Tuesday, May 4, 2010

In a handbasket, Part 1

It's tempting to call me a slacker because I haven't posted anything since the end of March, but I promise, I have a good reason (and pictures!) Let's start with the timeline of very unfortunate events.

April 1- My parents came to visit, and we had such a good time! We went to the aquarium and Coke World in Atlanta, we went to the zoo, we showed them around our own city, it was wonderful, we really needed the vacation, and I loved seeing my family.

(Taken at Coke World. See? We're very happy)

Then it went bad. Very, very bad.

April 9- Things were starting to get back to normal. I was making potato salad for dinner, and I noticed that the sink was draining slow. I ran the garbage disposal, figuring it was a little backed up, and it spit water up the opposite side. Uh oh. I call the plumber (who can't come for hours) and wait. As I'm sitting across the room, pouting at my inability to not be able to use the kitchen sink, the dishwasher (which wasn't even running) starts pouring water all over the floor.

The plumber finally comes, and she (yep, she. Our plumber is a lady) tells us that there's no blockage in the kitchen sink. She does all sorts of plumbery things, and asks if we have problems with other drains. Since we moved in, all of our drains have run kind of slow, but honestly, hubs put in the 2 toilets and the bathroom sinks, so I kind of thought it was just because he didn't do it right (sorry hubs!). She says it must be tree roots that have gotten into our drainage pipes. So what does this mean?

It means that my newly planted lawn is getting dug up. But that's not the worst of it. The County Water people came out and ran a camera through the sewer line and spray painted where the mysterious roots were. Then we had all of the other utilities come and mark where their lines were (it would be really, really bad to hit a gas line and blow up the neighborhood!).

The neon green paint is where the roots are, all of the orange lines are gas lines. So, we can't get the big yellow digger to dig this hole. It has to be done by hand.

April 15- We had the heavy machinery start the hole, and hubs and plumber started digging a trench toward the curb.

Doesn't look so happy now does he? Oh! I forgot to mention, they broke the water line when they dug the big hole AND the broke the sewer line. So he's standing in a muddle of mud and...well, there's no nice way to say this. Poop. He's standing in poop.

After about 8 hours of digging , it looked like this.

Lots of roots, but still haven't found the culprit.

That black wire running across the hole is a cable wire, also bad to hit with heavy machinery.

Another couple of hours, and we're at the curb. Hubs is really happy about it, as you can see. Actually, he wasn't bad, he just kept "suggesting" that I pick up a shovel and start digging. How can I take pictures if I'm digging? Geesh. Anyway. There are no tree roots anywhere near our sewer lines. None. Mind you, at this point, I have a 5 foot wide hole in my front lawn and the sewage pipe hasn't been repaired yet, so every time you flush the toilet it goes to the hole in the front yard. We called the County back and told them we dug to the curb and there was nothing. They assured us there were roots, but they'd come back out and run their camera again. Is it possible that the spot was mismarked? Perhaps it's on the street-side and not in our yard? Certainly not! It MUST be on our side, otherwise, all this digging would be for nothing, and the county would have to take over and fix the issue. Hmmm, interesting. They were going to send a crew first thing in the morning.

The sewage pipe was taped (yep, taped) back together so the county could take apart in the morning. And we waited. And we waited. And we waited.

April 23- After calling the office about 387 times, I was finally able to speak to someone who assured me that they would send a crew right over. After a lot of back and forth, calls to supervisors and raised voices, they agreed to fix it.

I don't know that they ever found this elusive root. I thought it would be in bad taste to take pictures of them working, they were really not happy with me after all this, so I don't know what exactly they did. I know they did hook all the pipes back up, and they did bring a bunch of dirt to cover up the hole. Hubs and I covered the hole, but there's still a big dirt pile left. We got sidetracked with other problems. Yes, there's more. And it gets worse.

Part 2 tomorrow!