A House in Yorkville Pt 5- Sept '05 The big machines, and the damage they can do.
The saga continues, as large motorized vehicles arrive to aid the installation of utility hookups. Back-hoe operators have been in peak demand this year, as the ground, which usually dries out in May was still getting rain mid-June. We also needed someone who could do horizontal drilling, so our conduit could go under the neighbor's driveway, waterlines and electric wires. (or at least the ones we knew about.) SO, after a bit of time and pleading, the backhoe guy, the electrician and Larry the water guy (who could do the drilling) were all available the same week. As my neighbor was out of town, I really wanted to supervise the digging- not a good idea to have someone wreck your neighbors yard under your employ. (or even drain the watertank.) We successfully managed to avoid MOST of the water and power in my neighbors. All but one (of each): As I was working with Dave and his backhoe, he calmly announced, "Hit a waterline." I ran up to the neighbor's water tank with visions of thousands of gallons of water leaving said tank and running down the ditch we were digging. Fortunately, I was able to get the water shut off, and we repaired the damage and moved on. I was not able to be on-site while the drilling was done, but everyone seemed to get along fine and I've heard no complaints from the neighbor. Now we have a tube to put wires in. A very costly tube.
After we got over to our property, thing went a little smoother. The water line there was also broken, but it was only the line from the spring to the tank. Just a small flow that would have been coming out at the top of the property anyway. Wanting to do things the "Mendocino Way" (eg, by hand with duct tape and baling wire), Margo and I managed to replace about 200 feet of our waterline. Emboldened by this experience, we are considering putting in the impossible phone conduit in ourselves.
In spite of some hitches along the way, we've been merrily moving along, with finished surfaces and fixtures attached in their ultimate destinations. It has been quite an experience, especially in light of our desire to take over the installation of the infrastructure hookups. If we were building in a town, we would have power and phone and all that stuff just an lawn away. It does make one think about how much hidden stuff lives in our cities and under our driveways.
Sorry it took so long for the update, and the astute may notice some repetition in the layout of the pictures this month. I would only say to them: "Stop being so critical.(Or you'll end up like me.)"