Sunday June 5th to Saturday June 11th 2022
As much as we were starting to get use to our new work schedule as being normal, it was turned around without us even knowing, that is what happened today, as usual on Sunday morning we were enjoying a quiet morning watching our regular television shows and there is a knock at the coach door. It was Larry wondering if I knew that I was suppose to be on shift today, well the quick answer to that, was obviously no, or I would have been there, and my only copy of the schedule showed me still on the afternoon shift. Apparently there had been a revision made to the schedule, but no one had sent me a revised copy, so I said I would be out to work shortly after lunch.
Oh boy an unexpected work shift, what could be more fun you might ask? Well how about a major water line repair, the first thing that comes to my mind is that it could be hard finding a water leak when there has been so much rain, everything is wet, pot holes and puddles everywhere. But when you have a leak in a 3″ watermain with 125 psi, i guess it becomes much easier, especially when there was a bubbling of clear water on the side of one of the park roads.
As we dig down to the water main with the backhoe we find the leak is at a 45 elbow in which we find a split, this will require us cutting out a chunk of the water line and replacing it with new line. This is actually the easy part, because of the size of this line the most likely cause of the split was the force of the water itself. When moving this much water at this kind of pressure any elbow becomes an automatic weak point, just because when you are changing the direction of a large volume moving at high pressure there is a lot of force that comes into play. The main water line is referred to as schedule 40 pipe, which can withstand pressures near 225 psi while a schedule 80 water line it can withstand pressure a hundred pound higher, and the main reason is because of the pipe thickness is just simply greater, the neat thing about the plastic pipe is that schedule 40 and 80, all the fitting fit both pipes, so we could replace the schedule 40 elbow (white in colour) with a schedule 80 elbow (grey in colour), the other thing we did was to place a cement block at the elbow to help support the elbow when the water line was charged.
Turning the water back on is a slow process, a water line this large usually has a drain to allow it to be repaired, when you need to glue these pipes together, water is not a good thing when trying to glue pipes together. So after the repair the main water line valve is just cracked open to start a slow flow of water, then a high point valve is opened to release air as the drain valve is closed to allow pressure to start to rebuild till most of the air is released and then main valve can be fully opened. Another inspection of the repaired area and then it is time to start the process of refilling the excavated hole, first sand is used to surround the water line as both support and protection from any rocks in the backfill process. Four hours later and the water is back on and the road reopened.
Now onto the lock-up / security part of my shift, because it is Sunday evening the park is not busy, so a quick trip around the park to check for any areas of concern, nothing sticks out as a problem area. I have a couple little tasks in the workshop, before taking my dinner break. After that the evening was very uneventful, with no issues in the park as I close the pool, clubhouse and confirm everything is locked up.
Back to the coach at nine o’clock, to enjoy a few YouTube videos, and review my new work schedule, with day shifts on Monday & Tuesday, the change is for this week and next, kind of like the manager realized what I was thinking about getting the backlog of work caught up.
My Monday shift and my task for today is working with the tractor, trying to get a number of campsites finished and back into the mix. Last fall the park was offered a number of loads of fill, and the plan last fall was to add the fill to a number of the lower tenting sites enlarging them and eliminating some water collection areas. But the rainy season came along and so far has not left for a long enough period to get them leveled and ready for occupancy, so now the big push is on to get them ready for the July 1st weekend, so today was the first day of moving many truckloads of fill, this is how I spent most of my Monday shift.
Tuesday was a day filled with different jobs with the tractor, repairing pot holes on the hill to the office, some site repairs, and starting to address some of the pot holes in the park roads all of this happening while another crew is trimming trees around the park and cleaning up as we have all five of the maintenance crew on shift today.
Wednesday and I just have an hours worth of work to finish up a project from yesterday then I’m off for a couple of days. So I had ordered that new radiator for the toad from a local jobber (an aftermarket automotive parts supplier) and now I’m heading to Duncan now to pick it up, I also have a short shopping list from Laurie, I need to buy some fuel for the toad (the first fuel since Washington), and I’m going to make my first visit to a B.C. liquor store. Laurie is working today so I’m on my own in the town of Duncan, so as I checked off all my items on my list, I was feeling pretty good having accomplished everything, at least till I got back to the coach.
I got the groceries put away, and as I pulled the radiator box out of the truck I took a look in the box and was horrified to see a huge cut through the top radiator support, so I packaged it back up and returned it to the jobber, to get a credit and a new one ordered. I was not happy but at least I checked it before I had removed the original one. Then on my return I decided to sit in the Clam with Mr. Sam, and while I was looking at my iPad he decided to escape, and I capture him at the end of our site, just as Miss Laurie is coming home from work shift. What else can possibly happen?
Well that question got answered almost immediately, the internet police seem to have caught up with our American streaming service so now with no television I need to find a streaming service here in Canada. For our American friends up here in the great white north we have four main broadcasters CBC, CTV, Global & CITY. But unlike in America there is no streaming service that carries all four so it is a case of using a number of different apps and picking the ones that work best for us, a year ago we tried “Stack TV” but this year we are going to try “River TV” as it carries CBC & Global, and we have the CITY-TV app which allows us to stream it live as well, I will let you know how it all comes together.
What the hell is an atmospheric river? And when is it going to end?
It is Thursday my only whole day off this week, and it has been raining since before midnight and has not quit all day, it’s not raining hard, but it just continues to rain. A year ago the area was under a heat dome, it was near the same time of year that the province was suffering horrific forest fires. I recall Laurie saying maybe British Columbia was not a great choice for a summer position on Vancouver Island, and I remember saying the heat they are experiencing is not normal and will be different this year, and it certainly has been different with everyone saying it’s not usually like this.
But the panel to the right shows 7 out of ten days have rain in the forecast and halfway through the month of June and we still have a heater on because of the cold damp weather. The daily high temperatures only gets to 19°C (67°F) and the humidity to-day is 95% and in the last 24 hours we have received 25 millimeters (1 inch) of rain.
It’s Friday which is my Monday, just a little eight hour day, I started the day at the swimming pool, Bruce vacuuming the pool as I cleaned skimmer socks, and then I helped where I could. Today it’s just Bruce and myself on shift, and I’m hearing about another water leak on the main water line, the same one that Larry and I had worked on Sunday but this leak was at the other end of the park.
Now just to put everything into perspective this repair was caused by the removal of a tree by the tree removal guy, apparently it fell as he had planned but then it rolled, and when it rolled it broke the water line to one of our fire hydrants. The park is fed with municipal water, and to keep insurance rates as low as possible the park added a number of fire hydrants, but cheaped out, and instead of buying real fire hydrants like you are all are picturing, but these are what I would call standpipes a 2-1/2” but to meet codes it has to be steel pipe. Here is where it get interesting, when you take plastic pipe that is glued together, and introduce big steel pipe that threads together and add the leverage of a six foot long stand pipe, I mean what could possibly go wrong.
So this repair started on Thursday, but the repair failed, and in my opinion it failed because they tried to reuse some parts, so one of the glued connections let go because it was cut too short so the glue surface was only 3/4” instead of the designed 1-1/2”, so as good as the glue was it only took a little nudge of that six foot standpipe to break it loose, so it was left over night leaking. This line feeds the clubhouse which houses our main washrooms, laundry, and showers, that was why it was left leaking until today to be repaired.
So the plan was at 11am we would shut down the water line down and try to correct the failed repair, the problem with plastic and glue, is if it comes apart it can’t be reused, so we had to get new plastic fittings, so at eleven o’clock we started digging to confirm where the failure was, it only took a couple of scoops to tell where the failure was, water at 125 psi makes itself real easy to spot. So we shut the valve to the line, and very near the break was the drain for this line, so the drain was opened to allow the water to escape, then back to digging in a hole full of water (rubber boot time again), this time we had to dig a trench to drain this hole so I could dig the pipe out. Upon inspection the failure was at the plastic joint that that had the short collar, but I suspect the failure was caused when refilling the hole after the repair.
So a new plastic fitting, 2-1/2” threaded end to a 2-1/2” glued end, cut the plastic pipe to get a clean new end, the two stage gluing process, primer (the purple) and the actual glue on both ends of the pieces to be glued, the slide them together, as simple as that, we let the glue set up, then proceeded to turn the water back on slowly just to get water flowing, and only after water was flowing from the drain do we close the drain, then we turn the water line on fully, and proceed to bled off air at the high points. All was good so we install the standpipe, all was going well as we added sand to the hole to act as a cushion and support to the pipe. Then I think we just got too rambunctious and added enough fill to cause the standpipe to move, and then it was all over, the freshly glued joint failed and we have another failure. This failure is leaking worse than before so we will have to start all over again.
Hopefully the third time is a charm, water off, line drained, standpipe removed, line dug out and we are back to where we were two hours earlier. Another new fitting, another fresh cut on the pipe, fresh primer and glue and we are back connected. But this time we are going to move much slower, giving the glue more time to cure and setup, no standpipe this time, but we support the standpipe with cement blocks on both sides, also little sand to support the pipe but just enough to cover it. We placed a plug in the fitting where the stand pipe should go, just to keep the sand out of the pipe as we place sand around the concrete blocks supporting the line. Water on, drain closed, air bled off, and now we let it sit till tomorrow before we fill the hole.
Back to the coach by 4:30 half an our late, for a beverage, and some burgers for dinner, followed by the local news, and some mindless television. I’m still learning how to get the best out of our new streaming service, the biggest issue I see so far is that the stations all seem to be out of Toronto so the news is from Ontario, while the City-TV app is giving us Vancouver news. I am missing the Golf channel, but not enough to pay to stream the TSN channels, which just seem too expensive, and are a stand alone, a couple of ice cream bar for desert and we call it a night
Saturday morning, and I’m on lock-up / security tonight but, I’m going to help finish this water line repair, I devised a way to hold the stand pipe through the backfilling process, and we will gently fill the hole with sand until we are within a few inches of the top, then add the fill until we have reached the top. Now we are just going to rake the area and let the soil settle and solidify before removing the standpipe support, and all this in just an hour and a half later, I have made it back to the coach, where Mr. Sam and I spent some time on the Clam, enjoying a few sunny intervals in between the sprinkles.
Saturday lock-up and security made for a quiet and peaceful evening, there was a group in the tenting section along Arizona row that I had been warned about being a little rowdy, but by shortly after ten they were quiet just enjoying a campfire. It was a strange evening, on my firewood run I only sold one bag of firewood, unusual to say the least, but the woodshed at the store was empty so there was lots of wood sold, just not by me. As we are closing in on the middle of June, we are still quite cool, and a sweatshirt has been necessary most days, but when the sun does peek through it is warm, so bring on the sunshine!
Be well, stay strong, and brave!