Pat myself on the back!!!!!!!

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Dec 25, 2007
When oldest Son (Tom) bought a small farm 14 miles away 3 1/2 years ago, it was nice to have his family close rather than 3 hours away. The place was well taken care of although pretty rough ground. The previous owners had built a 3/4 acre pond at the lower end of the place and installed a submersible pump under a float in the pond with pressure tank in the corner of a heated shed. Within a year, he had a waterline break above the pond on the very steep hillside. This became a common problem with a waterline break every year. The PVC pipe was pulling apart at the joints. This summer we dug up a leak to find it had been repaired before. With winter coming on and livestock depending on this water source, we sought a solution. The steepness of the hill, proximity of sandstone to the surface, and likelihood of excess erosion resulting from digging in a new line(not even considering the high cost of backhoe, waterline, and electric line) seemed to make this project prohibitive.
During a brainstorming session, I suggested "pulling" a smaller continuous line inside the failing 1 1/4" PVC line. Tom wasn't too big on the idea so I did some investigation into the project. It looked do-able and a big cost savings plus far less disturbing to the hillside. The decision was made to go for it.
The backhoe guy is a friend and he was skeptical but cooperative. The first problem was finding the old line. My "divining rod"(witching fork) was confused by the numerous tree roots and we missed with our initial search holes. We finally got another friend who works for the local water district to "find" the old line. After digging at both ends of the line, we "blew" a fluff bag with attached 20# mono fishing line down the pipe and used that to pull a "mule" tape back. After 3 partial days of prep work, the actual "pull" took 1 1/2 hours mostly because we were being over cautious.
Anyhoo, by 11 AM, we had water pressure in the system. By 3 PM, we had all the backfill completed and were smoothing the backfill on another line laid to a new year-round livestock water tank.
The backhoe operator is impressed and we have added another "how the heck did you manage that" page to my big book of such odd-ball solutions.


Ruger Guru
Sep 18, 2002
Congrats on being smarter than many.
Many years ago,,, a small development was being built by a flatlander. Here in the mountains. They had a small lake, with a 24" drain pipe. There was a gate valve so they could drain part of the lake if necessary for maintenance etc.
Well, the drain valve stuck, (during winter of course,) and they had hired one guy to scuba dive & open it. It was 10 ft deep, and he failed to have enough weight to even sink to work on the valve. He wore a wet suit, failed in his job, and still charged them.
I got called, and was able to put on my dry suit, & get the valve open in 5 minutes, and charged them less.
Well I got repeat work, opening & closing the valve. It seems the old 24" pipe was rusting out & leaking some. The flatlander figured to sleeve the 24" with 20' sections of 16" pipe, clamped together. THEN he was going to fill the void with liquid setting grout. Over 400 ft of this, down a steep backside of the dam.
All went well until the weight of the grout overcame the integrity of the joints,,, collapsed a joint, opening the 16" pipe & they pumped the new pipe full of grout.
I was there the day they ran the camera up it to see what was blocking the new pipe. (I had a hunch,,, but kept quiet.)
He finally abandoned the whole underground pipe drain, and went with a flood control spillway.
His failure was using sections of pipe, too small & adding the heavy grout to the flimsey pipe.

Fox Mike

Nov 17, 2009
Mobuck said:
The backhoe operator is impressed and we have added another "how the heck did you manage that" page to my big book of such odd-ball solutions.
Nothing 'oddball' if it works as you wanted it too, it is just a different approach to a problem.

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