Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Dirt Track

We've gone from Sink Hole to Dirt Track in a matter of a few days!  The sink hole is fixed, thank goodness!  J&J did a great job of installing the new pipe!

They had to take down the fence in the back of our property to remove the old rusty pipe.

The new plastic pipe should last forever, or at least as long as we live here.  It is smooth on the inside too so water will not stand in the ridges like it did in the corrugated metal pipes.

Getting the new pipes positioned took some finesse, but these guys really seemed to know what they were doing!

They sloped the pipes more toward the creek to get better water flow so we will be less likely to have another problem.

Once they got everything covered up, the yard was in pretty sad shape.  We had very little grass left and there was a hump in the middle where the previous owner had built a putting green.  We discussed it with Jerry and decided that he would smooth over the entire yard and make it slope toward the corner to avoid future drainage problems.

So, what little grass we had left has been decimated, so now we can rival Dixie Speedway with our dirt track!

We got a bid for landscaping and we are still reeling from the cost.  Right now, the dirt is looking pretty good.  Maybe we could just spray paint it green.

We'll keep you posted, but if you come over for a party in the backyard, be sure to bring your mud stompin' boots!

Friday, August 7, 2015

SINK all of your money into this HOLE (Days 1 & 2)

I noticed that one side of our yard was sinking!  It had been happening for several years but we decided to ignore it.  The sinking ground was worse around the storm drain that we thought was the responsibility of the county Waste Water Management department.

I called the county & they sent Glenn Oliver out to take a look.  Glenn said the drain must have been installed by the builder because the county pipe would have been 4 feet in diameter and ours was only 2 feet. Glenn said we could have the pipe replaced with a 4 foot pipe at our own expense (around $20K) and then they would send an inspector out. If it passed inspection, they would take over the maintenance of it.  This would also require taking out all of the landscaping & trees between our house and the neighbor's. That didn't seem like a viable option to us.

We considered ignoring it for a few more years, but one day, I got bored and got out a shovel and started to dig.  I found that the 2 foot drain pipe had a large crack where it connected to the drain.  I also found one of the small drains coming from the gutters was broken. It didn't look too daunting and I thought maybe we could repair it ourselves.  I kept digging and that's when I found an underground cavern about 2 feet deep 2 feet below the ground. I decided that this was going to be beyond my ability to repair.


Our friends Chris & Brandon had just dealt with a much bigger sink hole problem at their house so we solicited their advice.  They recommended J&J Landscape & Tree Services here in Smyrna.  Judy came out and gave us a quote that included digging out the area, fixing the drain, and filling with 3 loads of fill dirt. We paid them half and got on their schedule for a few weeks down the road.

The day came & Jerry showed up with the excavator. The first hurdle was getting it into the back yard. Our house was built too close to the lot line so there wasn't much room to maneuver.

Surprisingly, he got it into the backyard without even taking out any of my tomato plants. Not that it would have mattered. My tomato plants have not produced much this year. He did do a bit of damage to my rosemary bush.

Jerry started by digging around the drain area where he found a bit of construction debris, but nothing of any major concern.

At the end of Day 1, we didn't think we had a huge problem.  We just needed to dig out around the drain & fill it back in. (*When I say "We", I mean me, watching from the shady porch, and some hard working men!)

A little more digging revealed that there was water coming from somewhere. One of the workers speculated that we had an underground spring.

More digging around the drain revealed that the water was seeping out from under the drain.

OK, so still no big deal, we (*see note above about "we") could just remove the drain, connect the two pipes and cover the hole back over, right?

Well, that would work, except that the pipes had rusted out, so we (*see note) would need to dig out the entire pipe and replace it all the way to the creek.  That's 120 feet of 30 inch pipe. The cost just keeps going up, up, up!  Oh boy!  We ordered the pipe but it won't be delivered until Monday, so, we wait.  (This "we" actually does involve me, since I had to pay for the pipe).

Meanwhile, if you want to come & play in our back yard, come on over!

We'll play on the Bobcat!

Enjoy your weekend!  Will post more Monday!