Tuesday, July 18, 2006

I see a hole out there

There's been a bit of goings-on here at Chez Knit'n Lit.

Last week we had not one, not two, but three visits from the Water Department. A lovely man named Renaldo was here Monday, to tell me that they are planning to dig up our street, and asked me if I knew where our pipes were. Um, don't you work for the city? Yeah. After digging around for a bit and sticking some measuring tools in the ground, he seemed satisfied and left.

Tuesday morning, as we are about to walk out of the door, he returns. He needs to put some green powder in our toilet, flush it, and see which side of the house the green powder turned up on. The first trial lasted about 20 minutes, after which he returned for trial number two. Another 20 minutes, and he was back, with the not-so-great news.

Renaldo: So it looks like you pipes go to the back.

Me: You mean they're on the same line as the apartments (behind us)?

Renaldo: Yes.

Me: So....

Renaldo: We want make apartments on own line.

Me: So....

Renaldo: We change you pipes to go front.

Me: So.....

Renaldo: ??????

Renaldo left without giving us a clear indication of what this would entail. Basically, my assumption is this: Our water runs through our backyard and ties into the line that the apartments feed into. Their line runs through our side yard and into the street in front of us (but Renaldo led me to believe that our water does not end up here - I'm confused). The city wants to put these apartments on their own line, as condos are being built at the end of our street, and they will have to join our line.

Wednesday morning a different city employee was back to tell us that they'd be out Monday or Tuesday to tear up our side yard, but it would be just to check the grade and he didn't know when they were going to tear up the street. He also asked me where Renaldo had marked our pipes as he didn't see any lines. I pointed out the spray paint on the side yard and he said that was our neighbors.

Me: "He mentioned something about our lines going to the back."

City employee: "Oh. You're the problem house."

Nothing like hearing those words from the city.

They came back yesterday to "check their grade*."

They also tore down part of my fence - to get the backhoe in. Nice.

Our poor dogs were cooped up inside all day as I admonished them to stop barking at/growling at/stalking the water men.

This is what they left behind.

I sure am glad we couldn't afford to resod our backyard this year.

*How funny is it that every time I typed "check their grade" I actually typed "check their gauge."


  1. What a lovely view you have there. Not.

  2. What the heck? I hope they plan on putting your yard back the way it was!!

  3. You have my deepest sympathies. It's never good to be referred to as the problem house.

  4. It's okay. Every 8-10 years the gas company comes to our house and tears up our yard because we have some majoy lines going through our property. Speaking of which, they're overdue.

    The city is also removing trees from our yard.

    Hopefully things won't go too bad for you.

  5. Holy cow, what a PITA. You deserve some city funded landscaping for the big mess they are making. Funny too, the first time I read "check the grade" on your post I thought it said "check the gauge". I think we are brain-washed into gauge checking!!!

  6. Anonymous8:34 AM

    Don't you just love these things that barge right into your life without asking if you have the time/wits to deal with them? I hope it's over soon and they put things back they way they found them.

  7. FYI - The city is supposed to put everything back the way it was when they are through. I can't remember if you won your home or rent, so be sure the owner knows what is going on if iyou do rent.

  8. Geez - it's not as though you personally installed the pipes in the back. What a nightmare.

  9. Gotta love the city, huh? Just like the utilities, they come in and mess everything up, and leave. Hope they put everything back, not just the way it was, but better.

  10. Anonymous6:05 PM

    Your photos didn't appear on my screen, but just reading your post gives me hives. I hope hope hope that they put everything back the way it was for you. We went through something similar that involved sewer hookups, losing trees, a sidewalk (that has now caved in b/c of the snow/rain/flood thing)...I feel your pain and I hope that everything goes well.

  11. Yowza. You problem house, you!