Troubled Waters

The creek project is almost at an end and I am not going to complain about how it looks.

It won’t be so bad once I stick a few more bushes along the wire dog fence and the dirt over there starts growing its usual weeds, vines and other scrubby vegetation. There sure is a lot of sky sticking out though now that the trees are gone. Also, you can see that Sami has been wrasslin’ with his castoff wheelbarrow collection.

I will, however, tell you that for a week now the sump pump in my basement has suddenly started running and pumping out water every 15 minutes. It washed away the mulch in my new rose garden and it’s going to screw up my lovely new concrete garden path and I guess eventually it will rot the wooden fence posts.

We tried diverting the sump pump pipe under the air conditioner  to be less troublesome but that didn’t work as you can see.

Everyone is mystified! Mystified and  barely interested! Although the creek workers said that they’ve seen air bubbles coming up through the mud of the creek bed for exactly the same period, the township inspector has to think about what could be the source of this new water issue.  The youngest/newest township engineer told Sami he saw water gushing up from the creek bottom. But still, what a mystery this is.

At the opposite end of the water spectrum, although the township swears that they have done nothing to divert the water flow from the big concrete pipe, only the tiniest little trickle is coming out of it. During any rain storm when the drain water would jump out of that pipe, now it’s the same little trickle whether raining or not.

So the mystery deepens. What happened to the water that used to come out of the concrete pipe? Where is the water coming into our basement and out the sump pump coming from?  Could the two issues be related? NO! PROBABLY NOT!  DEFINITELY NOT! BUT WE ARE GOING TO THINK ABOUT IT!

The workers are now raking over the place where the big machines used to sit and laying down mats of grass seed and fertilizer. They’ll be gone by the end of the day. The creek project will be finished.


UPDATE: I forgot to tell you that last week we had another homeowner water disaster. The old house in Pennsylvania was empty so we had the pipes drained and winterized. Last week we asked  the water company to turn the water back on and they did it when we weren’t there. They opened the valve full blast and the force  of the water blasted the radiator caps and washing machine hoses right off. Resulting in a big wet mess. Poor old recuperating Sami had to go and clean up the soaked carpeting, etc  with the help of another old but dependable senior citizen.

So obviously  water is in our horoscopes this month. I’m just happy that we’re not taking a sea cruise right  now.


6 thoughts on “Troubled Waters

  1. Little known fact: my degree was in geology. I had to take a class in hydrology in undergrad. If they changed the gradient of the water table by raising the creek bed, the underground water which headed for the low creek area will start running backwards, hence your sump pump running.

    I would call someone in the State Geological Survey and ask them to come out and take a look. If I could do diagrams on this reply I could show you what I am talking about. You really need to call someone before they depart with all of the heavy equipment.

  2. Yes, I know how bullheaded engineers can be (I am married to one). They probably know they forgot to account for the underground gradient in their plans and are now hoping to beat feet and collect the check before someone figures it out.

    I would start raising holy hell with elected officials. There are consultants you can get who will be able to help, although I would suggest the state geological survey or a local university’s hydrology professor. Get those eco-warriors to earn their keep for once. Start in talking about how it’s bad enough that they took out all the trees,and destroyed local wildlife habitat, but now they are wreaking havoc with the underground watter supply.

    If all else fails accuse them of illegal fracking or something. This is going to be a perpetual problem for you and other homeowners if they don’t correct it.

  3. Water bubbling from the creek bed means a source of water found relief from soil overburden, the underground passage of water is diverted, an underground utility is broken, or maybe something worse, like shifting soil caused a joint of your water pipe to leak. It, also, could be the pounding and movement of equipment defeated the water barrier in your basement walls, which would lead to an increase of infiltration.

    Complaining sometimes works, but nothing gets the attention of a municipal entity like a law suit, especially if they skipped a few steps in their design process, like soil bores and analysis by a qualified soil engineer. I’ve seen the lack of those lead to the very expensive retrofit of an interstate overpass.

    One think is for sure: if the water is trapped, it will find a way out. Look for signs on the bank of the creek, around the gabions or at the concrete structures. Look for actual running water, or staining from seepage.

  4. I agree with what the other commentors have said. But I want to add one more thing: perhaps now is the time to enlist Mr. Poodle and the other looky~loos. These are the types of people you need on your side at city council meetings and such.

    Good luck. It seems super obvious that The Creek Project has screwed something up. It’s probably going to be helpful that you documented it on your blog. It’s also good that you are figuring this out before the serious winter weather begins. I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed for you.

  5. This is a scenario that can only end badly. I hope there’s a fix for it. About 5 years ago our warer lines were replaced by the city. After endless problems they were dug up and they found pipes taped at the joints with duct tape.
    Long gone.

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