minor catastrophe this morning.

we were digging holes to plant some loropetalum (plum delight) shrubs in front of our porch and hit our water line. oh, not just the water line, but the corroded old secondary shut-off at the house (that we didn't know we had). it was just a few inches under the ground. and we couldn't find the shut-off in the meter at the street. super! we had water gushing into our yard for almost 45 minutes!

the water went all the way to the backyard...

our neighbor was very helpful and used a wrench to turn the underwater valve at the house (it had no lever/knob) to shut off the water, but there was still a slow leak because the water wasn't off at the street.

turns out there was a separate hole that our shut-off was in - the cover was completely buried with grass, so we couldn't find it.

i can't believe this would be buried just a few inches under the ground like that. there was grass over it and everything.

we got an emergency plumber out to get rid of the corroded valve and install a shiny new shut-off valve to the tune of $289...

...and we put a much more conspicuous cover on it so we (and any future owners of the house) will know it's there.

and we finally got our shrubs in the ground.

we're very lucky it wasn't a greater catastrophe, but it was stressful when that water was flowing fast and we had no idea how to turn it off. are we the only ones who don't think to check with all of our utilities when we do some minor landscaping?


Todd said...

Sorry to hear about your mishap today. Don't feel bad many people do similar things everyday. I would however like to use your bad luck as a reminder to your readers. You should never dig in the ground unless you've called Digg Safe. www.digsafe.com
Digg safe will come to your location free of charge and mark public utilities. That waterline could have been a gas line, buried electric, sewer, etc.

I'm glad no one was hurt and you got it taken care of. Best of luck.

Alicia said...

Yikes! Well, at least your plants look great- and they are well hydrated. :)

ciaobellon said...

We ran into your husband when he was out getting the cover -- he looked like he had been frazzled but by that point the emergency valve had been put in.

I wouldn't sweat your water bill though -- it may double, at most? One time we had an idiot painter leave the lawn hose on for an entire weekend while we were out of town. Total nimrod. Our bill was about 5 times what it usually was.

By the way, I LOVE the lorapetalum! One of my favs -- it looks great!