Monday, July 28, 2008

One Thing After Another

I can't even begin to tell you just how messed up our weekend was, but here are the highlights. Or maybe I should say lowlights.

Friday: Took Kat for immunizations that she needs before starting Kindergarten. Took her to her regular doctor. Sat in the waiting room 20 minutes, then in the exam room for 45 minutes before I finally asked the nurse what the delay was. She said that the doctor hadn't even made it in yet. And of course, the nurse can't give the vaccines until a doctor is actually on the premises. We had another appointment and had to leave, so the immunizations are still on the to do list. Much to Kat's dismay.

Saturday: Shane started "The Backflow Project" in the basement. Buddy and former neighbor Zach was supposed to help, but didn't show up and didn't call. Shane was NOT happy, but managed to jackhammer and dig out a pit and install the sump pump by himself.

Sunday: Time to install the backflow valve on the sewer line. Do you believe in water witching (aka dowsing)? We do, and Clay and I both "witched out" the sewer line in our basement. It was our first try at this, but we both "found it" in the same locations, both inside and outside the house. One of the reasons we needed Zach's help so much is that he's very good at dowsing, and in fact gets paid bonus wages for doing so by the public works department where he works. He finally came over on Sunday and located the sewer line in the same place we did. What's more, it seemed to be in a very logical location in relation to our floor drain, leading out the front of the house and to the lines the water department marked for us out on the street. But when Shane and Zach dug for it, they couldn't find it. At least not within the first three feet down.

They decided to dig beside the drain coming down from the house into the basement floor. In short, our plumbing is FUBAR. It appears to be draining out toward the BACK of the house. But what's worse is that the floor in that part of the basement is concrete at least 12 inches deep and poured directly onto the pipes. Even I know that isn't right. To excavate the pipes could take two or three days. To figure out how the pipes eventually drain to the front of the house (we're all but certain that they do) could take no telling how much time or expense. Because there was no signs of "patchwork" in the concrete, we can only assume the originally builder did this, but we have no idea why.

So now we're back to the drawing board. The sump pump will help with ground water, but we have to figure out a different way to control the sewer line backflow*. We aren't building a bathroom downstairs any time soon. Plans to turn the basement into finished living space have been scrapped, maybe forever. A truckload of stuff has to be returned to Home Depot. We have a lot rethinking to do.

I'm exhausted, and I didn't even do any of the physical work.


*People from FEMA and our city visited us and others in town. The sewage backflow problem has been determined to be the city's problem. In fact, many of us who were flooded out because of this now qualify for FEMA assistance. Our loss was minimal and we may not even apply for assistance, but others in town have lost a lot of property and some have even had to leave their homes. I'm glad some assistance is finally available for them, and I hope the city does something to eliminate the problem all together.

4 comments:

Nobody™ said...

There are contractors that can easily locate a sewer line. It's costs about $125 to have it done in our area. Probably double that in a city. It was a rotor-rooter type outfit here that does it, look for some one that can do video inspection, they are likely able to do locates as well. Assuming that once you know where the lines at it will make the job do-able.

Tug said...

Oh, that sucks. Much luck with that - shouldn't the city have some kind of plans for buried lines? I really don't know, but maybe??

Annie Jones said...

Nobody: I think he's just aggravated and tired right now. I'm sure we'll come up with some kind of solution, but he wants to step away from it for a little while.

Tug: You'd think. (I could be wrong) but as far as I know, they're only responsible for the parts of the lines that are public. According to Zach, in the town where he works, if it's on the homeowner's property, it's the homeowner's problem.

Sarah said...

OMG - do you live by me? We had a problem in our city just this spring with the sewers back-flowing. My house was not hit, but several of my neighbors were.

Hmmm....I knew you were in the general area, just thought that was a funny coincidence :) And no, I have no clue who you "really" are ;) But its fun to read your stories!