Monday, December 26, 2011

A Weekend Water Adventure

The calm, quiet weekend that we had been expecting started off rather different than that! Saturday morning we awoke to very little water pressure . . . and to back up a bit to explain why that was more of a concern for us, before my Dad had his emergency appendectomy a few weeks ago, we found out that our waterline was leaking somewhere (and we have around 100 yards of waterline). Dad was in the process of trying to find the leak which is really difficult since no water was leaching to the surface anywhere between the water meter and our house. But then he had to have his surgery so we put the waterline out of our minds to wait until after Dad was all healed up and could begin work on it again.

Well . . . when we awoke Saturday with very little water pressure, the first thought was that our leak must have gotten a lot worse. Dad went down to the meter to check and see if the little dial was spinning faster and on his way, stopped in surprise to see our woods just below the water meter full of water!


One of our brush piles surrounded by water now

He raced back to the house to get some pliers so he could turn off our water at the meter while through his head the figures were running of what our next water bill could be. After getting the water turned off, he heard a gushing noise coming from the road . . . it turned out that it wasn't our line at all that had leaked all that water, but there was a break in the main line!

Looking down the road . . . and you can see the two places where the water was bubbling up (our place is directly to the left so that is why all of the water was draining onto it.)

This is the larger of the two holes and was about 4-inches across

After discovering this, Dad came in to call the water company wondering if he was even going to be able to get a hold of anyone given it being a holiday weekend. Eventually, he was able to talk to a real person and about an hour and half later, a crew arrived and were out fixing the main line.

I went down to give them some brownies around lunchtime and talked with them for a bit about the leak . . . it turns out that the main line had completely snapped in two and the force of the water had pushed up through about 5 feet of ground (including a hard packed gravel road) and who knows how many gallons it put out during that time. A LOT! After several hours of working on it, the line was repaired and their giant hole was filled back in.

And while the water company guys worked on the main line break, up at our house we started once again trying to find our own leak . . . when Dad had gone down to the water meter, he saw (by how many gallons of water that had been used) that our leak had gotten quite a bit worse.

Do you know how hard it is to find a water leak when no water is perking to the surface anywhere? It is really hard. Dad started digging in a place where he thought the leak might be . . . and one big hole later that slowly filled up about halfway with water and that had the waterline down in it still yielded no insight. The water wasn't filling the hole like what it should be if it was coming from a waterline leak nearby. So we guessed that the leak must be further up.

Saturday evening then, while Dad ran to town to get the parts that would be needed if we found the leak, I dug a bunch of smaller 'postholes' along where we thought the waterline ran to try to help find where the leak might be. Due to how the water was coming into the holes, we thought we had figured out the general location of the leak.


One of the series of postholes that I dug

So Ryan and our friend Mr. M. came out to help Dad dig in the place where we thought the leak was and after digging one big deep hole (and Dad later dug another), we still came up empty. They dug another hole further down, found the waterline, put in a valve, and from that, determined that the leak was somewhere between by our driveway to up where the waterline connects into the house.

So the saga of the waterline leak search continues . . . anyone have a back hoe and want to come help dig some holes? :)


Mr. M. probing in one of the holes

Daddy digging

And once again, I find myself looking for the blessings (though I will admit to getting a little discouraged there for awhile!) . . . at least we still have water (granted, we're turning it off except for a bit in the evenings for showers, filling up containers with water for our use during the day, etc.), we're having fun working together as a family and with friends, and now at least, we have somewhat narrowed down where the leak is. :) And if you all wouldn't mind praying that we would be able to find it soon and get it fixed, it would be appreciated!

13 comments:

  1. praying for you friend!

    and thanking the Lord for what he is going to do!!!

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  2. Oh dear! That is a problem! I will be praying that the problem is solved quickly!

    Blessings,
    Mikailah~

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  3. Praying for the water leak problem and help to fix it and so all will be well once more.

    Water is so precious and when you have problems with it, you feel it even more so.

    I pray that you and your family did have a blessed christmas despite the water leakage and digging to find out where it is.

    kathleen

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  4. Dear Sarah,

    Eeks! I'll be praying that your leak makes itself known soon. I wish I did have a backhoe, or knew of someone who did who could help!

    Love,

    Marqueta

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  5. Dear Sarah,

    That must be so frustrating! Your family has been having so many issues come up lately...I know how that goes! We've had a lot of the same in the past year. I'll definitely be praying for y'all!

    ♥Joy

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  6. Sorry to hear about the leak! I hope that you are able to find it soon and that your father isn't doing too much work so he can fully recover. :o)

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  7. Thank you all so much for your comments and for your prayers! They helped brighten up our days and were a blessing. :) Thank you!

    The past few days have been rather interesting to say the least! As a brief little update . . . we were able to find out Monday that the leak is underneath of our house, and as it isn’t repairable, we are going to need to dig a trench around our house and bury a new waterline up to the point where it comes out from under our house on the other side . . . and before the cold weather comes this weekend! We’re going to be a little busy over the next few days . . . :) We are so thankful for the unusually warm weather we are having right now as it has allowed us to have a temporary above ground line for the time being (which a good friend of ours helped put in yesterday.) So at least we have water!

    Thank you all again!!

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  8. Sarah...so the Jonah day continues! When all is said and done, the water situation will be greatly improved at your place, with a brand new waterline, etc.

    In situations like this, it helps me to imagine that the Lord is allowing the current inconvenience to save us from an even greater crisis. We will be praying for patience and fortitude for all of you, as you work hard to do all you can to rectify this. And we are thanking God that He has sent you warm weather, just when you need it!

    ~ Betsy

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  9. Sorry to hear of these problems, but praise the Lord for the nice weather we've been having which makes working outside a little nicer. We're on wells and have lots of underground pipes leading to pasture waterers and house and have dealt with leaks. Not fun, for sure, especially in winter.:-(
    Hopefully, the weather will hold a few more days and you can get it all fixed. Praying,
    and God bless,
    Anne♥

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  10. I shall be praying for you and your family, Sarah, that you are able to fix this problem soon.

    A not quite unrelated note: while reading your post I was reminded of last year when a pipe near us burst. We weren't affected by it, but some of our friends were. Later, when out walking in our area, we found the place where all the water from the pipe had flowed down in what must have been a torrent – it was quite interesting looking at all the gravel lane it had managed to displace!

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  11. It kind of has, Betsy. :) Yet, through it all, we are reminded of how much we have to be thankful for and the blessings that the Lord gives even amidst adversity. Such as the warmer weather that we had all week . . . that was a great blessing!

    It would be interesting to know what all the Lord protects and preserves us from, wouldn’t it? Sometimes what might seem to be a ‘trial’ is actually a blessing even if we don’t know it . . . it reminds me of when my parents hit the two deer right before getting on the interest only to find out that right after hitting them and slowing down to a stop that the brake lines on the car went out. So hitting the deer actually protected them from going on to the interstate without brakes. Definitely a blessing!

    Thank you so much for your prayers! Your comment came to mind several times while I was out there digging . . . patience and fortitude I kept reminding myself as shovelful after shovelful of dirt came out of the trench. :)

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  12. The warmer weather certainly has been a blessing, Mrs. Anne! From the sounds of things, you all are well versed in waterline leak repairs. :) This makes the third or fourth time now we have repaired our line, and certainly the most ‘exciting' of them all.

    We managed to get the trench all dug in time before the cold weather! We don’t have the new line in yet, but we can put the temporary one down in the trench to keep it from freezing. Hopefully the beginning of next week this project will reach its conclusion!

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  13. Thank you so much, Anna! We just about have the problem all fixed now for which we are thankful. It is so nice to be reaching the end of this adventure!

    That’s too bad that a pipe near you all burst and affected your friends . . . hopefully it was able to be repaired quickly. Isn’t it interesting to see what force moving water has? I was really surprised to see what all resulted from the main line break down on our road!

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Thanks so much for your comment! Each one is read and enjoyed. :)