A jackhammer sounds like a helicopter

Road crew with dump truck and excavator digging a hole in the street in front of our house to repair a sewer pipe crack.

Homeowner problems

This is still our house, but really? Now? A month before we don’t own it any more?

Didn’t need the worry!

We have owned this house since it was built in 1981. March 5th we moved in, and it has had no other family in it. In all those years, we NEVER had a sewer problem connected to the street.

Well, just for funsies, the day AFTER the Open House, a small sink hole developed by the curb, right near the real estate sign, and we wondered whether they had nicked the water line into the house (since no markings were made on the grass and bushes, and no flags set by utility companies). So we duly reported it, the township fixed the small sink hole, and we thought that was that.

Told lawyer and real estate agent, so they wouldn’t say we didn’t inform them of potential problems (water line, sewer) that we might be required to disclose.

Then we got a message on our answering machine from the head of the Sewer Dept., stating there was a problem where our sewer pipe connected to the main – in the middle of the street (so not on our property).

When contacted, found out they would get it fixed by contractors as soon as they had enough for a day’s work for one. We thought it would be forever, but they started early this morning, did NOT (bless them!) ring our door bell until around 9am when they needed us not to send anything down the sewer line for a while (now over), and they proceeded to make a standard repair.

Which they are in the process of asphalting right this minute.

What was that sound?

The sound I heard, which was like every helicopter in every movie, was actually a man tamping down soil and gravel into the hole with a jackhammer-like device (probably called, with all due irony, a tamper), was not Black Hawks landing on our lawn.

Much more prosaic.

And over much sooner than I expected – so I am impressed by our township’s efficiency at keeping us in the loop, and the contractor’s at getting a ‘not uncommon’ problem fixed efficiently and quickly.

Yay, taxes!

Yay, First World problems.

Not our responsibility, thank goodness – no digging up the front lawn and all the way to the house – no cost.

I have never been happier to pay property taxes which include infrastructure.

Of such is my life right now.

And y’all get such interesting but ultimately unimportant trivia because I can, courtesy of iPhone and WordPress, mail a photo snapped in a moment out my office window directly to my Media Library. Gotta love the modern world.


12 thoughts on “A jackhammer sounds like a helicopter

  1. joey

    Gah, what timing indeed! Pity this had to happen now, but I am glad you’re spared expense. When we bought our home, we’d only been in it a few weeks when our sewer line brought out the best plumbers ever to rebuild a path from house to main. We had to pay for it, and it left a sad hump in our lawn for some time. I do think it was about a year before the grass covered it all back up. (Wooded, not as much sun.) That money was for new fencing and flooring, and here we are five years later, still no new fencing and flooring. Bah.
    I did enjoy watching the men work on the line, with the diggers and all. I do enjoy that sorta thing, but I could just as well have watched for free 😉


    1. Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt Post author

      We were lucky; the break was on the connection to the public sewer, under the street – not on our property. And apparently these things happen, and they seemed to execute the fix quite quickly – for contractors. They didn’t loll around a lot (neither did the public servants who came, I must say). They all knew and did their job bits, even though the whole required five different visits.

      It isn’t an easy job, and it required a robot of some kind (like giving the sewer pipe to our house a colonoscopy) for them, from the street, to decide that yes, there was a break, and where it was. Specific tools for the township department which must inspect a lot of these connections and have to fix them.

      We lucked out. Sort of. Could have been what your problem was.


      1. joey

        We live in a part of the city that is primarily right at 100 years old, so water main incidents are VERY common in my hood, private and municipal. They are expedient, well-practiced, I’d say.

        We should have a colonoscopy of the pipes in our yard in the next few years, because so many trees. We have a warranty, thank tacos.

        I thought of you yesterday when I dropped Moo at a friend’s house. This child had been to our house many times, but it was my first time there. Entering her neighborhood, bout 20 years old, I realized what so many of her neighbors had done vs other neighborhoods like it — you know what it was, right? THEY PLANTED TREES. Not just the standard one tree per yard, but many shaded areas, and lush with landscaping. It struck me so odd, because I frequent the other end of that division and it’s practically barren. I wish you’d been there to witness it with me 🙂


        1. Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt Post author

          I tell everyone buying a house built in a cornfield exactly that: twenty years will pass in a flash while you’re working, rearing children, studying… so plant inexpensive small trees at the very beginning, and you’ll have a gorgeous lot sooner than you think.

          You and I think alike. So what if they invade driveways and sewers – they add so much. And Rotor rooter clones will handle the sewer invasions.

          I wish I’d been there, too. People don’t think ahead.

          Liked by 1 person

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