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!

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