An unglamorous but necessary new sewer line

As I mentioned Monday, for four years we knew our sewer main was going to have to be replaced. Our neighbors told us the previous owners had the sewer guys over there all the time to take care of backups, but that little detail did not come up during the house-buying negotiations.

Because we needed to pour footings to expand our kitchen, it made sense to tear out a portion of our driveway, replace the sewer main, and pour the footings all in one fell swoop.

Last week the demo crew tore out the concrete and dug away. This is what it looks like to have a sewer main replaced at an old house. The trench was 11 feet deep at its lowest point.

What an expensive, invasive project. But that sewer main was breaking down in a big way. Some sections were pocked with holes, and others were 75 percent full of tree roots. The new PVC pipe shouldn’t ever have the same problems.

The worst part was that I lost half of a mature lilac bush located directly above the sewer line. Its root system was one of the culprits invading our pipes. I’m devastated to see the lilac go, but on the other hand, it had grown so tall without proper pruning that many of the blossoms were 10 feet above the ground; to cut them for vases, I had to get out the ladder. When I plant a new bush, you better believe I’ll stay on top of the pruning so the new plant blossoms in a more bushlike manner.

And the best part is no more sewer backups! I am pretty excited about that. •


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