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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

What Lies Beneath...

My grandfather was a miner.  My father was in construction and excavation.  It runs in my blood.  However, I've never had a desire to dig a hole nor crawl in to one.  Yet, I'm fascinated by the process.

I had the opportunity to watch a water main repair in Wilkes-Barre Monday morning.  The process is, on the surface (pardon the pun) simple.  Shut off the water.  Dig a hole.  Pump out the accumulated water.  Assess the situation, and get to work.  In this case, a sleeve and collar were placed over the broken section.  It took several hours.

I'm surprised it doesn't happen more often.  The pipes are old and brittle.  We've been through a brutal winter, and the frost line is much deeper than normal.  The ground seems stable.  It moves from above.  Thanks to our mining past, it moves from below.

We all love to hate utilities.  They're not cheap.  It's frustrating when the lights go out in a storm.  If you lived through the giardiasis outbreaks of the 80's, you know the water issues.  Telephone land lines and cable television are luxuries to many, and it seems like the price goes up every year.

In spite of it all, there are billions who would be thrilled with what we have.