Sunday, 1 August 2021

Starting this was likely an error

The weather during the past week hasn’t been pleasant with high winds and a heavy rainfall.  The next five days are forecast to be the same, which is why I shouldn’t have started this project.

It all happened one fine morning a week ago when I decided to find the end of a buried stormwater pipe.  Most of Perth is built on sand and there is no centralised stormwater system.  Properties have soak pits for all the rainwater that falls on their land.  There are larger open soak pits scattered around the suburbs to absorb runoff from roads, etc.

The existing pipe from the drain in front of the garage is too small and is easily blocked by one or two leafs and I have decided to replace it.  The first step in this process has been to find the buried end of another stormwater pipe connected to a larger soak pit under the front lawn.  I had established it was in the general area of the red arrow in the photo below.


Ignore the gardener who is cruelly murdering weeds!  You can see I’ve started digging.  You can also see the drain at the front of the garage roller door.

I found the end of the pipe but then got carried away lifting concrete pavers and digging a trench from the end of the buried pipe to the corner of the garage.  The brain might have been willing, but the flesh was weak.  Several rest stops were required.

It was during this process I realised I wouldn’t be able to locate the new drain in the same position as the old.  The concrete footing from the house prevented that.  I’d need to position the drain further away from the garage.  It would also need to be longer.  About where the red line is in the photo below.


It was at this point that my brain decided it was 30 years younger and I enthusiastically continued removing pavers and digging.  Numerous rest stops later the trench was completed.  Light was fading as I finished for the day.

Five days of wind and rain followed.  My trench was now half the depth and twice as wide.  In between showers I cleared the trench…….  Only for the wind and rain to backfill it.

Racing against the weather I finally had a 300mm deep trench and I started frantically hand mixing concrete in the wheelbarrow in order to lay a 150mm concrete beam below the new plastic drain.  Eighteen bags of concrete later the beam and drain were installed.  I’d run out of concrete, wet from the showers and buggered.

The next morning I waited for a break in the weather to see what the wind and showers had done overnight.  It didn’t look too bad.  I need more concrete but the body is telling me a couple of days rest would be nice.  That happens to coincide with a forecast change in the weather!   The 4WD has been out in the weather too long and I therefore made some ramps using the grill off the old drain along with removed pavers and sand.


Once the weather improves I’ll head to the hardware and buy more concrete.  One thing is for certain…. I won’t be laying the new concrete driveway!

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