Fun walking the dog

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Friday was Jonathan’s work from home day, but our internet connection, when it worked at all, was as slow as molasses in January. I believe I reposted Jonathan’s blog about that.

At least we had a better response from our internet provider from that than we did back in July, when they kept trying to convince us that it was our modem at fault, rather than their tower. (Though, to be fair, then we had an excellent signal, it just wasn’t connecting to anything.)

So, we had planned to go out to Panera that morning, so Jonathan could get more of his work done. But first, I took the dog for his good long walk, and Jonathan was planning on going down to the church to practice the organ, and then we’d go out afterwards.

So, I was surprised to see our car drive into the church parking lot as Rocky and I were walking by it. I had thought that Jonathan’d walk down, and back, to practice the organ. He waved, and started walking toward me, and I headed toward him.

Rocky was quite confused, as usually we walk around the edge of the parking lot, by the grass, rather than cutting across the asphalt, and he resisted that change a little.

It took him a few moments to realize that someone was coming toward us, and it was funny watching him gradually realizing that the person was my husband, and getting all happily excited. I know that the dog doesn’t see as well as we do (and rather assumes that we only see as well as he does), but I would have thought he’d recognize the scent sooner, especially since the wind was blowing toward us, from behind Jonathan. Still, though, it’s always fun seeing the dog do his happy/fun dance.

Turns out that shortly before (while Jonathan was getting ready to head down to the church, one of the construction guys had knocked on our door, and told him they’d be working on our driveway, and if we didn’t take the car out in the next 15 minutes, we’d be stuck there until after 3. (I think he was exaggerating, but that’s beside the point.) So, Jonathan took the car out.

Rocky was also excited when we walked by the car, which I think he recognized sooner than he had my husband, and jumped up on it, and looked in the window.

He wasn’t too happy when I tried to get him to go home after that. I think the problem was more that we were leaving the car behind us there rather than that we were leaving Jonathan. After all, if the car was there, it must mean we were going somewhere fun, right?

He also wasn’t happy when we got to the house, and had to cross the driveway pretty close to the guy who was using a circular saw on it. He never likes the construction equipment anyway, it makes too much noise.

Then, when we were in the house, they started using a backhoe to break up the driveway a bit more, and he kept looking at me for reassurances for that. Though by the time I left, an hour later, he had gone to sleep, so he could at least get used to the noise.

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Water Main Replacement Update

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Since Rocky is currently on “restricted activity”, we aren’t taking as long of walks as we were before, so we’re seeing less of the digging and pipe placement as we were before the Christmas break.

However, everything I do see makes me think it won’t be long before they do switch over the pipes.

Several times I’ve driven by someplace where the old and new hydrants are near to each other, and have seen them connected to each other with a fire hose. I’ve also seen water pouring out of various hydrants as workers stood around and watched. Other times, I saw water pouring out of a small wooden box. Both make me think that they’ve been doing pressure tests or leak tests on the new pipes. The new hydrants no longer have the white plate under the side nozzle, which I assumed was meant for any fire fighters to know it wasn’t a working hydrant. Which makes me hope the hydrants are actually working now.

Also, they’ve been digging up spots on the streets where they’ve previously laid the pipe. I’m guessing that they’re doing the final connections, and getting rid of the PVC pipes that they were using as markers (the ones that were still there, and hadn’t been knocked down or otherwise gotten rid of).

Recently I figured out that the construction equipment and pipes I saw in a fenced vacant lot near us was related to the water main replacement. I should have figured it out earlier, of course, but I hardly looked at it when we drove or walked by. It wasn’t until I realized that the six-foot orange pipes I saw lying horizontally had black caps at one end that I knew I was looking at fire hydrants, and then made sense of the rest of it.

If they are going through and connecting the houses to the pipes, then they probably will reach our street today or tomorrow.

I’ll let you know.

More Water Main Repairs

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The work on the water mains continues.

Today they dug a trench across the road at the bottom of the hill. This meant that I had to take an alternate route to get home again this afternoon. If it goes like the other places where they’ve dug up the road, it’s probably already mostly filled in, with a couple of metal plates across the road to drive over. Then in a couple of days, they’ll put the last couple inches of asphalt on top of the rough concrete.

We have been wondering what all this digging has done to the automatic sprinkler system of the house on the corner. Many a time we’ve gone past that house and seen the sprinkler running (sometimes in the rain). Obviously they care more about their lawn than we do about ours.

We have been wondering when the switch-over to the new water pipes is going to happen. I understand them wanting to switch over a large area at once. But we have no idea what constitutes large.

I think I mentioned before about when they first finished digging up in front of our house, they sprayed it with a green spray that was supposed to be quick-growing grass seed. It really rained, a gully washer, a couple of days after they did that, and washed away all the grass seed. They sprayed again a couple of days ago, over all the leaves in the drainage ditch. The first guy was really careful about where he sprayed, with very little that went outside of the intended area. The second one sprayed everything.

There is green halfway across the road. There is green halfway up the trees. The new hydrants are green instead of red-orange. The few mailboxes on that side of the road are covered with the stuff. I know it’ll all wash off in the next rain, but I’m still wondering, “What was he thinking?”

Water Main Improvement — Interim Progress Report

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Jonathan’s take on the water main replacement.

Be Swift, Be Precise

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Our section of Kansas City is going through a “small water main improvement project.” Apparently our section of the city is the last part of the Northland to go through it — the process starting about 10 years ago, and our section will get done over the next year.

The process started in August, and they came to us in October/November. The crew of the private contractor hired by the city is doing a good job. When they came down our street they kept disruption to a minimum.  They were very sensitive to watching for people coming and going, and getting us in and out of our driveways.

I learned that though they have the pipes all laid down our street, they haven’t switched us over to the new mains — which explains why we haven’t had any water disruptions yet. They will get a large section done, then switch…

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Water Main Replacement

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The last few months, they’ve been working on replacing all the water mains in our area. Though this no doubt is needed, and hopefully will cut down on all the water leaks we’ve been having the past few years (it seems like every week last winter when I was out walking our dog, we’d come across at least one leak), but right at the moment, it is leaving things rather a mess.

My husband has spoken to the workers a couple of times (well, so have I, but when we speak it’s more along the lines of what a lovely dog we have) and apparently they’re not digging up the old pipes, they’re just putting down new pipes, and when they’ve got the whole area re-piped, they’ll just switch it over all at once. I can see how that’d be easier, and should cut down on the time that we’re without water.

At the moment, though, there is mud all over the place. They did our street last week, now they’re working on the main road, and a couple of other streets. There’s really no place I can walk the dog and be sure that we won’t have the mud. The streets are just a smidgen narrower now, because they dug up the edge of it to put the pipes down. The drainage ditches are really eroding because they just put down quick-growing grass when they reformed them. I’m not sure how much grass they really expected to grow in November, but the rains came pouring down much quicker than the seeds could have rooted anyway.

It has been interesting seeing them work, though. Also seeing what pipes they were putting down. On our street, they’re putting down blue metal pipes, about 8 inches in diameter. Other places they’re putting down bunches of orange PVC pipes, most of them with a blue stripe down one side. I don’t know how they decided what to put where. For the orange PVC pipes, they apparently don’t need to dig a big trench like they did with the blue metal pipes, just big holes every so often, and punch the pipes through, with them sticking out both ends of it until they go in and connect them together.
Another advantage, besides hopefully less leaks, of replacing the water mains is that it allowed them to put in hydrants. There used to be no hydrants on our street. Now there are three. Of course, they don’t have water in them yet, but that should come soon.
I hope they finish with our area soon, so that things will be back to normal.