Pipeline – search for water 2011.03.26

Sunday, 20 February 2011

The previous Wednesday we had gone out to assist with the tracking down of the main connection of “our” water pipe to the main supply which runs along the Ladyslipper dirt road. The people of the municipality with Deon in charge, had located this a few weeks beforehand and now was the time to open the stopcock and get the water flowing.

Alas, no water flowed, so very carefully in order not to break the badly corroded connection into the cast iron pipe they loosened various connections and found that the main culprit was a 2 cent piece which had been inserted into the pipe at the water meter. Someone had made really sure that no water was going to flow to the Reserve. Even so, when we opened the manhole with the air release valve at the other side of the road there was still no evidence of water but now it was our problem, the municipality had done their bit.

During my customary creative time at two in the morning I had the brilliant idea to drill tiny holes in the pipe and determine where the blockage was so today’s job was to do just that.

Neil, Ellie and I gathered and I duly drilled a hole by the valve and….absolutely nothing.


You can see the state of the pipes and the corrosion quite clearly.

We then decided to dig just beyond where the municipality had dug to check the connection to the pipe under the road and make sure we had water there, no problem there.


Ellie made sure Neil was motivated to work hard.

We didn’t really want to but there was no option but to dig on the other side of the road and check there. It was hard going as the soil was compacted and very rocky. We managed though and the result was clear to see.

Well, maybe not that clear, you can spot the fountain between Neil’s legs though. I then tapped thread in the hole and inserted a 5mm screw to block it, that seemed to work well. Still no water at the manhole a few meters away, pity time was up and besides, we were pretty tired as it was very hot.