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Step one: sewer line


When Kris and I first moved into our house, we were excited! Kris was a first-time home owner, I finally (finally!) had my house, how could we not be excited?

One week later one toliet was fountaining sewage, the tub followed suit by turning into a sewage swamp, and Kris was asking me what the hell I had gotten him in to.

Several years later, after we had built up some equity, the housing market went boom! and we received a nice tax return because of the mortgage interest, he realized that hey, okay, maybe this house thing isn't so bad after all.

But with the joys of home ownership ("Hey! I can paint the walls any color I want!") come the not-so-joys of home ownership ("Oh. Yeah, it's my fault the office is still decorated ala previous owner 60s style"), and we decided we're done having the ugliest yard on the block. Of course, using the yard as a landmark with driving directions makes them memorable: "Turn right, it's the street before the light, and drive until you see the ugliest yard on the block. We're on the right."

Before we spent lots of money on the landscaping, though, I thought it prudent to replace the sewer line under the front yard. The sewage fountain was, we were told, from the sewer line backing up into our house. When the house was built, the sewer line, we were told from by city employees, was made of tar paper. Over time, the weight and moisture of the soil squished the pipe, reducing the flow. We should replace the pipe. I asked for a name recommendation, received one, and stuck it up on the fridge, where it sat for 4+ years.

So, to do the landscaping, we need to replace the sewer line, so we did last weekend, which was pretty much the only day in the last six weeks when it could have been done because of the rain. Gene Beres replaced the sewer pipe, which was actually an asbestos pipe and not a tar paper one, as well as the water main, because it broke when they were digging up the sewer line. I was a little miffed that we replaced a line that didn't technically need replacing (it wasn't squished, the previous parkway tree's roots had grown into the sewer main at the junction of our sewer pipe), and a little concerned about the new water main (the replacement, we're told, is copper), but I feel better about growing edibles in the front yard since the asbestos pipe is no longer there.

Kris and I were out of town when the pipes went in, so we have no pictures of the machinery that growled in our front yard. But we do have one of the aftermath: