning off the main valve they located a very soggy, soft section of lawn. When the water was turned on this section of grass ballooned up and you could hear a hissing sound from underneath. They turned off the water again and told me that everything between the meter and the house is the responsibility of the homeowner. Recommending that I start digging to find the damaged pipe and call a plumber, they left.

At first I didn't know what to do: Should I call a plumber or start digging? I decided to find a plumber first, which I was able to do thanks to the recommendations of family, friends and a plumber who was too busy to make it over today. Before starting to dig, I went to Lowe's and bought an 8x10 tarp and a second shovel. Returning home I changed clothes and with my wife's help started to dig. After working on the hole for a while it became clear that we'd need another tarp so Cami went back to Lowe's while I continued digging. Eventually the hole got deep enough that getting the shovel in and out was proving difficult so I started working with a hand trowel, filling buckets with dirt that Cami would dump onto the second tarp. After a few buckets of dirt I found the damaged pipe.

At that point I had a few hours before the plumber was scheduled to arrive so I quickly changed clothes, ate a quick lunch and drove to work for a couple of hours. Ironically I was able to unwind and relax a bit in the office (usually I depend on dirt to help me deal with work related stress!) and the time went by quickly. I left at 3:30, was home by 4 and the plumber arrived about 30 minutes later after calling me to say he was leaving Rose Park and would be over soon. The call was much appreciated (truth be told I was about ready to call and confirm that he was still planning to come) and within 90 minutes he had the cracked pipe replaced and the water turned on again.

If you're looking for a good plumber let me know as I discovered a great one today. And if you need a tough core workout try digging a big hole!

4 comments:

Piotrek said...

What, no pictures?

j_e said...

that's something I never want to have to go through. Hope it wasn't too expensive or damaging.

But I might need a good plumber someday, so I'll keep your experience in mind.

mark said...

And here I thought you were going to talk about some kind of metaphoric hole. You really do need to post pictures.

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