Yay For Clay…

Bentonite Clay, that is.  At least that’s what I think is the proper name for the native type of soil we have in our area.

The Beginning

At the top of the above picture you can see where the drain pipe for my neighbors sump pump.  You may be wondering why I’m working on my neighbors sump pump drain, and the answer is that through a quirk of building the houses in part of our development, the drain pipes for sump pumps are routed through the neighbors yard along the side of the house, down along the driveway and to the street.  A while ago I notices water leaking in the middle of the rocks, but other than a little bit of ice on the side of the driveway in the winter, it was no big deal.  Well, the break shifted a bit and got worse as did the volume of rain we got this summer, and the area was getting a bit swampy with more water on the driveway.  Then I noticed that the downslope side of the broken pipe had worked its way almost to the surface above the rocks.  I decided to finally fix it to alleviate the swampiness and the driveway ice.  So I dug it out and pulled out the downslope part.  I then dug out a bit more rocks and dirt to be able to seat the new pipe properly.  Next, off to Home Depot.

10-foot Pipe

Is that a 10-foot pipe in your trunk?  Anyway, I can actually fit a 10-foot length of pipe or wood in my old Saturn.  Also got a new utility saw, ABS glue, and a couple fittings.

My Pipe's Too Big

Here is the newly installed pipe.  I didn’t get a picture of the new joint and installation to this point as I had to do it in a rush due to a thunderstorm that blew in.  I had to hastily glue the joint and place the pipe in the trough under the sidewalk without cutting it to length, so as to not get soaked.  Fortunately I did a good enough job with the ABS glue joint that when the pump was pumping it did not leak, so I was good to rebury it.  Except for the foot or so sticking out past the curb into the gutter.  I was texting with my friend adventureinlunch.org  because I couldn’t think of a good way to cut the end at this point and he suggested using a Fein-type multitool.  I luckily had one I had not tried yet, but it worked great with a couple passes.

If I remember to, I’ll go outside and take a picture of how it looks finished.  It looks as good as new with all the rocks replaced.  I was actually really anal retentive and washed the clay soil off of all the rocks I had earlier removed and placed in a wheel barrow.  I actually took it another step and washed them through a screen I had made for another digging/rocks project around my house.  That was tedious as all get out, and only I would have know the difference, but it would have always bothered me if I didn’t.  But it looks great, and now there will be no ice slick on that corner of the driveway this winter.



This is what I found to recover with last night.  Not a bad late summer brew, definitely has the hoppiness of other Sierra Nevada beers, but it doesn’t knock you over with it.  Now I have to decide what keg to get for my beer fridge, darn that 5-gallon size constraint of my fridge.

2 responses »

    • It would be, if it were removable. It’s cemented into the sidewalk, so I had to pass the pipe through it. Wasn’t too bad, but not as easy as it could have been.

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