Ellen Million (ellenmillion) wrote,
Ellen Million

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Trenching and such

It's breakup!

Our electricity trench has turned into a Problem.

Last fall, we dug a 400' trench for buried power up to the house. That was an adventure in itself, and involved rolling the ditchwitch a few times, throwing a chain and breaking a pin. (The ditchwitch being a monster about the size of several washingmachines, weighing more than a few hundred pounds, and awfully unhappy at the rocky soil we were trying to drag it through.) We were working on it waaay too late in the season, and I could probably attribute several of the little scars on my knuckles from filling it back in, by hand, over the cables. It was snowing sideways that day, below freezing, and the work had to be done bare-handed. It's hard to notice the skin coming off when your hands are numb.

We couldn't fill in the last six or seven feet of the trench because we had to wait until the power company had inspected the trench and hooked up the power. Naturally, the power company couldn't come out that day, or that weekend. Once the soil was frozen and the trench covered in snow, it wasn't going to get filled in properly.

Water is a problem in the spring. See, it melts all over the surface, but the ground's still frozen, so it runs around madly on top of the ground with nowhere to go. Except our trench. Now full of high voltage cables and four feet of silty snowmelt. Against our lovely basement wall.

Jake and I, being the clever engineers that we are, routed all the run-off that was pouring down from uphill around our problem puddle using a trench shovel and some elbow-grease. I used some of the left-over 2" conduit to make a little bridge to drain the puddle under the fuel tank right overtop the trench, and we set up a siphon with a 75' garden hose. We've had to restart it a bunch of times, and I must admit I don't like the taste of silty icemelt.

It's not all the way empty, but the trench is now mostly drained, and more importantly, nothing more is filling it up for now.

Again I say, much more fun than working more overtime!!

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