The Well – part 2Posted on: February 21, 2010
Actually, our first item on this new agenda, was to rent a Ditch-Witch, a great machine that digs a trench four feet deep by eight inches wide. Four feet deep is the standard code to get below the frost line so the water lines don’t freeze, and eight inches wide to accept all pipes and electrical needed to get from here to there. A great machine, when the ground was right.
We laid out the line we wanted to follow, taking the most direct route possible. Logical. We started from where the lines would go into the house, curved it to redirect toward the woods. The pipe being used was flexible, to a point, curves had to be gradual. From behind the house at the entrance point, the line curved across the parking area and into the woods. There we stopped. Pete went down to where the well was, while I tied a tape line to a tree where we had stopped and then walked toward him, letting the tape out as I went. We looked at the line, and made a few adjustments for obstacles. Trees. Rocks. But eventually, we had a workable line.
Know how deep four feet is? Chest deep to me at 5‘4“, but to dig that deep, that 8” trench now had to be body wide, and enough room to move with a shovel. That trench was now 18” wide. And chest deep. <sigh> And we were on a time table.
discouraged and bedraggled as I was. His trench was shorter, but the rocks!! He was digging out boulders!! I presented him with his drink, and with gratitude in his eyes, he heaved him self out. We sat there for awhile, sipping our rum & cokes, and decided that we could finish tomorrow.The next day, with renewed and refreshed spirits, we began again. The continuing rain loosened the sides of the sandy ridges even more. At least that digging was easier, and NO tree roots poking me. After a few more cave-ins, one that trapped me to my knees, I got several 2×12’s to give me a stabile edge (see picture) and things went much easier. It was still dirty, muddy and messy, but at least I was seeing progress. Once I finished that section, knowing it likely would need touching up when we were ready to lay the lines down, I walked the line, clearing areas, measuring depth. Several times I had to lay on my belly, reaching down in that 8” trench with a spade, to clear an area, remove a rock, whatever needed doing.
Early in the afternoon, we were ready to roll out the pipe and the power lines. Leaving plenty of slack on both ends, the black PVC pipe was laid to rest. Then we filled it all back in… that was difficult, after days and days of back breaking labor, we were filling, visually nullifying all that hard work. But we were one step closer to having water in the house!!