Monday, January 26, 2015

Surprise, Surprise, Surprise!

Well, I thought I heard the phone from my bed as I was preparing to get up not too early Sunday morning.  As I got up and realized it was my phone ringing again, I saw the recall number and it was Skip and I thought, Houston we have a problem because I rarely get calls in the winter from work. I called him back and he said I've got water pouring out of the middle of the tennis courts across 18 and 1 fairways.  I'm thinking to myself why would water be coming across that area?  The pumps are shutoff, no irrigation water is in the system. Well, Skip has been here over 30 years and I asked what do you think it is? Well, he went back into his memory and recalled that it could be a water line that was used to keep water on the clay courts in the days before the courts were running automatically. Luckily, the club was closed so he shutoff the water to the clubhouse and I said we will look at it on Monday.

We thought the leak might be only a foot or two deep so they started hand digging this morning. I was working in the office and was planning on coming up to look what they had discovered once they dug it up but before I could get up there, Skip called and said we will need something to dig deeper.  Our backhoe is too large so I went out and rented a smaller track-hoe that would fit into the gate of the tennis court area and would create a smaller footprint as we drove across the courts.  We used plywood to help reduce the track marks as the machine drove to the middle of the court. Skip dug down a few feet and we started to hand dig again. We always try to finish by hand so that the pipe is not damaged further by the bucket.  Russ found an additional cavity deeper into the court and a possible pipe but we needed to dig another 1 1/2' of material out of the hole.  We had to dig nearly 5' into the court when we finally exposed the leak. It was a 45 degree joint that had failed.  It was a 4" line that we believe fed the golf course back in the day. It had to be installed after 1928 when the existing clubhouse was built. There is no shutoff for the line that we are aware of.  I'm assuming there is a shutoff somewhere for that line but it must have been covered by now. We also found the 1 1/2" line about 2' under the surface of the courts that actually fed the tennis courts while we were digging.

We purchased a cap and One-Lok mechanism which helps to hold the cap in place.  Repair made and water is back on.  We will fill the hole back in tomorrow and will have to scrape up the mud from the clay so additional sections of clay are not contaminated.  The gravel subsurface and clay area will have to be patched once the area settles over the next couple of months. It is very difficult to walk on the courts right now because of the freeze/thaw cycles.  The courts hold moisture and become very sloppy during the day. I would expect the court to be in good shape once we put them back into play in May.

You never know what you might find on an nearly 114 year old property.

After the area was dug out. The brown material is the dirt that washed out onto the clay surface from the blowout.

Russ beginning to hand dig down into the small cavern created by the blowout.

More digging.

The actual pipe and the joint that failed.

After cutting out the joint. significant crack around most of the joint.

Repair made by Skip and Tom, water on and not leaking at this time.

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