Eons ago, we decided we'd like to have plumbing in the new downstairs. Sure, we had plumbing before; it was just that instead of draining into the sewer system, the washing machine and utility sink drained into the backyard. I can tell you this because that patently illegal move has now been fixed.
The thing was, we weren't sure whether the slope between the bottom of our house and the sewer in the street would be steep enough for a sewer line. As the plumbers' saying goes, "Shit flows downhill and payday is on Friday." (N.B. They actually bill you any day of the week.)
We called the city. We considered a pump. We had a guy come out and put some sort of magnetic thing down the line. It's close, they said. No one seemed to know for sure how deep the sewer line was where we needed to tap into it.
Enter Guy With a Dowsing Rod. I can't believe I managed to miss this, but Marc tells me (and my dad confirms) that this man came out with a wire attached to his shoulders, stomped around in circles, and said, "Yep. Ten feet." Then his company dug this hole in the street.
Dowsing, though apparently amazing at locating sewer pipes, doesn't foretell the difficulties of running a new sewer line. Digging the hole proved more challenging than expected because someone had poured a massive amount of concrete during a previous sewer repair. Then, during these torrential rains we've been having, the hole Team Dowser had dug filled with water every evening, which they had to pump out every morning. The digging process took days longer than they had expected.
Then Team Dowser started boring into the yard. Unfortunately, the borer somehow froze up, and they called to say that they'd lost their machinery under the yard and would have to dig a trench to find it. Here's our front yard, as of last week. This hole also filled with water.
A job that everyone thought would take a day had taken a week.
Somehow, though, we ended up with this new sewer line! I want to shout it from the rooftops. It's ours! We'll be able to have a bathroom in the downstairs, without a pump! The slope was adequate--better than adequate!
I reckon I have to shout it from the rooftops now because no one is ever going to notice or care again, once the street is repaved and our yard is full of dirt.